During his monthly web chat with fans, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall talked about the affordability of attending a D-backs game this season. He also talked about the importance of fan experience, which includes everything from great food options at Chase Field, to a contending team on the field.
Derrick_Hall: Hello D-backs fans. Cannot wait for tomorrow. Thanks for joining us. Let's get started.
sweetpea11: When are the D-backs going to retire Randy Johnson's number 51? It should be done this year, before Randy goes in the Hall of Fame.
Derrick_Hall: We have made the offer to Randy. He is not ready yet. I believe he wants to wait until he officially goes in to Hall of Fame.
dback2012: What's the status of Stephen Drew?
Derrick_Hall: He is doing well. This one will take time due to the severity of the injury. He is moving well and working hard. We hope for a rehab assignment soon, but have the depth with Bloomquist and McDonald. tkwebsinc: I saw on dbacks.com that there are lots of new food options. How do we find them at the ballpark?
Derrick_Hall: We do have some new items, like the meatball mania, chicken tacos, the 10-pack tacos, and new vegan options like Sloppy Jane and chilled vegan burritos. Some are included in the in-seat dining, while others are at Levy stands. We also have the ability to order food from our Red Hots stands, Doubleheaders and Subway directly from the seats through our mobile At the Ballpark app. The Subway sandwiches can be customized from the seats. I tried it yesterday and it worked well.
jfielding: Hello Derrick Hall. Let me just say what a turn around these two Opening Days have been! And what a great job you, KT, Gibby, and the organization has done in making that happen. I'm really excited with the depth of this team, especially in pitching.
Derrick_Hall: I appreciate the compliment. The turnaround from 97 losses to 94 wins was dramatic, now we just need to try and keep it going. We want to win badly for all of you.
snofee: What's your prediction for this year?
Derrick_Hall: I do not like to predict because I fear jinxes! But I can guarantee another hard-charging team that will play at full-effort again. Gibby and the coaches will always get the max out of our players. This should be a competitive and exciting season.
jfielding: have heard a lot of rumors about the Reds and possibly other teams meeting with the D-backs organization, to discuss a trade for Parra, because he's become a hot commodity. Are these rumors true? And will you listen to any trade offers for Parra?
Derrick_Hall: We are not discussing moves with any teams regarding Parra. He is an important part of this team and an outstanding player. It is true other teams have obvious interest in acquiring him, but we have no interest in moving him.
azmickey: How is Luis Gonzalez doing lately as your Special Assistant? Will he make many public appearances during the 2012 season? We know he is very active with fund raising and charity events with D-backs fans.
Derrick_Hall: He is in my office right now and says hello. He went to lunch with me for a free meal and should be heading home shortly. All true by the way. But he is fantastic. He helps out so many different departments and brings tremendous knowledge to us from an on-field perspective. He is wearing a lot of hats for us and learning every day. I am so glad he is here and value his input and friendship.
jfielding: The farm system has taken a dramatic turn for the better now! We are loaded with Skaggs, Bauer, Corbin, Bradely, etc. What can you contribute to some of the factors that led to the revamped farm system lately?
Derrick_Hall: Unfortunately losing a lot helped by giving us great draft positions. Additionally, Jerry DiPoto did a fantastic job with the Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson trades. To those young pitching names, we can add Charles Brewer, David Holmberg and Archie Bradley to the list, along with so many others. It is nice to have so much depth.
snofee: Will we win this giant series?
Derrick_Hall: It will be a great series and they will be after us. I would love to have a series win to open the season. These pitching match-ups are terrific and the atmosphere will feel like the postseason.
jfielding: I think that it's really great to see much more fan support for this team. I think they really deserve it! So, are all the promotions, sales and programs going to be the same as last year then? Will there be any changes to it?
Derrick_Hall: There will be some new ones. We have five bobblehead giveaways on the schedule, including a fan vote. Additionally, there will be D-back earrings on Mother's Day and a Tatman sleeve giveaway on May 12. You can check all of the promotions, such as the Gila River T-shirts to all fans on Opening Day, at dbacks.com under promotional schedule.
snofee: Hi Derrick. I love your broadcasters Mark Grace and Daron Sutton. Any changes that you know of for the broadcasting team?
Derrick_Hall: There will be no changes to the D-backs broadcasting team. I am glad you enjoy them. Our radio team is also great to listen to and our Spanish broadcast teams is one of the best in the game.
jfielding: I just wanted to say thanks for the easy access to Chase field, the affordability the tickets and other items, to all the great programs within the organization. Not to mention how great Salt River fields is, and all the donations and charities you and the D-backs give to.
Derrick_Hall: Thanks so much. Fan experience is a top priority and that includes affordability. We have been the most affordable team in baseball for six years running. We still offer family value items under $10 in our Team Shop, $1.50 food items for kids every game, $4 14-oz beers every game, and we still allow fans to bring in their own food and water. During these difficult economic times, we try to do even more and bring you greater value.
snofee: Do you predict Ryan Roberts to be our lead off hitter in every game this year?
Derrick_Hall: Gibby has a lot of options and never posts his lineup until just before for that reason. We could see Ryan there, but could also see Chris Young, Willie Bloomquist, Aaron Hill or Gerardo Parra leading off. Options are good.
tkwebsinc: Speaking of promotions, what is "Senior Day"?
Derrick_Hall: There are several throughout the season, when we provide discounts to seniors on ticket prices. Later in the year, we will add ballpark experiences offered only to seniors such as strolling the base paths like we do for kids on Sundays.
Derrick_Hall: Thanks to everyone for participating. Need to go do my weekly radio show on our flagship right now. See you all at Chase Field. Hopefully see you all on Opening Weekend. Go D-backs!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.