Derek Jeter: Red Sox Fans ‘Have Softened Up’ Since Winning World Series

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Boston Red Sox fans always are going to hate the New York Yankees. But it’s no secret that the rivalry nowadays isn’t quite as heated as it was, say, a decade ago.

Derek Jeter, a target of Sox fans’ hatred throughout his incredible career, discussed that shift Tuesday night during an appearance on the “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

“The Boston fans, let me tell you what,” the former Yankees shortstop said to Meyers, an unabashed Red Sox fan. “You always meet people time to time, and they always say, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m a Boston fan.’ I really — I don’t care if you’re a Boston fan. We’re not at the stadium. Just don’t yell at me at restaurants.

“But it doesn’t happen any more. You guys have really — I can say this now because I’m retired — the Boston fans have softened up since you guys have won. And it pains me to say but I’m almost … I won’t say it. I’m not happy you won, but you treat me a lot better since you have.”

The ending of a 86-year World Series definitely triggered a change in mindset among Red Sox fans, but it’s not the only reason the Sox-Yanks rivalry had lost its luster in recent years.

The simple fact is that the archrivals don’t play nearly as many important games against one another as they did early in Jeter’s career. New York and Boston no longer are annual mortal locks to finish 1-2 in the American League East, and after meeting in the playoffs three times between 1999 and 2004, they’ve now gone more than a decade without a postseason matchup.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter

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