As speculation surrounds the reports that the Tigers have hired Brad Ausmus to be their new manager, speculation also is rampant regarding which, if any, coaches will be retained on the new manager's coaching staff for the 2014 season.
Mlive.com is reporting that bench coach Gene Lamont, a close friend and confidant of retired manager Jim Leyland -- and also a former Tiger catcher -- will be retained as the bench coach for the Tigers.
Generally, managers are allowed to choose their own coaching staff. But this is not always the case. It's ultimately up to the organization to choose the manager, the coaches, and the players on the roster, yet the manager is expected to win with the personnel that is chosen. In the case of a new manager, and particularly one with no managerial experience, it might be wise for Ausmus to choose a coach who is familiar with the players on the team.
Lamont, who was drafted and broke in with the Tiger organization, has managed in the major leagues previously with the Chicago White Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was Manager of the Year in the American League in 1993, and finished in the top three in Manager of the Year voting in 1994 with Chicago and 1997 with Pittsburgh.
Lamont served as Jim Leyland's third base coach for seven of his eight years as a Tiger coach, and took the position of bench coach for the 2013 season. Leyland had previously gone without a bench coach, feeling that it was unnecessary. Lamont also became good friends with Ausmus while both were with the Astros for three seasons.
The status of the other Tiger coaches remains unclear, although there is speculation that pitching coach Jeff Jones may return. Jones was the bullpen coach with the Tigers for a period while Ausmus was a catcher. Dave Dombrowski told reporters that all the Tiger coaches, whose contracts expired at the end of the season, were free to look elsewhere for jobs.
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