The comments come in Rivera's new book, "The Closer" which comes out on Tuesday and in it he praises Cano's talent, although he doesn't think the Seattle Mariners second baseman has that drive that most elite players have, per ESPN.com via the New York Daily News:
"This guy has so much talent I don't know where to start," Rivera writes of Cano. "… 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."
"Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for 27 outs. It's a special thing to see," Rivera writes of Pedroia, according to the Daily News, later adding, "If I have to win one game, I'd have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman."
While the praise is there for Cano, Rivera makes sure to point out the difference between he and Pedroia, and that difference is apparent to anyone with a pulse watching baseball. To make it more interesting, Rivera would rather have Pedrioa by his side in one big game than Cano despite their history.
This is no secret to Yankees fans as they have been witnessing Cano's lack of hustle for years.
Whether it was running out a grounder to first base or even making plays in the field that just looked lazy, Cano's motivation can certainly be questioned. One can only wonder if Cano had the drive Rivera talks about if he could be even better than what he is now, which is one of the best players in the game and quite possibly the best second baseman in the game.
If the rest of the world needed confirmation of Cano's lack of motivation, Rivera just clinched it. There are few, if any players or former players whose words are more respected than Rivera's.
The only question is did Rivera say this to Cano when the two played together all those years?
It does come as a surprise that Rivera would be so public in his criticism of Cano, however. That certainly is not like Mo and it remains to be seen if he himself will be criticized for the shots he's taking, but it will no doubt help sell a few extra copies of his book.Tags: Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia, ESPN.com, Mariano Rivera, MLB, New York, New york Daily News, New York Yankees, Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners