During a Web chat from the D-backs spring opener, president and CEO Derrick Hall chatted with fans about Justin Upton's new contract extension and the last Spring Training season in Tucson.
Derrick_Hall: Welcome to today's chat. I have left my seats and am joining you from the press box. It is a beautiful day here.
rox08: Are you excited about locking up Justin Upton for the next six years?
Derrick_Hall: I think this was a great move for the organization. With any good deal, there is give and take from both sides. His signing proves he wants to be here and wants to win. That is how we compete. We try to sign players for cost certainty through their arbitration years and hopefully some of their free agent years.
Unknown: What do you think about losing Eric Byrnes?
Derrick_Hall: We are fortunate to have an abundance of talented outfielders. With Conor Jackson back and healthy, that is just one more option. Young, Upton, Parra and Jackson are a strong foursome for our outfield.
rox08: How did you feel today knowing this is the last spring season in Tucson?
Derrick_Hall: This is a bitter sweet day for sure. Tucson has been a great host for our spring training operations for so many years. We have some wonderful fans here and want to take this spring to thank them and to entertain them. We will also look at ways to encourage our friends from Southern Arizona to come see us up in the Valley next spring through incentives and discounts for all Pima County residents.
rox08: What is your favorite thing about Spring Training?
Derrick_Hall: Of course I love the weather, but I really enjoy hearing the crack of the bat or pop of the mitt again. I also like watching some of the younger players perform in the big league camp setting.
tsav8: What do you think is the best change that you have made for 2010?
Derrick_Hall: I really like the changes we have made on the field. I commend Josh and his staff for addressing holes and filling needs. The additions of LaRoche, Johnson, Heilman, Howry, Jackson and Kennedy should make a difference. With these moves, we have heard great feedback from our players, who even thanked us for investing in the club.
dbacks007: How do you think Mark Reynolds will perform this year?
Derrick_Hall: He is a competitor, that's for sure. We hope he can duplicate the tremendous offensive production he displayed last season. He has even more protection around him in this year's line-up, so he could really benefit.
dbackstm: What series this season are looking forward to the most?
Derrick_Hall: We have a nice schedule this season. I think most fans are looking forward to the Yankees series, but we have so many great series. The Cubs and Dodgers always draw well, and we have the Phillies and Cardinals early on the schedule. Tickets go on sale this Saturday for individual games.
dbackj: Derrick, I am a D-back fan from Northern Utah. I make the 12-hour drive down to games when I can, but can you explain why there is a blackout in the area to watch games live?
Derrick_Hall: You should be in our television territory. We have discovered that there are some blackout pockets, and Major League Baseball is looking to identify and address those areas. Feel free to contact our offices and give us your zip code. We will communicate with MLB.
dbackstm: I think you should audition to sing the National Anthem on March 20 ... are you a good singer?
Derrick_Hall: You must have seen our release. Yes, we are holding auditions at the stadium on the 20th, and no, you do not want to hear me that day! Good luck.
otaku007: Are there any free agents the D-backs are interested in?
Derrick_Hall: We are always looking, but feel good about the players we have in camp. It is early in spring, but if we can stay healthy, we like the options we have here.
Derrick_Hall: That is all the time we have. Thanks for joining me and thanks for your continued support of this franchise. Let's hope we have a big season in 2010!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.