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October 18, 2011

Dipoto has wealth of baseball experience on and off field

The first interviewee for the Orioles’ top executive job is the type of candidate who can fit into all kinds of baseball circles.

Jerry Dipoto, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ senior vice president of scouting and player development, met Tuesday with the Orioles’ interviewing committee, the first of several candidates for the spot recently vacated by president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.

Dipoto, 43, has done a little bit of everything in his career. He was a third-round draft pick by the Cleveland Indians out of Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989. A right-handed reliever, the New Jersey native spent eight seasons in the majors with the Indians, New York Mets and Colorado Rockies. He appeared in 390 big league games, compiling 49 saves and a 4.05 ERA.

He began scouting for the Boston Red Sox in 2003 and joined the Rockies in 2005 as player personnel director. He followed Josh Byrnes to the Diamondbacks the following season to run their pro scouting department. He now oversees both scouting and development.

For two months last year — after Byrnes was fired and before veteran general manager Kevin Towers was hired — Dipoto was the Diamondbacks’ interim GM and made two key trades. He dealt All-Star right-hander Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels for four pitchers, including veteran Joe Saunders and minor league prospect Tyler Skaggs.

He also landed one of the better young pitchers in the game in July 2010, when he sent starter Edwin Jackson to the Chicago White Sox for Daniel Hudson and a minor leaguer.

Dipoto is considered one of the top GM candidates in baseball — ranked him No. 1 — because of his combination of old-school scouting experience and affinity for advanced statistical analysis. Being an ex-player certainly doesn’t hurt his cause.

He is a candidate for the vacant Angels GM job and has interviewed in the past for similar positions with the Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners.

Dipoto also has overcome personal adversity. In 1994, he had his cancerous thyroid removed and continued to pitch in the big leagues through 2000.

Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava will interview Wednesday for the Orioles’ job.

In other news, the Florida Marlins have not formally denied permission for the Orioles to interview Florida assistant general manager Dan Jennings, although it appears to be leaning that way, according to an industry source. It would be the fourth time the Marlins have denied another team permission to talk to Jennings, who signed an eight-year extension four years ago.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 10:06 PM | | Comments (11)



"affinity for advanced statistical analysis"

So I guess he's already figured out the odds for his success in Angelos' Charm City?

Geez, can he still pitch, too? That ERA would be stellar on the O's.

How the Oriole GM search will be different this time:

10 - The interviews will be 20% Smouse-ier.

9 - Teleprompter encourages everyone to say "Louuuuuuuuuu" everytime Lou Angelos does something more than clear his throat.

8 - Interviewees will be asked the best way to get blood out of a turnip -- sorry, that was for the concessionaire search.

7 - Prospective GM's will play a best-of-seven "Which Crab Has the Ball."

6 - Rick Dempsey does hilarious Babe Ruth impression during lunch.

5 - Candidates will include the disenfranchised minority, white males aged 35 to 50.

4 - Baklava and moist towelettes for everyone.

3 - (No Number 3 -- out raising ticket prices.)

2 - Every ten minutes a sobbing Peter Angelos calls Andy MacPhail, asking for him to reconsider, telling him he's like the son he never had.

1 - Promises a decision by Opening Day.

Is Dan Jennings that valuable to the Marlins? Also wonder why he would want to leave Miami working for a mid-market team with a limited payroll and an egotistical/tempestuous owner. When he gets the same thing in Baltimore and worse weather.

Why hasn't anyone associated with Mr. Angelos' inner circle, mentioned or considered Mariners Vice President Bob Engle. He has extensive front office experience and helped build the Blue Jays Championship clubs with Pat Gillick, is considered the best Dir of International Scouting in the business and would be an extremely qualified person with experience and a steady hand to bring this organization back from obscurity.

Dan, Jeff, et al...

Who's the best man for the job? I like Dipoto, but baseball's not my career.



I only know a few of the anticipated candidates personally, but I will say that it's hard to find negatives surrounding Jerry Dipoto or Tony LaCava.

Both are exceptionally well-respected within the game. Dipoto has the edge since he is a former player, but LaCava's been given plenty of credit for revamping and supervising the Blue Jays' international system, and that is something that needs major attention in Baltimore.

Both seem like good fits, but you never know what will happen until they get here and deal with the challenges of this particular job. I mean, Andy MacPhail is a well-respected baseball man, and he didn't succeed here.

I'll say this -- and I am being purposefully cryptic. Of the 10 names or so bandied about, there is only one that doesn't impress me and I hope does not land the job for various reasons. But that's as far as I will go.

Well, at least they are willing to interview candidates whose work experience did not include a long stint in the Pliocene.

I'm confident Dipoto is going to get the Angels job, which is obviously a more attractive job than what we've got here. LaCava's got to be the guy. He's watched Anthopoulos figure out how to compete in the AL East.

By the way Dan, I think I know who you're referring to as the guy you don't want to get the job. If you're anything like me you threw up in your mouth upon hearing Mr. "Sure I'll take Vernon Wells and his HUGE salary" Tony Reagins mentioned as a candidate.

McPhail didn't turn around the O's record at the ML level, but the course of action he started on when he arrived was one that assured the O's would get worse before they got better.

You just can't trade frontline ML players for prospects in deal after deal and expect the performance of the ML club would improve. It still remains to be seen how the O's make out on adding Hunter & Davis. But all and all, Andy made out very well on his trades.

The O's have a solid well respected manager at the helm, a solid everyday lineup that is a solid cleanup hitter away from being very good. And some solid young arms to build around. And after decades of filling ST sites abandoned by others the O's finally have a Florida facility that rivals the best in baseball.

Andy didn't end the losing streak, but there is a solid foundation for Buck and the next GM to build on. A couple of good signings and this could be a solid club in 2012.

Dipoto will be the choice made by Showalter, despite Lacava's resume'. Dipoto is part of the Arizona-Tex connection with Buck Showalter. Dipoto is also young and hasn't officially held the position before. That's what Buck wants. A man tthat he mold and train to do things his way. I don't know how many games the Os will win in 2012, but Buck is not a loser. He will make things a lot better in Baltimore

I will be honest, this whole process "STINKS"! As well as the candidates.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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