Tigers shift Gene Lamont to bench coach

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After seven seasons as the Tigers’ third base coach Gene Lamont is shifting to bench coach for 2013, with manager Jim Leyland stressing that the move wasn’t performance-based.

Leyland called Lamont “as good as any third base coach in the American League without question” and “a great baseball mind who will be there with me on the bench.”

As a 65-year-old former manager sitting alongside Leyland on the bench certainly seems like a more natural role for Lamont. Tom Brookens will shift from first base coach to third base coach and Rafael Belliard will go from infield coach to first base coach.

John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press notes that in most cases bench coach is considered a promotion from third base coach, although Leyland had gone without a bench coach for years now.