Alumni Notes

Daren Brown, the manager of the Timber Rattlers in 2003, took over the Seattle Mariners in the latter stages of the 2010 season.  He is starting this year back with the Tacoma Rainiers and that’s not the only change from last year to now.

Former Mariners and current Tacoma Rainiers manager Daren Brown is in camp with Seattle this spring, helping work with the team until minor league camp opens next month.

Brown is also a first-time father, daughter Chloe Lynn having been born this off-season – and he’s dealing with the first separation of her young life. He’s in Peoria, Brown’s wife, Cindy and daughter are in Texas.

As it turns out, each night Brown retreats to his hotel room, fires up the computer program ‘Skype’ and broadcasts himself to the family, and gets to see the family on his laptop.

“I was on for 45 minutes last night,” Brown said this morning. “My daughter was in a talkative mood.”

She’s talking?

“Baby talk,” Brown said. “I talk enough to keep her going, but I don’t do baby talk. I’m afraid someone might walk by the hotel room and wonder what’s going on in there. My wife puts me up on the 50-inch screen, and my daughter loves that. I think it’s a bit scary, but she loves it.”

Ryan Rowland-Smith, who played for Brown in Wisconsin in 2003, is now with the Houston Astros.  Larry Stone caught up with RRS.

Ryan Rowland-Smith wants to get as far away as he possibly can from last season.

He has done that geographically by signing with the Houston Astros. He has done it visually by ditching his trademark goggles.

Most important, though, Rowland-Smith wants to distance himself mentally from the psychological rut he believes undermined his 2010 campaign.

Always brimming with confidence during successful previous seasons, Rowland-Smith found himself wracked with self-doubt as his year unraveled. He began the season as Seattle’s No. 3 starter, but wound up suffering through a 1-10 nightmare that eventually resulted in Seattle not tendering him a contract after the season.

“I went back and looked at the day I was pitching, the lead up to that game, my routine, things like that,” Rowland-Smith said of his postseason reflections on 2010. “I was looking at how I felt, the anxiety, the nerves. I had never felt being nervous like that, ever. It built up and built up as the season went on. I started off bad and never really recovered.”

Head over and read it all.

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