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New spring training experience for M’s Snell

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By Kirby Arnold
Herald Writer
PEORIA, Ariz. — Ian Snell pitched well for two innings in his spring training debut Saturday, then walked off the mound and heard something completely different.
This is Snell’s first spring training with the Seattle Mariners after a trade last July ended a stormy relationship with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Snell, a 28-year-old right-hander, is calling this camp a new beginning in his career, and in his first exhibition game he gave up three hits and one earned run, with one strikeout in the Mariners’ 7-4 victory over the Padres.
“This is a whole different atmosphere,” Snell said. “It’s something new to me, having never been here for spring training.”
New in what way?
“I’m not used to hearing the crowd quiet instead of yelling at you,” he said. “Afterward you hear fans say you did a good job even though you gave up two runs or whatever.”
He said it wasn’t like that in Bradenton, Fla., where the Pirates train.
“You’d need earmuffs,” Snell said. “It came from your own fans. It’s pretty crazy. But it’s a real good atmosphere here and I’m enjoying it a lot. Here, they want you to stay healthy and give your best. When you give your best, they cheer for you.”
Snell is expected to pitch out of the third or fourth spot in the Mariners’ five-man starting rotation, depending on whether manager Don Wakamatsu wants to use him to separate left-handers Cliff Lee and Ryan Rowland-Smith.
“I’m not worrying about that,” Snell said. “I’m tired of hearing who’s going to get the number three or four or five. I really don’t care. I’m just out to have fun and do my job and prepare for the season.
“I just want to go out and enjoy the guys and have fun and get my work in, get ready and stay healthy.”
Story tags » Mariners

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