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Gilbert Has Interview for Dodger GM Job

February 15, 2004|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

Former agent Dennis Gilbert, who has spent the last three years working as a special assistant to Chicago White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, interviewed for the Dodger general manager job Saturday.

Gilbert, a Los Angeles native and longtime Dodger follower who was part of a Jeff Smulyan-led group that failed in its bid to purchase the Dodgers last year, was recommended for the position by Reinsdorf.

Though he would not discuss his lengthy meeting Saturday with new Dodger owner Frank McCourt, Gilbert, a 55-year-old who has a strong background in negotiating contracts and scouting, did confirm that the interview took place.

"I've known Dennis for 20 years, first as an agent, and then working with me," Reinsdorf said. "The guy is extremely bright. He's done a lot of scouting for us and has shown an excellent aptitude from judging talent.

"He certainly knows how to negotiate contracts, and one of the problems the Dodgers have had over the years is they've paid [players] too much money. He knows the market. He has a great mind, a really fertile mind, and lots of good ideas."

Gilbert, who played at Gardena High and Los Angeles City College and spent four years in the minor leagues, co-founded the Beverly Hills Sports Council in 1980.

Among his clients in 18 years as an agent, a period in which Gilbert broke several salary barriers, were George Brett, Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Mike Piazza, Bret Saberhagen, Bobby Bonilla and Danny Tartabull.

Since selling his stock in the firm in 1998, Gilbert has been involved in a number of ventures, including starting an insurance practice that specializes in policies for major league players and entertainment industry professionals, and establishing and raising significant funds for the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.

Gilbert has attended roughly 75 games a year in Dodger Stadium, and while going through Major League Baseball's due-diligence process as a prospective owner, Gilbert spent several weeks in 2003 conducting a thorough examination and review of the franchise, including the front office and the farm system.

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