NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Things you don’t say for $200, Alex.

Appearing on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Yankees closer David Robertson was asked who the better leader is: his manager, Joe Girardi, or Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

The reliever, who played his college ball at Alabama, answered the question honestly. Maybe too honestly.

“That’s a tough question, you’re putting me on the spot with that one,” Robertson said. “This is nothing against Joe Girardi, but I’m going to have to give it to Nick Saban because he’s got three national championships with Alabama.”


Following his appearance on ESPN, the Birmingham native — who grew up in Tuscaloosa — said that he in no way meant to disrespect his skipper.

“Joe is the best,” Robertson told the New York Daily News. “He’s the only manager I’ve ever played for and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I picked it off of championship history, but obviously they are both at the top of their game, in my opinion.”

Robertson, who won a World Series with the Yankees in 2009 and was an All-Star in 2011, took over for Mariano Rivera as closer this season after serving as the setup man.

He was excellent in his first — and possibly only — season succeeding Mo, recording 39 saves in 44 opportunities and pitching to a 3.08 ERA.

The 29-year-old will become a free agent next month, and with Dellin Betances potentially waiting in the wings it remains to be seen if general manager Brian Cashman will re-sign Robertson.

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