Catchers, coach get Rolexes from Santana

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 29, 2007 - 4:02 PM

BOSTON — Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson received a new Rolex watch Friday, courtesy of Johan Santana.

Catchers Joe Mauer, Mike Redmond and Matthew LeCroy each got one, too.

Santana had them inscribed on the back with references to his two Cy Young Awards, from 2004 and '06.

Anderson's says, "Andy, I couldn't have done it without you."How about that?" Anderson said.

"That's first class," Mauer said.

Santana just shrugged. His plan had been in place for months, and he was just glad LeCroy, who was behind the plate for Santana's first major league game in 2000, was around to receive his gift in person.

"Take care of the people who take care of you," Santana said. "I wanted to thank them for helping me win a couple of Cy Young Awards. But not only that; it's been fun, too."

Jones impresses

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hasn't used the same lineup in back-to-back games much recently, but after Thursday's stirring 5-4 victory at Fenway Park, he decided to give it a shot.

That meant another night for Justin Morneau at designated hitter, and another for Garrett Jones at first base.

Jones has seven hits, including two home runs, in his previous six games, raising his average to .216.

"I like him," Gardenhire said. "I like the possibilities of what he brings to the table. When he relaxes, he can really put a swing on the ball.

"It's hard. You're pressing, you want to do well, and you're not playing every day. I just talked to him about relaxing."

In observing Jones, Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra believed the 6-4 slugger was trying too hard not to strike out.

"He's a big, strong guy," Gardenhire said. " 'You know what? You're going to strike out, son. Everybody does. Just swing away.' And when he does connect, he hits it a long ways. Power is something that's hard to find."

Kubel's chance

Before watching Jason Kubel struggle through the first inning in Fenway Park's quirky left field, Gardenhire acknowledged that the 25-year-old has a chance to take that position and run next year.

"Yeah, that's kind of the projection, for him to come in and take over this left field thing," Gardenhire said. "That would be nice. He's had a pretty good year. If you look at his numbers, they're [increasing]. So, that would be nice. One less hole to fill.

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