Yankees

Mariano Rivera Says He’d Pick Pedroia Over Lackadaisical Cano

Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Yankees great Mariano Rivera admires Dustin Pedroia for his determination, all-out hustle and will to win.

You know, all the things lacking at times in former New York second baseman Robinson Cano.

“I don’t think Robby burns to be the best,” Rivera wrote in his new memoir, “The Closer,” which was released on Tuesday. “You don’t see that red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.”

Cano, who left the Yankees to sign a 10-year deal with Seattle this offseason, was greeted with boos and chants of “You sold out!” in his return to the Bronx last week. In February, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long praised the slugger but admitted he was baffled by the lackadaisical approach of Cano, who was criticized for sometimes jogging out of the batter’s box.

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“(Cano) has so much talent I don’t know where to start,” Rivera wrote of his former teammate in excerpts published by the New York Daily News. “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.”

Rivera, who retired after last season, sees those Cooperstown qualities in Boston’s Pedroia: “If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman.”

“Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more,” Rivera added. “He comes at you hard for twenty-seven outs. It’s a special thing to see.”

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