Mariano Rivera can still throw heat, even in retirement.
The former Yankees closer and MLB all-time saves leader questions former teammate Robinson Cano's passion in a new autobiography -- and even says he'd pick rival Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia over Cano.
"If I have to win one game, I'd have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman," Rivera says in "The Closer", excerpts of which were published in the Daily News on Tuesday. The book is co-written by Wayne Coffey.
Cano played with Rivera, who recorded a record 652 saves, for nine seasons in the Bronx, but departed for a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners in December.
Cano developed into a consistent MVP candidate during his time with the Yankees, but the ease with which he was able to hit and field, led some to question his drive. Others opined that Cano didn't always run hard to first base.
Count Rivera among Cano's critics.
"This guy has so much talent I don't know where to start..." Rivera says. "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."