"O.K.," said Berra.
They went on the air. "I'm here tonight with Yogi Berra," said the host, "and we're going to play free association. I'm going to mention a name, and Yogi's just going to say the first thing that comes to mind. O.K., Yogi?"
"All right, here we go then. Mickey Mantle."
"What about him?" said Berra.
Self-control entails avoiding statements that cause unnecessary to-do. Berra is very careful about that. Ask him how he's going to differ from Martin as manager, and he says, "I don't get into that."
But self-control isn't the same as self-editing. Two years ago in Florida, Vernon played with Yogi in a scramble golf tournament (in which all players in a group tee off but thereafter play only the best of the balls). Berra hit a nice drive up the middle. Vernon followed with an almost identical shot. Vernon's drive was a bit better. But Berra lingered next to the ball he'd hit so well. "If I was playing alone," he said wistfully, "I'd play mine."
Most people would have stopped themselves before they said that. They would have had the same feeling, but they would have reflected, "I'm not playing alone, though, so...." Then they would have sorted out all the contradictions in their feelings and said either nothing or something less memorable than what Berra said. Berra reacts more quickly and on two planes of possibility at once.
The posture must be steady and pleasant.
Berra thinks home plate is his room.