NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has lost a little bit of its intensity over the past couple of years. But now that they are battling for the division lead again, it’s starting to heat up.

This year’s version of the rivalry isn’t filled with animosity, but more of a renewal of pleasantries.

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CBS2’s Steve Overmyer asked one Yankees fan who was spotted outside Yankee Stadium on Friday with some friends who were pulling for the Red Sox how their relationship works.

yankees-red sox

The Yankees’ Aaron Judge is tagged out by the Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts while trying to steal on July 15, 2017, at Fenway Park in Boston. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

“Nowadays it seems like there’s not a lot of tolerance for things, so if we can be tolerant of each other, we feel like we can be tolerant of everyone,” the fan joked.

The series has given us big characters and memorable battles, and it has inspired fans from across the nation.

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Die-hard Yankees fans Rocky Davenport and Steve Hodge traveled from Tennessee for Friday’s game.

How did they become fans?

“Just Mickey Mantle,” Davenport said.

“Fathers grew up, Mickey Mantle, and it just trickled down from there,” Hodge said.

The Red Sox bring an eight-game winning streak to Yankee Stadium, and the Yanks are trailing Boston by 4½ games for the AL East lead.

“These are extremely important games” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “And again, we’re within our division, and we’re chasing the Red Sox, and we need to make up ground to win our division. So these are important.”

When asked what his feeling was heading into the three-game series, Ryan Miguel, a Yankees fan from Danbury, Connecticut, said: “It’s definitely game-changing. Obviously, we could lose two out of three and probably fall all the way out of it and we’re looking at a wild card guaranteed.

“It would stink,” he added.

Overmyer asked Davenport and Hodge if they might pick up a New York accent while they were in town.

“There’s no possible way that’ll ever happen,” Davenport said. “I’m 59 years old, buddy. It’s not going to happen.”

The Yankees and Red Sox will square off in 10 of their next 24 outings.

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