OAKLAND, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mariano Rivera has never been one to spark controversy.
But the future Hall of Famer did just that early this week, when it was revealed that he would take Boston’s Dustin Pedroia over former teammate Robinson Cano as his top second baseman.
“There is no doubt that he is a Hall of Fame-caliber talent,” Rivera said about Cano in his new book published Tuesday. “It’s just a question of whether he finds the drive that you need to get there … I don’t think Robby burns to be the best. I think he’s content to enjoy the game and help his team and go home. You don’t see the red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.”
Cano has moved on out West with Seattle, determined not to let Rivera’s words in “The Closer: My Story” affect him or his new team.
“Everybody has a different opinion,” Cano said before Tuesday night’s game at Oakland. “That’s his opinion and I have to respect his opinion. I’m not going to go too far into this. That’s the only thing that I can say. My focus right now is this team. I’m here, we’re winning. I was over there already and now I’m here and now I’m focused on the team. I’m going to be excited for my teammates.”
What has received far less publicity and attention is what the all-time saves leader thinks about the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.
Let’s just say that the legendary Yankee prefers the former ballpark to the current one.
In the book, written with New York Daily News reporter Wayne Coffey, Rivera says there has been a decrease in atmosphere at New York home games following the move to the new stadium.
“It doesn’t hold noise, or home-team fervor, anywhere near the way the old place did,” he said. “The old Stadium was our 10th man — a loud and frenzied cauldron of pinstriped passion, with a lot of lifers in the stands. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s hard to see that the new place can ever quite duplicate that.”
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