No one was expecting Mariano Rivera to release a book right after retiring from baseball, but hey–free time on your hands usually results to awesome things right away. The book was published today, but there was something interesting in the book that caught everyone’s attention: if Rivera had to pick between Dustin Pedroia or Robinson Cano to be his second basemen, he’d choose Pedroia.
“Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for 27 outs, every time. It’s a special thing to see, a little guy like that who is willing to do whatever it takes,” Rivera said. “If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman.”
It was pretty shocking to read Rivera choose Pedroia over Cano–but it was more shocking as to why Rivera didn’t choose Cano.
“There is no doubt that he is a Hall of Fame-caliber talent,” Rivera said about Cano. “It’s just a question of whether he finds the drive that you need to get there. I don’t think Robby burns to be the best. I think he’s content to enjoy the game and help his team and go home. You don’t see the red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.”
Wow, strong words coming fro Rivera. Now, before this causes “controversy”, Rivera is entitled to his own opinion and I’m positive he didn’t mean any harm by it. It’s not a secret while with the Yankees Cano seemed lackadaisical while jogging to first base. However, Cano did put up power numbers before taking his talents to Seattle. Now, here’s the million dollar question: what does Cano think of Rivera’s criticism?
“If that’s how Mariano feels, I respect that.” Cano said. “I’m always going to have respect for him.”
— Joe Girardi is ecstatic he now has a 25-man roster as his team prepares to head to Milwaukee after these next two games against the Angels. Having a 24-man roster put a damper on the Yankees bullpen in ways unimaginable.
“That’s a little bit nicer especially as we’re going into a National League city where at times you’re going to have to pinch hit and make some double switches,” Girardi explained. “It makes it a little easier.”
— Here are a few stats in today’s “Stat Pack” segment!
1) Pitchers currently in the Yankees’ bullpen (Aceves, Betances, Claiborne, Kelley, Robertson, Thornton, Warren) have combined for a 1.77 ERA (76.1IP, 15ER) and .193 opponents’ BA (53-for-274, 1HR) this season…overall, Yankees relievers lead the AL in strikeouts (115, also fourth in MLB) and K/9.0IP (10.15, fourth in MLB).
2) The Yankees are 9-19 in their last 28 games at Angel Stadium (since 2008) and have not won a season series there since 2004 (2-1).
3) Alfonso Soriano has 997 career hits in the AL and 1,077 in the NL… needs three hits, to become the seventh player all time with at least 1,000H in each league.