Hall impressed with D-backs first pick
Club president likes success of previously drafted pitchers
Club president Derrick Hall commented that the D-backs first-round pick of the First-Year Player Draft, Jarrod Parker, was the player "we had our eyes on" during an online chat June 7. Hall also shared his opinion on a number of other subjects, including opening the stadium roof, All-Star voting and the D-backs' hot play of late.
Derrick Hall: Good afternoon everyone. I am pleased to be with you again.
crazyforcappy: What do you think about Mark Reynolds on his performance this year?
Hall: What has there been not to love? He has been terrific. Naturally, pitchers make adjustments, and he will need to, too. But he is the type of player who can. He has been a true lift.
crazyforcappy: Do you think Doug Davis will improve as the year goes on?
Hall: Doug has been superb his last few outings, and overall he has an ERA right around 3.00. We are happy with his performance. He is extremely effective when he does not walk batters, which has been the case his last few starts. He has had great control and his breaking ball has been thrown for strikes.
crazyforcappy: Do you think the Diamondbacks will make any moves by the trade deadline?
Hall: Our baseball staff will make a move if they believe it will improve the club. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. If we do not have to sacrifice too much to improve our team, we will naturally take a look. It sure seems at this point that we will be in this race to the end.
Yosef: When will Baxter's birthday be celebrated at Chase Field?
Hall: Baxter's birthday is June 23. I must admit, this is the first Baxter question I've been asked. He usually has a few birthday tricks up his sleeve on or very near that date. Expect to see something creative from him on the field during a game that home stand.
jacksongrl: Hi, I was wondering if you had any advice for someone who is interested in someday wanting to enter the same job field as yourself?
Hall: If you have passion and have your heart set on succeeding in this industry, you can make it happen. Get started any way you can and prove yourself -- internship, fellowship, entry level. Be prepared for long hours and emotional ups and downs with team performance. I have always said that baseball does not become a part of your life, you become a part of it.
jibaz: When a Major League team buys a player's contract from a Minor League team, what does that actually mean? The Minor League team doesn't really own a player's contract.
Hall: We control the players' contracts and they sign either a Minor League or Major League contract. If their contracts are purchased, they need to be added to the 40-man roster.
BVoss: Derrick, I was one of the fantasy campers who attended the reunion game and played in the camper game after the D-backs swept the 'Stros. It was one of the highlights of the camp and I hope you make it an annual event each year at the reunion game.
Hall: All of you are tremendous and deserve that. I'd like to make it an annual event as well and will work on the logistics. It didn't hurt that we completed the sweep. It was good seeing you on the field before the game.
Rex27: What is your opinion of our first-round Draft pick, Jarrod Parker?
Hall: He is the player we had our eyes on. He is a talented, young pitcher out of high school who has a bright future ahead of him. We have had great success with the pitchers we have drafted in recent years, further stockpiling that pipeline of talent coming through.
BVoss: I was at a game where you went to check on a fan who was hit by a foul ball. Who do you feel was the most influential in your leadership/management style?
Hall: We are real good at quickly checking on fans in the stands. Your protection and comfort is very important to us. I believe in putting the fans first and having all of our employees treat them as well as possible. Service is so important in our game. I learned how to treat the fans from watching Peter O'Malley during my early years of management in Los Angeles.
ZEKESDAD: Hey, Derrick, Diamondbacks rock. I'm frustrated though. I am from California and have a vacation home in Sedona, where I've been watching a lot of D-backs on 3TV. Frustrated because I can't seem to be able to purchase a ticket for Saturday's game for the Diamond Club.
Hall: Thanks for the note. One of my employees told me that you might be asking about the Diamond Club after a call you made today here. You will receive a call momentarily -- we are taking care of you.
BVoss: The D-backs seem pretty stocked as far as young talent. Are there any areas you are looking to target for this year's Draft?
Hall: Typically, teams go with the best player available at the time. We rank our players and select any that are available in order of our wish list when our pick is on the clock. It is a thorough and strategic process of evaluation that began weeks ago with our staff.
maplayball: Derrick, please explain why you continue to close the roof on beautiful evenings when the temperature is so nice, like last night. Please don't tell me it was too windy. Gusts were no more than 25 mph.
Hall: We plan on having it open tonight, tomorrow and Saturday nights. Last night was due to wind, yes. We receive our weather reports and look for updates throughout the day. We had a red flag alert and dust storms in the forecast. We prefer to have it open and it was absolutely gorgeous after the game, I agree.
BVoss: On Fox, "Byrnes Baby Byrnes" Rob Dibble said Eric was not in the top 15 in the All-Star voting for his position. Are you going to have any promotions to try to raise his All-Star votes?
Hall: We have had quite a few to date, all successful. We have given away promotional items to those who have filled out a minimum number of ballots, encouraging the selection of our guys. We will partner with some media outlets real soon to have "stuff the ballot" promos as well. So many of our players deserve a trip to San Francisco in my opinion -- Byrnes, Orlando Hudson, Brandon Webb, Randy Johnson, Jose Valverde, etc.
mikeyhag: Derrick, congratulations on the 'Dad of the Year' award and good luck later today. My nephews, ages 5 and 4, appreciated the complimentary hot dog, popcorn and soda last night, as I do too. My question, is it true that season tickets prices will increase for next season?
Hall: Thanks for the kind words. We have not made any decisions on '08 prices yet. I do know that we will continue to provide a large enough gap between what single-game buyers and our season ticket holders pay. We will continue to reward our best fans for their loyalty. Our average ticket price is just over $13, which is the lowest in the game. I am real proud of that. Fans should have options when it comes to affordability here at Chase.
Yosef: Will the D-Backs make an effort to retain Byrnes once he becomes a free agent? I love the fact that we have a young and talented team, but I think it is equally important to have a few veterans like Byrnes on the team.
Hall: Josh Byrnes and his staff realize the value that Eric brings to this team. It is too soon to say what will happen with our outfielders. It is just nice having the options and the talent on the way. Byrnes is exciting to watch and is a great clubhouse leader.
GOOFY04: With Mark Reynolds playing the way he is and if he keeps it up, could you end up sending Chad Tracy to first and trade Conor Jackson for pitching?
Hall: A great problem to have. It is a positive that Bob Melvin has so many options. He can play Reynolds at positions other than third, and he can also play Tracy at first when giving Conor a rest. The way Jackson's been hitting also deserves attention. He has been real productive, so you'd hate to take his bat out of the lineup as well. This offensive streak has been contagious and exciting.
azjazzyj: Are there any plans to bring back the all-time strikeout board that shows Randy Johnson's totals that use to hang in left field when he pitched here before?
Hall: Yes -- we have not been able to locate the old one, but we have discussed creating a new one. We also need to count down his wins as he approaches the 300 club.
azjazzyj: Does it look like the three-game series with the Red Sox will sell out?
Hall: We're getting closer, but there are still tickets available to all three. Saturday has the best chance of selling out at this point, with nearly 45,000 already sold. We will be in the 40's for both Friday and Sunday as well. How about Sunday's matchup -- Daisuke Matsuzaka and Johnson?
ChitoD9: I am trying to break into a career in pro baseball, not as a player but in the management/office field. I have my bachelor's degree and it is my passion to begin a career in baseball. Do you have any advice as far as how and where to take my baby steps?
Hall: Feel free to contact me, and I will spend time with you and make sure I put you in front of the right people.
azjazzyj: At most games the upper deck remains sparsely populated. Are there any marketing plans to try and get more fans out to the game to fill some of those upper deck seats?
Hall: We have several currently. With the wiffle ball field coming together, along with more kids opportunities upstairs, we are trying to attract more families. For the same reason, we offer 5,000 tickets for just $5 for non-premier games. In addition, we have the largest promotional calendar in our team's history and continue to cater to kids with "Kids Eat Free" Wednesdays during the summer months and the "No Chew Crew."
Hall: Time flies -- my half hour is complete. I thank all of you for joining me and look forward to seeing you at Chase. Here's to hoping this team continues with the success on the field. We're sure doing all we can off of the field to enhance your experience. Let us hear from you. Go D-backs!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.