Mariners Insider

Cano says he respects Rivera’s opinion, chooses not to comment further

Post by Bob Dutton / The News Tribune on May 6, 2014 at 11:13 am with 4 Comments »
May 6, 2014 4:45 pm
Recently-retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera (left) chides ex-teammate Robinson Cano for a lack of work ethic in his upcoming book. This 2013 photo shows them congratulating one another after a victory over the Twins. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Recently-retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera (left) chides ex-teammate Robinson Cano for a lack of work ethic in his upcoming book. This 2013 photo shows them congratulating one another after a victory over the Twins. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

OAKLAND, Calif. — Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano chose not to return fire Tuesday when asked about comments by former Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera that questioned his “passion” for the game.

“I’m not going to comment too far on this,” Cano said. “If that’s how Mariano feels, I respect that. I’m always going to have respect for him. I spent nine years with him.

“For me, he’s always going to be the best closer. That’s how I feel.”

Rivera’s comments surfaced earlier in the day when The New York Daily News published excerpts from his forthcoming book, The Closer.

“This guy (Cano) has so much talent I don’t know where to start,” wrote Rivera , who retired after last season. “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 also declared he’d pick Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia over Cano, who left the Yankees after last season by signing a 10-year contract with the Mariners for $240 million.

Regarding Pedroia, Rivera wrote: “Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for 27 outs. It’s a special thing to see.

“If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman.”

Cano declined to comment when asked whether he was surprised and/or stung by Rivera’s comments.

“Everybody has a different opinion,” he said. “You’ve got to respect everyone. If that’s his opinion, I have to respect his opinion. I don’t have any other comment. I’m not going to go too far with this.

“My focus right now is this team. I’m here. We’re winning. That’s all it’s about. I was over there, and now I’m here. I want to focus on this team. I don’t want to be a distraction for my teammates.”

 

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. Skysport says:

    Sometimes people would take shots at Ichiro too, saying he wasn’t a “leader”. Garbage. Both Cano and Ichiro will be in the HOF which I think speaks louder than any comment in any book.

  2. It sure looks to me like Robinson Cano is a leader. He sure seems to have taken this young Mariner team under his wing. He is just such a great athlete. I have been amazed at how good he is at 2nd base. Sure he doesn’t make every play, but its close. And he makes plays on balls that when you’re watching doesn’t seem like its going to be possible, but he makes the play and makes it look easy. As for hustle on every play, he’s like Junior, he hustles when it matters. We’ve seen him turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples when the opportunity arises. He probaly doesn’t bust it down the line on every a 4-3 ground out, but its not like he’s slow either. He’s one of those great and smooth athletes that moves faster than they appear. It’ll be interesting to see how this Mariner thing develops as time goes on. Plus it has been kind of fun to hear all the whining from New York.

  3. AZBubba71 says:

    Ichiro wasn’t a leader.

    Hiding behind interpreters for his entire career, even though he understood and spoke English competently. (How many of the Latin players have received similar treatment from their organizations?)

    Staying in a separate hotel than the rest of the team while on road trips.

    Consistently bunting on his own with a runner on 2nd and two outs in order to get a cheap single.

    His talent deserves to be recognized in the Hall of Fame, but don’t ever confuse Ichiro as being a team first player.

  4. AZBubba71 says:

    Cano’s only problem seems to be that he has so much talent that it all just looks easy to others from the outside. Pedroia has had to fight and scrap at each step along the way just to prove himself. Both are great players and I couldn’t really choose one over the other.

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