In Mariano Rivera’s new autobiography, “The Closer,” the New York Yankees great questions former teammate Robinson Canó’s work ethic.
“There is no doubt that he is a Hall-of-Fame caliber (player),” Rivera wrote. “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’s book, which was written with New York Daily News sportswriter Wayne Coffey, was published on Tuesday by Little, Brown.
In it, he said, “I’d have a hard time taking anybody over (Boston Red Sox second baseman) Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman.”
Unlike Canó, who left the Yankees during the offseason to sign a lucrative free-agent deal with the Seattle Mariners, Rivera explained, “Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more [than Pedroia]. He comes at you hard for twenty-seven outs. It’s a special thing to see.”
The book also ventures into deeply personal matters.
Rivera—who retired after last season with a major league record 652 saves, all of them with the Yankees—grew up the child of a Panamanian fisherman. He describes an occasion on which, while helping his dad, the boat sank in shark-infested waters.
He also describes having his head rammed into a pillar by his abusive father.
According to the Daily News, Rivera cautioned Derek Jeter not to try to rush back from an ankle injury last season.
"If you push it too much too soon, it could backfire," Rivera said he told the Yankees captain.
Of course, Jeter did rush back and wound up playing in only 17 games last season.
“Derek is one of the most driven people I’ve ever known," Rivera wrote. "It’s what makes him great. But I also think in this case his drive just blinded him — and maybe everybody else, too.”