Yankees radio announcer John Sterling gave no indication on Friday that he will change his much-maligned home run call for Giancarlo Stanton, saying on WFAN’s “The Afternoon Drive,” “This is so different, I kind of like it.”
Sterling got to use his tribute to Stanton twice in Thursday’s opener, using an Italian phrase he had been planning all winter, that translates roughly to “Giancarlo, you cannot stop it.”
“I’m certainly aware of all the attention that the call has gotten,” Sterling told WFAN from Toronto before the Yankees faced the Blue Jays again. “I didn’t know there was any controversy. I don’t know how there can be any controversy on a play on words for a home run call. But anyway, I’m really happy about all the attention, I guess.”
Sterling said he called up Berlitz and spoke to an expert on Italian, a woman named Linda. He said he was looking for an Italian phrase to rhyme with Stanton’s first name, even though he is not of Italian descent.
The result was “Giancarlo, non si puo stoparlo!”
“I thought, ‘Gee, that’s great,’” he said. “I have an Italian girlfriend, who also came up with ‘fermarlo,’ which means the same thing. I think it means ‘you can’t be stopped’ or ‘it can’t be stopped.’ It’s so different, and let’s face it, I’m so different, that I thought, ‘Hey, this sounds OK.’”
Some Italian speakers insisted “stoparlo” is not a word. On Stanton’s second home run, Sterling used “fermarlo.”
“The gave me two options, and he hit a second home run, so I went to the second option,” Sterling said.
Sterling again insisted he was baffled all the talk about his Stanton call. “I can’t believe we’re talking about this in seriousness,” he said. “I’m very happy about the interest in it, and I don’t mind if people don’t like it. Like most people, I have very strong likes and dislikes myself.”