Defensive Leyland empathizes with Lamont

Defensive Leyland empathizes with Lamont

Defensive Leyland empathizes with Lamont
DETROIT -- Jim Leyland respects what Gene Lamont has gone through the last few days, because he has been there. Leyland had to explain a bad call or two when he was a third-base coach for Tony La Russa's White Sox in the early 1980s.

Leyland knows the deal. It's like a middle reliever, only getting attention when things go wrong.

Lamont said after the Tigers' 2-0 loss to the Giants on Thursday in Game 2 of the World Series that he was overaggressive in sending Prince Fielder around third on Delmon Young's double with no outs in the second inning. With one or two outs, Leyland said, it might've been different.

"He took a chance, and it didn't work out," Leyland said. "Like he said, the only time anybody ever talks to the third-base coach is if he gets somebody thrown out. Nobody talked to Gene Lamont when he stole run after run all year long, maybe three or four runs a week that he stole. That's the way it is. That's the life of a third-base coach.

"I think Gene felt when [Fielder] went by him he was going to be safe. So did I. You get pretty tensed up when you watch the rest of the play."

Leyland said third-base coaches sometimes have to take into account the state of the offense and the chances of getting a hit after that. The fewer outs there are, the less that's considered.

"If you have two outs and maybe the guy's a dead out," Leyland said, "but if the pitcher's the next hitter, you send him and hope that there's a wreck on the highway somewhere and they miss the ball, because you know the pitcher's probably not going to drive him in."