BOSTON -- Why ease in to the rivalry. Or for that matter, why ease out of it?

In 2010, the Red Sox will start and finish their regular season at Fenway Park against -- yep -- the New York Yankees. Major League Baseball released its entire schedule for next season on Tuesday, and the bookend rivalry showdowns stand out.

This will be the first time the Red Sox have started their season against the Yankees since 2005, when the clubs opened in the Bronx.

Fenway will open its gates for 2010 on April 5. The rivals then have a built-in day off the following day, just in case there are weather issues on Opening Day. The three-game series continues on April 7-8. This will mark the second year in a row the Red Sox have opened at home after going six years without a home opener.

The Fenway faithful won't have much time to get used to the 2010 Sox, as they hit the road right after that Opening Series.

Following three games in Kansas City, the Red Sox will travel to Minneapolis and be participants in the grand opening of Target Field for a three-game series that starts on April 12.

The Red Sox will open their slate of Interleague Play for a three-game series in Philadelphia, beginning May 21. The Phillies will also visit Fenway from June 11-13.

Starting off with a bang
The Yankees and Red Sox have faced each other 29 times on Opening Day, with New York holding an 18-10-1 lead.
Date
Location
Winner
Score
4/3/2005NYYNYY9-2
4/7/1992NYYNYY4-3
4/8/1985BOSBOS9-2
4/6/1973BOSBOS15-5
4/6/1971BOSBOS3-1
4/7/1970NYYBOS4-3
4/16/1964NYYBOS4-3
4/19/1960BOSNYY8-4
4/12/1959NYYNYY3-2
4/15/1958BOSNYY3-0
4/17/1951NYYNYY5-0
4/18/1950BOSNYY15-10
4/17/1945NYYNYY8-4
4/18/1944BOSNYY3-0
4/20/1939NYYNYY2-0
4/18/1938BOSBOS8-4
4/16/1935NYYBOS1-0
4/13/1933NYYNYY4-3
4/14/1931NYYNYY6-3
4/18/1929NYYNYY7-3
4/13/1926BOSNYY12-11
4/15/1924BOSNYY2-1
4/18/1923NYYNYY4-1
4/23/1919NYYBOS10-0
4/11/1917NYYBOS10-3
4/11/1912NYYBOS5-3
4/14/1910NYYTIE4-4
4/14/1906NYYNYY2-1
4/14/1904NYYNYY8-2

However, the National League West is the division the Red Sox will see the most of during Interleague Play. The Red Sox will host the D-backs (June 15-17) and Dodgers (June 18-20).

This will be the first appearance at Fenway for the Dodgers since 2004. It will be a particularly intriguing matchup if Manny Ramirez is still with the Dodgers. The star slugger hasn't been back to Fenway since his unceremonious exit from the team on July 31, 2008. It will also mark the return to Boston for Dodgers manager Joe Torre, a fixture in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry throughout his tenure (1996-2007) in New York.

The Red Sox will head West to get an additional taste of life in the NL when they face the Rockies (June 22-24) and Giants (June 25-27). The last time the Red Sox were in Denver, they clinched the 2007 World Series. Boston last played in San Francisco in 2004.

Coast-to-coast travel will be a semi-regular occurrence for the 2010 Sox. There is an Oakland-Seattle-Anaheim journey that goes from July 19-28. And an Oakland-Seattle trip from Sept. 10-15.

The Red Sox don't travel to Chicago until a four-game series from Sept. 27-30 against the White Sox.

Boston will have three showdowns at Yankee Stadium in 2010. The first visit to New York will be a short one, as the teams play a two-game series May 17-18. But there will be a four-game set in the Bronx from Aug. 6-9. Boston's last road series with the Yankees could be pivotal, given that it will be played from Sept. 24-26. The teams close out the season with three games at Fenway (Oct. 1-3).