I want to hate him so much, but he makes it hard. Via The Players Tribune:
Our rivalry with the Yankees made me who I am. The intensity of that competition is what I’m gonna miss the most when I’m done. I could wake up in the morning and my body could be feeling like shit, but as soon as the bus pulls up to Yankee Stadium and I see that white fence on the upper deck, I’m like,It’s on.
Me, Manny and Pedro used to sit in the dugout watching the Yankees’ pitchers warming up, and we’d say to each other, “Alright, how we gonna take these mother******* down today?”
Every time me or Manny stepped to the plate, it was a psychological battle. With guys like Pettitte and Mussina, we lived off their mistakes. That’s what we were hunting. If those guys missed and left something over the plate and we didn’t make them pay, it was like somebody stole your child.
If Mussina hung a breaking ball and I didn’t hurt him, I would think about it for days.
When those series were over, you would be exhausted — mentally, physically, emotionally, everything.
Playing against the Yankees was just different. It was war.
I highly recommend you read the whole thing.