11.07.11

Yogi Berra, Still The Dean Of HOF Catchers-Turned-Film Critics

Posted in Baseball, Cinema at 3:07 pm by

Short of taking Ricky Luanda to a screening of “Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning”, I can think of no excursion with greater potential for insight than dragging Yogi Berra to the film adaptation of Michael Lewis’ “Moneyball”. The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay ignores most rules about talking (or note-taking) in movie theatres ;

Throughout the film, Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane argues with his old-school scouts. The disagreements over players grow intense. Berra, who managed the Yankees and Mets and coached for the Houston Astros, once sat in similar scouting conclaves.

“You remember those things?” Carmen Berra asks her husband.

“Yeah,” Yogi says, chuckling.

Berra’s only issue with “Moneyball” is its rendering of manager Art Howe, who is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and comes off as stubborn to the new-statistics approach. Yogi coached with Howe in Houston.

“Art’s a good guy,” he says. “And I never saw him that fat. He’s thin.”

Yogi once hosted two separate, similarly-titled movie shows, one called “Yogi at the Movies,” and the other “Yogi and a Movie.” The first ran when Berra coached in Houston. He’d introduce films and somebody off-camera would ask questions: “Yogi, were you scared during “Fatal Attraction”?

“I wasn’t scared—just during the scary parts.”

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