Whether it’s nostalgia or the changing of the guard in Major League Baseball, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry has felt different in recent years.

FOX Sports’ Jake Mintz wanted to examine if and why things seemed to have “mellowed” between the Boston and New York clubs in a feature released Thursday.

MLB’s balanced schedule means the sides will play five fewer games against each other than they normally would. The Red Sox and Yankees begin a three-game series at Yankee Stadium this weekend that likely will play pending air quality conditions. And there might be a simple explanation as to why tensions have decreased over the years.

“It doesn’t feel like what we have with Tampa now, or with Toronto now,” Nestor Cortes told FOX Sports. “You could argue that (the Red Sox) haven’t been who they really are the last couple years.”

Story continues below advertisement

While the Rays and Blue Jays have achieved success in recent years, Boston fans might not like Cortes’ assessment of the Red Sox. But the All-Star pitcher and others certainly could make the case that the Red Sox “haven’t been who they really are.” Since winning the World Series in 2018, Boston has made the playoffs in one of the last five seasons, although the Red Sox did make it to the American League Championship Series in 2021.

While it is a far cry from Boston’s success in the past, fans also could argue the Yankees haven’t held up their end of the bargain either. New York consistently makes the postseason, but it has not won the World Series since 2009.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

But Cortes wasn’t the only Yankees pitcher to play down the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

“I can’t speak to the hatred 15, 20 years ago, but I would say there’s not much of that now,” Gerrit Cole, who is scheduled to pitch Friday, told FOX Sports. “We want to beat them just as badly as we want to beat Baltimore. And even though it is more unique in the sense of the history, I’m not sure how much we carry that baggage with us.”

Story continues below advertisement

Christian Arroyo pointed out how he was not going to hate players like Franchy Cordero or Jake Bauer because they are on the Yankees, and Aaron Boone believes there’s a healthy respect between the sides.

However, the players acknowledged the rivalry still lives on with the fans.

“It comes from the stands, man,” Arroyo told FOX Sports. “You get out at Yankee Stadium and those fans are on you.”

Fans have done their part, and as long as the players go out there with the fire to win the game, perhaps physical confrontations or brawls — the last of which happened in 2018 with Joe Kelly and Tyler Austin — are not necessary to prove that there still is a rivalry.

Story continues below advertisement

Featured image via John Jones/USA TODAY Sports Images