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September 7, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Ryan Rowland-Smith says Roberto Clemente nomination is ‘bright spot” in dark season

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Ryan Rowland-Smith hasn’t had a whole lot to be happy about this season. But he got one positive nod today when the Mariners announced him as their nominee for the annual Roberto Clemente Award.
The award, named after the famed Pittsburgh Pirates slugger, goes every year to the player who best represents the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their clubs. Rowland-Smith got the nomination this year for his work running the team’s annual Cystic Fibrosis golf tournament as well as organizing baseball camps for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ballard.
He also teamed with Volunteers of America and the Action Teams to encourage local high school students to volunteer in their communities.
“My whole family’s always been on me about that stuff, whether it be treating people with respect or reminding them why they come to baseball games and cheer players on,” Rowalnd-Smith said. “As a player, it’s also a great platform to get people thinking about these charities and the things we support. It helps you have a voice on bigger issues as an athlete and that’s something I feel is important.”
Mark Lowe was last year’s nominee by the Mariners. A selection panel and fan vote determines the winner from the 30 nominees of various teams.
Past Mariners winners include Harold Reynolds (1991), Jamie Moyer (2003) and Edgar Martinez (2004).
Rowland-Smith plans to host the golf tourney again next year and build on what he’s started.
“It’s been a dark season for me,” he said. “And this has been a bright spot I needed.”
Moving right along, the Mariners have installed Franklin Gutierrez in the clean-up spot for tonight’s game, shifting Russell Branyan down to the No. 3 hole. Don’t forget, the M’s have gone 11 straight games without scoring at least four runs and will tie the franchise record from 1988 if they score three or fewer again tonight.

“The first six or seven guys in our lineup have been pretty much the same,” Mariners manager Daren Brown said. “I’m just putting guys in positions that I think maybe something will click. I don’t think I’m any smarter than anybody else that’s been doing this. But at the same time, I think it’s important to show that we’re trying to do something.”
Brown said the team had early success with Branyan in the No. 3 spot when he first came up as manager.
So, we’ll see. Matt Tuiasosopo hasn’t played in a while and gets a left field start tonight.
RF Ichiro
2B Chone Figgins
DH Russell Branyan
CF Franklin Gutierrez
3B Jose Lopez
1B Casey Kotchman
C Adam Moore
LF Matt Tuiasosopo
SS Josh Wilson
RHP Doug Fister
CF Rajai Davis
1B Daric Barton
C Kurt Suzuki
DH Jack Cust
2B Mark Ellis
LF Jeff Larish
RF Jeremy Hermida
3B Steve Tolleson
SS Cliff Pennington
LHP Dallas Braden

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins


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