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Tigers inform Gene Lamont he will not be part of new staff

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Gene Laomont, left

Detroit – Wednesday will be the first day since Oct. 11, 2005 that Gene Lamont will not be employed by the Detroit Tigers.

New manager Ron Gardenhire is finalizing his coaching staff this week and Lamont, bench coach for Brad Ausmus the last four seasons, has been informed he will not be part of it.

“I’m sure I won’t be back there,” said Lamont, who finished his 53rd season in professional baseball. “He doesn’t need somebody like me.

Ron doesn’t need an older bench coach like me.”

Lamont, 70, has already reached out to other organizations.

“I’m looking for a job, I guess,” he said. “I’m not sure what I am going to do.”

What he is sure of is retirement is not an option.

“Not necessarily just coaching,” he said. “Would I like to be a bench coach for somebody – yeah. I’d like to manage, too. But I am going to stay in the game. I don’t want to retire.”

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He said he’d be interested in scouting or a special assistant role, just some way to stay connected to the game.

“I don’t know what it will be, but I’d like to think I will find something,” he said.

Lamont’s association with the Tigers dates to 1965 when he became the club’s first ever draft pick. A catcher, he played for the Tigers in two stints, 1970-1972 and 1974 and 1975. After a successful run managing in the minor leagues, Jim Leyland, then managing the Pirates, brought him to the big leagues as his third base coach in 1986.

Lamont has managed both the Pirates and White Sox, and coached with the Pirates, Red Sox and Astros before rejoining Leyland in Detroit in 2006.

“We did pretty well while I was there,” Lamont said. “Last year was a bit of a downer but we’d been pretty good for 11 years. It’s hard to keep it going nowadays.”

Lamont was hopeful he would be able to remain in the organization in some capacity, but he quickly saw the writing on the wall.

“They’ve got their people,” he said. “Not just coaching, but they’ve got their people. They spent quite a bit of money on analytics and stuff, so, hopefully they can get it going. It won’t be easy. Fans and everybody else will have to be real patient, I think.

“For me, it’s probably good to move on to a new challenge. We will see what happens.”