Originally Posted by fight4ippon
to the op : I think you are hearing an East Coast Dialect. Isn't Joe from Jersey or philly? I forget exactly where but a friend is from ny anytime he says WATER it sounds like WAH-TAH omoplata has the same ending. Watch goodfellas and you will see a resemblance.
Honestly, that's probably how I should have worded my question: is he trying to pronounce the word with its native accent, or is his own native accent just coming out? I hear the East Coast thing come out all the time. Whatever the reason, it's kind of endearing.