Felix rewards A’s Jaso for help in perfecto

John Jaso shows off new Rolex, a gift from Mariners' Felix Hernandez / AP Janie McCauley

Catcher John Jaso was going to have to be thinking about Felix Hernandez anyway, because the Mariners’ ace was Jaso’s opponent in his first start for Oakland on opening night Monday.

The Mariner right-hander had never lost on opening day (3-0 in six starts) and has been tough to score on (1.59 ERA). Thinking about being King Felix is a chore.

Hernandez gave him something different to think about 90 minutes before the first pitch. Hernandez had an engraved gold Rolex watch with jewels delivered to Jaso in the A’s clubhouse to thank him for being behind the plate for Hernandez’s perfect game last Aug. 15.

“It was great to be part of it,’’ Jaso said, showing off the watch in the runway behind the A’s clubhouse. “I thought he might do something.’’

Clearly, however, this was more than Jaso expected.

The back of the watch says simply “Perfect Game 8-15-12.’’

Jaso spent just one season with the Mariners before Seattle traded him to Oakland, and for all that time, is watch was a Timex.

“So this is an upgrade,’’ Jaso said. “It’s the kind of think I would expect from him.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.