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'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for April 5

Read the complete transcript to Monday's show

Guests: Susan Galleymore, George Parnham, Barney Files, Cal Ripken Jr



A mother‘s war story.  Iraq, a hot bed of rebel violence and a major danger zone for U.S. troops. 

So what was a California mom doing in one of the world‘s most frightening places?  She just wanted to see her son.  And wait until you hear what happened when she got there. 

Tonight, the extraordinary tale of a mother‘s journey into the heart of battle. 

Innocent.  She stoned two of her children to death and tried to kill a third, but a jury thinks she shouldn‘t go to jail.  Why was Deanna Laney acquitted while Andrea Yates serves a life term in prison for drowning her children?

Tonight inside two very similar trials with very different outcomes. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not guilty by reason of insanity. 

ANNOUNCER:  Cal Ripken Jr., his talent on the field earned him 19 all-star titles.  But his durability put him in a league of his own. 

And get this.  He holds the record for 2,632 games in a row.  Could you go to work that many consecutive days without a break?

Tonight, the Ironman.  Cal Ripken Jr. 

From Studio 3-k in Rockefeller Center, Deborah Norville. 


DEBORAH NORVILLE, HOST:  And good evening. 

We‘ve all seen that incredibly violent video coming out of Iraq.  Last week it was gruesome pictures of four American security contractors who were killed and mutilated, their bodies dragged through streets of Fallujah. 

Yesterday in the Sadr section of Baghdad, eight U.S. soldiers and at least 52 Iraqis were killed during bloody demonstrations by radical Shiite militiamen. 

Danger lurks in so many places throughout Iraq, you have to wonder what would propel a mother to go to that country on a harrowing journey, simply to try to find her son serving in the U.S. Army?

Susan Galleymore did just that in search of her son, an Army Ranger stationed somewhere near Fallujah.  She traveled from Alameda, California, even after her son warned her of the dangers.  And because of security reasons, he couldn‘t even tell her exactly where he was stationed. 

She joins tonight to us talk about her incredible adventure. 

Ms. Galleymore, I have to ask you, what on earth were you thinking when you headed off to Iraq?

SUSAN GALLEYMORE, VISITED SON SERVING IN IRAQ:  Well, Deborah, I‘m sure that you think very much when your child is in danger.  And my child, I felt as though my child was in danger.  And I wanted to go there and see what was going on. 

I also wanted to hear from Iraqis and Iraqi mothers, to see what was going on for them also. 

NORVILLE:  And when you got there, were you reassured about your son‘s safety?  Since that was your primary motivation for going?

GALLEYMORE:  Well, it wasn‘t exactly my primary.  As I say, I also wanted to interview Iraqi mothers. 

But it took me about six or seven days to actually find my son.  I found him about two days before I left the country.  So we had e-mails back and forth.  And eventually, he let me know the general vicinity that he was in. 

And at that point, I hired a driver, and we drove up and we just started combing the air bases up there.  And I actually found him on the first air base that we went to. 

NORVILLE:  How did you do that?  How did you just start knocking on air station gates to find your son?  This is an incredible odyssey. 

GALLEYMORE:  Well, again, you know, I didn‘t really know exactly where he was.  But I had a general idea.  I knew he was near an airfield.  And so what we did was we just asked Iraqis in the vicinity where is there an airfield here?  And they pointed out the one that was closest to them.  And we just traveled over to it.  It was about 60 miles from Baghdad. 

NORVILLE:  How do people react to you?  Here you are, an American woman without any huge entourage, more or less on your own, wandering the town saying, “I‘m trying to find my son.”  What was the response you received?

GALLEYMORE:  Well, we didn‘t say that I was an American.  We said that I was a French journalist, because we did not want to, you know, sidetrack anything.  I wanted to see my son, not get into, you know, defending American politics or anything.

So people were very happy to give us information.  And, you know, they

·         it just was an amazing series of coincidences. 

Because one of the fellows that we stopped and talked to was an Iraqi lawyer.  And he actually provided other Iraqi workers on the base that my son is on.  So he told us, you know, where to go and how long it would take to us get there.  And we just followed his directions. 

NORVILLE:  When we look at that photograph of you and your son there on the base, he‘s got a big ear-to-ear grin.  But I‘m wondering if he didn‘t look ought and say, “Mom, what on earth are you doing here?”

What did the two of you talk about during the brief time you had together?

GALLEYMORE:  Well, we didn‘t talk about that.  But he did give me—several time he looked at me and kind of shook his head and laughed.  With exactly that sense, you know, “What are you doing here?”

But we talked about just regular things.  And I told him how much we loved him and how concerned we were for his safety and the safety of the other troops. 

And then we just, you know, spent time together.  I had taken over some treats for him and I gave him those.  And then we walk on the base a little bit, and I also climbed up the guard tower.  It was about 30 or 40 feet up off the ground.  And he pointed out where most of the mortars were coming over at night.  The local...

NORVILLE:  I understand when somebody on the base called him and said, “Hey, your mom is here, Nick,” he thought it was a joke? 

GALLEYMORE:  No.  He knew I was coming.  I‘d copied him in the e-mail that I had sent to the public affairs officer on that base.  So he knew I was coming. 

I was just earlier than I said I would be, because it was so—you know, once we found him, he was there. 

But yes, I did tell the young sergeant, “Tell Nick that his—tell Nick that Susan is here.  Don‘t tell him his mom is here.”  And of course the sergeant couldn‘t resist, and he said, “Nick, your mom is here!”

NORVILLE:  Unbelievable.  Tell us a little about what you encountered.  Iraq is an incredibly dangerous place.  And you were very close to one explosion, you mentioned, in the diary that you kept of your adventures. 

GALLEYMORE:  Right.  It was—Every day we were there, there was some adventure like that. 

The day we arrived, there was an unexploded—excuse me.  An improvised explosive device in the road as we came into Baghdad.  The military had closed the road down, and we were detoured around that.  Every day there was something.

And the day we left was the scariest, though, because a bomb exploded into a military convoy.  And we were directly opposite them on the road.  And we could feel the impact on our vehicle. 

And then something rolled into the road in front of us.  And there was no way we could avoid it.  And I just had that feeling of, well, this might be it, you know?  It turned out not to be a bomb.  It was just a piece of debris flying off the convoy. 

But every day there was something. 

NORVILLE:  What was the reaction, if any, officially from the American military to your visit?

GALLEYMORE:  I have never heard from the military.  I—As I say, I sent them an e-mail two days before I went up there.  I gave them my hotel phone number and I said, “Please telephone me or get back to me.  I will be checking e-mail.  Let me know if there‘s any problem with them coming up there.”  And still to this day, I‘ve never heard a response to my e-mail. 

NORVILLE:  But you can understand, a lot of people looking askance at what did you and going not only did you put yourself in harm‘s way, it‘s conceivable that others could have been put in harm‘s way. 

GALLEYMORE:  Well, yes.  And you know, there are a lot of people that are giving me a lot of negative reaction.  And there are a lot of mothers that are saying, “I wish that I could do that.  I wish I had known that civilians could go up there.”  So you know, it‘s a little bit of both. 

NORVILLE:  And what message do you have for parents who are watching whose sons and daughters are serving active duty in Iraq right now?  What have you learned that they would want to know?

GALLEYMORE:  Well, nothing really good news.  No real good news.  It‘s very dangerous up there.  And particularly today, when we‘ve heard on the news that we‘ve surrounded Fallujah.  And we‘re going in there to repress the things that happened last week with those four soldiers dying. 

The Sunni Triangle is very dangerous.  And all I can say is I‘m in touch with a lot of mothers around the country, actually around the world.  And each—I know each of their sons‘ and daughters‘ names.  And I hold those kids in my heart as strongly as I hold my own child. 

And you know, all we can do is wait and try and get our troop out of there. 

NORVILLE:  By the same token, you were also there, as you said, to try to gather information for a book on what Iraqi moms are going through.  What have you learned that Americans ought to know about that?

GALLEYMORE:  Well, on my web site, which is, I had several interviews with Iraqi mothers.  The most traumatizing one was the story of a mother who lost three children and her husband in a random shooting event.  And that‘s, you know—Those thing are not that uncommon, unfortunately. 

So that was a very traumatizing story.  I heard that one on my first day in Iraq.  And you know, I was wondering if I was going to hear that every single day.  But that was the most traumatizing story that I heard. 

NORVILLE:  Ms. Galleymore, I‘m going to ask...

GALLEYMORE:  You know...

NORVILLE:  Go ahead. 

GALLEYMORE:  I was going to say, the other piece of that is, yes, it‘s awful for Iraqis. 

But it is also awful for the troops that are on the back of those Humvees who are shooting, you know, in those kinds of situations.  Because they have a lot of trauma to deal with also. 

NORVILLE:  Everyone, I‘m sure, understands and appreciates it. 

I want to ask you to stand by, because I want to bring into conversation Barry McCaffrey.  He is a retired general, an MSNBC military analyst. 

And General McCaffrey, I can‘t imagine that the military wants a lot of people taking a page out of this woman‘s playbook. 

GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY, U.S. ARMY (RET.):  It is, you know, an enormously complex, violent situation. 

With all due respect, I think this was a foolhardy stunt and more of a political move than a mother visiting her child.  It just makes no sense and, had she been injured, or caught in an ambush, a bunch of soldiers would have had to go out and try and recover her. 

So I think this is nonsensical. 

NORVILLE:  Is there a fear that hearing about Ms. Galleymore‘s success in getting into Iraq and even finding her son, even though he did nothing to assist her in doing that, is going to encourage some other parents to do the same thing?

MCCAFFREY:  Not many of them.  You have to be either stupid or have

enormous bravado or have a political purpose to do this.  I mean, it just -

·         going in there as a contractor or a humanitarian aid worker, that all makes sense.  You understand the risks.  You‘re doing it for a purpose. 

But to go in there as some sort of a tourist notion just is, it‘s inadvisable.  It could place U.S. forces at risk.  And you could get yourself killed. 

NORVILLE:  Ms. Galleymore, I know you want to respond to that. 

GALLEYMORE:  Well, actually it wasn‘t a political ploy.  I think that if you‘re a mother, you know what it‘s like to have your child over there. 

And I was, I felt—my son was in Afghanistan, General, from January to June.  He was supposed to be there—he was extended until September.  And then he came back here.  And he was deployed to Iraq. 

And I didn‘t go to Afghanistan and, had it been a political ploy, I may have done that.  But I did go to Iraq because I felt like I was not getting the news I needed, and I really, really needed to see where my child was. 

And at this point, I have a context in which to have a conversation with my child about where he has been and what he has been doing.  And that to me is the most important thing. 

It also upholds the principles of this country, I believe, that we can talk openly and freely to, you know, whomever we please. 

MCCAFFREY:  Well, I‘m very glad—I‘m very glad you‘re safe.  That‘s all I‘d say to you. 

GALLEYMORE:  Thank you. 

NORVILLE:  General McCaffrey, let me ask you a little more about the situation right now, General, in Iraq.  With the increasing intensity, particularly around the Sunni triangle, the fact that a cordon is being put into place around Fallujah. 

What realistically should we not be surprised to hear in the coming news reports once this is in place?

MCCAFFREY:  Well, it‘s a tough situation.  I mean, fortunately, we had some extremely competent Marine units that will go in there.  They will regain control of Fallujah. 

It won‘t be done with 1,300 Marines.  My guess is it would be 5,000 to 10,000 troops will have to go in there to really clamp the city down to make sure there isn‘t a fight.  We want to deter these people, rather than actually have a shootout.  But they‘ll regain control of Fallujah. 

The tougher situation is probably dealing with the spreading Shia rebellion.  They‘re concerned about the 30 June transfer of authority.  They‘re fighting to make sure they‘re not again falling into the hands of the Sunni.  Last time, 300,000 of them got murdered.  And I think that transfer date is what‘s driving some of the Shia anxiety. 

NORVILLE:  And there‘s still a big question mark as to what the framework for security will be post transfer date.  What do you predict?  Because there are so many different possibilities that are being bandied about. 

MCCAFFREY:  Well, you know, it hasn‘t been thought through adequately.  There is no political consensus among these three groups that have no reason to trust each other. 

The—It reminds me of transferring authority back to the Germans on 1 July 1946, saying, “Good luck with the Nazis.  I‘m sure you all will figure this out.”  I just don‘t see the logic of it.  It‘s not likely to work. 

NORVILLE:  And I‘m going to let the last word go to Susan Galleymore, who took an incredible risk and an amazing journey to Iraq to see her son.  Ms. Galleymore, a final word from you. 

GALLEYMORE:  Well, I‘m not sorry I went.  I‘m very, actually, relieved that I know what my son is doing over there.  But this thing that‘s happening in Fallujah today is very scary for all of us, including and especially the mothers who have kids over there. 

I don‘t know if my son is involved in that or not.  I hope not.  But if he isn‘t, there are other sons and daughters that are.  And I‘m not sure that clamping down is going to work in this case. 

NORVILLE:  Well, we all hope for the best.  Susan Galleymore, thank you for sharing your incredible story with us.  It is truly a fascinating journey you‘ve taken. 

GALLEYMORE:  Thank you.

NORVILLE:  And General Barry McCaffrey, we thank you as well.  Best to you both. 

ANNOUNCER:  Coming up, he hung out on the professional baseball diamond until he was 41.  And that‘s old for any sport.  Tonight, Cal Ripken Jr. on life after baseball. 

But next, she stoned two of her boys to death and tried to kill a third, but a jury says she‘s not to blame.  An eerie reminder of another murder case with a much different outcome when DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT returns. 


NORVILLE:  The evidence was clear-cut.  A mother admits that she viciously stoned to death two of her sons and left a third maimed in his crib. 

But over the weekend, this is the verdict that was read in a Texas courtroom.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We the jury, unanimously, and by a preponderance of the evidence, find the defendant Deanna Laney not guilty by reason of insanity.  Signed by the foreman. 


NORVILLE:  Deanna Laney claimed God ordered her to bash in the heads of her sons last Mother‘s Day weekend as a test of her faith.  Eight-year-old Joshua, 6-year-old Luke, and 14-month-old Aaron. 


DEANNA LANEY, ACQUITTED OF KILLING SONS:  I went in Aaron‘s room and I got that rock, and I got him up out of the bed. 


NORVILLE:  Because she was acquitted by reason of insanity, Deanna Laney will now go to a state mental hospital instead of going to prison. 

Now, this case has striking similarities to Andrea Yates, who drowned all five of her children in 2002.  She is now serving a life sentence in prison. 

Why was Deanna Laney acquitted and Andrea Yates found guilty?

With me this evening is attorney George Parnham, who defended Andrea Yates.  Also with me tonight, Buck Files, the attorney for Deanna Laney. 

Gentlemen, thanks for being with us. 

Mr. Files, I‘m going to start with you first.  We saw Mrs. Laney weeping after the verdict was read.  What did she say afterward?

BUCK FILES, ATTORNEY FOR DEANNA LANEY:  She said thank you and that was about all before she went back into the jail.  She‘s relieved that the stress of the trial is over, but she is still suffering so much because she realizes exactly what she did.  And she‘ll live with that for the rest of her life. 

NORVILLE:  How stunned were you at the verdict?  You know how Texas juries tend to go in these kinds of cases. 

FILES:  We were obviously concerned.  However, we had an advantage which George didn‘t have on Andrea Yates. 

We had four psychiatrists who testified, who all said in their opinion, that she did not know what she was doing was wrong at the time and she had a severe mental disease.  There was a causal connection.  So we had an advantage over what George had to work with in Yates. 

NORVILLE:  There were some huge similarities, though.  And Mr.  Parnham, in your client‘s case, Andrea Yates said that she was doing what she was doing because it was a test of her faith.  Mrs. Laney said the same thing. 

What did Mr. Files have to work with that you didn‘t?  Besides these psychiatrists?

GEORGE PARNHAM, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREA YATES:  Thank you, Deborah.  And I just—I have to take this opportunity to congratulate Buck on a job well done. 

Regardless of the number of psychiatrists on either side, an insanity defense in these days and times is an uphill battle.  And what a great verdict and a just verdict. 

In Andrea‘s case, the first thing that strikes me is that we were subjected to having a death-qualified jury.  The district attorney, for whatever reason, made the decision that he was going to try to put the ultimate punishment on Andrea and put her to death. 

Statistics show that death-qualified juries are less likely to favorably consider mental health issues or the insanity defense for that matter as opposed to non-death qualified jurors.  In both cases.

NORVILLE:  So do you think, then, that the prosecutor in the Laney case opted not to go for the death penalty, because they had seen it rejected in the Yates case?

PARNHAM:  Well, I don‘t know what the motivation was.  I will say that I think that the prosecutors‘ decision not to seek the death penalty in a case where the very facts that Buck had to deal with, and the very facts that I had to deal with just defines mental health instability. 

And I applaud the decision on the part of the prosecutor in Tyler not to seek the death penalty on this severely mentally ill and psychotic woman. 

NORVILLE:  One of the differences, Mr. Files, between the messages that both these women were receive was Andrea Yates said her messages were coming from Satan.  And your client said she was hearing from God.  Did that weigh in a different way with this jury?

FILES:  I don‘t know whether it did or it did not, but the delusions were significantly different. 

There was testimony that Deanna Laney was totally immersed in the religion of her church.  She was a practicing Christian.  She was a Bible scholar.  And what she had was so sympathetic to those people who are believers. 

NORVILLE:  And yet, she was so incredibly cool, calm, and collected when she phoned 911 after the murders took place. 

Let me play a bit of that telephone call and then come back. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Smith County 911, what‘s your emergency?

LANEY:  Yes.  I just killed my boys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Ma‘am, you did what?

LANEY:  I just killed my boys.

I just did what I had to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You did what you had to do?

LANEY:  Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And why do you say that, ma‘am?

LANEY:  That‘s just what I was told to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And who told you to do that?

LANEY:  God.


NORVILLE:  Mr. Files, that does not sound like a woman who was either psychotic or delusional.  She sounds incredibly aware of what she‘s done. 

FILES:  Well, Deborah, I wish you could have heard the testimony of the psychiatrists. 

Her tone of voice, which was consistent with video recordings on two days, four days, and six days after the event.  Her voice is very, very flat.  She was clearly in a psychotic state. 

All four of the psychiatrists said that the fact that she called 911 was absolutely meaningless as far as any indication of knowing wrong.  And the way she called and the words she said and the way she said them were terribly indicative of the fact that she was in a psychotic state. 

NORVILLE:  You know, the thing that a lot of people have trouble, both in this case and the Yates case is how could the spouse not see the turmoil their wife was in?

PARNHAM:  Well, Deborah, I‘ll take the opportunity. 

NORVILLE:  You‘ve got experience with this, too. 

PARNHAM:  Yes.  And I didn‘t know that that was being addressed to Buck. 

But I will tell you that part of our effort, and that is the effort of Mr. Files as well as the effort expended in our office, is to make the public aware of the reality of mental illness. 

So many times, indicators go unnoticed.  In Andrea‘s situation, Rusty, her husband, did in fact avail himself of a psychiatrist and mental health facilities.  However, many times the circumstances were not properly interpreted. 

If we bring this issue to bear—that is specifically women‘s mental health and individuals that act under delusions and psychotic delusions—we will be able to prevent or make great progress in preventing these horrible crimes, or these horrible acts of taking children‘s lives in the future. 

NORVILLE:  Buck Files, were there signs that Mr. Laney didn‘t know to look for and therefore policed prior to this terrible crime?

FILES:  Once again, all four psychiatrists addressed this issue.  The people in her family simply were not trained.  They didn‘t know what to look for. 

Some of the things that she did were totally consistent with what the people in her church did.  There was simply nothing that put them on notice. 

And yet all of the psychiatrists were able to tell that she had had psychotic issues and episodes over the last three to four years.  So it‘s impossible to blame the family.  They simply didn‘t know what to look for. 

NORVILLE:  And what about the little boy?  Two boys were killed.  But the baby was critically injured.  How is little Aaron doing now?

FILES:  Let me say that the family has just insisted that the only thing I say is that he‘s doing better, that his condition was described at trial.  They‘re very private, and they simply don‘t want to talk about how he is doing or what his prognosis is. 

NORVILLE:  Well, I‘m sure there are a lot of people praying for him. 

And finally, George Parnham, I gather that the outcome of the Laney case has given you reason to be hopeful on your appeal of the Andrea Yates conviction.  Why?

PARNHAM:  Yes, you bet, for a couple reason. 

First of all, I believe that obviously, justices who sit on the appellate benches listen to the media, watch the television programs such as this, and realize that in effect, what we have is an inequity with so many similarities that there has to be, and I will strongly argue, a predisposition to help Andrea.  And ultimately, to change the legal standard for insanity in our state. 

NORVILLE:  We will stay on top of that. 

PARNHAM:  Thank you.

NORVILLE:  And we appreciate you both for being with us.  George Parnham, Buck Files, both of whom had some very interesting times in the Texas courtroom.

Gentlemen, thank you both very much, and because you both mentioned how important it was in each of these situations that people recognize the signs, we want to give you a couple of resources that folks can call. 

You could contact the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill.  They‘ve got a resource for you.  The number is 800-950-6264. 

Another good one is the Postpartum Resource of Texas.  Their phone number is toll-free, 877-472-1002.

You can also find these numbers.  Just come to our web site,

ANNOUNCER:  Up next, on the field he was called baseball‘s Ironman. 

Now he‘s enjoying playing dad.  Life after baseball with Cal Ripken Jr. 

DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT is coming right back.


NORVILLE:  The boys of summer are back on the diamond after a winter of controversy.  President Bush, former owner of the Texas Rangers, was in Saint Louis today.  He threw out the first pitch at the Cardinals opener against Milwaukee. 

Major League Baseball is looking to get off the front page and back on to the sports pages.  As you know, during the off-season, the steroid scandal mushroomed, with some players testifying before a grand jury and both the commissioner and union representatives speaking before Congress.  There were also calls to control out-of-control spending.  When the Yankees spent millions more to get A-Rod, the best player in the game, disgruntled fans throughout the land could be heard screaming, break up the Bronx Bombers.  What has become of the national pastime? 

Joining me this evening to make sense of what is going on is baseball‘s all time iron man, Cal Ripken Jr.  He played in a record 2,632 straight games, won two MVP Awards, was named to the All-Star team 19 times.  And the future Hall of Famer has a new book out.  It is called “Play Baseball the Ripken Way.”  He has written it with his brother Bill who was also a former Major Leaguer. 

And this is really cool.  During their nine-city tour, the Ripkens are going to be doing clinics for kids and donating tons of baseball and softball gear to boys and girls in all the cities. 

It‘s great to have you.

And what a cool way to market a book.  You‘re doing something nice for the kids. 

CAL RIPKEN JR., FORMER MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER:  Well, I think it is more than just schlepping a book across the country.  We feel very passionate about the message about what baseball did for our lives. 

The influence that I particularly had on kids, I would like to pass that on to them.  So it is really about a celebration of baseball.  We are leaving $300,000 in cash to the Boys and Girls Clubs.  Through Nike and through our foundation, we‘re giving them $1 million worth of equipment. 


RIPKEN:  So it is really more about a celebration of baseball and getting people playing baseball. 

NORVILLE:  Public service is real important to you.  It is really the backbone of just about everything that you do.  Why is that such a big part of your life? 

RIPKEN:  Well, I‘m not exactly sure.  I feel that I lived a lucky lifestyle.  I grew up to be a baseball player.  I always dreamed of being a baseball player.  I know that million of kids have that same aspiration and dreams.

NORVILLE:  Right. 

RIPKEN:  This many of them are going to go on to do that.

But we can celebrate baseball.  We can show them how important baseball is in their lives.  This book right here is a basic instructional book.  It has a little bit of philosophy in it.  It is a how-to book, but it is all about loving the game and some of the values and principles that you can learn from baseball. 

NORVILLE:  This many may make it to the big leagues like you but this many can have fun playing little league or playing pickup in the neighborhood or whatever.  And that‘s really what your book is all about. 

And you say it is just so critical to keep it simple.  If you‘re a coach, if you‘re a parent, or even if you‘re a kid, don‘t complicate the game. 

RIPKEN:  Well, it can be very complicated just hitting alone all the different lingo, all the different swings, because everybody has a different swing.  Let‘s look at two guys in the big leagues and try to find a swing that is the same.  It is impossible. 

NORVILLE:  And yet a coach will see a little kid who is standing there, even at T-ball, and they‘ll say, no, put your feet like.  You say, back off.  Let them stand the way they want to stand. 

RIPKEN:  You need to create an environment that first is fun.  And then the second thing you need to do is to let them have the freedom and then the flexibility to learn the game.  So we can complicate it too much. 

We are adults.  We try to put all our wisdom and information into the kids when really we should be giving them some basic, fundamental things.  Let them play.  Let them perform.  Let them try things and then guide them delicately, but don‘t overwhelm them with a lot of information. 

NORVILLE:  You also say it is real important to actually answer the question that you hear eight million times a day from a kid, which is, why?  Why?  Why? 

RIPKEN:  I was a “why” kid growing up.  I always asked the question why.  And my dad had the wisdom and the ability.  When he teaches, he explains the why. 

And we firmly believed that the full message comes across.  If you know why you‘re doing something, then there‘s a mission in which to do it.  It‘s easy for us to put our will and our voice raise it a little bit and tell a kid, direct a kid, do this.  But it is better if you can explain why it is. 

NORVILLE:  So you say—for instance, one of the things in the book, you talk about fielding.  You say get your butt down on the ground.  If you‘re not down low, how are you going to see it coming at you? 

RIPKEN:  Yes, you can say the basic way to field a ground ball is to have your feet approximately shoulder-width apart, get your tail end down.  And get your hands out front.  If you don‘t get your tail down, your hands can‘t have the ability to get out front and your head will stay up and you won‘t be able to see the ball. 

So it is a pretty basic thing.  So a lot of times, kids will make the mistake, when they go to field a ground ball, they keep their knees straight and their butt will stay up.  So we simply just say, hey, get that butt down.  It will get you in the right position to filed a ground ball.

NORVILLE:  The other thing you say is, it has got to be fun.  If it is not fun for a kid, what‘s the point? 

RIPKEN:  It seems to me—and this is an observation that I‘ve made as my boy—I have a son, Ryan, who is right on the cover there, age 10. 

NORVILLE:  Right. 

RIPKEN:  He is going through youth baseball and all the different sports.  And it seems that the environment in youth sports have gotten really serious way at the early ages. 

And what I would like to see happen is, you start to take the coaches out and the parents out of the equation and kind of return the game to the kids a little bit.  We still need to direct them and kind of expose them to the sport.  But I think the pressures that come from trying to win and the expectations from the parents and the coaches just rob the kids of the energy.  So I say, have fun, think like a kid, create a practice that is fun. 

NORVILLE:  How do you take pressure off Ryan?  It‘s Cal Ripken coming to stand with the rest of the parents.  That‘s got to be tough for him. 

RIPKEN:  Well, he embraces it, No. 1.  So his personality lends itself.  He likes the fact that I was a baseball player.  He brags about me all the time. 


RIPKEN:  I don‘t think he has the greatest memory of me as a player.  He tries to continue to ask me to come back.  But he likes that.  And it‘s still...

NORVILLE:  He would like to see you back in uniform? 

RIPKEN:  Oh, absolutely.  Still, though, it is really a funny dynamic, is that I think that I‘m an expert in baseball because of all the time that I put in.  And my dad was the expert. 

But if I try to go and instruct him sometimes, he‘ll question me and he‘ll listen to somebody else that is less of an authority, just because I‘m dad.  So don‘t think, just because you‘re dad, you can always teach your kids.  Even the one that has baseball as a background has trouble teaching his kid.

NORVILLE:  Right. 

Fun must have been kind of the operating word for you to go as many consecutive days as you did.  When you were breaking Lou Gehrig‘s record—

I want to just play the tape, because it was just an incredible moment. 

RIPKEN:  You‘re going to take me down that emotional path again, aren‘t you?

NORVILLE:  Take you down the emotional path.  Let‘s roll the tape and just give a listen.  It is official. 


ANNOUNCER:  It has now become official.  Cal Ripken has played in 2,130 consecutive games, tying Lou Gehrig‘s Major League record. 


NORVILLE:  And the record went on to turn out to be 2,632.  You could have kept going.  You voluntarily didn‘t show up one day just to put a stop to it.  What was it like that day?  You‘re so stoic in the tape. 

RIPKEN:  Well, yes. 

I was embarrassed by all the attention at first.  And the celebration took place in the middle of a game. 

NORVILLE:  Right. 

RIPKEN:  So, therefore, I‘m thinking, well, baseball is supposed to be played to its end and then we‘ll celebrate all you want. 

So you‘re probably seeing some of the reaction that says, OK, wait a minute, let‘s get the game moving again.  But there was a moment that we didn‘t see when I was pushed out to make a lap around the field.  And the celebration that was so big around me turned to be so personal.  I started shaking hands.  And then, after that, I said, well, forget it.  We don‘t need to start the game anymore.  This is a good as it gets. 

NORVILLE:  How many innings had you played?

RIPKEN:  We played—the game became official at the halfway point, at the fifth inning. 

NORVILLE:  So you were there?

RIPKEN:  So I was there.

NORVILLE:  Yes.  Well, it was a great moment. 

How strange is it for you, Cal Ripken, to be sitting here on a book tour on opening day?  You‘re not at a baseball park. 

RIPKEN:  Well, this is my third season out. 

NORVILLE:  I know.

RIPKEN:  And I‘m starting to get used to life after baseball.  I have a number of things that—all my youth initiatives, No. 1.  We‘re building, designing stadiums.  I‘m dabbling in the speaking circuit a little bit.  I‘m out making more commercials than I think I did when I played. 

So I‘m still doing a lot of things.  It‘s a little different feeling.  Yesterday‘s opening day was kind of a zoo.  And I was running around visiting sky boxes and shaking hands, as opposed to fielding ground balls and hitting baseballs. 

NORVILLE:  Just as much work, though.

We‘re going to take a break.  Back with more on Cal Ripken Jr.  weighing in on some of the bigger issues that baseball is facing these days, not the least of which, the use of steroids.

Back in a moment.


NORVILLE:  He‘s got more home runs than any other shortstop, but Cal Ripken Jr. isn‘t stopping short. 

More with him when we come back.


NORVILLE:  And we‘re back with future Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. 

Today was opening day, but over the weekend, the commissioner has something to say about steroids.  How big an issue is this for the game? 

RIPKEN:  Well, it is obviously a black mark. 

I guess I have two different opinions on it.  You wish that you could just close your eyes and say it is not an issue and you don‘t have to deal with it.  But dealing with kids, it does have an impact on the kids.  And that‘s really what concerns me the most.  A kid on Ryan‘s team last year hit a ball over—a small little guy—hit a ball over the center fielders‘ head. 

And to everyone‘s surprise, it just happened to be a perfectly hit ball.  And the kids nicknamed him steroids because he had popped the ball over the fence.  So if you think it doesn‘t have an effect on the kids, they‘re listening.  They know what it is.  And it becomes an issue that is just as sensitive about teaching about life as anything else.  So you have to really address the issue to them. 

NORVILLE:  Well, how should it be addressed, though?  They did the random testing and between 5 percent and 7 percent of guys were testing positive for steroids.  Clearly, there‘s something going on.  How negatively is it going to impact on the sport? 

RIPKEN:  Well, I was lucky enough to be ignorant of that phase of baseball. 

NORVILLE:  Right. 

RIPKEN:  I mean, I had a dad that was old school.  He didn‘t really want me lifting weights.  So I went through life with a certain view. 

But I‘m smart enough to know that it exists. 


RIPKEN:  I‘m smart enough to know that if it is in other sports and it‘s in society, then it certainly is in baseball.  To what extent, I‘m not sure.  And it seems like they‘re trying to find out.  And it seems like their intent is to do something about it and clean it up. 

NORVILLE:  What can they do, though?  If a guy is the star on the team because he‘s the power hitter and he is constantly sending it over the fence, you tell him not to take the drugs whatever way he‘s getting them and not be the power hitter, he has just cut the endorsement deal.  He has just stopped being the big guy on the team that everybody is cheering for. 

RIPKEN:  Well, the scary part about it is, it works. 

NORVILLE:  It does.

RIPKEN:  And then you get rewarded for it in some way. 

I am still of the opinion that, if you do something wrong or if you‘re cheating, there‘s a certain sense of honesty that you have.  The truth will be known.  And if you break records or you do something and you enhance your performance in a way that‘s not within the rules, that‘s going to be known and you‘re forever going to be looked upon as not achieving it.  They‘re going to look at you with an asterisk next to their name, even if it‘s there or not.

NORVILLE:  Yes.  Yes. 

RIPKEN:  Corked bats.  We had an issue where Sammy


NORVILLE:  Sammy Sosa.

NORVILLE:  And you don‘t really know what the full of that truth is. 

But it taints his accomplishment, just by the


NORVILLE:  There is always going to be the question. 

RIPKEN:  And so I would prefer to live with myself, look at myself in the mirror and know that you accomplished things in a fair, honest way.  You can‘t control everything.  But it seems like they‘re addressing the issue.  And I wish I had the answer for it.  I would tell somebody. 

NORVILLE:  You‘re a future Hall of Famer.  When are you eligible for the hall? 

RIPKEN:  I would be eligible in ‘07. 

NORVILLE:  So you have to be out five years. 

RIPKEN:  You have to be five years out.

NORVILLE:  Do you think Pete Rose should be admitted to the hall? 

RIPKEN:  Well, I think there‘s two parts of that issue.  Absolutely, he should be in the Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame is an institution that looks at the historical—the history of baseball and celebrates baseball.  He is the all-time hit leader.  No doubt about it. 

I think there‘s another issue that says, should he be reinstated and should he be received in Major League Baseball and should he work in Major League Baseball?  I don‘t have information close to that or maybe I don‘t even have the ability to decide upon that issue.

NORVILLE:  But he‘s admitted he bet on baseball. 

RIPKEN:  And that would be a question from a public relations standpoint, is, if he is working, does he still bet on baseball?  Is there still an issue?  And sports by its nature—baseball is, too—is that you‘re going to second-guess everything that happens. 


RIPKEN:  That‘s just the way it goes.  And so you don‘t really want another factor saying, OK, did you have money on the game?

NORVILLE:  So you would say, let him in the hall, keep him out of the game. 

RIPKEN:  Well, I would say, let him in the hall.  And the second part of that is, I would need to know more facts.  And I would have to be on the inside before I could actually make a judgment.  And who knows?  Maybe I‘m not the right person to make a judgment. 

NORVILLE:  Finally, second-guessing.  A lot of people wonder if that call had been different in that Cubs playoff game when the foul ball went over to the fans if the Cubbies might not have made it to the World Series.  Do you think the Cubs can go all the way this year? 

RIPKEN:  Well, they put together a very, very strong team.  And the strength is in their depth in their pitching staff.  And they thought that they were going to be pretty good last year.  And they came along and they had a fabulous year, and, I mean, just one small play from getting to the World Series, both Boston and Chicago. 

I thought it would have been great for baseball if you had those two people in the World Series.  And they both came within four or five outside of making it there. 


NORVILLE:  Yes.  Some are saying that both teams might be back in the series this year.  What do you think?

RIPKEN:  They‘ve done some remarkable things in the off-season.  Boston has improved their chances of winning.  And New York obviously is going to be very strong.  But Chicago is one of the favorites, so it‘s very possible.

NORVILLE:  The Cubbies would love to remove the adjective “long suffering” in front of that world.

We‘re going to take a break.  When we come back, will you give us a few little actual tips? 

RIPKEN:  Absolutely. 

NORVILLE:  Cal Ripken teaching in just a moment.  We‘ll put gloves on to see what happens right after this.


NORVILLE:  We‘ve put the gloves on.  We‘re back with the all-time iron man of baseball, future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.

You are going to teach a soccer mom something about baseball.  This will be good.  What do we need to know?


Well, I had one year where I made three errors in the whole season. 

And I had the reputation of being able to throw very accurately to the base.  And a lot of people, the one little simple tip that would help everybody‘s accuracy is, if you‘re an infielder or outfielder, when you go to throw the ball...

RIPKEN:  Right. 

NORVILLE:  You want to grip the ball across the seams.  Sometimes, people don‘t know what across the seams are.  These big seams right here, you want throw the ball across, because when you throw the ball, you want to control the flight of the ball and have it go in this fashion.  So then it goes straight.

Pitchers, on the other hand, try to make the ball move, so it‘s harder to hit.  And they‘ll choose to grip the ball—this called with the seams. 

Well, with the seams, so the ball, when the air hits the seams, it will

either make it sink or sometimes make it sail, depending upon how


NORVILLE:  So when you‘re trying to get it to your teammate, across the fat part of the ball.

RIPKEN:  And a lot of people just pick the ball up and throw it.  And so whatever grip you have, the ball might sail or it might move.  And you need to control it.  So, every single time, one of the things we do in our camps is make sure you grab the ball across the seams consciously.  And the more you practice that, the more it will happen in a game.

NORVILLE:  OK, now show me some grounders.  Let‘s go over here.


Well, the basic—we talked earlier about the basic way to field a ground ball. 

NORVILLE:  Right. 

RIPKEN:  And that part about getting your butt down.  I‘ll throw you the ball.  You can throw it to me.


RIPKEN:  You get your feet shoulder-width apart, and then you bend at the knees slightly, so you‘re in a good athletic position right now.

NORVILLE:  Right. 

RIPKEN:  And, again, if your tail end goes down, then your head can come up. 

NORVILLE:  You‘re going to be able to see it.

RIPKEN:  And you want to see the ball here.  And, also, put your hands out front.  So throw me one right here.  And then you‘re able to catch it out front with two hands.  Again, and the way not to do it is, if you stand like this...

NORVILLE:  I‘m going to hit your head. 

RIPKEN:  Look where my head is, yes, and then you really can‘t see it so well. 

NORVILLE:  Yes.  So that‘s what you were doing when you made those three mistakes.

RIPKEN:  Although since I‘m a professional, I can still catch it like that, but a lot of people can‘t.

NORVILLE:  And if I‘m going to throw it to you, I‘m going to have my fingers like this.  Stand up, because I might kill you.

RIPKEN:  OK, throw it in the air.  There you go.  Now you have the right rotation. 

NORVILLE:  Throw it straight.  OK.

RIPKEN:  Across the seams.  Show me what with the seams would be. 

NORVILLE:  With the seams?

RIPKEN:  See how good of a student you are.


RIPKEN:  Very nice.  Oh, see, I couldn‘t catch it. 

NORVILLE:  Oh, I got an error on Cal Ripken. 


NORVILLE:  You‘re the best.  The book is called “Baseball: The Ripken Way.”  Cal Ripken is the author. 

NORVILLE:  Thank you so much.

RIPKEN:  Thank you. 

NORVILLE:  We wish you and brother Bill well with that book.

When we come back, why a photograph dating back to 1945 could well have played a role in President Bush‘s decision to allow National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify before the 9/11 Commission.  And was it blackmail? 

That‘s next. 


NORVILLE:  Finally, some more insight tonight on why the White House abruptly changed course and decided to allow National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify in public before the 9/11 Commission. 

Now, it might have something to do with this photo from November 22, 1945.  This is White House chief of staff under President Roosevelt President Truman Admiral William Leahy testifying before a congressional panel that was looking into the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  “Newsweek” magazine is reporting the 9/11 Commission executive director Philip Zelikow faxed this photo to the White House counsel‘s office, along with a note saying that if Dr. Rice was not allowed to testify publicly, the photo would—quote—“be all over Washington in 24 hours.” 

Now, remember, the White House had been saying that she couldn‘t testify publicly because it would create a precedent.  Well, the photo proves that that was not the case.  “Newsweek” says Zelikow, a University of Virginia historian, had been poring over the records of the Pearl Harbor investigation for months as a blueprint for the 9/11 Commission.

Now, the White House says it is silly to suggest that that photo forced Dr. Rice‘s appearance before the commission.  But the timing does make one wonder.  As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.  Well, this historic picture could very well end up being worth a lot more than that.  Condoleezza Rice is set to testify to the 9/11 Commission on Thursday.  And that is a story we‘ll be following every step of the way. 

That‘s our program for this evening.  I‘m Deborah Norville.  Thanks for watching. 

Coming up tomorrow night, Barry Manilow.  From the “Copacabana” to “I Can‘t Smile Without You,” Barry Manilow has been singing his smooth sounds for more than 40 years?  That‘s incredible.  And that incredible career keeps going.  We‘ll talk to him about today‘s contemporary music and that recent scare on Super Bowl Sunday that prompted him to reorder his own priorities.  Barry Manilow for his first prime-time interview in two years tomorrow night.

That‘s our program.  Thanks for watching.



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