Felix Hernandez became a filthy rich man this past offseason when he inked his seven-year, $175 million contract extension with the Seattle Mariners. That’s a lot of greenbacks, and as is always the case when such expensive deals are announced, I wonder what the heck any human being could do with $175 million or $200 million or whatever the excessive number of millions might be.
But hey, as we learned on Monday, at least Hernandez doesn’t appear to be the type who’s going to be stingy or selfish with his new found riches. In fact, if the special gift he purchased and delivered to former Mariners teammate and opening night opponent John Jaso is any indication, he’s going to be quite the opposite.
Before the former teammates squared off in Oakland on Opening Day, Hernandez sent over a gift for Jaso as a thank-you gesture for last year's perfect game: a Rolex wristwatch that Jaso showed off proudly.
"Getting to be a part of it is way bigger than this, but this is definitely a really nice gesture," Jaso said. "He really didn't have to. I was really just happy with being behind the plate. He came through."
Hernandez inscribed "Perfect Game" on the watch, along with the date -- "8/15/12" -- it was achieved against the Rays.
A wonderful gesture from a young man who has proven himself to be just as humble as he talented. Aside from pitching in a World Series, he won't have a bigger thrill or greater achievement in his professional career than what happened that day last August. To acknowledge Jaso's role behind the plate and reward him in this manner is a classy move.
And judging from that grin on Jaso's face and his comments, he obviously appreciated what King Felix did for him. He just didn't appreciate it very long. When the two faced off as opponents later in the evening, Jaso delivered one of Oakland's three hits — a double. As you would expect, though, Hernandez was the one who got the last word by tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings and earning his first victory of the season in Seattle's 2-0 win.