Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia knows a thing or two about playing against Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees.

“You have to elevate your game to beat (the Yankees),” Pedroia said Friday on “Red Sox First Pitch.” “And you know coming in to every game that you play against the Yankees that you have to go through their best player to beat them and (Jeter’s) going to give everything he has to try to stop that.”

Pedroia was thrust into the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry in 2006, but even he admitted that it’s hard not to respect the Yankees shortstop.

“I remember the first time I came up and played against the Yankees … your first thing is to just hate the Yankees,” Pedroia said. “And then I got on second base, and I talked to him a little bit and I’m like, ‘Man, it’s kind of tough to hate this guy.'”

Hear more from Pedroia in the video above.

Thumbnail image via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images