Saturday, September 15, 2012
Ryan Braun Statement Analysis
Ryan Braun may win the MVP this year in the majors. He was originally suspended for using performance enhancing drugs, but won his appeal on a technicality.
Question for Analysis: Did Ryan Braun use testosterone?
while awaiting the hearing, he said, "This is complete B.S. I am completely innocent." He told radio announcers that he would "tell my side of the story" at the hearing. He had this opportunity and may others to say "I didn't take testosterone" or something similar, indicating a reliable denial, but he did not.
Statement Analysis rule: If the subject cannot bring himself to say he did not do it, we are not permitted to say it for him.
MLB hearing revealed that his attorney argued that the chain of custody was compromised because the sample sat in the fridge over the weekend. MLB testers testified that it was late on Friday and they did not think Fedex delivered on Saturday, but swore that the sample remained untouched in the fridge. There was no evidence of tampering.
MLB overruled the suspension.
“If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say I did it,” Braun said. “I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life, that this substance never entered my body at any point."
Headlines interpreted his denial as "vehement" and "strong" and "emphatically denies", yet Statement Analysis views it differently:
“If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say I did it,”
1. "If I had..." allows for the possibility. Innocent people generally do not allow for any other scenario to be examined. They did not do it, and there is nothing else to be debated. That he allows for the possibility is noted.
2. "this" When there is the word "this" instead of "that", it is indication of closeness. We expect to hear, "I didn't take testosterone" but the use of the word "this", indicating closeness, goes against innocence. This is the 2nd red flag for us that is noted.
3. "I did it" forms the very words of an admission. This appears to be an embedded admission where a guilty person is able to frame the words of guilt. An embedded admission is not something an innocent person does unless the person is entering into the language of another, quoting an interviewer or another accuser. Here, in context, it appears to come from the free editing process.
“I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life, that this substance never entered my body at any point."
Instead of saying, "I didn't take testosterone, the subject uses additional language to indicate the need to persuade:
1. "truly" weakens the assertion, as it calls for emphasis
2. "believe" weakens the assertion more so; as it acknowledges that others may "believe" differently
3. "in my heart" weakens it even further, as it is only where he believes, in his heart, and not in his head. Others, in their "hearts" will "believe" differently. It is also an indication that he "beleives" differently in his head, or intellect. It is a phrase used when someone wishes to persuade, but even in persuasion we don't see additional qualifiers added.
4. "would" is conditional tense and a further weakening of an assertion.
In the beginning of a denial, we have four qualifiers used.
"I am happily married" is a straight forward sentence.
"I am very happily married" uses one qualifier. This is due to either attempt to persuade, or that the subject was previously unhappy, and did not expect to be this happy.
"I am very very happily married" will lead a therapist to inquire about his unhappiness.
"I am very very very very happily married" will lead a divorce attorney to write up a bill.
To qualify 4 times is extreme attempt to persuade. Ryan Braun qualified his sentence four times to this point, but wasn't done. He is a poor liar:
that this substance never entered my body at any point."
1 "This" substance, chooses the word "this" bringing him close ("that" shows distancing language) to the testosterone.
2. "Never" when substituted for the past tense verb, "did not" or "didn't" is unreliable.
3. "Extra words":
Extra words are those in which a sentence works should they be removed. They give us additional information.
"at any point" is unnecessary extra words making them "doubly important" for the analyst. It is interesting to note that not only are these extra words weakening a weak denial, but the word "point" is used. Testosterone use is, in high dosages, administered via needle.
Ryan Braun's test indicated testosterone levels three times higher than the normal limit for athletes.
He does not issue a reliable denial consisting of the simple three elements of First Person Singular "I", past tense verb, "did not" and event specific, "I did not use testosterone", in his statements. He was unable to bring himself to say these words; therefore, we cannot say them for him. He does not deny using testosterone, instead, he gives a deceptive response that, even though it is a short sentence, has an abundance of red flags.
Ryan Braun used testosterone.
MLB will be forced to consider this should he continue his MVP-like season and come up for voting.
When the appeal was made in his favor on the technicality he said, "The truth prevailed" but did not tell us which truth. He also avoided saying, "I did not use testosterone"; something an innocent person will say, easily and without qualification.