"Ohhhh, my gosh."
That was the reaction of left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin, a first-round pick of the New York Yankees on Thursday, after one of his childhood idols, Luis Gonzalez of the Arizona Diamondbacks, reminded him of what Clarkin had said about the Yankees before the draft:
After Gonzalez won the 2001 World Series for Arizona, beating the Yankees with a famous (or infamous) RBI single in Game 7, Clarkin described himself like this in a pre-draft video:
"I was actually in tears, because I cannot stand the Yankees."
Off the cuff. Freudian slip. Exuberance of youth. And then the Yankees went and took Clarkin with the 33rd overall pick, last in the first round.
Hey, how you like the Yankees now, Ian?!
Hey, it's not like baseball fans hold silly grudges! (Might he be a Red Sox double agent? Nah!) No matter, Clarkin can stand the Yankees just fine now, and has reverted to saying all of the right things. But the look on his face was precious when Gonzalez reminded Clarkin of his words:
"Oh, no, what did I do?"
Now, words like those might come back to haunt any 18-year-old at some point. Even if another team had drafted Clarkin, him saying "I cannot stand the Yankees" might have been used against him, somehow at some point, leading up to that first major league start against them (if he ever makes one). It obviously didn't bother the Yankees (presuming they knew about it) that they didn't pick him. They might even like his honesty, which they'll (figuratively) beat out of him in rigorous media training sessions.
And more of the world than usual probably was rooting for the Yankees during that World Series because of post-9/11 New York City. Should anyone mind a free-thinking little boy's opinion? (Or maybe his anti-Yankee feelings came from his dad. OK, should anyone mind a little boy honoring his father?)
A famous New Yorker (or New Jerseyan) once sang about regrets: "I've had a few, but in the end, too few to mention."
This has to be one of the funnier regrets ever expressed. And it's a lesson to youngsters out there: The NSA records everything, so watch out.