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
“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,”
“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.”