Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, first base coach George Lombard was the subject of managerial interest as the Detroit Tigers looked to fill their vacancy.
The Tigers’ interest led to interviewing Lombard while he was in the postseason bubble with the Dodgers. After speaking with a slew of other candidates as well, Detroit decided on hiring former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch, who was eligible to return to the sport after serving a suspension that stemmed from his club’s sign-stealing scandal in 2017.
Although Lombard remained with the Dodgers for the time being, he is off to Detroit after all to become a bench coach for the Tigers on Hinch’s staff, according to Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic:
The Tigers have made more coaching hires, sources tell me and @Britt_Ghiroli.
George Lombard will be A.J. Hinch’s bench coach.
Scott Coolbaugh as hitting coach.
Chip Hale as third base coach.
— Cody Stavenhagen (@CodyStavenhagen) November 7, 2020
Along with an advancement in role, the hire represents a return to where Lombard enjoyed the most success of a brief playing career. He appeared in 72 games for the Tigers — the most of teams Lombard was part of during his parts of six seasons in the Majors.
For the Dodgers, they now are in need of a first base coach for the first time since Dave Roberts was hired as manager ahead of the 2016 season. Lombard’s duties additionally grew to working with outfielders and baserunning, which he was universally lauded for.
Roberts believes Lombard will one day manage
When reports of the Tigers’ interest in Lombard surfaced, Roberts expressed confidence in his ability to lead a team.
“George is going to be a Major League manager,” he recently said. “I think his understanding of baseball, understanding of the player, the ability to communicate with players, the idea to continue to grow in information with the baseball ops., all that stuff, he’s open to, willing, eager and very positive.
“I have no doubt in my mind he’ll be a Major League manager whether it’s sooner or later.”
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