Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 6/17/12
ANAHEIM, Calif. It was just like old times. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson and Los Angeles 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 trading deadline approached. Interim D-backs general manager Dipoto and interim manager 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 organization. Those trades changed the course of the franchise, and the deal with the Angels that landed Saunders, Skaggs and Corbin could 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." Part of Dipoto's evaluation techniques have stayed with Gibson. "He taught me a lot and introduced me to a different way of thinking. 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 decision," Gibson said. "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 weight?" 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 xx years in Arizona, the last spent in a newly created position under general manager 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." Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
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