Former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera writes in his new book that he would take Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia over former teammate Robinson Cano because "I don’t think Robby burns to be the best."
In Rivera's new book, The Closer, being released Tuesday, he also writes that no one plays harder or wants to win more than Pedroia.
Cano spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Yankees before bolting for Seattle after signing a 10-year, $240 million contract this past offseason. Rivera retired at the end of last season after recording a major league record 652 saves over his career.
"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," Rivera says of Cano, according to excepts published in the New York Daily News.
"If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman," Rivera said.
Rivera also reflected on the 2003 team that lost the World Series to the Florida Marlins in six games.
"Those teams of ours that won four World Series in five years would've hammered (the Marlins)," Rivera wrote. "They would've found a way and will their way through as a team."SI.COM STAFF: MLB Power Rankings: Athletics in first, but Marlins are rolling