New York Yankees first-round draft pick Ian Clarkin grew up idolizing former Arizona Diamondbacks star Luis Gonzalez. As you may know, Gonzalez was the guy who came up with that huge RBI single in Game 7 that helped Arizona defeat New York in the 2001 World Series. Clarkin loved every second of it.
Before the MLB Draft on Thursday, the left-handed pitcher talked about what his reaction was when Gonzalez had that huge bloop single.
“I cannot stand the Yankees, so I was actually in tears because I was so happy,” Clarkin said during a pre-draft feature.
Talk about irony. Clarkin, who handled himself well and by all indications seemed to be a good kid, looked legitimately frightened when he was reminded that he made that comment publicly.
“Ohhh my gosh,” he said, looking wide-eyed.
This is not uncommon. Most professional baseball players grow up as regular kids who have favorite players and teams, just like the rest of us. It’s not hard to instantly love a team that you used to hate when they take you with the 33rd pick in the draft and provide you with a jumping off point to fulfill your dreams.
“Now I do love them, and my dad’s going to have to learn to love them, too,” Clarkin later told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “They’re the most historic organization, and I am looking forward to it. There’s proof in the pudding, and I’m excited for it.”
David Price made a similar comment about the Yankees earlier this year when talking about his impending free agency, and he’s already an MLB pitcher. Clarkin will quickly be forgiven, if he hasn’t been already.
Fist pound to Big League Stew