However, lately the rivalry has felt watered down and almost gone. Between the friendliness of certain players and lack of intensity from the managers, the rivalry has struggled. Players like David Ortiz, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Dustin Pedroia have friendships that hinder the rivalry from being what it could be.
It wasn't too long ago that Pedro Martinez was throwing Don Zimmer on the ground or Alex Rodriguez was involved in a brawl with Jason Varitek. However, that feels like a century ago because of the lack of tension lately in the rivalry.
The Red Sox made a big change this offseason and their new manager is Bobby Valentine. Valentine is a completely different type of manager than Terry Francona; he is not afraid to say whatever is on his mind.
Valentine has already tried to ruffle the feathers of the Yankees by saying that Jeter was out of position on the famous "flip play." He also stated that Jason Varitek was “able to beat up Alex [Rodriguez]” in a brawl in 2004 (via NY Daily News).
While the Yankees have remained poised so far, I imagine they are a little bothered by his statements. There will be plenty of more times that Valentine puts his foot in his mouth. The more he does, the more Yankees fans should get excited.
Joe Girardi may appear calm and relaxed, but he does have a temper. Valentine will continue to trash talk and it could get under the skin of the Yankees players and Girardi.
He could single-handedly raise the intensity in the rivalry. Yankees fans could be in store for the Yankees, Red Sox rivalry to be as good as ever. There is potential for some bean balls and brawls.
For those Yankees fans that have been missing the classic Red Sox vs. Yankees rivalry, expect it to be resurrected.
And Bobby Valentine is the one to thank.