Showing posts with label Rowland-Smith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rowland-Smith. Show all posts


Rattler Alumni in Mariners commercial

Somehow, I think that this Ryan Rowland-Smith commercial for the Mariners would have been funnier if he had said something like, "That's not a hyphen...THAT'S a hyphen."

Just click the link to see what the heck I'm talking about this time.


A lot from a lefty

Sorry. Not much out there this morning.

It looks like the only post for today will be this one about ex-Rattler Ryan Rowland Smith ('03) from The Olympian in, um, Olympia.

Big year expected from lefty
Pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith says he learned from an up-and-down season
Don Wakamatsu's face breaks into a grin, then grows serious. It's clear the subject of the conversation - Ryan Rowland-Smith - fills the customarily cool Mariners manager with some emotion.

“I really like Ryan Rowland-Smith,” Wakamatsu said Saturday as the grin slowly returned. “I like his intensity. I like how he competes. I think he’s going to have a big year for us.”
“Last year I went though a lot of ups and downs personally,” Rowland-Smith said from Mariners FanFest.

There were a few ups and mostly downs for Rowland-Smith, and he was left to find his way out of the downs.

“You go through a situation where it’s sort of like you are left telling yourself, ‘I have to pitch my way out of the situation,’ ” he said. “It wasn’t because of this or because of that. It was because of nothing. I have to pitch my way out of this situation. On the mental side of it, it really helped me. It makes you more aware. You have to perform and you have to show (you are) able to perform at this level.”
Remember, Seattle is in Milwaukee May 25-27.


Mariner Rotation to start the season

A couple of ex-Rattlers and a former UW-Oshkosh Titan.
In the end, the title of Mariners staff ace was decided more from a coronation than a competition.

And that means Felix Hernandez will take the ball on opening day in Minneapolis next week, doing so for the first time since 2007. Hernandez was a tad irked a year ago, when a reluctant Erik Bedard was handed the No. 1 job just days after a trade from Baltimore.

But any real edge over that was softened the past 12 months as the pair got to know each other better. Bedard also spent much of this spring getting his arm back up to speed after shoulder surgery and was never in a position to make this friendly competition ever truly take off.

"It's an honor," Hernandez said with a grin and shrug on Wednesday, when asked how he'd feel to be named the No. 1 guy. "It's going to be an honor like in 2007 ... Bedard is an ace, too, but if they give me that honor, it's going to be a big honor."
Here's how the rest of the rotation was revealed...
Wakamatsu said he'd hold off a day on announcing the rest of the rotation, but then inadvertently confirmed the final guy by stating the team would open the season with no left-handers in the bullpen.

That meant lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith, who was either going to be a starter or reliever, will be the fifth arm in a rotation that includes Hernandez, Bedard, Carlos Silva and Jarrod Washburn. Bedard threw 79 pitches on Wednesday in a Class AAA game, getting tagged for nine runs on 11 hits over four innings.
Hernandez ('03) and Rowland-Smith ('02, '03) are the former Rattlers. Washburn is the ex-Titan.


Getting closer to starting

This was going to be the day Ryan Rowland-Smith proved that a gut-wrenching decision earlier this spring was worth it.

Rowland-Smith had skipped playing for Team Australia at the World Baseball Classic, a move he debated internally right up to the pretournament deadline. It seemed an almost futile gesture at the time, with the Mariners seemingly having all five spots in their rotation locked down and Rowland-Smith again ticketed for bullpen duty.

But then Brandon Morrow came up hurting and decided to abandon the rotation permanently. That left a spot wide open for Rowland-Smith, one he just might have nailed down with an exclamation point Monday.

"That's always the kind of outing you want to have, obviously," Rowland-Smith said after holding the Milwaukee Brewers to two runs over six solid innings. "At the end of camp, I'm trying to lock that spot in the rotation down, so it's a good time to have it."


Balentien is back and so is Snelling

Balentien reports to camp
As the Wladimir Balentien saga dragged on for two weeks, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu joked that the outfielder was slowly swimming toward spring training from his native Curacao.

Balentien at last reached shore Saturday night and reported for workouts Sunday. Visa problems, apparently stemming from pages having been torn from Balentien's passport, caused the delay.

Balentien got as far as Venezuela, where officials rejected his passport. The ensuing red tape caused him to miss nearly two weeks of camp.

It was a terrible time for the 24-year-old to be absent, with a new coaching staff and plenty of competition in the outfield.

"I was nervous because I know the situation I'm in right now," he said. "I should have been in camp before anyone, and with the visa problem I was frustrated. But I'm over it now, and I'm in camp, and I've got to work harder to make up for the time I lost."
Later, in a different note at the same link:
Ryan Rowland-Smith's roommate, former Mariner Chris Snelling, is back in town, at least for a few days. Snelling, a free agent, is part of the Australian team for the World Baseball Classic, and the Aussies are training in Peoria.

"It's been great seeing them," said Rowland-Smith, who turned down a spot on his native country's team in order to stay and compete for a job in the Seattle rotation. "It doesn't make it harder, or make me regret my decision, though. It might be tough watching the (WBC) games on TV and stuff like that, but it'll be over soon."

The Mariners and the Australians will play an exhibition game Wednesday night.

"I was talking to some of the guys, and they said I should walk out there in a Mariners uniform and just rip it off and have the Australian one underneath," Rowland-Smith said.
To rip off a joke from USS Mariner...My God! That's Australia's Music!


Yesterday and Today in Mariner camp

The Mariners had an intrasquad game yesterday.

Geoff Baker reports that Jeff Clement ('05) went 0-for-2 with a walk.

Look who gets the start today for the Mariners in the exhibition opener.
Left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith -- who passed up a chance to pitch for Australia in the World Baseball Classic so he could stay in camp and show Wakamatsu and his all-new coaching staff that he belongs in the five-man rotation -- makes his first "meaningful" pitches of the spring.
Good luck, RRS.


A decision has been made

Ryan Rowland-Smith made about the only choice he could make.
Ryan Rowland-Smith chose his livelihood over his country.

As expected, the Seattle Mariners' promising left-hander decided Sunday to stay in spring training rather than play for his native Australia in the World Baseball Classic.

He said Australia's manager, Jon Deeble, was disappointed but understood that Rowland-Smith didn't want to risk a major league job by missing at least 10 days of camp beginning March 2. He told Deeble he definitely wants to play for Australia in the next WBC four years from now.

"I'm better served here," said the brawny 26-year-old, one of seven candidates for five spots in Seattle's rotation. "I didn't want to derail what I'd worked for all offseason.

"It was a tough, tough, tough decision, but this is what's more important."
Food for thought from RRS.
"If I want to do something, I should do it 100 percent. I want to be in this rotation. All or nothing."


Adopted home town?

From the Newcastle News in Newcastle, Washington:

When players report to spring training later this month, which one of the top Seattle Mariners’ pitching prospects hails from Newcastle?


Ryan Rowland-Smith was Seattle’s most effective starter in the second half of the 2008 season, finishing with a 3.39 ERA and a 4-3 record from his 11 starts.

Rowland-Smith, originally from Newcastle, Australia, is the first player with a hyphenated last name ever to appear in a Major League game. The 26-year-old had an auspicious debut. The left-hander made his major league debut for the Mariners on June 22, 2007, against the Cincinnati Reds at Safeco Field. He struck out the first batter he faced, Ken Griffey Jr., and pitched one and one-third scoreless innings.

And although he isn’t from this Newcastle, Rowland-Smith is no stranger to the city nestled between Renton and Bellevue. His girlfriend’s sister lives in Factoria and Rowland-Smith has been to The Golf Club at Newcastle for a fundraising benefit for cystic fibrosis.

“I had never been to Bellevue until two years ago, when I met my girlfriend,” he said. “I was driving up the 405 freeway, because I was staying down in Tacoma, and I saw a sign saying Newcastle, and I just had to call my mum to tell her there’s a suburb here called Newcastle.”

I do the same thing -- well, I don't call Rowland-Smith's mum so it's not exactly the same thing -- when I go by towns with the same name as my hometown. Oddly, that happened the last time I was in Australia. Or, was it Ireland. I'm either really mixed up or lying.

Rowland-Smith was a Timber Rattler in 2002 and 2003. Here is how he got interested in baseball:

Baseball is not as popular as cricket, rugby and surfing in Australia. Rowland-Smith saw a U.S. baseball game on late night TV in Australia and he was hooked. He also studied videotapes of the 1993 World Series and was impressed by the play of John Olerud, who he would later meet in spring training.

“I thought the game was fascinating,” he said. “My dad was upset I didn’t take up rugby.”

When he was a child, Rowland-Smith was teased about being “too soft” for playing baseball. But at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds now, no one is teasing him about being soft.

Go read the whole thing.


Rowland-Smith reporting for Australia

He hopes.
There will be a place on Australia's World Baseball Classic team for Mariners left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith if he can work it into a schedule that allows him to compete for Seattle's 25-man Opening Day roster during Spring Training.

"I am still unsure whether or not I will be playing," Rowland-Smith wrote in an e-mail from his home in Australia. "I want to wait and talk with my new pitching coach and manager to see what they think."

Rowland-Smith made a strong impression as a starting pitcher the final five weeks of last season, recording eight consecutive quality starts, from Aug. 21-Sept. 27, finishing the season with a 5-3 record and 3.42 ERA.
Rowland-Smith was a Rattler starting pitcher in 2002 and a reliever in 2003. He's taken a look at the schedule...
Australia opens Pool B play in Mexico City on March 8 against Mexico and Rowland-Smith conceivably could pitch that game. Other teams in Pool B are Cuba and South Africa. Two teams would advance to Round 2, scheduled for March 15-19 at PETCO Park in San Diego.

"[The schedule] looks accommodating enough that I might be able to miss about three days of camp, fly to Mexico City and pitch, and fly back [to Peoria, Ariz.]," he wrote. "Coach [Jon] Deeble understands my situation and is happy with me to pitch and then fly back to Peoria."


Bless you, RRS

Ryan Rowland-Smith ('02, '03) was one of the more interesting characters in my first few years with the Timber Rattlers.

Example, his Australian accent was noticeable but never really thick. Until we were in Fort Wayne and he really broke out the Down Under speak during dinner at an Outback Steakhouse. Not sure if he was trying to impress the waitress or get a free meal, but it was funny.

I may have mentioned his blog in the past. The below-mentioned Geoff Baker, mentions it today and points out this post...
Hi Friends,

Sorry I have taken way too long to write another blog. I didn’t have my computer on the long road trip. Yes, very long 0-12. No fun whatsoever, trust me. Plus, I want to make it worth reading and hopefully shed some light on this very dark season in Seattle.
There are a few of his ideas for how to make 2009 better. Sign Raul Ibanez...Healthy Adrian Beltre...Let the kids play...
In my last blog I mention there was a youth revolution on its way. Well, we have some young guys who can seriously make an impact, I just hope we all get our chances next year, and there is some trust in our abilities– not just getting our feet wet, I mean letting us pitch through a jam to show that we can get through it. Or, not getting pinch hit late in the game. There are some kids with a big point to prove in their careers, including myself, so I just hope they don’t freak out in the off season and feel like they have to sign older guy. And by the way, don’t forget, our ace next year is 23 opening day!
That would be Felix Hernandez ('03)...I don't think RRS is 23.

Back to the post....Leadership...Don't Panic....Keep on Grinding...
As cheesy as it sounds, I want to see the rotation fight to stay in the game with 110 pitches, the hitters run every fly ball out hard. Sac guys over, the bullpen pick each other up and have 25 guys play with some heart. Stop feeling sorry for ourselves, making excuses, and keep grinding through the sh*tty times.

There is a lot to look forward to next year, a lot of great pieces in this organization, some fun guys to watch I promise we will put up a fight no matter what negativity you read. If I am wrong you can boo me every time I take the field.
I don't see the money quote to which Baker refers in his post about the RRS post. The title of Baker's post...Ryan Rowland-Smith: Mariners should "grow some balls!'' Balls is an Australian slang term for...well, I'm not sure what it's slang for in Australia. But, the sentiment is clear.


Times on Rowland-Smith

Geoff Baker catches up with Ryan Rowland-Smith ('02, '03), pitcher, ex-Rattler, blogger...

"At first, I thought, 'Nobody's going to read this,' " he said. "And then I saw that people were actually interested in it."

The turning point was likely a "Heading to Tacoma" entry Rowland-Smith posted on July 25, right after being sent to AAA to be groomed as a starter. In the rather candid blog entry, he admitted to initially being disappointed.

"I left Safeco Field upset and very confused," it reads. "I'm not sure if people understand the feeling of being sent down, it's tough no matter what."

This came as a shock to some readers, who largely viewed the demotion as temporary and the beginning of the pitcher's dream of becoming a full-time starter.

That blog is right here. The entry portal is right here.

Now, excuse me. I have to read the latest entry by Heather Mitts on her blog. The US Women's Soccer team is saying "Hello Quarterfinals!"


For our Australian Readers

From the Mariner website:

Rowland-Smith's fate remains uncertain

The run left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith surrendered during Tuesday's Minor League game didn't count against his Cactus League ERA, which remains perfect.

He has not allowed an earned in 12 innings.

But whether that's good enough to land a spot on the Mariners' 25-man Opening Day roster is up in the air, and he knows it.

"It plays on your mind all the time," he said after pitching two innings against the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate on one of the practice fields at the Peoria Sports Complex. "You try not to read into anything when you see who's throwing on this day or that day, but you're trying to figure out where you fit in."

It would seem to depend on the number 11 or the number 12.

If [Manager John] McLaren and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre go with a 12-man staff, Rowland-Smith would be a strong candidate.

"That's what I wanted to do coming into camp," he said. "I knew the rotation was set and I just tried to get one of the spots in the bullpen. I think I've given myself a good opportunity.

"I'm really happy with how I've thrown, really happy. There were a few things, like a leadoff walk here or there, or a couple of two-strike pitches I wasn't happy with. But overall, I'm stoked with how I've done."

I'll wrap the post up with words to live by from the lefty.
"I always try to stay positive and tell myself that it's not where I am in April," he said, "it's where I am in September."


So you want to pitch?

The Sydney Morning Herald has this on ex-Rattler Ryan Rowland-Smith. The headline is okay. The subheadline is better. The lede is awsome! The last two are pulled from the story.

A detour in Venezuela has put Ryan Rowland-Smith on his way from Seattle's bullpen to the starting rotation, writes Alex Brown in London.

The cockroaches he could take. So, too, the long, crowded bus trips. But when Ryan Rowland-Smith found himself at the epicentre of Venezuelan political turmoil late last year, the nerves began to fray.

There is a bit about the protests and living in Venezuela. Cockroaches again figure into the story.

I know that this is the equivalent to just over 90mph on a fastball, but hearing it in KPH makes you stop for a moment.

Since returning to the US for spring training, Rowland-Smith has proved harder to hit than a one-iron down a hallway. Using his 150kmh fastball, curve, slider and change-up to full effect, the left-handed hurler has yet to yield a run in six games, posting five strikeouts in the process. With opening day barely a week away, expect Rowland-Smith to figure prominently on the Mariners' Major League roster.

This is a really neat part of the article. Rowland-Smith pitched against Ken Griffey, Jr and here is what the folks back home thought...

"I thought that it was pretty cool, because even my mates back in Australia would know who he was because he was on The Simpsons," he said. "I was just thinking to myself, 'You're young. Just don't walk anyone. Compete and give yourself a chance.' Before I knew it, I was ahead in the count, and I started thinking I was a chance of getting him out. Then I threw the crap out of a breaking pitch, and he swung. And I had an out. It was surreal. I didn't know whether to look up at the crowd or down at the ground - walk off the field quickly or slowly.

One more. What is it like your first time in Yankee Stadium?

"But New York is intense. The noise, the history, the atmosphere. In my first game there, Brad Pitt was sitting right above our dugout, and he was surrounded by paparazzi. The whole experience was humbling and brought me back to earth pretty quickly.

"Even warming up is crazy. The fans there don't hold back at you. They swear and abuse you, and if you make eye contact, you're finished, because they know they're getting through to you and they'll swear at you all night long. Even five-year-old kids are giving it to you. And they do their homework. The next night I came back, and they'd obviously done their research. They knew all about me and even my mum's name, and I was just copping it. But that's just the way it is."

Check out the whole article on the ex-Rattler ('02, '03).

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