The second day of the Winter Meetings concluded with a bit of news from Jim Leyland, who will be the Tigers manager for at least the next year has decided to relieve Gene Lamont of his third base coach duties and place him in the confines of the dugout for the foreseeable future.
John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press was the first one to report it, and as you may imagine, his lede into the story centered around Lamont’s questionable performance as the third base windmill.
In a change that he said had nothing to do with Gene Lamont’s performance as third-base coach, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said today that Lamont will become his bench coach next season.
I’m not saying that this in incorrect, or even homerism – Lowe most likely wanted to make such a bold statement so no questions would be asked – but it certainly means that the questionable decision making will no longer be in Lamont’s hands, at least from the left side of the infield.
Jason Beck, who posted the announcement on his blog, had this to say about the move:
The shift, Leyland emphasized, was not a sign of Lamont’s decision-making, despite the second-guessing Lamont faced for a handful of calls this season.
Of course Leyland’s going to emphasize that, but that’s probably the truth. Lamont has been his third base coach in Detroit since 2006 and he hasn’t improved or gotten worse. He’s just…Gene.
Leyland went on to say that the move has more to do with Lamont standing for half the game than anything else and there’s no reason that’s not 100% true either. So, unfortunately for the handful of warmonger’s out there, there’s no scandal here, in fact, Lamont basically has the best job in the business now.
If you’re wondering who he replaced as bench coach, the answer is no one. Leyland hasn’t had a BC for years now. Tom Brookens will be the new third base coach and Rafael Belliard will be the first base coach now.