Royals hire Lamont as special assistant to GM

January 16th, 2018

KANSAS CITY -- Now that former Major League manager and Tigers coach Gene Lamont is officially a special assistant to the general manager of the Royals, there are a few people he'd like to meet.

Namely that would be comedians Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis and Rob Riggle -- all from Kansas City -- and Will Ferrell.

See, it was several years ago at an annual Big Slick charity event at Kauffman Stadium when Rudd and Ferrell began endlessly -- and good-naturedly -- heckling Lamont at a game when Lamont was the third-base coach for the Tigers. The comedians were seated in a nearby dugout suite.

Later, Rudd and his comedic pals even incorporated Lamont's name into the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch.

Funny thing is, Lamont had no idea until recently.

"I keep reading about this," Lamont told by phone. "But the funny part is that I never heard them. Honestly. Once the game starts, a third-base coach just blocks everything out. You hear so much from the fans, you tend to block everything out.

"I wish I had heard them. I would have thrown them a ball or something. The charity thing is pretty neat, and maybe this year I can help them out and participate."

Lamont, 71, joins the Royals after 12 seasons as a coach with the Tigers. He will assist general manager Dayton Moore.

"What strikes you about Dayton is he is a good baseball man and a good person," Lamont said. "I'm not sure what my duties are yet, but I think I'll be looking over some of the Minor League players and maybe some of the big league guys, too."

Lamont said part of him will miss the Tigers but that it was time to move on and leave the field.

Lamont has served as a coach with the Pirates (1986-91, 1996), Red Sox (2001), Astros (2002-04) and Tigers (2006-17). From 1978-85, he was a manager in the Royals' farm system, at the helm for the Class A Fort Myers Royals from 1978-79, the Double-A Jacksonville Suns from 1980-83 and the Triple-A Omaha Royals from 1984-85.

"I had some great pitchers during that time with the Royals," Lamont said. "I had [Mark] Gubicza, [Danny] Jackson, [David] Cone and [Bret] Saberhagen. Those are some good arms."

Lamont led the White Sox to an American League West title in 1993, and he was named AL Manager of the Year that season. Overall, he managed Chicago from 1992-95 and Pittsburgh from 1997-2000.

The 2018 season will mark Lamont's 54th year in professional baseball.