Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been out of the game for a year, but remains very active in the game, as far as his opinion goes. On Tuesday, the man known as the best closer in the game released his new book. In the book he had some interesting things to say about former teammate Robinson Cano. According to a report by ESPN on May 6, Rivera states he would choose Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia over Cano.
Considering Pedroia plays on a team considered the Yankees’ heated rival, the respect shown to Pedroia is the ultimate compliment. But it also has a lot to say about Cano, who Rivera played with for nine seasons. In his new book titled “The Closer,” Rivera gave his thoughts on Cano.
In an excerpt, he writes, “this guy has so much talent I don’t know where to start. …There is no doubt that he is a Hall of Fame caliber [player]. It’s just a question of whether he finds the drive you need to get there. I don’t think Robby burns to be the best. … You don’t see that red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.”
One of those elite players he pointed out was Pedroia, a player he would choose as his second baseman to win a big game. He cites Pedroia’s tenacity as an example of what he feels is missing from Cano. He writes, “Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for 27 outs. It’s a special thing to see. If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman.”
Robinson Cano left the Yankees as a free agent to sign a blockbuster contract with the Seattle Mariners. When Cano recently returned to Yankee Stadium he was greed by shouts of “sellout” by fans. Ironically, it is players like Cano who leave teams like the Mariners to sign with the Yankees, so the signing was surprising in that respect.
Although Rivera’s thoughts may seem like a diss of Cano, it may also motivate the second baseman. In the book, Rivera also reflects upon his time in the league, touches on his faith and family life and also reflects on the dominance of the late 1990s Yankees.