Chat transcript with D-backs CEO Hall
D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall answered fans' questions during his September web chat. Hall chatted about injuries and extra-inning games that he thought hurt the team this season and said a trade opportunity seems to be the most realistic way to fill the holes.
Derrick_Hall: Hello D-backs fans. Thank you for joining my monthly chat. I appreciate you being with me for the next half hour.
Derrick_Hall: We also have a Twitter contest going on right now, so we will choose a few of the questions from there as well that I will transcribe here.
tjps: Hi Derrick. It appears the 2013 season will end much like 2012's ... full of initial hope and expectations and short on team performance.
Derrick_Hall: I am glad that the expectations are high, as they should be. This has been a confusing and disappointing season from the standpoint of injuries and long games. I believe the extra inning games have really hurt our team. We have played 8-9 games more than most of the other teams in the league.
red_leader: What do you see as the area with the biggest need for an offseason acquisition -- hitting, starting pitching or the 'pen?
Derrick_Hall: We will look at all areas. It is tough to say at this point, because the way our season went, when the team was pitching well, they were not hitting and when the team was hitting, they were not pitching. Like right now, the bullpen is doing its job and we are getting good, quality starts out of our starters, but our offense has been asleep. We will assess every area here shortly. That is not to say we have not been all along.
DeadmanGold: Will any of our young players (Didi, Owings, Davidson, Skaggs, etc.) have a chance to be traded this offseason?
Derrick_Hall: We are certainly committed to our young players, and hope to see them come up through the system and play here a long time. But, at the same time, we will always look to improve our ballclub. And it does not seem that free agency is the realistic process for us to land the best players to fill holes, so we will always listen to trade ideas and opportunities. But with that, our preference is always to develop from within and retain.
skolvikes9: What are the chances that Matt Davidson makes a move to left field with Prado being here long term?
Derrick_Hall: At this point, we see his future as a power-hitting corner infielder. His defense has improved dramatically, and he is coming off one of his best all-around seasons as he continues to develop.
charann74: Love the in-game seat upgrades we can purchase via our phones. Will that still be happening for next season? BTW, it was great meeting you at the Labor Day game!
Derrick_Hall: Thank you. Nice meeting you as well. It seems to have been a success, and one that will be continued for sure.
vindeaz: It seems several players were under performing at all times, and when one got going the others fell back. What do you attribute a lack of a "roll" to?
Derrick_Hall: You seem to have nailed our problems right on the head. For whatever reason, it never all clicked at once. The guys never got hot together and never stayed healthy together. Yet, even though that recipe should spell disaster, we have remained above .500 nearly all year long.
t_heard: Why did we send Skaggs home for the season?
Derrick_Hall: He had a real up and down season all year when it came to results and velocity. The staff thought it was just best to shut him down and give him a rest to solve a few issues this offseason and come back strong for Spring Training.
Mike85033: I have a question about Season Tickets Benefits. I've been a season ticket holder for 4 years and one thing really bugs me. When you have things like Star Wars Day, I want a T-Shirt, but I don't need 2 more tickets.
Derrick_Hall: Great question and point. We make the shirts and other giveaways available to our season ticket holders regardless of how many seats are purchased. I would suggest discussing with your season rep and I will pass on as well.
Derrick_Hall: Our first Twitter question: @merondal asked will there be a D-backs Twitter meet-up this season? There in fact will be, with a Social Media Night scheduled for Friday, September 27. For more information, visit dbacks.com/dbackssocial.
MichaelJay: Will the budget for players' salaries increase in 2014?
Derrick_Hall: Our payroll was the highest this season since our 2001 team. We are committed to increasing payroll, as long as our business model allows. Our owners have never put money in their pockets and they never intend to. So as long as our revenues increase, we will continue to invest those dollars in the team and the facility. If I had to predict, I would say our total would increase again.
hlaura: My kids are big D-backs fans and have enjoyed watching this season. My middle son loves Goldschmidt and talks constantly about all of his home runs. What was the most memorable moment for you this season?
Derrick_Hall: He is an excellent role model. And while there have been so many great memories, from the 16-inning victory, to the countless walk-offs and late inning heroics to choose from, probably the game when Goldy tied it with a homer and then won it with one in his next at-bat stands out the most for me.
Derrick_Hall: Another Twitter question: @gchiker4887 asked what it means for the D-backs to be name Most Admired Company and how I have helped to change the culture? These two go hand-in-hand, as we have worked hard to change and improve the culture and I believe it is the best in sports. This means the world to me. I would salute and applaud all of our talented employees who have bought in, invested, and made this the best possible place to work. They are responsible for making this the place it is each and every day. We are a family, and while we are productive and efficient, we have fun together.
indeaz: It seems the media is starting to strongly criticize everything about the team now that Postseason is unlikely, do you think that contributes to bandwagon fans? How do you feel about such critique?
Derrick_Hall: I think it shows how everyone likes to win. That is not such a bad thing. It is important to keep it all in perspective. We were in first place for 66-straight days and the expectations grew even wilder. It felt like quite a let-down when we relinquished the lead for good. Being above .500 all season usually constitutes a good season, but we all want more. We are not happy here any season unless we are playing games beyond the regular season.
Dotmegs: If you could switch roles with one player for a day, game and all, who would it be and why?
Derrick_Hall: Great question. I would say Miggy, or whoever is catching. The catcher is in control of the game and sees everything. To have the trust of your pitcher, your manager and your pitching coach is quite an accomplishment, and there is no greater feeling than knowing you contributed heavily to the success of your starting pitcher and your team.
Derrick_Hall: One last Twitter question: from @jdcortez_14 asked what is my favorite part about returning to Chase Field after a long road trip? I love it all. I like seeing the familiar faces of our season ticket holders who we have relationships with and have not seen for quite a few days, the best game operations and in-game productions in baseball, the sounds of batting practice here, the smells of our great food here, and our team in fresh and clean home uniforms.
Derrick_Hall: That is all of the time we have for this month's chat. Thanks again for joining us and being a part of it.