I’m not sure how many people have paid attention to the Tacoma Rainiers or know much about Daren Brown, but I hardly recognized his name. So I hunted down a John McGrath Tacoma News-Tribune profile of Brown from April of ’07, when he was about to start his term as Rainiers manager. It should offer some clues into how he’ll manage the Seattle Mariners and what his perspective will be:
Daren Brown ‘s sixth managerial job – he’s replacing Dave Brundage at the helm of the Tacoma Rainiers – will afford him more time to devote to the task than his first managerial job.
In 1998, Brown accepted an offer to call the shots for the Amarillo Dillas of the independent Texas-Louisiana League. The assignment was only slightly complicated by the fact Brown happened to be the Dillas’ best starting pitcher at the time. . . .
On the mound, the 6-foot-4 right-hander was versed in the basics (fastball, curve, change-up, slider), but had no dominant pitch. As a manager, Brown realized the guile that enabled him to survive five seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organization – and earn him three Pitcher of the Year honors in the Texas-Louisiana league – translated to his new line of work.
“I didn’t throw a 95-mile-an-hour fastball, so in order to compete I had to think a little bit,” he said. “That’s probably helped me more than anything in managing. I wasn’t a guy who just went out there and expected to get outs. I had to think to get my outs.” . . .
Hired by the Mariners after winning a third consecutive division [title] in Amarillo, Brown’s tour through the [Mariners’] farm system has included stops in San Bernadino, Calif. (2001-02), Appleton, Wis. (2003), back to San Bernadino (2004-05) and San Antonio (2006).
He also spent three weeks last year in Seattle, coaching first base during the final three weeks of the season as a replacement for Mike Goff, who moved to the bench after Ron Hassey was released.
The big club had long been eliminated from the playoff race, but the procession of call-ups from the minors put a joyful twist on an otherwise bleak September.
“When you walk into the clubhouse,” Brown said, “and you see six, seven, eight guys you’ve had the previous three or four years, putting on a big-league uniform, some of your thoughts go back to when you had them the California League, going out onto the field to work with them at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
“Even then, we were letting those kids know we were preparing them to be successful in the big leagues, not preparing them to be successful in A ball or Double-A. It’s about the big leagues. It was a good feeling on my part, knowing they got there. Now it’s a matter of getting them ready to stay.”