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"He's masculine," says Carmen of Yogi. "Very strong. Physically and mentally, or I should say psychologically. I think he's very sexy."
Yogi smiles. He doesn't look surprised.
"But he's stubborn. Very stubborn. About everything. I don't even think he's Italian. I think he's German. He's Milanese, from the north of Italy. They're very clipped. Very strong. They have a lot of German in them."
Feldmarschall Steinbrenner, please note.
Man suffers for one reason: Man loses his innocence. When you lose your innocence, you end up with dispute. To regain innocence so that universal consciousness will serve and maintain you is the idea of this yoga.
How can you say this and that when this and that hasn't happened yet?
Berra won't speculate as to how long he'll last as Yankee manager, except jokingly: "You better get this story out pretty soon." It should be remembered that in 1949 when the Yankees hired Stengel, who lasted as manager for 12 years and 10 pennants, some of the same things were said about him as are said about Berra now: that he was good for public relations, a funny guy, but not really a serious field leader. When Stengel was a player, they said the same thing about him that they said about Berra later: that he wasn't built like a ballplayer.
Stengel used to say of Yogi, "This is Mr. Berra, which is my assistant manager." He also said the Yankees would fall apart without Berra behind the plate, and that Berra was the best player he ever had, except for Joe DiMaggio. Such distinctly ungushy baseball men as Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and Paul Richards all said Berra was an exceptionally smart player. His managing moves have been questioned in the past, but so have those of every other manager. No one accuses him of not knowing the game.
At the very least, Berra is a link with the old, proud Yankee days. The clubhouse today is full of players whom Steinbrenner acquired for big money after they became established and whom fans tend to think of more as former Reds, Padres and Twins than as Yankees. The team used to be a symbol of permanence. Under Steinbrenner, Yankees have come and gone and been shifted from position to position. Now that the pinstripes are doubleknits, the team lacks real fabric.
Will Berra produce cohesion? "He knows players," says Smalley. "He's made it clear to each guy what's expected. A team takes on the personality of its manager. And Yogi is comfortable."