Another Month, Another Chat

Each month the Arizona Diamondbacks host an online chat on the first Thursday. Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall takes 30 minutes out of his day to meet with fans and answer any questions they may have. It has become an important communications device where the fans can perhaps find out information that they may not otherwise have an opportunity to ask. I for one love to attend these not just for the chance to pester the Diamondbacks with questions but also to help me keep my finger on the pulse of what is important to the team’s fan base. Besides, who doesn’t love hanging out in a Java-based chat room for 30 minutes with other Diamondbacks fans? As is normally the case I came prepared with my list of questions. I had eight this month (sorry the holidays took their toll on me).

It is interesting that this month’s chat continued what I have seen as a trend for the past three. Fans are really curious as to how Randy Johnson’s recovery from back surgery is coming. I would have expected perhaps a comment or two about Dan Haren or the overall make-up of the starting rotation but in particular people seem to want to know if the Big Unit is coming back. I’m curious to see whether this interest is confined to those following the chat or if there will be an increase in attendance on those games where Randy Johnson pitches.

Another thing I am noticing from the chats is that there are now fewer questions being asked about the team and roster and more about the game experience. Given that Mr. Hall is directly responsible for the game time rather than player development I am encouraged that the chat members are focusing their efforts in meaningful questions. That is not to say Derrick Hall doesn’t know anything about the roster but that detailed questions are probably better directed to Josh Byrnes staff for answers.

A lot of the questions this month were directed towards Chase Field and the improvements being planned. In past chats Mr. Hall had stated that the team wanted to move the Peter Piper Playhouse and Baxter’s Den to the upper deck and re-use the space behind the batter’s eye as a museum. These plans seem to have been temporarily postponed to perhaps 2009. The team is instead focusing on upgrading the JumboTron (still on schedule for being ready for the first game of the season), updating the overhang seating in left and right centerfield, updating the suites, and upgrading the Strike Zone lounge. I was really looking forward to the museum so I was slightly disappointed but I can understand the priorities.

I was excited to hear that the Diamondbacks are planning more bobble head giveaways on Saturdays this year. I am sure Trina is less than thrilled with the idea of me dragging the entire family to ball games so that our house can be filled with even more bobbing head dolls. She has yet to fully appreciate the beauty of the bobble. Mr. Hall also stated that the team is planning a special celebration during the first home stand April 11-13 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Arizona Diamondbacks. I can hardly wait to see what they have planned. Hey maybe they will let me throw out a first pitch, that would be sweet!

There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm building towards the upcoming season and it is good to see I am not the only one that can hardly wait. Although the 2007 season was a lot of fun I am really looking forward to 2008. Maybe that is the tag line they need to use for the upcoming season, “I can’t wait for 2008!”

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