Girardi can relate to Clarkin

SEATTLE -- For all those who were upset by the pre-draft statements of Ian Clarkin, one of the Yankees three first-round draft picks who was caught on tape saying he "hated" the Yankees, consider this: As a kid, Joe Girardi wasn't crazy about them either.

"I was a Cub fan growing up. I think everyone knows that," said Girardi, who grew up in Peoria, Ill. "The Cubs never played the Yankees then so I didn’t know a whole lot about 'em."

Asked if he, in fact, hated the Yankees, Girardi just grinned -- and kept his mouth shut.

Girardi said he spoke to all three of the Yankees' first-round picks -- third baseman Eric Jagielo, center fielder Aaron Judge, and Clarkin, a left-handed pitcher -- by telephone today. And while he would not say whether he had discussed Clarkin's statement with him, he did imply that the 18-year-old from San Diego doesn't hate the Yankees anymore.

"I know he’s very excited to be here," Girardi said. "I spoke with him today and I could tell he’s very excited to be a part of the Yankees and we’ll see what happens."