Chatting with the Prez

It’s the first Thursday in December and that can mean only one thing: it’s time for the monthly on-line chat with Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall. Since taking office last year Derrick Hall has made himself available nearly every month via an online chat on the Diamondbacks web site. He takes 30 minutes of his day each month and allows Diamondbacks fans to ask him questions about the team and the organization. I always love attending these things. On the one hand it gives me an opportunity to pester the Diamondbacks with questions without feeling overly guilty. On the other hand it gives me a chance to hear what other fans are thinking or what they may be interested in. That in itself can be quite eye-opening and at times comical.

I always like to prepare 10-12 questions to send into the chat then sit back and see how many of my questions were selected during the 30 minute session. I’m usually quite careful to select questions that pertain to the duties of the President of the Diamondbacks. It doesn’t make sense to ask him a lot of questions on player movement or roster composition when that is the jurisdiction of the player development arm of the organization. So my questions typically deal with ticket pricing and availability, fan experience, fan loyalty programs, and Chase Field. I’ll always throw in a question about what new and cool things are available at the team shop since I am always looking for an excuse to get something new that has a Diamondbacks logo on it.

This month I was interested in hearing more about the announced ticket prices and I was especially interested in understanding what sections made up the new Baseline Box seating section. I was also curious how work was progressing on the new scoreboard and what changes we should expect at Chase Field when the doors open next April. Finally, I am just dying to know when seat relocation proceedings begin since that usually means there will be an open house at the stadium which will give me an excuse to go down to the ballpark and wander around sitting in the seats and reminiscing about all the great times I have had there.

Derrick Hall was in rare form today slinging answers to questions like a Brandon Webb sinker. He was fielding questions left and right and making spectacular web gem quality answers. He went over the recently announced Season Ticket Scholarship program which is a way that the Diamondbacks are giving back by awarding season tickets to people who might otherwise be unable to afford them due to financial difficulties. That is an awesome idea and I can’t believe someone didn’t think of that sooner. I was a little disheartened to hear that phase 2 of the kids zone upstairs may not be finalized until the 2009 season. My kids were hoping that would be finished for the upcoming season. Personally so was I since the Diamondbacks are planning to use the space currently occupied by Baxter’s Den to house a museum exhibit of baseball artifacts. I was hoping that Mr. Hall would announce the resumption of the Diamondbackers fan loyalty program but no announcement was made leaving me to wonder whether 2008 would again be resigned to a kids club only effort. The time of these chats just seems to fly by and before long they are over for yet another month. My tally for this month was a response to 4 out of 12 questions giving me a .333 batting average for December. If I am able to keep that up I could post numbers assuring me of a place in the Diamondbacks fan hall of fame.

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