Hall glad D-backs flying under radar
Despite having most wins, club is underdog in NLDS
Club president Derrick Hall can't explain why the D-backs are underdogs, but believes it takes pressure off of the team. Hall took part in an online chat Tuesday and fielded questions from fans regarding the club's postseason presence.
Derrick Hall: Welcome to today's chat. What a time of year! Hope that you all saw last night's rally.
Devilback: How can a person get into the occupation of being a baseball executive without having played pro ball?
Hall: Probably 99 percent of our front office never played professional baseball. For those like me who love the sport but were not great at it, this is our way to live in it. I went to graduate school and received my masters in sports administration before going on to work for the Dodgers.
shapsupport: How well is your assistant Roland Hemond performing for you?
Hall: Roland is fantastic. He didn't set you up to ask this did he? He has great knowledge of the game and has more contacts than anyone. He has been real helpful with international matters and special projects -- a tremendous asset.
Thanatos_2: Who do you feel is the most important player for the playoffs?
Hall: I think it comes down to starting pitching. Brandon Webb-Carlos Zambrano is an intriguing match-up. However, when it comes to our team, it is a collective effort and you can't single one guy out. Our lineup contributes 1-9 every game.
Thanatos_2: There is speculation that Bob Melvin is manager of the year. What is your opinion?
Hall: If Bob Melvin is not named Manager of the Year, I will be shocked and disappointed. He has put this club in the position it is today and has juggled youth and injuries throughout a challenging season. Four years ago, we had the worst record at 51-111, and today, we have the best record in the NL. Bob Melvin is the main reason for the success.
dbkmaniac: Hey, Derrick. Do you think that Diamondbacks fans will overpower the Cub fans this series?
Hall: I certainly hope so and have been begging our fans to do so. Much will have to do with who scores first, but we need to drown them out and keep the prompts and chants going. This is our home, we need the advantage and I definitely do not want it to feel like a game at Wrigley.
Devilback: Are the Diamondbacks extending an offer to Jerry Colangelo to attend Game One of the NL Division Series, being that he is the grandfather of baseball here in the valley and his ties to both organizations?
Hall: We are in the process of making plans that could include Jerry. I really hope he plans on being here. This could be a special series for him.
BVoss: Derrick, congratulations on the postseason. What are the needs of the team with respect to acquisitions and trades during the offseason?
Hall: We feel great about our young talent and the roster that is in place for next year. We will obviously look to improve our pitching, as will every team. Our bullpen was one our strengths this year -- just goes to show how important a pitching staff can be.
cjgirl16: Hi, I was wondering what kind of promotions will be going on during the postseason at Chase? The last couple times they went to the playoffs they handed out white pom-poms.
Hall: We will be distributing white pom-poms to our fans upon entering for Games One and Two. I think we will have rally towels for Game Five, if necessary, and for the NL Championship Series should we get there.
Danimal57_2: Hi, Mr. Hall. Of the young guys on the field today, who are at risk of leaving the team due to free agency in the offseason? Dan.
Hall: The young players are under control and contract. Tony Clark and Livan Hernandez are both free agents. But as for Webb, Doug Davis, Micah Owings, Edgar Gonzalez, Yusmeiro Petit, Jose Valverde, Brandon Lyon, Dustin Nippert, Juan Cruz, Doug Slaten, Bill Murphy, Dana Eveland, Conor Jackson, Orlando Hudson, Eric Byrnes, Chad Tracy, Justin Upton, Carlos Quentin, Chris Snyder, Mark Reynolds, Chris Young, Miguel Montero -- all are under contract.
Danimal57_2: Mr. Hall, the D-backs have proven themselves capable of winning against Chicago. Now, the Cubs are a good team, but the Vegas odds are against us. The sportscasters all think Chicago is going to win. I don't get it? What do you think?
Hall: I cannot explain it, but I like it. We have flown below the radar screen all year, despite having the best record, and I hope we continue to be. This keeps the pressure off of our guys and places it on the opposition.
kelog62: Had a super time at the rally last night. My question -- with the upcoming nationally televised postseason games at Chase Field, has anything been done to improve the appearance of the playing field?
Hall: Great question. It did look a bit worn the last month. It looks great right now -- nice and green. It needed the time while we were away to get the direct sunlight. This stadium will look superb nationally -- especially when it's full.
Thanatos: Do you think a World Series championship this year would be better than the previous championship, all things considered?
Hall: A World Championship is a World Championship -- doesn't get any better than that. They are all difficult to achieve.
Danimal57_2: I was at the rally this time and I was at the one in 1999, too. It's good to see the team winning again.
Hall: I thought the rally was great. We had over 7,000 enthusiastic fans there. Broadcasters, players, manager, governor -- what a night. And all of our fans wearing red. It had to have been the best rally of the eight teams.
cjgirl16: I also wanted to say something that is not really a question. I attended the last game the D-backs played against the Padres, and during that game a child was hit really hard by a foul ball. Within seconds I saw you almost running towards the section.
Hall: Thank you. Hard hit foul balls frighten me when it comes to our fans. There is nothing worse than seeing a kid get struck. If we can comfort the fan and make he or she feel safe enough to return, we have done a good job.
BVoss: Derrick, I brought up the black uniforms in a past chat. Hard to argue with a 12-2 record when worn. The only losses were to Boston and the Mets, both hot at the time. What do the players think about wearing them other times during the postseason?
Hall: I've asked -- believe me. I'm with you. But players are a superstitious group and as soon as you take them out of their norm, they get uncomfortable. Our normal pattern is what got us here. But you can expect to see it more next season.
russinaz: How about having Jerry Colangelo throw out the first pitch? It would be a classy thing to do and the fans would go nuts.
Hall: Hmm -- perhaps already in the works.
runsfar: Whose idea was it to have that song written? I think it's great.
Hall: It was actually our VP of Communications, Shaun Rachau, who thought of the idea. I first said "no" because team songs are typically lame, but when I heard this one, I fell on the sword, admitted my stupidity and said, "run with it, it's a hit."
Hall: I have been told that my 30 minutes are up. I cannot wait for the next chat -- in November. Thank you all for the support. Please get out here in full force and help drown out the competition. You are the best fans in the game. Go D-backs.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.