Dustin Pedroia or Robinson Cano at second base?
Ask Mariano Rivera and the answer might surprise you. The greatest closer in Major League Baseball history said that he’d pick Pedroia of his rival Boston Red Sox over Cano, his former teammate with the New York Yankees.
"Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more [than Pedroia]," Rivera writes in his new book, The Closer, which was released Tuesday. “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.”
Rivera played with Cano for the first nine seasons of the second baseman’s career in pinstripes. Cano left New York this past offeason, signing with Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, who helped him land a mammoth 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners.
"This guy has so much talent I don't know where to start," Rivera writes of Cano in the book. "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."
For what it’s worth, Yankee fans also let Cano know what they thought of him in his return to the Bronx last week, as they chanted, “You sold out! You sold out!”
Cano is currently hitting .292 for the Mariners.
In addition to Cano and baseball overall, Rivera also touches on his faith and family life in The Closer.
Rivera counts 13 All-Star Game appearances and five World Series championships in his 19 years in the MLB.
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(Photos from Left: Elsa/Getty Images, Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)