By Mark Chalifoux
Special to Page 2

As a writer and sports talk show host, it's rare to find an interview subject willing to be open and candid with his/her views on their career and the sports world. It's rarer still when this person is one of the most talked-about sports legends of all time. And it's even rarer when this subject died more than 50 years ago.

Babe Ruth
Been dying to know what the Babe thinks about baseball today? So were we.

With baseball facing one of the biggest crises in the game's history, it seems like very few of the sport's key players are talking. And with the scandal centering on performance-enhanced home runs and on Barry Bonds chasing, and passing, Babe Ruth's legendary home run total, it only made sense that the best person to interview about it would be none other than the Sultan of Swat himself.

I sought the help of psychic Cheri Trapier to contact the Babe. She was a natural choice because she didn't know anything about Babe Ruth or baseball, so she had no biases that could get in the way. Her job was solely to channel the great Bambino and be the interpreter for our conversation. When I finally reached him, he was more than willing to talk … about everything. After all, it'd been more than 50 years since his last interview …

STEROID SCANDAL

Mark: A lot has been made out of Barry Bonds in relation to the steroid scandal. What is your opinion of Bonds?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): He feels he's stuck in the game. He feels that Barry feels he has to play in a certain way and at a certain level, so when he looks at Bonds he feels that Barry's stuck.

Mark: Do you feel any personal animosity toward Barry for anything he said about you while pursuing your record?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): None, none whatsoever [laughs]. The reason there is no animosity is because he's very strong within himself. As he looks at it, if someone doesn't see his integrity or the good person that he always presented himself to be, it matters not to him. Doesn't matter to him in the least.

Mark: Babe, if you went up against Barry Bonds in a home run contest, who would win?

Barry Bonds
David Zalubowski/AP Photo
The Babe's not ticked at Bonds -- but he thinks he'd blow Bonds away in a home run derby.

Cheri (Babe Ruth): Oh, he thinks he'd beat Bonds, there's no doubt. That came so quickly. Let me ask him why … he doesn't feel Barry Bonds has the focus and attention he does. He'd beat him out. He's just stronger and better at the game.

Mark: Would it be close?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): [Laughs.] He said by far, by far, he'd outnumber him. He'd stand out ahead of Barry by far [laughs]. He's laughing a lot at that … he's a wonderful presence and is really a remarkable character.

Mark: So you were big on boozing at times in your life. Did you ever use performance enhancers?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): No, that's a quick no. Wasn't required, wasn't needed, wasn't thought of. It wasn't even available.

Mark: If you played today, would you feel pressure to use steroids?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): No, absolutely not. I get a feel from him on this that it would take away from him feeling responsible for what was taking place. He wanted to know he was the one making it happen. As far as those who are highly involved in sports who are turning to these enhancers, it's because they don't know how to access the inner strength or inner power that this man knew how to access. It's kind of a fallback and he wouldn't have anything to do with it today if he was involved in the sport.

Mark: Pete Rose has been banned from the Hall of Fame. Do you think he should be eligible?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): No, no. Again, he wants this game to represent the goodness in people and he wants it to be something that people can hold up and be proud of. He's a very prideful man and wants the players, the management, and everyone involved to be in an elevated light. Role models are very big to this man, especially in this time and day. So no, his answer is no.

Mark: What about drug users or those found guilty of taking performance enhancers?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): The Hall of Fame is for those who are legendary. And in relation to the sport, legendary in the sense of being of great value to it. Drug abusers, guys who use performance enhancers … those indiscretions are so intolerable. So, no.

BASEBALL TODAY

Mark: Are you happy with what the Yankees have done lately?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): Um, it's interesting to feel what he's expressing here. A very heartful energy for this team. In his eyes, they can do no wrong. He sympathizes with the position of what they see themselves to be, and he feels for each one of the players. He just has a feeling of team that is strong, almost like an oath -- even today. There is such a depth of gratitude to that team and a remarkable sense of looking at it through accomplishments -- it's funny to hear him say this, to win or lose at this stage of the game is truly much less meaningful than what the team itself is all about. There's nothing but a prideful feeling about this team today, yesterday, and many years ago.

George Steinbrenner
David Boily/WireImage.com
The Boss has kept the Yanks in the playoffs year after year, and Ruth likes that.

Mark: Do you think George Steinbrenner is good for baseball?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): He knows that he's a businessman and he knows that the game has had to change to keep up with the times. He holds the game in his heart at the level he played it, but he understands the changes, and what had to more or less snowball to what it is today in order to hold its place. It's important in today's society -- this man that owns this team is a businessman and a very savvy businessman. And he knows what it takes to play the game. With that in mind, he thinks he's great for the team because he will keep it in an upright position and will keep it at the forefront.

Mark: OK, so he's good for the team. But what about for the game overall?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): Changes are coming about. Steinbrenner is a businessman and it takes a businessman to run a baseball team in today's arena. If you want to keep the game playing, you're going to have to play a game that will allow it to be center stage. He doesn't want to see baseball fall out of the lives of people, he wants it to be as important today as it was in his time.

Mark: If you played today, would you still be the best player in the game?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): There's so much talent out there. He'd be a powerful player no doubt -- he knows he has the power to play the game and play it well. In the game today he'd be a power player and he'd be right up there at the top. He would be pleased to be in the company of some of the players out there today who hold the same strength and integrity that he liked to see in himself.

Mark: With the current shift to home run-friendly parks, if you played today, could you break the single-season home run record?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): [Laughs.] He's so willing to break any record. He's like, "Give me a record and I'll break it!" He loves any challenge and he'd love to challenge any record and be able to take it on.

Mark: If you could change anything about baseball, what would you change about it?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): Timing. The games are taking too long, but also, the timing of when games are played. This is a man who feels very strongly about the youth being able to have access to this, so he's more geared toward the timing of the games. It's what he would change if he were in charge. There would be more day games and earlier games.

WOMEN AND BOOZE

Mark: Babe, your second wife was a model and an actress. If you were playing today, what kind of female celebrity would you be drawn toward?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): This is an individual that … although his personality may not have represented this during his life because he played a different role … but who he's drawn to from this vantage point is someone like Oprah Winfrey. Someone who has heart and soul and a deep integrity in life. Also someone who can stand prominently at the forefront of just about any current-day issue and deal with it with a very strong heart level. That's the kind of woman or individual he'd be drawn to today. That comes from what we'd call having a greater view from hindsight.

Angelina Jolie
AP
Tough to argue with the Bambino's choice here.

Mark: Babe, three women who many men are drawn to today would be Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson. If you had to pick between those three, who would you pick?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): The second one. Definitely the second one.

Mark: Why?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): Heart. Definitely heart and energy here. This one strikes a deep heart level within him. He is reminded of someone in his early teens that this one brings to him. It's a remembrance of someone in his teen years that this one brings back.

Mark: Babe, you always enjoyed the occasional adult beverage. Did you ever play a game under the influence of alcohol?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): Ah … yeah. He did. I'm sorry to say I did. There were times … ah, sorry to say I did. Right upfront. Yeah, he did. Sorry to say he did. It's a little bit of yeah, a sheepish yes.

Mark: Did you ever hit a home run while drunk?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): A couple, actually.

Mark: What was that feeling like?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): [Laughs.] At the moment it was no different from hitting a home run any other time. The energy and what comes over him when he hits a home run was there and it's just him knocking another one for the team. It was just surging through him after he hits a home run, that feeling that it's another one for the team, so it was no different.

HIS CAREER

Mark: Everyone likes to associate your trade to the Yankees with a curse on the Red Sox. Did you have any affect on the Curse of the Bambino from beyond the grave?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): There are bigger forces at play, but he's not responsible. This is an issue of timing, everything comes across as a cycle here. It's a timing thing for the Red Sox. What has come about is a timing issue, they have long been delayed purposely and there have been reasons for it. They have had grounding issues. I don't know what that means, but that's the impression I'm getting from it. It seemed to be a suppressive state. The team had been under such a feeling of oppression, not just from the team themselves, but from the fans as well. A social consciousness had developed around the team. It was as if they agreed to be held down.

Mark: So you didn't personally affect their fortunes. But did you enjoy seeing them suffer for so long?

Babe Ruth
AP Photo
There will never be another Babe Ruth, that's for sure.

Cheri (Babe Ruth): No, there's no sense of satisfaction in that. This is a man who loved the game so completely and someone who loved all levels of this game, and there's no sense of satisfaction in seeing someone lose. His greatest joy is watching this game and how it kind of filters out to the fans. What I'm hearing him say is the children involved in his sport were the greatest joy to him. This is someone who felt he was a great role model for children in this sport and that was a high end of his life, being involved with children.

Mark: Another big part of Babe Ruth lore is when you called your home run against the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series. A lot of people now claim you were just pointing to the pitcher. Did you call your shot?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): Let me ask him, because that question went way over my head. Ah … he called it. He can pick a spot and he would go into such an automatic state that it just came so natural for this man. He was a very focused individual and he goes into automatic mode where he doesn't think, it just happens. That's where a lot of his power comes from, this automatic state.

Mark: Babe, you had a long and illustrious career. Do you have any regrets?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): Absolutely not. This is a man without regrets because he knows that everything gave him an opportunity to proceed ahead.

Mark: Well, knowing what you know now about the afterlife, would you have lived your life differently?

Cheri (Babe Ruth): He knows that his intention was to do good. So that part he would not have changed a bit, knowing what he knows now. His intention was always to do good. From the level that he knows himself now, it'd be like having a whole new bag of tools to work with, to live life differently with the tools he has now. He would live it differently in that respect.

Looking at his life in the perspective of what he had to work with at the time, he has no regrets; he lived life fully, always on the edge. If a challenge was in front of him he'd take it on. He loved to love, he certainly loved the game. It was the highlight of his life.

Psychic Cheri Trapier is available for all of your psychic needs by calling 209-245-4233.

Mark Chalifoux is a freelance writer in Cincinnati. You can reach him at mark_chalifoux@hotmail.com Sound off to Page 2 here.




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