Tigers' Lamont coached third base last season with 'eye problem'

Tigers' Lamont coached third base last season with 'eye problem'
December 11, 2012, 11:45 am
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Jim Leyland is shifting his personnel; Gene Lamont is joining him on the bench while Tom Brookens is shifting to third base. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

If it wasn't Pablo Sandoval's three-home run Game 1, it was the Game 2 relay cutting down Prince Fielder at the plate that set the tone for the Giants' sweep over the Tigers in the 2012 World Series.

Gregor Blanco's feed to Buster Posey through Marco Scutaro led Tigers manager Jim Leyland to a bold assessment about his former third-base coach, Gene Lamont.

"I think Gene just got a little overaggressive," Leyland said after the Giants took a 2-0 stranglehold over the Tigers.

[RELATED: 'Perfect' relay sparks Giants win]

The Tigers are "promoting" Lamont to the bench for the 2013 season, with first-base coach Tom Brookens shifting to third.

"Gene is as good as any third-base coach in the league," Leyland was quoted after the Tigers announced the moves last Tuesday. "Terrific judgment. Terrific. But it might be time for him to come over to the bench with me and put Brookie out there."

In addition to knee problems that limited his mobility, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Lamont suffered an "eye problem."

Indeed, the report indicates Leyland approached Brookens at the end of the 2012 year to confirm he would be comfortable taking over at third base, although the timeline of when that meeting took place is unclear.

While one of Lamont's final decisions will go a long way in defining his legacy, Leyland affirmed the decision to bring him off the field was not based on past performance.

"I think Gene Lamont was as good as any third-base coach in the American League, without question," Leyland said. "If you're referring to the Prince Fielder thing, Gene Lamont looked up and said he made an aggressive mistake."

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