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Robinson Cano did not take the bait from Mariano Rivera

May 7, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano AP

As part of the promotion for his upcoming auto-biography former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera posted an excerpt in the New York Daily News saying that he’d rather have Dustin Pedroia than longtime teammate Robinson Cano as his second baseman.

Predictably that led to reporters asking Cano to comment on Rivera’s opinion–and specifically Rivera saying that he lacked drive–but the Mariners second baseman declined to take the bait and instead responded with kindness:

I’m not going to comment too far on this. 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.

Cano’s reply probably won’t get much media traction because it doesn’t fit the narrative, but that’s certainly an example of taking the high road. Meanwhile, on the other side, Pedroia is thrilled to be praised by Rivera because why wouldn’t he be?

  1. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Perfect reply
    Nothing to see here
    Moving on

  2. SBoy - May 7, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    It amazes me how almost every article I have read on this subject gives an incomplete version of what Rivera said to make it more controversial. Rivera did NOT say he preferred Pedroia over Cano as his second basemen… He said for one game it would be hard to take someone over Pedroia. Given that Pedroia plays for the Red Sox, the truth of what MO said is juicy enough… No need to edit, to “juice” it up more.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 7, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      but, but, but, “the narrative”!!! Also asking NY sports writers to write the truth and not what gets page clicks is virtually impossible.

  3. anxovies - May 7, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Well, Mariano should know, but from my much less authoritative viewpoint Cano seems the better player, whether for a particular game or the season. And I say this despite all of the angst and bitterness of a diehard Yankee fan.

  4. yankeesfanlen - May 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Lollygagging a response! Pure Cano!

  5. cohnjusack - May 7, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Classless move Cano, taking the high road and denying us all the enjoyment of reading about a very petty feud.

    …I suppose I’ll go back to work no. Thanks a lot Cano.

  6. ctony1216 - May 7, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    I hope Cano has a great career in Seattle and the fans there treat him well. The guy almost never missed a game for six straight years, played like an All-Star, never said a bad word about anyone, and always had a smile on his face. Plus, there isn’t a sweeter swing or smoother fielder in the game — those are the things I miss most since he left, just watching him play baseball every day. It’s too bad it didn’t work out in NY, but I get the sense he’s much better off outside of Yankeeland.

    • beachnbaseball - May 8, 2014 at 6:47 AM

      “Better off outside of Yankeeland”. Maybe. But he’ll be anchored in obscurity as some guy who played for the Mariners.

  7. lukedunphysscienceproject - May 7, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    The headline is obnoxious. Rivera wasn’t “baiting” Cano. He was giving his opinion. The “bait” came from the media trying to turn it into something it wasn’t. Either way, kudos to Cano for not getting dragged into it.

  8. ironcurtin64 - May 8, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    I’ve always appreciated Cano’s playing abilities. However, now that I get to watch him play everyday it is a pure joy. He is liquid smooth in the field and at the plate. Could use a few more dingers, though.

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