I look at the Yankees differently than most people here in Boston. There were a lot of people in that organization who were extremely helpful in getting me to the big leagues and establishing my career. There are a lot of good guys in that organization whom I really respect.

I still want to beat them, of course, like everybody else here in Boston, but because there are so many people there who I do have strong and special feelings for, the rivalry is a little different to me. There are people in the Yankees' organization who went out of their way to help me.

I played for the Yankees in 1998 as a rookie. While I only played eight games with New York, I'd been drafted by the organization in '95. I was traded to Florida in 1999 and I've played here in Boston the last two years. But even though I last wore pinstripes nine years ago, it doesn't seem that long ago to me.

It's fun being in a competitive rivalry with the Yankees, but I certainly don't harbor any ill feelings towards the organization. It's fun being in a division race with them.

Most players at least say they don't pay much attention, but I'm a big scoreboard watcher. I've always been a scoreboard watcher. I scoreboard watch in April. It's not like I need to know what the Yankees are doing at every moment, in fact I don't even necessarily check them first. I just like knowing what's going on in baseball because I'm a fan of baseball. I'm interested in all of the division races.

All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell and the rest of his Red Sox face the Yankees six more times this season. Lowell, originally selected by New York in the 1995 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida International University, made his Major League debut with the Yankees on Sept. 13, 1998.