Tagged: My Team(s)

Excerpts of online chat with Derrick Hall

D’Backs President Derrick Hall held this inline chat on Nov. 1 2007. The full transcript is here.

cnaylor62: Just read the Q&A regarding Tony Clark. Can we be optimistic by saying the D-backs will re-sign him for two more years?

Hall: Tony is wonderful and he is our leader. I certainly hope
we come to an agreement with him. We have been working on it. We have
to keep "Anybody. Anytime," alive — he’s the author.

D-BACXRULE: When you say that we just need to tweak our pitching staff, how are you planing on doing that?

Hall: By adding an arm or two. Our staff was fantastic, and we
have only lost Livan Hernandez. Dustin Nippert continues to strengthen,
and we have options from Triple-A. It is always a luxury to have extra
arms for the bullpen, so perhaps a deal or two will work to our
advantage in landing a reliever.

odogfan1: Can you give us an update on Randy Johnson?

 
Hall: Randy had successful surgery near the end of the season
and began rehab in September. We are expecting him to be back and ready
to go for Spring Training. He was so valuable to us for that five-game
stretch before his season-ending injury.

cherw: Is there any chance that Orlando Hudson will be returning?

Hall: He is a D-back. His surgery went real well and he will
back. He had a great season for us and was a major reason for our
success. It was unfortunate that he could not play in the postseason.

admin1013: What kind of improvements can fans expect at Chase Field next year?

Hall: We will have our new video board up by Opening Day, which
will be the largest and nicest in all of baseball. We also hope to have
Baxter’s Den and the Peter Piper Playhouse moved up to our new kids’
section, and a museum built out in center field where those two are
now. We may also be introducing a new candy shop in the ballpark with
D-backs branded candies.

krodversion2: What is the status of Chad Tracy and will third base present a problem when he’s healthy?

 

Hall: Chad is still recovering from his knee surgery and we look
forward to his return. When he does, he can play either first or third,
which is a luxury. With Mark Reynolds at third and Conor Jackson and
possibly Tony at first, we again have some great options. It is always
nice to have his left-handed bat and lifetime .300 average in the
lineup.

The next chat is Dec 6.

ByrnesBlogger1

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D-backs re-sign coaching staff

Melvin’s 2007 crew will return intact next season

2008 Schedule

The Arizona Diamondbacks are tentatively scheduled to open the 2008 season on the road (AGAIN!) in Cincy on Monday, March 31. They open their home schedule the following Monday, April 7, against the Dodgers.

In interleague play in June, the D’Backs are at home against Kansas City and Oakland, then on the road versus Minnesota and Boston.

The All-Star Break is July 14-17.

The Snakes end the season at home with a series Sept 26-28 against (who else?) the Colorado Rockies.

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They’re In!

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We did it! (photo by David Zalubowski/AP)

"People talk about the run differential, people talk about the numbers
that don’t make sense. But there’s a
reason why it doesn’t make sense. It’s because this is a team. I don’t
think that in professional sports you’re not going to find more of a
team than what you’ll find here."

–Eric Byrnes, fracturing the English language a la W, but you get the point.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have clinched a playoff berth with tonight’s 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies, coupled with the Mets 7-4 loss to the Florida Marlins. They will make their first playoff appearance since the 2002 season.

I admit that my doubts were running wild going into today’s game. First of all, the D’Backs had just dropped 2 of 3 to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. Then, although most times the thought of Brandon Webb starting is a comfort, I knew that he’s had a rough time with the Rockies this year. To top it off, the Rockies had won 11 straight.

But then, just before the game started, I heard that 7 of the 11 victories were against the Dodgers who used the occasion to audition a number of not-ready-for-prime-time MLB hopefuls. The whoever-it-was sports host I heard on KTAR (a Phoenix radio station) was just livid about it, accusing the Dodgers of tanking. Suddenly, the Rockies streak didn’t seem indicative of a team of destiny.

And they weren’t. Brandon Webb turned in a quality start — 2 runs in seven innings. Augie Ojeda, Conor Jackson and Stephen Drew drove in the runs, with CoJack hitting his 15th homer. It came off Rockies starter Jeff Francis; CoJack has his number. Then on came Brandon Lyon for his 35th hold in the 8th and Jose Valverde for his major league leading (and uniform matching) 47th save. The D’Backs victory was their 90th of the year.

Eric Byrnes doubled off the third baseman’s glove (30th double, 179th hit), with one out, then stole third with two out. (That’s called taking a big chance. One is not supposed to make the first or third out at third base). The D’Backs loaded the bases then. But they did not score. This is not good going into the playoffs. In October, you can’t load the bases and not score and expect to win.  So the Snakes should use the next two games to iron out the kinks.

But for tonight, they can enjoy their first step into the post-season. Just don’t do anything dumb while you’re partying!

Congrats, Diamondbacks!

ByrnesBlogger1

Georgia Peaches Help Lengthen Arizona Lead in NL West

Micahgene_puskarap092707
(photo by Gene J Puskar/AP)

"Micah’s offense is a joke. He takes
[batting practice] twice a week and steps up and rakes big league
pitching. It seems like he’s on [every pitch]. It’s fun to watch."

— Eric Byrnes, who could stand to take some hitting instruction from the Diamondbacks pitcher.

Micah Owings and Stephen Drew led the Diamondbacks in a slugfest win over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 at PNC Park earlier today.  Brandon Webb was supposed to pitch for the Diamondbacks.  However, with threatening weather, the D’backs brain trust decided to hold Webb back so that he wouldn’t end up pitching a few innings, be taken out after a long rain delay, and be unable to come back during the Colorado series, which closes out the season.

Owings was lights out on the mound, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings before a rain delay forced him out.  He was also on fire at the plate, going 4-4, with three doubles and three RBI.  Nothing like a pitcher who can help his own cause, especially when the team has not been hitting.  But offense was not the problem today.  Fellow Georgian Stephen Drew joined the hitting party, going 3-5, with three RBI and two runs scored.  His solo homer in the first inning got the Diamondbacks on the board.  Augie Ojeda went 2-4, with a walk, and three runs scored.  Tony Clark contributed a home run.

Eric Byrnes finally remembered what it’s like to get an RBI (83), when he singled (178) home Stephen Drew in the second inning for his first RBI since September 12.  However, he got picked off first on the third pickoff attempt, after taking very aggressive leads off first.  To make matters worse, he hurt himself sliding back into first on the second pickoff attempt.  I don’t know exactly what was the problem, but the camera showed him grimacing.  His other at-bats were anything but memorable.  He stranded 4 runners.  One time he struck out after running the count to 3-0.  It looked like he swung at ball four.  And while we’ll take an RBI single any day of the week, it would be nice if he remembered once again what it’s like to get an extra-base hit.  Diamondbacks broadcaster Daron Sutton mentioned the dipping back shoulder that Mark Grace pointed out during the last homestand.  That it’s still there means that either no one has brought it to Eric’s attention, or he hasn’t been able to break the habit.  His batting average is now down to .288. Maybe Byrnes needs to get Micah Owings to give him some tips on hitting doubles.  Why not?  They’re both right-handed hitters.

Arizona and Pittsburgh played the first game of the day in the major leagues.  So their results are known to the Padres, Rockies and Phillies as they go into their contests.

The bad weather in Pittsburgh now allows Arizona ace Brandon Webb to go up against the Rockies.  He starts the first game of the series tomorrow against Jeff Francis.

Go, Diamondbacks!

ByrnesBlogger1

Uh…Guys?

Do you need the Heimlich Maneuver?

You haven’t won since Saturday. The lead is only one game over the Padres and two over the Rockies with four to go, including three with the Rockies.

You are not supposed to be losing to a team that has lost 90 games and is in last place in its division, 15 games out.

There might be a tendency on the part of some people to say that this young team just didn’t learn to close it out. But I won’t buy that. At this time of the year, the rookies aren’t really rookies anymore. And some of the blame for you guys folding like origami this week  lies with the veterans.
Livan staking the Buccos to a 4-run lead doesn’t help. Two games in a row where you were faced with scoring at least 6 runs to win. Not good. Especially when your bats are A.W.O.L.

This means you, Byrnes. In the high summer I would have been fine with what happened yesterday: another single (177) stolen base (49) run scored (103) sequence, and an outfield assist (12 a new personal best). But you left four men on base, including Chris Young at third. I wish that Young could have read the throw into the infield a but better, but there I will chalk it up to inexperience and he was better off being careful. But you could have made things easier by at least hitting a fly ball deeper.

Wake up!

ByrnesBlogger1

Anybody Anytime…Can Screw Up!

It was a game the Diamondbacks might have won had they been in the American League. Starter Doug Davis allowed only 2 runs in his 5-inning, 69-pitch outing, both of them in the first inning. But manager Bob Melvin lifted him for a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth in an unsuccessful bid to score a run in a game that was 2-1 Pittsburgh at that point. Pinch-hitter Jeff Cirillo struck out.

Then in the 7th inning, Tony Pena gave up 3 runs.

The Diamondbacks tied the score with 4 runs in the top of the eighth, but failed to get more when Eric Byrnes ended the rally by grounding out to third with runners on first and second. He also flied out, struck out, and GIDP in this game. (Chris Snyder GIDP twice). When Byrnes singled (176) and stole 2nd base (48) with two out in the third, he was stranded as Mark Reynolds grounded out.

Brandon Lyon gave up Pittsburgh’s winning run. A 1-out double, a balk that moved the runner to third, and a ground ball single to left made the score 6-5 Pittsburgh, and Pirates’ reliever Matt Capps  pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save. (Saloman Torres got the win).

And thus the D’Backs continue the disturbing habit of losing the first game of a road trip or home stand. This one was a particularly bitter loss because a) the Pirates entered the game with a 9-game losing streak; b) the Diamondbacks left 10 runners on base so this wasn’t a case of the Pirates pitching lights out and c) the Padres, who were down to their last strike, came back to beat the Giants and the Rockies earned a come-from-behind victory against the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks therefore failed to lower their magic number; it remains 4.

With the Rockies so hot, the Diamondbacks cannot afford to lose either of the next two games in Pittsburgh before they close out the season in Colorado.

ByrnesBlogger1