Baseball

Before I die, I just might come to enjoy this sport despite what happens on the field for nine boring innings at a time.


“It’s like I’m the valet,” said Ron Guidry, known around the Yankees as Gator for his Louisiana roots. “Actually, I am the valet.” 
When Berra arrived on Tuesday afternoon from New Jersey for his three-to four-week stay, Guidry, as always, was waiting for him at Tampa International Airport. Since Berra forgave George Steinbrenner in 1999 for firing him as the manager in 1985 through a subordinate and ended a 14-year boycott of the team, Guidry has been his faithful friend and loyal shepherd. 
Guidry had a custom-made cap to certify his proud standing. The inscription reads, “Driving Mr. Yogi.”
Nice. 
“See, I really love the old man, but because of what we share — which is something very special — I can treat him more as a friend and I can say, ‘Get your butt in my truck or you’re staying,’ ” Guidry said. “He likes that kind of camaraderie, wants to be treated like everybody else, but because of who he is, that’s not how everybody around here treats him. 
“So I’ll say, ‘Yogi, tonight we’re going to Fleming’s, then to Lee Roy Selmon’s tomorrow, and then the night after that you stay in your damn room, have a ham sandwich or whatever, because the world doesn’t revolve around you and I’m taking a night off.”

“I mean, the only time we’re really not together is when he’s asleep,” Guidry said. “But you can’t get him out of there because that’s how it’s been. You can’t change him. When he does it one day, it’s going to be that way for the next 1,000 days.” 
Berra was 73 when he rejoined the Yankees family, but his rigid need for routines had little to do with his age, Carmen Berra said. 
“That’s always been Yogi,” she said. “If the doctor tells him to take a pill at 9 a.m., the bottle is open at 5 of 9.”
I love this guy.
Every spring, Guidry brings from his home in Lafayette, La., about 200 frog legs and a flour mix to fry them. One day, he took a batch to the clubhouse to share with the former pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, turned to Berra and said, “Try these.”
Berra shook his head, as if Guidry were offering him tofu.
(TOFU!)
Guidry told him, “You don’t try it, we’re not going out to supper tonight.”
(SUPPER!!)
Berra relented, and soon a dinner of frog legs, green beans wrapped in bacon and a sweet potato at Guidry’s apartment — usually timed to a weekend of N.C.A.A.basketball tournament games — became as much a rite of spring as pitchers and catchers.


(BACON-WRAPPED GREEN BEANS!!!)