DETROIT -- Gene Lamont has been everything a first-year manager could possibly hope for in a bench coach.
"He's got suggestions, he answers questions, he makes me aware of situations that I might not be aware of," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He's like my uncle. If I need a little advice, I go to Uncle Gene."
And like a fun-loving uncle, Lamont is quick with a joke when it's appropriate. Ausmus said the quality he most appreciates in Lamont is "his levity and sense of humor."
Lamont and Ausmus have had a long-standing relationship ever since the former was a coach with the Astros during Ausmus' playing days.
When Lamont interviewed for the Red Sox managerial job at the end of 2011, he told Ausmus he'd like him to be his bench coach, if chosen. The next season, after Bobby Valentine was fired after a year at the helm in Boston, Ausmus interviewed for the job and told the front office that he'd like Lamont to be his bench coach, if selected.
A season later, they've finally met up in Detroit, where Lamont has been a coach since 2006 under Ausmus' predecessor, Jim Leyland.
"Geno's exactly what I was hoping he'd be," Ausmus said.
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.