Thorne on Tor­res’ home-run binge: ‘It’s in­de­scrib­able to me’

Broad­caster’s ex­as­per­ated re­ac­tions light up in­ter­net

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Jon Me­oli

NEW YORK — MASN broad­caster Gary Thorne stays off Twit­ter, but his re­ac­tions to New York Yan­kees star Gley­ber Tor­res’ record-set­ting power dis­play against the Ori­oles this year left the in­ter­net alight Mon­day night.

How did he know the world was pay­ing at­ten­tion? A visit from his coun­ter­parts in the Yan­kees broad­cast booth Mon­day made it clear his ex­as­per­a­tion at Tor­res’ 13 home runs against the Ori­oles this year was be­ing seen by more than just a lo­cal au­di­ence.

“I was aware tonight, be­cause when he hit the sec­ond home run, Paul O’Neill came run­ning into the tele­vi­sion booth from his booth next door to tap me on the back and give me a lit­tle hug,” Thorne said. “[He said], ‘I know you’re tired of this. I know you’re so tired of see­ing this.’ ’’

That hap­pened on No. 13, be­cause on No. 12, Thorne gave an ex­as­per­ated pause as he de­clared the ball bound for the Ori­oles’ bullpen.

It’s well-prac­ticed when it comes to Tor­res, as the Yan­kees’ late-May visit to Cam­den Yards brought about sim­i­lar re­ac­tions from Thorne and got some at­ten­tion

on­line.

Mostly, he’s come across as amazed that the Ori­oles keep pitch­ing to him, and that a player can do this to one spe­cific op­po­nent at a level that he has.

“What­ever I’ve said in these games is just what’s come out be­cause of what I’m feel­ing in the mo­ment, be­cause it’s so un­be­liev­able,” Thorne said. “If you didn’t see it and some­body told you that a guy was hav­ing this kind of a year against a club, you’d just go, ‘No, that can’t hap­pen.’ With Tor­res, it just seems to be au­to­matic.

“As a fan of base­ball, I’m just — it’s in­de­scrib­able to me. That’s kind of the way you talk about it on the air.”

That, essen­tially, was how Thorne re­acted to No. 13.

“You’ve got to be kid­ding me!” he shouted, be­fore pro­claim­ing on the broad­cast: “You’ve got to put four fin­gers up when Tor­res comes to the plate, be­cause when he comes around third it’s too late.”

When O’Neill came into the broad­cast booth, Thorne’s re­ac­tion got as much screen-time as Tor­res round­ing the bases on the Yan­kees broad­cast. Thorne, once the long­time voice of the New York Mets, still has quite a fol­low­ing in New York, which makes the fact that it’s a Yan­kee who is so tor­tur­ing a fa­mil­iar voice land a lit­tle more with the lo­cal fans.

“I’ve al­ways been like this,” Thorne said. “It’s what I feel in the mo­ment. It’s not against the Ori­oles, ob­vi­ously. It’s just rec­og­niz­ing some­thing that’s hap­pen­ing as a fan in the game. It’s re­ally phe­nom­e­nal.”

He did al­low for one mo­ment of cel­e­bra­tion, though. With two on and two out in the eighth in­ning, Ori­oles man­ager Bran­don Hyde pro­claimed that he’d “kind of had enough” and au­to­mat­i­cally walked Tor­res in an 11-6 game to load the bases for Brett Gard­ner.

Gard­ner grounded out, much to the de­light of the Ori­oles, who tried to mount a ninth-in­ning come­back. Thorne’s vic­tory came in not pitch­ing to Tor­res any­more.

Said Thorne: “I put my fists up in the air and said, ‘Yes! Put him on!’ ”

GENE SWEENEY JR./BAL­TI­MORE SUN 2007

Gary Thorne made his dis­plea­sure about the Ori­oles’ pitch­ing to New York’s Gley­ber Tor­res plain on the air on Mon­day. “You’ve got to be kid­ding me!” Thorne shouted.

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