Derrick Hall: Cancellation of D-backs’ home games is ‘a kick in the gut’
Major League Baseball on Wednesday canceled the first two weeks of the regular season until April 14.
The announcement marks the second set of games to be canceled after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred axed the first week of the season on March 1.
As a result, the Arizona Diamondbacks will not only miss out on the first two road series of the 2022 campaign, but also Opening Day and the first two series of the year at Chase Field.
“I need to say to the fans how sorry we are and hang in there,” D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. “I think no one wins at a time like this. Obviously our fans lose and we need to get back on the field. I mean to me enough is enough. Let’s play baseball.”
“I understand the announcement to cancel more games, but it’s really a kick in the gut to me because now you’re affecting our home games,” he added. “I felt sorry for the other teams that lost their home games. And then I got excited thinking if we come to an agreement, we’re going to make up those games after all and now these are our home games.
“Again, enough is enough. Let’s get out there and play this great game.”
Hall said that the situation isn’t quite as bad as the 1994 strike season that saw the year completely shut down, but that it’s starting to rival it.
However, the Diamondbacks president and CEO remains bullish that a deal can still get done for 2022.
“Shame on all of us but we should have gotten a deal done before the season and especially before spring training started to have the schedule rearranged,” he said. “I mean that’s sad. I still think there was ample time to get a deal done.”
Hall was also asked about the report of D-backs owner and managing general partner Ken Kendrick opposing the league’s proposal to raise the competitive balance tax:
“That was not about the players, it’s about our own owners,” Hall explained. “What’s important to us here at the Diamondbacks is to make sure that every team is spending what they can spend on payroll first and foremost. Not every team can just go through that level, that threshold without any penalty.
“He’s looking out to protect our fans and protect this organization to make sure that we can have more of a level playing field. And when we have an opportunity to explain that to fans who ask or partners or anyone else, I think they can understand it at that point.”