Big Al expressed surprise for all of us last week when we learned Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont would interview for the Red Sox managing job. The ol' basset hound had his interview on Saturday, and it apparently went well.
Lamont was the fifth and final candidate to interview for the job. General manager Ben Cherington plans to meet with owner John Henry during the MLB meetings that will be held in Milwaukee starting on Tuesday. That will start the process of winnowing the candidates down. The next manager should be place by Thanksgiving.
"All five of those guys, I can envision hiring to manage the Red Sox," Cherington said. "We've got to pick one."
.. "Some things that we learned about (Lamont) were refreshing if not surprising," the GM said.
Lamont told the media he has wanted to manage all along, and he likes to picture what moves he would make if he were in charge of the Tigers. Lamont made sure the Red Sox knew he was a different man than Leyland, though he noted his respect for his boss and said he'd definitely use some of what he learned from Leyland. However:
"If they think they're getting Jim Leyland, they're not getting Jim Leyland. They're getting Gene Lamont," he said.
So is Lamont a real candidate? From some reports on Twitter on Saturday, it sounded like he's got a fair chance. In a separate article, Abraham did not predict Lamont would ultimately win the job. But maybe there are other jobs out there that Lamont might be able to land.
Tim Britton of the Providence Journal notes that Lamont is a unique candidate.
Lamont, who on Saturday became the fifth and final candidate to interview for the job, has presided over 1,115 games as a manager. He spent three-and-a-half seasons on the South Side of the Chicago with the White Sox from 1992-1995, and four more with the Pirates from 1997-2000. In his career, he's 553-562.
"When we were looking for an experienced candidate to include in the process, we did a lot of work on a number of people and just kept getting good stuff back on Gene," general manager Ben Cherington said.