Hall chats about setting new tone
D-backs President discusses recent changes to the club
During his monthly web chat with fans, president and CEO Derrick Hall said the D-backs have underachieved and he is supportive of interim manager Kirk Gibson's approach to coaching in an attempt to turn the season around.
Derrick Hall: Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for joining us today.
Buffett1: We have 18 losses wherein we were tied or leading after six innings. With that in mind, what are our plans as far as holding on to and building around our strength, which is our starting pitching?
Derrick Hall: That has obviously been the biggest problem this season, holding on to leads. We need to strengthen the bullpen for sure. Some of the guys are coming around, which is nice to see. If we had done an average or adequate job in that category, we would still be in the thick of the race.
borita: Can you give us any idea what the All-Star Packages might cost Season Ticket Holders?
Derrick Hall: Not at this time. MLB will start planning for our All-Star game as soon as the one in Anaheim is complete. We can say that every season ticket holder will have the opportunity to purchase and attend.
ufc1968: Wanna build a team? Take a lesson from Branch Rickey (starting from the bottom, Single A on up).
Derrick Hall: Definitely a focal point for improvement, and you are right. For teams of our market size, the Drafts, international signings, and player development are of the utmost importance. Our farm system has taken a hit over the past few years, but our Draft from a year ago has truly strengthened us at the lower levels. We are committed to improving our system, as well as developing and promoting from within.
marniemae: Mr. Hall, how long do you feel it will take for the D-backs to recover from the Hinch regime? Will you allow Mr. Gibson the freedom to manage the team?
Derrick Hall: Hopefully we all recover from these changes quickly. Kirk has total control in that dugout and knows we want him to manage the team the way he sees fit and in his own style. Despite the wins and losses, I have been thrilled with what I have seen. And let's be fair, Kirk is working with the same team that has underachieved all season. He has instant credibility and respect, experience of over 30 years in the game, and has made changing the environment a top priority. The players seem to love the guy and will play hard for him. I am certainly pulling for Gibby -- he has earned and deserved this opportunity and I would like to see it work out for him.
bioteach: I just want to compliment you on taking the bold steps that many of us believe were needed to turn our team back in the right direction.
Derrick Hall: Thank you. These decisions are never easy. And those jobs depend almost solely on the results on the field. We felt the moves were a necessary first step. This team can win and will win with a few tweaks. Now, we need to make the right decisions in order to improve, but I can tell you that the baseball staff is not sleeping much these days and all are steering in the same direction.
dbaxemce: Thanks for the changes made so far! Do you see the bullpen as the primary area to focus on in the near future?
Derrick Hall: The bullpen has been our biggest problem, but the strikeouts are adding up as well. Gibby and the staff are working to correct that. I like the little things I have noticed -- moving runners over, use of hit and run, getting runners in motion, more unselfish play. There are a few players we could use here to help us improve, but the culture and environment must change as well, and I have noticed a big difference in the last week.
Qualls_for_President: Derrick, obviously interim manager Kirk Gibson is just that -- interim, but would the organization consider keeping him as manager if players responded to him, despite losses?
Derrick Hall: Absolutely. As stated before, I am pulling for him. Though we want to win every game, we understand that Gibby is going to try new ideas and test these guys to see what results he gets. We cannot focus on the losses so much. This is a process, and we need to be supportive.
dbacks_Nation: With the July 31st trade deadline coming up, how much action should we expect to see at the D-backs camp?
Derrick Hall: We have made and received a number of calls. We will not make moves just to make moves though. We need to make the right decisions and should only focus on A or A+ deals. We are also ok if we wait until the offseason to make deals, should the right ones not come along at this time.
nanocean: Will Chris Snyder get into the catching position more often?
Derrick Hall: Both Snyder and Miguel Montero warrant playing time. Montero is such a tremendous offensive player and right-left match-ups usually go in his favor. However, he is coming off of knee surgery, so the staff cannot over-play him, which will, and has allowed, Snyder more opportunities behind the plate.
piper_n840: Jerry Dipoto and Gibby carry the title as interim. What would you expect from them to remove those qualifiers?
Derrick Hall: We need to improve the environment in the clubhouse and in the dugout. The players seem to be responding to Gibby, and Jerry is hard at work. We would love to set a new tone and hopefully build some momentum from a strong second half that will lead us into the offseason.
murphy6272: Same team, same players. Why should we think things will be any different? Are there players moves on the near horizon?
Derrick Hall: You are exactly right. We do believe that this same group of players has underachieved and deserved new leadership. We will see if that changes results here soon. But simultaneously, we will be looking to make a few moves that will change the look of the team and hopefully the results as well.
hall98: Can we please keep the Legends running from now on? This is great to see and be part of.
Derrick Hall: They are fun to watch, indeed. Thanks. They are going nowhere and are here to stay. They race every game after the 5th inning.
Derrick Hall: We are out of time. I appreciate all of questions. I am hoping some of the questions that could not be answered with specifics at this time will be answered by next month's chat. Thanks for all of the patience and passion -- better times are ahead. Go D-backs!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.