Los Angeles Dodgers first base coach George Lombard has remained with the team as the Detroit Tigers named AJ Hinch their 39th manager in franchise history. Lombard was among the candidates to interview with the Tigers over recent weeks.
Hinch returns to the managerial ranks after serving a suspension MLB handed down as part of the punishments for the Houston Astros electronically stealing signs during their 2017 World Series run.
“I’d like to thank Chris Ilitch and Al Avila for giving me a chance and the opportunity to get back in the dugout to lead this historic ballclub,” Hinch said. “The last year was the most difficult of my life.
“It gave me time to reflect, which was such a big part of this process. Everything that has transpired over the past year, personally and professionally, has put so much in perspective for me, and re-enforced how important it is to do things with integrity and honesty.”
“My feelings towards baseball are the same that so many Detroiters have for this team. Through thick and thin you always care about it and rely on it to be there as a part of your life, and I’m so proud to play a role in growing that tradition here with the Tigers.
“Having a talented young core of players, dedicated leadership group and passionate fan base was exactly what I was looking for in a team, and it’s clear we have that here in Detroit. It’s time to start playing winning baseball, and I am confident this organization is positioned to make that happen.”
Lombard is an original member of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ coaching staff. In addition to coaching first base, Lombard is tasked with organizing outfielders as well.
Roberts believes Lombard will get opportunity
Amid reports of the Tigers’ interest in Lombard and his interview, Roberts voiced confidence in his ability to lead a team.
“George is going to be a Major League manager,” Roberts 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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