(1090 The Fan) — If you thought the whining over Robinson Cano’s departure from the New York Yankees was going to end after the completion of the series that brought the Mariners to Yankee Stadium last month, think again.
Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, the greatest relief pitcher to ever play Major League Baseball, has a new memoir out, “The Closer,” which includes a revelation that former Yankees second baseman and current Mariner Robinson Cano would not be Rivera’s “first choice” at second base. In fact, Mo admits a Boston Red Sox player would be who he’d give the nod to: Dustin Pedroia.
Rivera says in the book that Cano “has so much talent,” but Mo questions whether “he finds the drive” a player needs to have to get to the Hall of Fame.
“I don’t see that red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players,” Rivera writes.
With those lines, Yankee fans and members of New York and national media outlets were given just enough fuel to keep the anti-Cano train running.
CBS New York opened an article — which had a title that included the words “Lackadaisical Cano” — with, “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.”
The Pedroia-Cano debate (which seems to have only existed in the Northeastern region of the United States) was apparently settled “once and for all” by Rivera’s comments, according to Mass Live.
Here are a couple of problems with taking Rivera’s comments too seriously:
1. Rivera said of Pedroia “nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more.” He did not say Cano “does not play hard, does not give at all, does not want to win.” The latter seems more like a “diss,” while the former seems more like a compliment to a player that isn’t Cano.
2. What’s the point of singling out Cano? Yes, Rivera spent nine of his 19 years of his career with Cano behind him at second base, but where do those seasons sit for Mo? With Cano, there was one World Series win out of seven playoff appearances; before Cano, Mo had four World Series wins out of ten playoff appearances. Unless the thesis of the book is “Why the Yankees didn’t win more championships during the Cano era,” Rivera’s thoughts on Cano are gossip-esque tidbits aimed to help sell a book. Rivera is one of the most respected, classiest ballplayers of all-time — and the likelihood of him having any genuine disdain for his former teammates is slim to none.
Demonizing Cano is starting to just get sad, and it’s time to move on. Cano is an elite player who signed a contract most elite players would sign — it just didn’t happen to be with the Yankees, ironically.
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