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May 6, 2014 at 1:28 PM

A few links …. Mariano Rivera would take Pedroia over Cano

I’m sure most of you have read some form of it this morning. But in his new book “Closer,” Mariano Rivera says that he would take Dustin Pedroia over Robinson Cano at second base. He questions Cano’s work ethic among other things.

From the NY Daily News story on it …

In his new autobiography, “The Closer,” Rivera writes about how much affection he has for his former teammate, but adds, “This guy has so much talent I don’t know where to start… 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.”

As for his favorite second baseman, Rivera says Red Sox Dustin Pedroia is “at the top of the list” of players he admires, adding: “Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for twenty-seven outs. It’s a special thing to see.”

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

I really don’t know what to think of this. So a former closer, who pitches one inning per game, decides he’d rather have one all-star second baseman over another. Cano is good. Pedroia is good. Cano has better numbers. Pedroia is probably one of my players to watch play. I love his fire and his passion. That’s what he needs to play at this level. Obviously, he doesn’t have the natural talent that Cano does. But does that mean Cano is some slacker? Not necessarily. I’ve only covered him a short time – so it’s a small sample size – but there is nothing that suggests he’s lazy in his approach. Believe me, I’ve covered lazy. Cano isn’t lazy. But Rivera was also privy to information that we weren’t, playing alongside him every day.

Obviously we will ask him about it today. Because that’s what we have to do. But the whole situation is pretty seventh-grade absurd. As for his performance this year, could he or should he have a few more extra base hits this year? Yep. That’s fair to ask for with the type of money he’s getting paid.

I thought Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York had a pretty good breakdown of the debate.

I was asked about it rather early this morning with Mitch Levy on KJR. Not sure if it made any sense since I was still half asleep.

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I’m not a big fan of MLB umpires. Maybe I have a problem with authority because I also loathe basketball refs – particularly those of the Pac-12 and rec league nature – but Laz Diaz seems to have overstepped his bounds last night.  Yankee manager Joe Girardi isn’t the over-reactive sort. But he seems to have a right to be upset. Also Shawn Kelley got into the act as well. Here’s a gallery of it from The Big Lead. Here’s the NY Times game story from David Waldstein

My pick for one of the AL Wild cards is  floundering … The Royals suffered a bad loss in San Diego last night. 

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