Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Three men who manned the dugout in Pittsburgh are on the American League Champion Tigers' coaching staff.
Three former Pirates managers are headed to the 2012 World Series with the Tigers after Detroit knocked off the New York Yankees on Thursday evening to complete an ALCS sweep. Detroit is led by veteran manager Jim Leyland, who started his career as a skipper with the Bucs in 1986. He's the last manager to lead the Pirates to the MLB postseason, but he's headed back to the Fall Classic for the second time as Tigers manager. In the intervening years between Pittsburgh and Detroit, he captured a World Series ring in the National League with the Marlins in 1997. Leyland is the last manager to experience success with the Bucs, and he's also trying to deliver the Tigers their first title since 1984.
On Leyland's staff are two former Pirates managers in Lloyd McClendon and Gene Lamont. McClendon managed the Pirates for a tumultuous stretch from 2001 to '05 and has not been a manager since. The former Pirate has long been a trusted advisor to Leyland, whom he played for from 1990-94. Lamont preceded McClendon for another rocky stretch of Pirates baseball, taking the reins from Leyland and managing in Pittsburgh from 1997 to 2000. Lamont played for the Tigers in the 1970's, and he's another longtime associate of Leyland's. He coaches third base, while McClendon is charged with the duties of hitting coach.
Rafael Belliard, who played with the Bucs for eight years, is in his seventh season as the Tigers' infield coach. There are certainly plenty of Pittsburgh connections in the Detroit dugout. The Tigers will start the World Series on the road against the winner of the Giants-Cardinals series.