There was a time not too long ago when the New York Yankees would fear for their lives when they came into Boston.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t that serious.
But go back to the early 2000s and the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees was about as heated as could be.
On one side was the Evil Empire: George Steinbrenner, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens,etc. On the other was the Red Sox: Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, etc.
Those were the days.
Then the Red Sox came back from three games down in the 2004 ALCS, beat the Yankees, and went on to win the World Series. Then they won the World Series again in 2007. And again in 2013.
All that winning changed the narrative around here. The frustration and anger of years of disappointment was replaced by joy.
Welcome to Friendly Fenway.
Suddenly, players like Jeter could come to town and even go out to dinner without being heckled by diehard Sox fans.
On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Jeter told Meyers -- a Red Sox fan -- about how Sox fans have gone soft since their team started winning.
“It doesn’t happen anymore,” he said about being heckled outside Fenway. “I can say this now because I’m retired. Boston fans have softened up since you guys have won. It pains me to say it, but . . . I won’t say it. I’m not happy you won. But you treat me a lot better since you won.”