The Tigers’ search to replace Ron Gardenhire has started with a familiar name to Detroit fans, as MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports (via Twitter) that the team interviewed Dodgers first base coach George Lombard.
The bulk of Lombard’s 144 career Major League games were played in a Detroit uniform, as Lombard appeared in 72 contests for the 2002 Tigers. Lombard played in parts of six MLB seasons from 1998-2006, and after his career wound up in 2009, he moved on to minor league coaching and coordinator positions in the Red Sox and Braves farm systems. The 45-year-old Lombard is currently in his fifth season as the Dodgers’ first base coach, and he was also interviewed for the Pirates’ managerial vacancy last year.
Lombard’s resume includes some managerial experience, as he ran the dugout for the Gulf Coast Red Sox (Boston’s rookie league affiliate) in 2011 and 2012. Tigers GM Al Avila is reportedly only looking at candidates who have some managerial or coaching experience at the Major or minor league levels, so Lombard qualifies on this front, though he does lack the track record of some of the bigger names thought to be under consideration — such as recent World Series-winning skippers Alex Cora or A.J. Hinch, among other candidates.