Mariano Rivera is passionate about Dustin Pedroia's 'red-hot passion'

Former New York Yankees ninth-inning pitcher Mariano Rivera shared in a new book that he thinks Boston Red Sox Dustin Pedroia is the superior second baseman over former Yankees teammate Robinson Cano. In The Closer, Rivera says that he doesn’t think Cano “burns to be the best” or that he doesn’t see that “red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.”

What does that even mean? He might as well say that Cano doesn’t have the eye of the tiger or the thrill of the fight.

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

Nobody plays harder? From 2007 to 2013, Cano averaged 160 games a season. For the same period, Pedroia averaged 141 games a season. It seems that the first prerequisite for playing harder is actually to play.

I think it’s ridiculous that Rivera would publicly criticize a former teammate, and then claim he would rather have a player from the Yankees’ most hated rival than said teammate. It doesn’t even matter that it’s stupid and statistically speaking, not true, claiming that Pedroia is a better player than Cano, is a jerkish thing to do.

Rivera is probably just trying to stir up interest in his stupid book by insulting a former teammate. I doubt he would’ve said negative things about Cano if he hadn’t signed with the Seattle Mariners in the offseason. He went after Cano because he’s an easy target, at least for Yankees fans, the only people I could see reading this book.

Yankees fans that can read that is.

MLB kills the ‘transfer rule’

Major League Baseball announced on Friday that effective immediately, they were doing away with the new transfer rule. MLB had earlier clarified that the existing rule on catching the ball would be interpreted going into the 2014 season that if the fielder fails to transfer the ball properly from his glove to his throwing hand, the catch is not a catch, and the runner is safe. The interpretation was referred to as the transfer rule.

This is what it has always said in Section 2 of the Major League Baseball rulebook:

A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.

I don’t understand how you can read the rule and determine that it’s not a catch if you drop the ball while taking it out of your glove. The two events, the catch and the subsequent throw, are independent of one another. The Baltimore Orioles lost a game against the Boston Red Sox because of this stupid interpretation. I’m sure other teams were robbed because of it too.

The transfer rule was stupid. I’m glad to see that they killed it.

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for having pine tar on his neck

New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was thrown out of last night’s game against the Boston Red Sox for having an illegal substance on his neck. It is believed that the illegal substance was pine tar.

Pine tar allows a pitcher to get a better grip on the ball. Grip is good. Baseball being baseball, hitters are allowed to use pine tar, pitchers are not. With that said, it’s kind of an unwritten rule that nothing will be said about a pitcher using pine tar when it’s cold, as long as they aren’t being obvious about using it. In cold weather, it’s harder to grip the ball. Pineda’s problem last night was that it wasn’t cold and he was being very obvious about it. He had it right on his neck for the world to see. Red Sox manager John Farrell asked the umpire to check Pineda’s neck and the rest was history.

The Red Sox went on to win the game 5-1.

As fate would have it, last night’s game was televised nationally on ESPN. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone from the four-letter network alerted the Red Sox about the pine tar on Pineda’s neck, knowing that the inspection and subsequent ejection would create lots of drama.

If there’s one thing ESPN likes is drama.

I’m not so sure it was Pineda’s fault. Once I saw a magician pull a quarter out from behind a young girl’s ear. Who was responsible for producing the quarter, the girl? I don’t think so. For all we know, a magician or a wizard could have put the pine tar on Pineda’s neck. I couldn’t help but notice that although the umpiring crew checked Pineda for foreign substances, they didn’t check the stands for wizards or magicians.

I guess we’ll never know.