Hall discusses Hinch hiring with fans
D-backs president and CEO answers questions in Web chat
During his monthly Web chat with fans, president and CEO Derrick Hall discussed the hiring of manager A.J. Hinch, his contract and leadership abilities. Hall also addressed the club's record and said the baseball staff is searching for answers.
Hall: Good afternoon everyone. I wish this chat found us all in a better position in the standings. I know how frustrating the start of this season has been for all of us.
psbasu76: Can you explain what "Organizational Advocacy" means? To me, it means that Josh Byrnes is runnng the show and A.J. Hinch is just the man who carries out his orders.
Hall: It is real important to Josh and his staff, but it refers to all members of the organization being on the same page, and all that it takes to scout, sign, develop and promote a player like Bryan Augenstein to the big league level. A.J. will be fine on his own, believe me. Those who think he will just take orders do not know him well. He is a great leader and independent thinker. Josh wants him to have control down there.
cojackfan: I remember you stating in a letter in a previous D-backs Insider that you wanted the fans to feel a winning experience at the park even if the team loses. How do you feel about that statement now that, as a fan, I am not having that experience?
Hall: I completely understand your point and empathize. While a large part of the fan experience includes affordability, cleanliness, safety, entertainment between innings, etc., I realize how important the outcome of the game is, or at least the effort displayed. This team has not executed and is missing that killer instinct. They need to get out of this negative momentum and get back to winning. Our baseball staff will continue to search to find answers.
grams8: What happened? Still not hitting. I don't think the playoffs are in the picture this season. Hope next season they are better.
Hall: Yes, we need to find the answers. We know they are talented and have all shown flashes in the past. We need them to all click and remain consistent.
jimmesa: In 1997 we said our team is young. Now it's three years later. Why do we consider our team young with the talent in hand having three years under their belts?
Hall: They certainly have more experience now. We turned the roster over to the youth movement a few years back and were rewarded for it then. We have to determine why it is so different now with basically the same group of guys.
dbax2008: We MUST take risks to fix this club, including the "possibility" of a Carlos Quentin-esque deal (one we might lose). Is our GM willing to risk it? We can't be conservative!
Hall: Our baseball staff will look under every rock, believe me. We need to look for ways to improve this team, but also have to exercise patience in some areas as well. It is a tough balance. Look at the way Justin Upton started and how many people wanted him shipped out to the Minors. Now, he is one of our most productive players and we are fortunate that we did not act immediately.
jimmesa: In 2007, with young talent we won our division. The difference was we played small ball and didn't wait for home runs. As a matter of fact, we had the lowest runs scored in the league. Why can't we do the same now?
Hall: Yes, in 2007 we did everything right. We played small ball, moved runners over, had timely hitting and drove in runs when we needed to. We need to get back to that. We have to manufacture runs and take advantage of situations such as runners on third with less than two outs. Again, we have not executed in those situations this year, and need to turn it around.
dbax2008: Many parking garages have raised rates, cutting into what I spend IN the park. Are they all independent and/or can the organization exert 'influence' over their pricing?
Hall: Garages and lots around the ballpark are independently owned. The garage that houses our gameday staff increased our costs $2 this season, much to our surprise. We did not want our employees to feel that burden, so we took on the increase ourselves. I am not pleased that it has happened to you as well, especially in this economy. You may want to try Light Rail as well, which drops you off at our front gate.
phxsuns18: Why not make a move for a better hitter? Is money an issue?
Hall: I would not say money is an issue. We would like to have a power hitter who hits for average in the middle of the order. As you know, we tried with Adam Dunn last season. The thought of eight guys who all have the ability to hit over 20 home runs was a nice thought. It works if they are all hitting, which we know they are not. If the right addition is out there for us, we will consider it.
jimmesa: What grade would you give Hinch for the first week of managing?
Hall: It is probably too early to grade. I wish we had better results for the two series, but A.J. will be fine. He is a great leader and has a tremendous relationship with the players and the staff already. This will take a little time, but he will be fine. He has the makings of a great skipper.
fhandrew: Derrick, how much of what the team is experiencing right now is mental?
Hall: Very fair question, and I think a lot of it. But they need to build on success. When they have won, such as the dramatic finish against the Giants, they have not taken that into the next game. They really need to get in the habit of winning again and believing in themselves.
kshef11: Why was Hinch given such a long contract when he has literally no experience? I think the fans, myself included, would feel more confident in the changes made if the incoming coaches and managers had a good record to back them up.
Hall: I understand and appreciate your point. Josh was sending a message of commitment to A.J., letting him know that we believe in him and that we are willing to show him that commitment. We do that with several executives here as well. What was special was the organizational celebration that we witnessed when we brought all of our employees together to inform them that he was selected. This whole organization believes in him.
D-backsFAN: I saw on last night's broadcast your new All-You-Can-Eat section. It looks really nice.
Hall: Thanks. From here at the ballpark, that section looks full every game. It has been a huge hit. The price and location make it a success. We sell tickets there for as low as $25. We have value throughout the ballpark in this economy -- $4 14-oz beers, $7 caps, $8 T-shirts, $1.50 kids food items. And, fans can bring their own food into the ballpark.
jibaz: How many people work with our "young" team to improve our hitting, both mechanically and in our approach. Are we limited just by budget, or are there league rules? Aren't there talented instructors available to help our coach?
Hall: A great deal of time and energy goes into it with this coaching staff, as well as the staff before. They spend time behind the scenes in the batting cages, as well as in the video room breaking down mechanics. It is really a matter of being able to execute on the field afterward.
DJ22: Why do the players NOT give 100 percent ALL the time? What do they say when confronted with this issue?
Hall: We certainly expect 100 percent out of them all of the time, just as you do. They will tell you that they are trying and hustling all of the time. It is a long season and can be a drain, but that is no excuse. If the staff feels a player is not giving it his all, it is being addressed privately.
Hall: I am sorry we have run out of time. These are all great questions that are well-deserved. We have underperformed and expect more from our guys. We are looking to turn this around for all of you. This group is capable of exciting baseball and they want to provide it for you as well. Let's all hang in there and hope for a dramatic turnaround.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.