Say It Ain’t So Derrick, Say It Ain’t So

Normally I look forward to the monthly web chats with Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall. He takes time out of his busy schedule to spend 30 minutes on the Diamondbacks web site answering questions from the fans.

The questions run the gambit from people complaining about the team changing colors three years ago to questioning every roster move that the team has made. Derrick takes each question and gives a sincere answer as best he can.

There are times where I want to pull the keys off my keyboard at some of the questions but he seems to take them in stride. I am way to passionate to be able to calmly reply like he does.

Usually there are a few questions that are well thought out and cause me to pay close attention as Hall provides an answer that gives the fans a look into what we might see at Chase Field with the team or the stadium.

Today was no exception. A loyal fan asked whether the Diamondbacks would be changing any of the concessionaires for the upcoming season. You wouldn’t think that would be a big deal but given the past track record; I learned to pay close attention when the subject of concessions comes up.

My daughter Whitney has been going to the games with me since she was five years old. Every time we went she would always ask for the same thing to eat at the ballpark. She wanted a Blimpie Turkey Sandwich.

Her answer was as consistent as sunshine in Arizona. She never deviated from her request no matter how many Blimpie Turkey Sandwiches she ate. During the 2008 season the Diamondbacks ended their relationship with Blimpie at the ballpark.

You would have thought the world was coming to an end the way Whitney spoke about the loss of her favorite eating establishment in the ballpark. She begged and pleaded with me to talk to Derrick Hall and ask him to bring back Blimpie.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I had absolutely no pull with the team. I mean I’m just a guy from Section 112. Clearly Whitney had not been paying attention at home otherwise she would have known just how little influence I wield.

After all, I’m usually the one sleeping on the couch because I just assumed it would be ok for me to bring home more Diamondbacks gear from the team shop. So the thought that I could change the mind of the Diamondbacks was clearly out of reach.

Like always, Derrick was polite and listened to my idiotic concerns and told me to tell Whitney that while they could not bring back Blimpie they were working to replace them with Subway. That news still did not sit well as Whitney explained the culinary differences between Blimpie and Subway. Since that time Whitney has boycotted Subway at the ballpark instead making chicken tenders and fries her new ballpark staple.

Over the past season and a half, my family has become huge fans of another vendor at the ballpark. Garcias and their Poco Chimis and mini-tacos get rave reviews. Trina is an especially huge fan of Garcias and recommends it to everyone going to the game.

So when Derrick Hall announced during his chat today that Garcias was being replaced at the ballpark with Macayo’s I felt a huge lump rise in my throat. It was one thing disappointing a little girl. I can deal with the tears and getting her some art supplies to ease her pain.

But telling my wife her favorite ballpark restaurant is no longer going to be there? This is not good. My wife is not a large woman. Although she is five foot nine inches, she weighs just a little over 100 pounds.

That being said, I once took a karate class with her and watched as she dropped a guy that weighed 240 pounds and come within an inch of pushing his nose into his brain. While I may wear the pants in our family I know for a fact she could shred me like the taco meat on her favorite Garcias dish.

I don’t mind telling you I am scared. I have absolutely no idea how to break the news to her without having her beating me to a Sedona Red pulp.

With this news today, I figure it will cost me double on Valentines Day in flowers and jewelry just to get her in a good enough mood not to freak out and beat me with the base I got from Chase Field last season. Sometimes being a Diamondbacks fan can be hazardous to my health.


2 Comments

  1. David Gaynes

    Garcia`s IS really good!!
    But don`t you see a pattern of bad decisions?Even your youngster knows that Blimpie`s is superior to subway,shouldn`t the CEO ???
    I live in Tucson and don`t understand how the front office doesn`t see the advantages of training here!
    You can still buy a blimpie on the way to the game.I don`t even have a team anymore!Well there is always AAA,oh wait,the D`backs took away our AAA team also,and now they are taking spring training from us too!!

    • Hi David,

      Many of these decisions have other reasons that the fans are unaware. With regards to the Garcias decision, it was unavoidable due to economic circumstances. While at FanFest over the weekend I had an opportunity to learn firsthand why the decision was made. I appreciated the Diamondbacks staff finding me and talking to me about this. It shows how customer focused they really are.

      As for the Tucson decision I can tell you the last thing the Arizona Diamondbacks wanted was to leave Tucson. They worked with the city to attempt to find an alternative.

      In my opinion Tucson has no one to blame for this but themselves. Allowing the Chicago White Sox to break their lease at Tucson Electric Park for a short-term monetary gain started a domino effect. The Colorado Rockies had in their lease a clause where they could break their lease if less than three teams were located in Tucson. They exercised this which would leave the Arizona Diamondbacks as the sole team with Spring Training in Tucson.

      Other teams in the Cactus League were already complaining when there were only three teams in Tucson. Many of the teams would send split squads or “B” players to play games in Tucson due to losing four hours of practice due to the drive from Phoenix to Tucson. The Diamondbacks had very little choice than to follow the other teams and move to Scottsdale.

      As for the Triple-A Sidewinders, that franchise was sold with the new owners choosing to relocate to Reno due to the lackluster attendance the team experienced in Tucson. It would appear there were not enough loyal fans such as yourself that supported the Sidewinders. The Diamondbacks wanted the team to stay in Tucson but could not convince the Triple-A ownership group.

      I have talked to several in the Diamondbacks front office who have lamented how much they hate leaving Tucson. They are working on ways to get the Tucson fans involved including sponsoring bus trips to Spring Training and also during the regular season.

      I totally understand your frustrations, I would be ticked too if my team moved. Hopefully the Diamondbacks will be able to find a way to keep you involved. And if you make it to Chase Field this summer stop by and we’ll watch a game and we can talk about it some more.

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