Changing of the Guard

My cellphone rang. I picked it up and answered. The voice on the other end asked, “Did you hear the Diamondbacks big news?” I had to admit I wasn’t as connected to the news outlets today as I usually am. My daughter seemed to think that her fifteenth birthday was more important than monitoring some dumb web site in case some silly baseball team made a change. See this is what is wrong with this country; kids just don’t have their priorities set straight. For example based on my experience; a woman is only excited about her birthday up until her mid to late twenties. By the time she reaches the age of 30 a woman’s ability to count stops. By the age of 40 you take your life in your own hands if you even suggest that you know her real age. So obviously my daughter’s priorities are completely messed up; something I hope to remedy before she graduates from High School. I had to sheepishly admit that I had not heard the news.


I assumed the “big news” was the signing of Tony Clark which had been rumored to be close for the past couple of days. No, that was not it. I was told this was huge and that I needed to get to a computer quick. I dropped the birthday decorations and ran to the computer. I pulled up a web browser and immediately saw the reason for the phone call. The headline read, “Diamondbacks Partner Jeff Moorad Resigns to Buy San Diego Padres”. My mouth fell open. To say this was unexpected would be an understatement. I had no inkling that there was a potential ownership change in the works.

From what I could gather from several sources; it appears that Jeff Moorad had aspirations to be the General Partner of a Major League Baseball franchise. His goal in joining the Arizona Diamondbacks was to be the General Partner but the other owners were hesitant to hand over one of their franchises to a former player agent. The ownership transaction took much longer than anyone anticipated and when the dust finally settled it was Ken Kendrick who was named General Partner leaving Moorad with the title of Partner and Chief Executive Officer for the Diamondbacks. Given how things were playing out it became clear that Jeff would never obtain the title of General Partner. Rather than be satisfied with that arrangement Moorad decided to explore other avenues. With the San Diego Padres being sold as a result of a messy divorce, the situation presented itself to allow Jeff to put together an ownership group to purchase the team and become the General Partner. Since MLB does not allow a person to have an ownership stake in more than one franchise it became necessary for him to resign from the Diamondbacks and sell his ownership stake.

I’ve spoken to countless baseball fans and most did not have good things to say about Jeff Moorad. Personally I don’t understand that. I think the Diamondbacks have built a world-class organization under Moorad’s reign. He created a very strong front office and with the other owners of the team put a competitive team on the field and made the experience of going to a Diamondbacks game very enjoyable. If anything I was a little nervous to think who might be named his successor and what changes that might mean.

Those fears were immediately dissolved when I read that Ken Kendrick and the other owners had promoted Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall as the Chief Executive Officer and President of the club. I cannot say enough good things about Derrick and his staff. I have had the pleasure of talking with him on several occasions and each time I have been more impressed than the last time. He has a great vision of where he wants to see the Diamondbacks go and he has the fan’s interests at heart in everything he does. On many occasions I have provided feedback or input into things I have seen around Chase Field and each time Derrick has intently listened and done what was right for the fans. With this promotion I have renewed confidence that the team is moving in the right direction and we’ll be ok.

Congratulations Derrick, I wish you nothing but the best in your new role. I think I can speak for all the Diamondbacks fans when I say we are looking forward to not only the 2009 season but for others in the future. I know you’ll do the right thing and I’m confident that you and your staff will do whatever is necessary to make sure the fans are taken care of. The future just seemed to get a little brighter with this announcement.


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