Contractually Yours

Today was the first full day of workouts for the entire team. Everyone with the exception of Tony Pena is now in camp and ready to get going. Pena is still facing issues getting a visa that will allow him to enter the United States. Much of the problem stems from a case of mistaken identity where Pena played his first few of seasons under the name of his cousin Adriano Rosario. The Diamondbacks should find out in the next few days what the timeframe will be for when Pena will be able to get to Tucson. In the mean time drills will continue as players begin to prepare for the upcoming Cactus League season followed by the regular season. The case of the missing Pena was not the big news to come out of Diamondbacks camp though.

It was announced that General Manager Josh Byrnes and Team President Derrick Hall have both been inked to contract extensions that will keep them in the Diamondbacks front office through 2015. Josh Byrnes came to the Diamondbacks in 2005 to replace Joe Garagiola Junior who had accepted a post with the Commissioner’s office. Byrnes was given a four-year contract and a farm system overflowing with talent when he arrived. He set out to transform this team from one led by veteran leadership such as Shawn Green and Luis Gonzalez to one of the youngest and perhaps most talented team in franchise history. While some of the moves he has made have been controversial with the fans such as letting go fan-favorite Luis Gonzalez, it is hard to argue with the results. In just two years the Arizona Diamondbacks have become a team built to contend for many years to come. Besides the extension in years, Josh Byrnes was also given a promotion to Executive Vice President.

Success in any endeavor is built around people and great leaders and in both Derrick and Josh we have great young leaders and I don’t think we could be more proud than we are to have them as long-term members of the organization. These are the best years of their lives, their late 30s, so they’re at the point where they have a lot to give.

Ken Kendrick
Arizona Diamondbacks Managing General Partner

Diamondbacks Team President Derrick Hall came to the franchise in 2005. He took over for Rich Dozer after the 2006 season and quickly made his mark with the team establishing several initiatives to enhance the fan’s experience at the ballpark. From a fan’s perspective one of the greatest assets Hall possesses is his commitment to being accessible. I can personally testify of this. My family had gotten to now Rich Dozer early on when the Diamondbacks first became a team. We had built a friendship and kept in contact through the years. By kept in contact I mean that every season I would send Rich a letter letting him know how I thought things were going at the Diamondbacks games from a fan’s perspective. He would also reply and we would talk about things. It was kind of cool for a fan and I was going to miss being able to express my opinions or talk about things in general. As the time approached when Rich would be stepping down I sent him one last letter wishing him the best of luck and thanking him for his time and his friendship. In the letter I expressed a hope that his successor would be as open as Rich had been. I didn’t expect a reply, I just wanted him to know that the fans did care and that he would be missed. I really didn’t expect what happened next. I arrived home from work shortly after the letter had been sent and saw that there was a message on my answering machine. I pressed the play button then stood in shock as the voice on the message was Derrick Hall, newly named Diamondbacks president. He called to let me know that he was very open to continuing the dialogs I had had with Rich Dozer and wanted to stop by our seats and introduce himself. I stood there in a state of shock that the president of a Major League Baseball team would take time out of their schedule to stop and call a fan and let me know that he was interested in my opinions and thoughts. I can assure you it was not an idle comment either. I have talked to Derrick on several occasions at the ballpark, via e-mail, and during his monthly chats and I can safely say that he is one of the most customer focused individuals I have ever met. He is constantly listening to the fans and taking that feedback to heart making meaningful changes that make going to Arizona Diamondbacks games that much more enjoyable. The contract extension he has been given is in my opinion well deserved which is why when I heard the news I immediately sent him an email congratulating him. Just as I have come to expect, I received a reply shortly thereafter thanking me for the email and the congratulations. Josh Byrnes and Derrick Hall are very valuable assets to the Arizona Diamondbacks and I think the team did well to secure their services for the next 8 years.

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