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Mariano Rivera would take Dustin Pedroia over Robinson Cano

Dustin Pedroia is at the top of the list of players Mariano Rivera admires in the game. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Dustin Pedroia is at the top of the list of players Mariano Rivera admires in the game.

In his new book, retired Yankees star Mariano Rivera writes that the Red Sox’ Dustin Pedroia — not Robinson Cano — is the second baseman he would want most on his side.

“Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for 27 outs. It’s a special thing to see,” writes Rivera in “The Closer.”

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Pedroia is “at the top of the list” of players Rivera admires in the game.

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

Rivera’s book, written with Wayne Coffey, will be released Tuesday.

Rivera was unsparing in his thoughts on Cano, his longtime teammate who now plays for Seattle.

“This guy has so much talent I don’t know where to start,” Rivera writes. “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.”

The New York Daily News published passages of Rivera’s book on its website late Monday night.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.
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