NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Gene Lamont told MLB.com in a phone conversation Wednesday that his move from third-base coach to bench coach on the Tigers staff was a mutual decision for health reasons, specifically knee problems that have limited his mobility.
Lamont said he went to manager Jim Leyland in August and said that while he'd be glad to stay at third if needed, he'd welcome a move to bench coach. After getting hit by a foul ball during the season and having several other close calls, he wasn't sure he had the reactions he needed to dodge them anymore.
"I can't get out of the way as soon as I could [before]," Lamont said. "I got a knot in my left knee. I just can't move as well."
Leyland and the club agreed and made the move after the season. The Tigers announced the move on Tuesday, including Tom Brookens' move to third-base coach and Rafael Belliard's shift to first base.
"I did it for a long time, 18, 19 years," he said.
Lamont, a former catcher who came up through the organization after being the club's first draft pick in 1965, has a history of knee issues. Those concerns, plus his age, have limited his mobility.