There has been some discussion lately about which Sox players are most hated and which ones are more tolerable from a Yankees fan perspective, and I thought it deserved it's own post and analysis.
We'll start with the most hated members of the Red Sox. Papelbon and Beckett. Papelbon is an arrogant piece who infuriated Yankees fans by suggesting he should close the 2008 all-star game, played in Yankee Stadium, instead of Mo. He also enjoys punching children and talking down to others. This guys is such an awful human being that even Sox fans can't stand him as a person, even as they admire what he does from the mound. Beckett is also arrogant, and has about as much class as your local crack house. I think Yankees fans, despite having less love for Papelbon, react more strongly to Beckett. This is largely due to the fact that when we face Beckett, we have to put up with his antics (Oh $#!%, I'm talking like Dallas Braden) for multiple innings at a time. Also, while our hatred for Papelbon, I think, runs deeper, it gets tempered by genuine respect for what he does on the diamond. More often than not, Papelbon, I hate to say it, dominates. Beckett does not have the same level of success against us that Pap does, so the ill will towards him is not tempered by anything except more ill will.
Now, Youkilis falls into a strange middle category. Yankees fans hate this guy, but they have no reason to. Be honest, besides being horribly uneasy on the eyes, what has this guy ever done? Get thrown at by Joba? How dare he! Youkilis is actually a likable player: he's a good hitter, plays hard, doesn't run his mouth, and has a healthy level of respect for Jeter's gangster. But we hate him anyway. Maybe it's the batting stance.
Then there are the guys we like but don't admit it. Ortiz and Pedroia readily come to mind. Ortiz has killed us in the past and we all hate him for that. But his personality has won us over. We respect him as a worthy opponent and like him as a person. Pedroia definitely has a bit of arrogance about him, but it's different. It's not like Pap or Beckett. They're douches. Pedroia, on the other hand, is a Masshole. This is a person who carries himself with a strange mixture of self-effacing arrogance. He's cocky, but he doesn't take himself too seriously. The perfect example is the commercial he did for that video game whose name I can't remember. There Pedroia is, talking himself up as an MVP award winner, but in the context of a commercial that's totally $#!%ing on him. Self-effacing arrogance. Additionally, he too, like Youkilis, has a healthy level of respect for Jeter's gangster.