Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/22/14

LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 21: (EDITOR'S NOTE: IMAGES HAVE BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) Manager, Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a portrait during Photo Day on February 21, 2009 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
He was the former manager’s trusted adviser. Now, he’ll be the new manager’s trusted teacher. When Gene Lamont returns to Detroit this week for the Tigers caravan and TigerFest, he’ll do so as a vestige of the Jim Leyland era. But also as part of the team’s present and future under Brad Ausmus. “I can’t say it won’t be different,” Lamont said during a telephone interview Tuesday. “Brad and I are friends, but Jim and I are best friends. “I’m looking forward to it, though.” As he did last year, after turning the third-base coaching duties over to Tom Brookens, Lamont will be serving as the bench coach — with one significant difference. As Leyland’s bench coach, he knew the boss was aware of all pitfalls, had experienced all traps into which a manager could fall, and had the foresight to plan as many steps ahead as might be required. “Jim was such a veteran manager,” Lamont said. “Did we always agree? No, but I knew I could say whatever I wanted to say.” Now, along comes a rookie manager whose thought process will be new, but because he caught in the majors for 18 years, is no stranger to strategy. “I think Brad will handle it real well,” Lamont said. “He’ll probably ask more questions, and if I see stuff, I’ll bring it up to him. “Probably the biggest thing to begin with will be to remind him to get his bullpen up early enough.” Ausmus will be a work in progress because rookie managers always are, even when bright futures are predicted. So, Lamont’s role will be different in that, without precedent, he won’t automatically sense what Ausmus is thinking. Chances are Lamont will be turned to more often, especially early.
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