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'El Mambo' pays tribute to 'Don't You Know'

Segura grateful for Cano's support on and off the diamond
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Given the chance to dedicate a patch on the shoulder of their jersey to someone who impacted their life or baseball career in a positive way, most Major Leaguers chose to honor parents or family members during the Player Weekend festivities now underway.

But Mariners shortstop Jean Segura went a different direction. Segura is bearing the name of teammate Robinson Cano on his shoulder for Seattle's three-game weekend series against the Yankees, a hat tip -- or jersey tip -- to his close friend and mentor in the middle of the diamond.

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NEW YORK -- Given the chance to dedicate a patch on the shoulder of their jersey to someone who impacted their life or baseball career in a positive way, most Major Leaguers chose to honor parents or family members during the Player Weekend festivities now underway.

But Mariners shortstop Jean Segura went a different direction. Segura is bearing the name of teammate Robinson Cano on his shoulder for Seattle's three-game weekend series against the Yankees, a hat tip -- or jersey tip -- to his close friend and mentor in the middle of the diamond.

View Full Game Coverage

Cano befriended his countrymate from the Dominican Republic well before general manager Jerry Dipoto acquired Segura from the D-backs in a November trade. Indeed, Segura has credited Cano with helping get him through a rough personal time in his life after the death of his 9-month-old son in 2014 and providing invaluable support and guidance in his baseball exploits.

"He opened his door to me a few years ago, and after that I've been a different kind of player," Segura said. "He helped me realize how to be good, how to treat people good, how to be a good teammate and player outside and inside of baseball. When they decided to put somebody on our jersey, the first thing that came to my mind was his name."

After an All-Star season with the Brewers in 2013, Segura struggled in '14 and contacted Cano that winter for advice. Cano invited him to work out with him at his home in the Dominican, and the two have continued that every offseason since, with Segura often spending nights at Cano's home last winter to maximize their time.

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"Three years ago when I think my career was going to be different because I was struggling at the big league level, he gave me the help," Segura said. "I made contact with him, and after that, all he's done is help me."

Cano enjoys playing the mentor role to Segura, who is seven years younger at 27.

"He means a lot to me," Cano said. "In a humble way, you deal with guys and help them play this game in the right way and take it to the next level. He works hard and goes about his business, and those are the guys you want to be around."

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And Cano appreciates Segura's gesture with the jersey salute.

"Not everyone is going to come back and say, 'Thank you' or 'I appreciate it,'" Cano said. "A lot of guys feel they've got their talent and you might have helped with this or that a little bit. It's not that I do it because I want to get credit, but that says a lot about the guy."

For Segura, who signed a five-year extension earlier this year that will keep him with the Mariners through 2022, it's just another way to show how much Cano has meant to him.

"He's got it all," Segura said of Cano. "He's having a Hall of Fame career, and is one of the best second basemen, ever. He just passed Babe Ruth in doubles (507). As a young player, not only me, but a lot of players from the Dominican and Latin America, we look up to him because he is one of the best."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano, Jean Segura