Bucky Dent Claims Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Not As Intense As It Used to Be


Aug 5, 2010

When the a potential trade that would have sent Mike Lowell from the Red Sox to the Yankees prior to the July 31 trade deadline nearly took place, it was a sign that the rivalry is much different than it used to be.

Sure, the Red Sox and Yankees may still make up the best rivalry in sports, but the idea of a former World Series MVP for the Red Sox wearing pinstripes is shocking. After all, the two teams haven’t traded with each other since 1997, when the Red Sox sent Mike Stanley to the Bronx with minor leaguer Randy Brown for Tony Armas and a player to be named later (which turned out to be Jim Mecir).

In fact, former Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent, an infamous member of the bitter rivalry, feels as though the rivalry has lost something over the years.

"I don’t think this [Yankees-Red Sox rivalry] is as intense as it was back then," Dent told ESPN.com. "Those teams [in Dent’s era] really didn’t like each other."

Dent reportedly feels as though players are too cordial today to build bitter rivalries. He noted Johnny Damon's and Roger Clemens' crossover from the Red Sox to the Yankees as evidence. He feels as though players would never go from one side of the rivalry to the other during his tenure in pinstripes.

Bent said that because players change teams so frequently, it is impossible for them to develop the type of hatred that his era — the 1970s and early 1980s — saw.

The Red Sox and Yankees have, of course, had their fair share of heated moments since Dent’s days, including the Pedro MartinezDon Zimmer altercation in 2003 and the Jason VaritekAlex Rodriguez melee in 2004. But certainly, when the idea of Lowell going to New York was even on the table, it certainly shows a bit of change on the part of the two organizations.

The rivalry is undoubtedly still intense and still one of the best that sports has to offer, but maybe it has lost a little something since the Red Sox finally captured that elusive World Series ring in 2004. Bucky Dent certainly seems to think so.

But then again, most of Red Sox Nation probably couldn’t care less what that heartbreaker says. With 1978 still fresh in the minds of plenty of Red Sox fans, many would would beg to differ with Dent’s sentiments.

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