Welcome to New York, Kevin Youkilis.
Youkilis, who spent more than eight years with the Yankees' archrival Boston Red Sox before being traded to the Chicago White Sox in the middle of last season, told reporters, "I'll always be a Red Sock."
That comment made back-page headlines in New York tabloids and was a major topic of conversation on local sports-talk radio. Youkilis addressed the situation Friday in a lighthearted session with reporters, saying he first found out how big a deal it was when he logged on to the Internet that night.
"I went on and was like, 'Oh my God, this is a headline?'" said Youkilis, who won two World Series with the Red Sox.
Joking that he must have gotten soft while in Chicago, Youkilis says he now realizes "I gotta watch my mouth here."
Youkilis explained that he was trying to discuss his career as a whole in that he will be remembered as a member of the Red Sox, White Sox and now the Yankees.
"It wasn't meant to be like how some people are perceiving it," he said. "It was just basically explaining that's my past and the history of who I am."
He added: If you read it as 'I'm always a Red Sock,' it looks bad, but it's not that way. I'm a Yankee today, I'm excited, I'm proud to be a Yankee."