11/02/06 6:28 PM ET
Hall and Sutton happy to chat with fans
President and announcer discuss D-backs' changes
By / MLB.com
Derrick Hall: Hello everyone. It is great having the opportunity to speak with all of you again. I will answer as many questions as possible within about a 30-minute time frame before bringing in our new play-by-play announcer Daron Sutton.
Marvin_Boudreau: When will we get to see the new uniforms?
Hall: We are actually unveiling our uniforms at a fashion show next Wednesday at the Valley Ho Hotel. It is invitation only, but should be a great event. We will have players and models wearing the new uniforms and will then have the new merchandise in stores the following day.
puroprimetime: When will merchandise for the new colors and logos be available for purchase?
Hall: We plan on having a good amount available the next day, Nov. 9. As we get closer to Spring Training, more merchandise will hit the market and the shelves.
azjazzyj: One of the frustrations being at the game is not being able to see a replay of an out or close play. I realize that the umpires do not like you to show potential missed calls, but will the Diamondbacks stretch the limits to give the crowd a chance?
Hall: Great question -- unfortunately, we cannot stretch the limits. These are guides and policies set forth by Major League Baseball. Close plays that are shown often can send the crowd into an uproar. We obviously want to avoid that for the safety of those on the field as well as those in the stands.
scalino: Hi, Derrick. Any chance you will start doing a blog to let us fans know what is involved with running an MLB team?
Hall: I can certainly look into it. I have committed to these monthly chats for that very reason. In addition, Daron Sutton has committed to a blog for the fans. I am honored that you would want to hear from me more frequently.
puroprimetime: Will there be a change to Baxter?
Hall: Absolutely not. Although we no longer play at BOB, Baxter stays. He is a mainstay and children expect to see him. What most fans don't see is his involvement in the community. This morning he joined me while we visited a school for disabled children. He was wonderful with them and put smiles on all of their faces. I wish fans could see the impact he has on children during hospital and school visits. He is D-Baxter.
rereit: How do you think that Sutton and Gracie will be together in the booth?
Hall: I think Daron and Gracie will be great together. They spent a little time together yesterday and were an absolute riot. They also understand the need to call the game and discussed the importance of the balance. Fans should know who will be on each and every night. Daron worked real well with his partner of five years in Milwaukee, a clear indicator.
puroprimetime: How do you respond to fans who are upset about the new direction the club is taking?
Hall: I try to assure them that there is indeed a plan in the works and that we are about to experience something special. We are hoping to have a championship caliber team year-after-year with our young talent, much like the Braves had in the 90's. Our future is bright, and we believe we will bring our fans the winner that they deserve and were so accustomed to in the past.
puroprimetime: Will the club seek to sign a big-name pitcher in the offseason, or promote from within?
Hall: Our staff will look any and everywhere for pitching. That includes trades, promoting from within, or free-agent signings. Josh and his staff are always looking for ways to bolster the staff.
Hall: I will turn it over to Daron Sutton at this time and look forward to communicating with all of you again in a month.
Daron Sutton: Hello there everyone -- Daron Sutton here -- thanks so much for hopping on with me today for the chat.
Base_Ball_2: Daron, do you think you will be able to deal with Mark Grace in the booth? Things have certainly gone bonkers up in that broadcast booth in the past -- which I personally enjoy.
Sutton: Not only do I think I'll be able to deal with him, I can't wait to work with him. Since I grew up around the game and played for a brief time in the Minor Leagues, I can promise you that Mark and I will give you a great deal of "baseball" talk to chew on. That doesn't mean things won't ever get, as you say, bonkers. It is still just a game, a game that is meant to be fun and entertaining.
Cheryl_Workman: Mr. Sutton, I just wanted to welcome you to the D-backs and I am sure you will fill Thom's shoes just fine. Best of luck to you. No question, just wanted to welcome you.
Sutton: Thanks for the welcome Cheryl. I can't begin to tell you how welcome everyone has made me feel over my first few days with the organization. As a newcomer, I can't help but notice the dynamic of youth and energy now driving this organization and that to make one feel welcome and magnetically drawn to join in, it's great.
rereit: Daron, I understand you did a blog with the Brewers. Are you planning to continue it?
Sutton: I love the blog and it will continue. I am told there will be a line to it soon on the D-backs website. I can't promise you daily thoughts, but I love to document conversations I have with people in and around this game throughout the season.
azjazzyj: Mr. Sutton, how much time do you take to prepare for each broadcast and what would be a typical routine on gameday?
Sutton: I usually arrive at the park between 2:00 and 2:30 p.m. for a 7:00 game. The first hour I spend on the web, with a majority of the focus on the night's starting pitchers. Then I head down to the field or clubhouse and catch up with as many players and coaches as possible. I will try to listen as each manager meets with the media, or stop by their office. It's not always a player's approach at the plate or on the mound we discuss, at times it may have more of a personal or biographical nature to it. Then at about 5-5:15 p.m., I head back to the booth and fill out my lineup card, work through the production elements with the truck and get after it! It's a great gig.
luckydog7: How long were you a Minor Leaguer?
Sutton: I played in the Minors with the Angels in 1992 (Boise) and the Braves in 1993 (Spring Training). I didn't play much and didn't have huge success, but it was an experience that I would never, ever trade. The friendships, the bus rides and the competition certainly helps in what I do now for a living.
engbjm: Hi, Daron. As a Brewers fan, I was wondering what went into your decision to leave Milwaukee? You will be missed.
Sutton: This was a great opportunity with a strong organization, yet I will always treasure my time in Milwaukee. The one thing that always stood out to me there was the loyalty of the fans. Thanks for your well wishes and best of luck outside of July 16-19 and August 20-22.
Base_Ball_4: Mr. Sutton, I understand you are a very talented broadcaster, but how do you plan to fill the shoes of Thom Brennaman?
Sutton: I will never forget the summer of 1996, that was the year I started to believe that I had enough ability to call baseball at this level for a number of reasons. One of the first broadcasters that reached out to me was Thom. I remember having a 45-minute phone conversation with him on the balcony of my apartment in Atlanta. Since then he has always offered advice and encouragement through each step I have taken. I will just be myself and I know that that's the advice he would have for me. I will be passionate and prepared every day and call the games like I earn my paycheck from you. After all, I'm a huge fan of this game, who happens to have a credential and fly on the team charter.
Sutton: Thanks so much. Have a great weekend. Check out the blog. We'll see you in Spring Training.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.