During his February Web chat with fans, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall chatted with fans about the young hitters on the team, signing pitcher Jon Garland, the new All-You-Can-Eat section at Chase Field and much more. Derrick Hall: Hello everyone. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. I am ready to begin, and we will go about 30 minutes. dbbptap: Derrick, congrats on your well-deserved promotion to CEO! Are there near-term marketing plans to leverage Justin Upton, Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, Conor Jackson and Chris Snyder in a bigger way with the Diamondbacks, developing fanbase?
Hall: Thank you very much. I am excited about the position and all the organization has to offer. We have focused on the team as a whole the last few years to take pressure off of any one, or handful, of player(s). We do use their images in several ads and commercials, as part of special moments captured here at the ballpark. So much of what we preach and believe in is the magic here at Chase Field and the fan experience we provide. These are great kids who love being a part of the community and interacting with fans. Their support and the loyalty to these players has happened organically, which has been nice to watch. redsndbackphan19: Are you concerned at all with our young hitting? If we have trouble hitting this year are you guys willing to go out there and get a hitter? Hall: Thanks. I believe another year under their belts will make a big difference, just as it did for Stephen Drew last season. With hitters like Drew, Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds, Conor Jackson, Chris Young, Felipe Lopez, Chad Tracy, Eric Byrnes, Chris Snyder, Miguel Montero, etc., I truly believe we have the talent. And when the offense clicks as it did to start out last season, it can be explosive. If we do need a new part at some point, you bet we will entertain every option. grams8: Are we really ready? Hall: I certainly hope so. This is a very good team with what I consider one of, if not the, best rotations in the league. The addition of Garland to Webb, Haren, Doug Davis, Max Scherzer, Yusmeiro Petit, Juan Gutierrez, etc., is exciting. Adding Lopez, Scott Schoeneweis and Tony Clark helps this team as well. I am confident with the team we have reporting in a few weeks. GM Josh Byrnes and his staff have assembled a talented group. dpwildcat: Are the D-backs planning on any uniform updates this season or the next? I'm hoping for something a little more traditional looking. Hall: We hope to make these traditional over time and plan on no changes. The reaction to these uniforms has been tremendous from players and fans. Brenly2001: With the economy waylaying season-ticket sales, what's up your sleeve to entice single-game purchasers? Hall: We are doing pretty well with season tickets and are projecting to be where we were last year in overall tickets. We will need to do well in the first month, where we have 18 home games on the calendar. Fortunately, that is a wonderful month to be at the ballpark with the roof open. Baseball should not be hit too hard, as we are the most affordable of all the sports and we are the most affordable within the sport. cnaylor62: Congrats on your new title, you deserve it! I was season-ticket holder last year on the suite level, but on the 3rd level this year. What new is happening on the suite level for this year? Hall: Thank you. Glad you're back with us. We have taken the six suites down the left-field line where the Redheads section was and blown them out to be one huge all-you-can-eat family section. The assigned seating in front is just $25 for seasons and $30 for regular, non-premier games. Great deal. murdog1: What changed so much financially that the team was able to make a $6.25 million deal with Garland, but could not make the same offer to Randy Johnson? It really hurts to see the Unit in a Giants uniform. Hall: Hate to see Randy go. We needed time to see how the payroll was looking based on other deals before being able to commit to that salary. This signing obviously took place much later in the offseason. We are really fortunate to add Garland to this staff. Bringing in a 29-year-old World Series veteran from the American League is good for us. He is a notorious innings eater and will fit in nicely. dpwildcat: Where do in the valley would you like to see the team spring train when they leave Tucson? Hall: If we need to leave Tucson, we will have several great options to choose from. I think the next one or two team complex, regardless of whether or not it includes us, should be in the east or northeast valley. Perhaps even south near Tempe or Chandler. But the Westside is becoming a bit oversaturated with the additions of spring complexes in Glendale and Goodyear. cherw: Will you still be accessible to fans as your were as president? Any changes as to how things were run when you were president? Hall: You bet I will be! I love the interactions with our fans and employees. I will still be president as well, so not much should change. murdog1: Do you think having a veteran like Clark on the roster from the beginning of the season will help these young players perform more consistently? Hall: I absolutely do. Clark is such a calming, veteran voice. His presence is felt and needed in that clubhouse and dugout. dbacker79: I agree, Derrick -- you deserve the new role! My season tix are on the 3rd deck. Who are the new food vendors this year? Hall: Thank you as well. We are excited that Subway will be joining us this season. godbacks2007: Derrick, the closer Webb gets to free agency, the less chances the D-backs have to sign him long term. I know his under contract for two more years, but I think all D-backs fans would love to have him under contract for much longer. Do you see this happening? Hall: I agree it will be challenging. We are lucky that we still have the two years. There is no doubt it is rare to have an ace like Brandon. There are many moving parts here that make it complicated at this time. But, know that we absolutely love and respect Webby and hope to find a solution that works for both. murdog1: Will dbacks.com be updated with light rail information for those who wish to this as an option for getting to and from Chase Field? Hall: That is a great point. We will get some info up there for you. It is going to be great. The station is literally in front of the stadium. We are currently working with light rail on some promotions for you. We are considering giving a day of game price reduction for those who ride, for example. Hall: We are out of time. Thanks again D-backs fans! I look forward to seeing you down in Tucson in the next few weeks and here at Chase Field for what should be an exciting 2009 campaign.