Rivera voices respect for Red Sox

Mariano Rivera confirmed today that the Red Sox were interested in him before he signed a two-year, $30 million deal with the Yankees.

“They were interested. I really appreciate that,” he said during an appearance in Westchester County, N.Y. “I know there was interest and I respect that. I respect the organization and the front office of the Red Sox.

“It was respect. The rivalry we have against each other and the tremendous organization. Just take it in consideration and the Yankees did what they were supposed to do and that’s the end of that.”

It’s not clear whether the Red Sox truly had designs on signing Rivera or were trying to cloud the waters for the Yankees. Either way, it’s a shot across the bow of Jonathan Papelbon and maybe that’s not such a bad thing after his sub-standard 2010 performance.

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