06 February 2008

Derrick Hall Is Extremely Available To Take Your Questions

Almost two years ago, dbacks.com rolled out a promising interactive feature, enabling fans to chat each month with a different club insider. They called it a Live "event" - and it often was. GM Josh Byrnes led things off in March of 2006, followed by Bob Melvin and acclaimed Director of Scouting, Mike Rizzo. Chad Tracy and Brandon Webb stopped by in June, Thom Brennaman fielded broadcasting questions - even Managing Partner Jeff Moorad added to an impressive mix of accessible organization voices. That September, newly appointed Team President Derrick Hall joined the party.

Well, it was a party, until Hall singlehandedly turned this fledgling democratic connection between the club and its fans into his top-down pulpit, hosting (usurping?) sixteen of the next eighteen chats, spanning almost a year and a half. To Diamondback fans, it comes as no surprise that our club's maniacal information czar is "hosting" number seventeen today and is penciled in for the team's March gig as well. After all, we're familiar with how Hall controls the flow of ballclub information elsewhere, in press releases, through ostensible MLB.com "news", and by commandeering a gaudy amount of booth time during game telecasts. Whether willfully misleading fans about ticket prices, corporate strategy or glossing over management inflicted wounds, listening to Derrick Hall hard sell the D-Backs evokes all the charm of a jingle from someone else's lawyer, and the veracity of Donald Rumsfeld chatting up the war.

Surely by now, sixteen Hall performances, predictably positioning management in the most contrived, celestial light imaginable, constitute torture of a sort to patient Diamondback fans. Is there nobody within this sizable, professional organization - a player, a coach, broadcaster, member of the front office, scouting staff, groundscrew- who might be made available half an hour each month to interact with fans in a Live Chat forum?

No comments: