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After saying he "cannot stand" the New York Yankees in a pre-draft video, Yankees first-round pick Ian Clarkin used his first comments to the New York media to say he was sorry.
"First and foremost, I want to apologize to all the Yankee fans for my comments," Clarkin said.
On Thursday night, immediately after Clarkin was announced as the final pick, No. 33, of the first round, MLB Network rolled a video in which the 18-year-old left-hander said his top baseball moment growing up was watching the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Yankees on Luis Gonzalez's game-winning blooper off Mariano Rivera.
"I cannot stand the Yankees, so I was actually in tears I was so happy," Clarkin said on the nationally televised broadcast.
After the video, during an interview with MLB Network's Sam Ryan, Clarkin said, "Now I do love them, and my dad's going to have to learn to love them, too."
On Friday, Clarkin said his dad is a Pittsburgh Pirates' fan and "not a fan of the Yankees." Clarkin explained it was more a joke toward his mom, who was born in New Jersey and who he said is a die-hard Yankee fan.
"It was taken out of context completely," Clarkin said.
After the pick and comments on Thursday, Clarkin was the only one of the Yankees' three draft picks who were trending on Twitter in New York.
During the call, Clarkin apologized three times for his comments. He was only 6 years old during the 2001 World Series and said he rooted for the Diamondbacks because they were the underdogs. Ever since Gonzalez's blooper, he said it has been a running joke within the family.
For the Yankees, an issue that's more pressing than Clarkin's first-grade rooting interest is whether they'll be able to sign him. Clarkin is thought to have the best curveball of any high schooler in the draft, and he is ranked No. 43 in Keith Law's Top 100 prospects.
Clarkin could choose to stay in his hometown and honor his commitment to the University of San Diego.
"It will just have to come down to life-changing money," Clarkin said. "We are going to have to talk about it over as a family, see what works best for me, see what works best for the family. Hopefully, we'll get the scholarship in the contract also, but it is going to come down to how the money changes our family's lives."