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You ain’t got to lie, Jerry, you ain’t got to lie

Dec 29, 2011, 11:45 AM EDT

Jerry DiPoto

I interviewed two general managers at the Winter Meetings: Ned Colletti and Ruben Amaro.  It was kinda neat. They’re important people and talking to them made me feel sort of important. It was for TV, and I’m sort of liking this TV stuff.  And of course talking to guys like that — and the assistants who assist them — is a good way to learn neat things that will eventually benefit you guys.  Of course you interview those guys if they are good enough to give you a bit of their time to do it.

But I gotta tell ya: dudes like that aren’t exactly forthcoming.  I knew that would be the case before the interviews and, as the interviews were happening, I was amazed at just how smoothly and cheerfully each of them were able to tell me absolutely nothing.  Especially Amaro. I know he’s a Ninja and everything, but I had no idea that he had mastered the Jedi mind trick too.  I haven’t looked at the tape for a while, but I’m pretty sure he told me that those were not the droids I was looking for. And I nodded happily.

But while the interviews weren’t the most illuminating things ever, Colletti and Amaro were just doing their jobs. Let’s face facts: there is zero upside to them telling me something of real substance. The offseason is about the art of negotiation and the art of negotiation depends on negotiators having superior information to their adversaries. Sure, Amaro could tell me and the TV audience that he wanted nothing more in the world than to sign Dontrelle Willis, but if he had it would have made that negotiation somewhat tougher for him. Why bother?

But I will say this: at least Amaro and Colletti were honest in the information they did provide.  Even if they weren’t forthcoming, there was nothing they said that could be construed as misleading.  As Ben Lindbergh chronicles over at Baseball Prospectus today, the same can’t be said of many general managers:

Inspired by the first item on the list below, I asked the BP staff for other instances in which a GM was less than forthcoming about his plans. Here are a few examples that show why it’s best to exercise some caution before buying into everything your friendly neighborhood baseball executive says …

What follows are seven pretty hilarious instances of general managers — leading off with Jerry “we’re not gonna spend money on guys like Albert Pujols” Dipoto — saying one thing and then doing something completely different.

It’s a great read, and a great reminder to put almost zero stock in anything a guy running a baseball team says.

  1. Kevin S. - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    That was a great read, if for no other reason than to remind the Phanatics that Cashman was the Ninja master long before RAJ became his apprentice.

    • kopy - Dec 29, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      It was worth it though just to see the picture of Cashman and Pavano together during the contract signing.

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      Does this mean one day RAJ will strike down Cashman to become the master? And then take an apprentice of his own?

  2. lyon810 - Dec 29, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    I’m sure by now there are plenty of pictures of DiPoto in an Angels setting. Toss the D-Backs stock photo please

    • jimbo1949 - Dec 29, 2011 at 3:44 PM

      Oh, you mean those A s in the background aren’t for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?

      • JBerardi - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:10 PM

        The The Angels Angels of of Anaheim.

        (The second “of” is implied)

  3. bigredjbird - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Well said lion810

  4. cur68 - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Craig if you really want to answer George Vecsey’s charge of bloggers being relatively lax as reporters of the sports news, well there ya go. Ben Lindbergh’s column there is wonder of research, thought, composition, and humor. Nicely illustrates why the news is the news, and is not necessarily the territory or exclusive domain of the Newspaper. Lindbergh can wear his jammy trousers with pride as a reporter of the news who can research, compose, and illustrate with the best beat guy that ever shoved a tape recorder into a GM’s face…even if he does look like a downy cheeked 13 year old blogging away from his mom’s basemen/fortress of solitude.

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