PHILADELPHIA — Usually when you want to thank someone, you can buy a card or a gift certificate or even a small gift, but when you’re Robinson Cano and you’ve signed a 10-year, $240-million contract, your thank-you gifts get taken up a notch.
And when it’s an important and meaningful symbol of appreciation, well, then price isn’t really an option.
Monday, Cano showed his gratitude to the time he spent with Larry Bowa in the Yankees organization by presenting his former coach with a Rolex watch. It stunned Bowa, who wasn’t expecting anything other than a hug.
So why did Cano give Bowa the Rolex?
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Well, Bowa was instrumental in developing Cano into the player he’s become today, a player who signed one of the biggest contracts in Major League Baseball history. Bowa was the third-base coach for the Yankees from 2006-07.
“He’s just a guy that liked to win,” Cano said. “If you don’t know him in the beginning, you might not know what he’s about. He’d get angry because he wants to win, and those are the people you want to be around.”
Bowa’s temper and fiery personality are the stuff of MLB legend. But he also had the reputation of being a tireless worker. And he worked with Cano on his defense, turning him from a strong-armed athlete into a sure-handed Gold Glove second baseman.
“He was a guy that always was there if you wanted to work,” Cano said. “That was the main thing. He didn’t wait a few days or say, ‘Let me see what we can do.’ He was always right there.”
Bowa also was brutally honest with Cano about work, attitude, performance and expectations.
Saunders not back anytime soon
Michael Saunders continues to progress in his rehab stint with Class AAA Tacoma, but don’t expect to see him back with the Mariners in the next few days.
“He’s working it out, he’s trying to get back,” Lloyd McClendon said. “We knew there was going to be rust. That’s why you have a 20-day rehab. He’s trying to get himself ready and get sharp and get back here.”
Saunders went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts Tuesday.
Asked if Saunders was swinging the bat well with Tacoma, McClendon said, “Not yet he isn’t.”