Gibson, Dipoto catch up before Sunday’s game

ANAHEIM, Calif. — It was just like old times. D-backs

manager Kirk Gibson and Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto huddled

privately in Gibson’s office before Sunday’s game. But this time, it was old

friends catching up, unlike during the summer of 2010, when the two talked

daily about the direction of the franchise as the trade deadline approached.


Their titles included the word “interim” then, when they both worked in Arizona.

Dipoto and Gibson spent hours evaluating players and talking through possible

scenarios in the days before Dipoto pulled the trigger on the big deals that

brought Daniel Hudson and Joe Saunders into the starting rotation and pitching

prospects Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin and David Holmberg into the



Those trades changed the course of the franchise, and the deal with the Angels

that landed Saunders, Skaggs and Corbin might have helped Dipoto land his

current gig. Some of those names came up again Sunday.


“He told me there were a couple of guys if we shipped his way we wouldn’t

be sad at all. It’s not going to happen,” Gibson said with a smile.


“He loves Skaggs. He loves Corbin. He’s a huge Joe Saunders supporter.

That’s why we made the trade. He went out on a limb. I didn’t have a good sense

of what kind of pitcher Joe was, and he had him pegged.”


Some of Dipoto’s evaluation techniques have stayed with Gibson.


“He taught me a lot and introduced me to a different way of thinking,”

Gibson said. “He introduced me to the way he evaluated things. The more

information you get, it helps. When you are trying to think things through very

thoroughly, you want to make sure you cover as many angles as you can. That’s

what you want.  You are going to try to scrub it down before you make a



“Jerry is very thorough. You could take a player, and he’d come down ask

me what I thought about him. Maybe my thought wasn’t as strong as his. He would

introduce reasons why he would evaluate it that way, things that I wouldn’t

have initially thought of. What’s substantial? What means something out of the

things they do, and what doesn’t mean something? What carries more



Dipoto still keeps an eye on the many players in the D-backs system that he

brought in or helped shepherd through the minor league system during his time in

Arizona, the last year spent in a newly created position under GM Kevin Towers

in 2011.


“You are always following them, because you are trying to develop proper

criteria to make good decisions. That’s Jerry. That’s what he does,”

Gibson said.


“He’s a good man. I wish we still had him, but he had to move on. He’s in

a great spot. It’s a great opportunity.”