The following is attributed to David Ortiz, and it is written regarding steroid use. We analyze the statement, only, not the person. Should we learn later, he did not write it, it was ghost written, it was written by him with help, or that he wrote it, would not change the fact that we view the statement; the words chosen.
Regarding steroids, we look for a simple denial, which in the world of Statement Analysis, is called a "Reliable Denial. It consists of three components. If four are present, it is not reliable. If two are present, it is not reliable. A reliable denial consists of a most simple formula; something so simple, in fact, that people often miss it.
In this simple formula we have the pronoun "I", the past tense "did not" (or "didn't") and the allegation addressed ("steroids" or "PEDs"). The truly innocent (not only those who are judicially innocent) simply make a reliable denial.
The guilty, or deceptive sound differently than the truly innocent. The guilty will:
a. Issue Unreliable Denials
b. Point to the number of times they were not caught
a. Unreliable Denials consists of such statements like:
"I never used steroids", which, by itself, is not reliable. The word "never" cannot be substituted for "did not." If one says, "I did not use steroids" it is not necessary to use "never", in which a non-descrit amount of time is addressed. For years, Lance Armstrong was unable or unwilling to say "I did not use PEDs" but he was able, quite often, to say "I never used..."
Principle: "never" is not to be a substitute for "did not" in Statement Analysis.
"I would never use PEDs" with the word, "would", which avoids the past tense verb.
"Why would I take PEDs?" is to issue a question, in hopes of moving away form the topic, yet it still avoids the simple reliable denial formula that those who did not "do it" are able to say.
Since more than 90% of deception comes from missing or withheld information, we can now see, from these words, if the writer of these words will issue a reliable denial.
b. The number of times they were not caught.
Marion Jones boasted that she was the most tested Olympian athlete. This is what it is: a boasting of the number of times one has not been caught and it is a technique of avoidance of a reliable denial.
Think of someone in high school who is caught cheating on an exam.
Would a legitimate defense be how many times they took a test without cheating?
How about a bank robbery at an ATM?
imagine the defense: "I have withdrawn money from this ATM each Friday night, 52 times a year, for the last 10 years, meaning that I have withdrawn money from this ATM more than 500 times without robbing! Why would I rob now? I would never rob from this ATM!"
This sounds persuasive to the untrained ear, but it avoids the simple: "I did not rob this ATM" as alleged.
c. The number of words used instead of a Reliable Denial indicates the weakness of the need to persuade. One can talk on and on and on, yet avoid saying, "I didn't do it." This was Michael Jackson's method of deception. Instead of saying, "I did not molest a little boy", he not only avoided using this simple sentence instead opting to talk about how much he loved little boys and how he loved little boys in Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, and in California, and how he shared his bed with them.
This not only avoids saying he didn't do it, but tells us that he had a lot more victims than the few in California who he paid millions of dollars to be silent.
He is still hailed as a "hero" in some circles, today.
What shall we find from this article attributed to David Ortiz, the slugger of the Boston Red Sox?
Will he simply write, "I did not use steroids"? or will he have a much longer story to tell?
Statement Analysis is in bold type, with emphasis added to specific words in the article. This is from the Players' Tribune.
Assuming David Ortiz wrote the article, the question is:
Did David Ortiz use steroids?
Let's let the subject guide us in our conclusions. This statement is 2,332 words in length. The reliable denial of "I didn't use PEDs" is 4 to 5 words in length.
I was ready to shoot somebody, man. Literally. I was sleeping at my house in the Dominican this winter when I heard a banging on my front door at 7:30 in the morning. Now, I got security. My kids and family are sleeping in the house. I wasn’t expecting anyone. Who in the hell is banging on my door? I come down the stairs yelling like, “Who the f*** is there?”
I look on the security camera by the door and it’s two American guys holding briefcases. I could tell by the way they looked what was in the briefcases. Pee cups and big needles.
MLB sent them down on a little vacation to my island. What a job.
So I open the door.
“Sorry for the interruption, but we need to take some samples.”
I’m looking at these guys like, “7:30 in the morning? Really, bro?”
So the guys come in with their equipment and start taking my blood in the kitchen. My kids are so used to this by now that they’re laughing and taking pictures. This is nothing new. The one guy is sticking me with the needle while the other one is shooting the shit with me, telling me he’s from Colorado.
“Warm down here!” he says.
“I didn’t know you guys were coming,” I say. “You gotta be more careful. This is the Dominican, bro.”
“We’re just doing our job,” he says.
“Let me tell you something,” I say. “The only thing you’re going to find in my blood is rice and beans.”
In some people’s minds, I will always be considered a cheater. And that’s bullshit. Mark my words:
Here is the perfect place for him to write, "I'm not a cheater. I didn't use PEDs." He has introduced the topic with the statement, "Mark my words", which calls for emphasis, weakening what is about to be said:
Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me.
This statement avoids the simple, "I didn't use steroids", which might have ended the story, as there is nothing more to discuss. We do not need to know if he was tested, or how many times he was tested, or how many times he passed a test. Lance Armstrong had a way of swapping urine and saving his own blood. We simply listen for, "I didn't use steroids" or "I didn't use PEDs" and be done with it. This is additional information that, in Statement Analysis, shows not only avoidance of the Reliable Denial (RD) but a need to persuade, and a need to change the topic of discussion.
You know how many times I’ve been tested since 2004?
This is a question in an open statement.
More than 80.
He does not know the precise answer?
They say these tests are random. If it’s really random, I should start playing the damn lottery. Some people still think the testing is a joke. It’s no joke. Ten times a season these guys come into the clubhouse or my home with their briefcases. I have never failed a single one of those tests and I never will.
This sounds like a powerful denial but it is not. A reliable denial is powerful in its truthful content:
"I did not take steroids" or "I did not use PEDs." This statement avoids saying it.
But that doesn’t matter to some people. Some people still look at me like I’m a cheater because my name was on a list of players who got flagged for PEDs in 2003.
We note that within his own words may be an embedded admission: "I'm a cheater."
We now also have a specific time frame in mind: "2003." This is important because it allows him to say:
"My name was on a list of players who got flagged for PEDs in 2003. But I did not use PEDs. I am not a cheater. "
Let me tell you something about that test.
"Let me tell you" is similar to "Mark my words" and is often used, statistically, by deceptive people who now wish to be believed. It is similar to "swear to God" and other oaths.
Note the word "that" is distancing language. This may be appropriate if he is thinking of the date of the test. If he is, however, psychologically distancing himself from the test, we may see this if the topic of the test's result is the focus of the sentence:
Most guys were taking over-the-counter supplements then. Most guys are still taking over-the-counter supplements.
Note that he introduces "most guys", which does not specifically mention himself. Remember the three components of a reliable denial?
I. The Pronoun "I" is the easiest word for us to use. We use it millions of times in our lives.
II. The past tense "did not" or even the relaxed "didn't" with the contraction.
III. The specific allegation: "PEDs"
Here, we have the avoidance of the easy pronoun "I", and we have a specific time frame mentioned: "then", which, in context, is 2003.
But, we then have "most guys" repeated, making "most guys" sensitive to him, and the time frame is the present tense .
Go back to the word "that" and consider: was "that" distancing language due to the passage of time since it was 2003? Or, is he in the present tense, and the distancing language is due to something else, like the test result?
It is here he can say, "I didn't use, therefore, I passed the test"
If one did not use, one will not allow for the possibility of a failed test.
If it’s legal, ballplayers take it.
Note the introduction of "legal" in his language, where he was not able to say "I am not a cheater", but embedded, "I'm a cheater" in his own language.
Why? Because if you make it to the World Series, you play 180 games. Really think about that for a second. 180 games.
"Really think" is another example where the subject calls the attention of the audience (reader) for the need to persuade.
Next, note the order for why "most guys" would use "over the counter supplements" then (in 2003) and the "most guys" still:
Your kids could be sick, your wife could be yelling at you, your dad could be dying — nobody cares. Nobody cares if you have a bone bruise in your wrist or if you have a pulled groin. You’re an entertainer. The people want to see you hit a 95-mile-an-hour fastball over a damn 37-foot wall.
Here are the reasons that "most guys" took over the counter supplements in 2003 and why "most guys" take over the counter supplements today, according to the writer:
1. sick kids
2. wife yelling at you
3. dad dying
4. no one caring
5. bone bruise in your wrist
6. "you" have a pulled groin
7. "You" are an entertainer
8. The "people" are blamed: they want to see "you" hit a 95 mph fastball over a damn 37 foot wall.
If "most guys" took over the counter supplements in 2003, it was not their fault ,but the reasons above.
If "most guys" take them today, it is not their fault, it is the reason listed above, including the fans, by who's money pays "most guys" salaries.
This is not to use the pronoun "I" and say that this is what the subject did.
Most MLB players take a dozen pills a day just to get them through the season — multivitamins, creatine, amino acids, nitric oxide, all kinds of stuff. Whatever you tell them is legal, they’ll take it.
"Most guys" take over the counter supplements.
Here we have a change of language. Here it is "most MLB players" take a dozen pills a day.
When language changes, there should be a reason for it to change, as it represents a change in reality. If there is no justification for the change, it may be that we are looking at deception in the language.
In the list he then gives, many ingredients of over the counter supplements are noted. The context appears similar, that is, if the "dozen pills" are creatine, amino acids, and so on; that is, over the counter supplements.
There does not appear to be a change in reality in the change of language.
But back in the early 2000s,
The word "but" refutes (or minimizes) the information that preceded it, in comparison to what is about to follow. Does he wish to refute his own claim?
Do "most guys" or "most MLB players" do something different, now? We are not made to wait long to see:
you’d go into GNC and the guy working there would say, “Hey, take this stuff. It’s great. It builds muscle, helps with soreness, burns fat, whatever.”
Here, it is not that "most guys" nor "most MLB players" would go into GNC, but "you" would. This is distancing language.
Okay, sure, I’ll take that. I’m buying an over-the-f***ing-counter supplement in the United States of America. I’m buying this stuff in line next to doctors and lawyers. Now all of a sudden MLB comes out and says there’s some ingredient in GNC pills that have a form of steroid in them. I don’t know anything about it.
Note the present tense language.
Note the location of specific purchases being the United States of America.
Please note that it is commonly reported that the purchase of testosterone in Mexico, Central America and South America is often over the counter, and in some places, sold openly, while at others, sold "under the counter" but readily sold.
If you think I’m full of it, go to your kitchen cabinet right now and read the back of a supplement bottle and honestly tell me you know what all of that stuff is. I’m not driving across the border to Mexico buying some shady pills from a drug dealer. I’m in a strip mall across from the Dunkin’ Donuts, bro.
In 2003, MLB wanted to measure what players were taking and figure out some kind of standard.
Please note that MLB was testing specifically for illegal substances: Principally the muscle building steroids such as testosterone, as well as the use of human growth hormone. The other things tested for were masking agents, as well as "balancing" drugs which were taken in attempts to offset the side effects of the steroids and hormones. For example, massive amounts of HGH (human growth hormones) were needed for muscle building, but this could put the athlete into risk of diabetic shock. In small amounts, HGH helped athletes heal faster, sleep better, and slow down the aging process.
Testosterone, in large amounts, converts to estrogen, which causes unhealthy reactions in men, including the development of breasts, so anti-estrogen (cancer) medications were used.
MLB was looking for cheaters who used drugs to artificially build muscle and recover from injuries faster, which not only gave them advantages over non-users, but risked the players' lives.
With the commonly known ability to purchase steroids south of the United States border, athletes could use for years, during development, stop using them, test clean, and have a distinct advantage over American players who built muscle without drugs.
The muscle gained with steroids does not simply "go away" when the steroids are stopped. Slight loss only is expected if the athlete continues to lift weights. Some liars will talk about lifting weights and other accomplishments during times they were "clean" from using, as if this proved something. It does not. Well, it does actually: it proves the need to continue to employ words (lots of them) while avoiding the simple reliable denial of "I didn't use PEDs" in any simple form.
Another danger: While getting bigger, not only is "roid rage" a side effect, but with the increase of appetite can come unwanted weight gain, so the athlete goes into the "shredding" stage where he takes off body fat. This too, employs dangerous drugs that can lead to heart attack and strokes.
It was not just cheating that MLB sought, but protection of health.
Next note what every mother of a teenager knows: guilt seeks friends.
The pronoun "we" puts him in with others and seeks to spread out guilt:
We all got tested and MLB sealed the results. The next year, they said, “Okay, you can’t take any pills with this, this and this,” — all kinds of stuff that was previously in supplements that anybody could buy. They used our tests to figure out what should be considered a performance-enhancer. Okay. Fine. Great. Clean it up. I love it. Shit, if you catch someone taking PEDs now that we all know the rules and have been educated about what’s in these supplements, forget 25, 50 games. Suspend them for an entire year.
I don’t care, because I’m not doing it.
Note that rather than issue a RD, he not only avoids saying it, but he goes to the present tense, "I'm not doing it", which we can believe that at the time this was written, he was not taking PEDs.
We can believe this, and we can believe the test results, both the one distanced from in 2003, and the other 80 plus tests that came after that, of which he speaks of.
The next couple seasons, I start noticing things changing. Guys are a lot more conscious about what they’re putting in their body. But I’m getting tested 10 times a season and I’m still in the gym benching 400 pounds.
I’m out there in 2006 hitting 54 home runs. Nobody wants to talk about that though. They’re on me for my flair now. “Papi, how come you walk around the bases so slow when you hit a home run? How come you flip your bat like that? Don’t you think that’s disrespectful to celebrate?”
Yeah, I’m gonna have fun. It’s who I am. I just hit a baseball 500 damn feet. I grew up in the gutter and now I’m out here in front of the world living my dream and you all want me to feel sad? I can’t do it. I’m here to bring joy to this game.
Analysis conclusion follows this lengthy article.
People ask me all the time how I turned into such a monster in my early 30s. “How are you doing this? You must be cheating.” You know how? Physically, I was always a bull. But I learned to play the game with my head and my heart and my balls. I got smarter. I got mentally tougher. I used to have a trick every time we went into Yankee Stadium, especially in the playoffs. I’d walk out to the on-deck circle and look into the crowd and pick out the craziest guys there. I’d find the ones that were screaming all kinds of stuff at me, and I’d look them right in the eyes. It was like a game — see who blinks first. Then I’d turn to my dugout and say, “Hey, watch this. I’m gonna hit this one to the choo-choo train.”
One night I hit a home run and when I was rounding third base I found these two guys in the stands who had been screaming at me. And they were literally fighting. The one guy was yelling, “Why the f*** did you piss him off, man?”
I became a great hitter because of my mental preparation. This is a thinking man’s game. You can be the strongest dude alive and you’re not going to be able to hit a sinker with 40,000 people screaming at you. That’s what really makes me mad when I think about the way I will be remembered. They’re only going to remember my power. They’re not going to remember the hours and hours and hours of work in the film room. They’re not going to remember the BP. They’re not going to remember me for my intelligence. Despite all I’ve done in this game, I’m just the big DH from the Dominican. They turn you into a character, man.
You think I’m joking?
He continues to use a multitude of words and in the case of the Reliable Denial missing, it only adds to the deception. The number of words he needs to persuade, versus the 4 or 5 words needed to deny steroid use will be seen in the end result.
Is he persuading readers that he did not take steroids, while refusing to simply say he did not take steroids?
Or, is he revealing something about his own personality, instead?
In 2013, I came off the DL and started hot. My first 20 games I was hitting like .400. And the reporter with the red jheri curl from The Boston Globecomes into the locker room says, “You’re from the Dominican. You’re older. You fit the profile of a steroid user. Don’t you think you’re a prime suspect?”
Here is yet another place where he can say he did not use steroids.
He has set up multiple scenarios in which the call for denial is given.
Each place where he sets up the scenario for a response, he avoids denying taking steroids or PEDs.
He’s saying this with a straight face. I had taken like 70 at-bats. Anybody can get hot and hit .400 with 70 at-bats. I was stunned. I’m like, I’m Dominican? I fit the profile? Are you kidding me?
Please note "Dominican" and the number of drug traffickers who go there to purchase and re-sell steroids to gyms is known in law enforcement.
Is this the "race card" being played? If so, it is another tangent, which shows, in language, the need to take the topic in a different route other than a denial.
The profile of a steroid user is one who:
a. has the means to obtain steroids. The means is not only money, but geography.
b. has a body that changes
c. has his career extended beyond the norm.
I wanted to kill this guy. But you can’t react. That’s what they want. They want you to get angry so they can bury you. So I just smiled at him and asked for his address.
“Why do you want my address?” he said.
“Because I just got tested two days ago.” I said. “I’ll mail you the f****ing results.”
He will mail the results but not say "I didn't use"
This is a reporter from my own city coming to my locker and telling me I’m too good, that I must be on some shit. I’m sitting there thinking, Man, I get tested 10 times a year and I’ve helped win this town two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 and this guy who has never played a game of professional baseball in his life is telling me I’m a suspect.
My test was clean just like the other 8 or 9 tests that season. My batting average settled down to .300, because of course it did. I hit like 30 home runs and we won the World Series. Was that acceptable for the reporter? Were my numbers too high for a player from the Dominican? Should I have taken another blood test before popping the damn champagne?
He never apologized.
I get asked all the time: “Do you think you’ll be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Do you think it’s fair for you to be included after your name was on that list in 2003?”
Let me tell you about fair. I grew up in a neighborhood where there was a shooting every day. Every single day. I didn’t know if I was going to step outside to go play at the park with a f***ing tape ball and a stick and get shot. I saw people get killed right in front of me. I grew up in a house where my father used to hit my mother. There was a fight in my house pretty much every other day. It was normal. I grew up in a house that didn’t have the luxury of proper nutrition or vitamins. A protein shake? Are you kidding me? The only protein I knew about until I was 16 was frijoles negros. Black beans.
These reporters always want to talk about fair. The world ain’t fair.
I’ll never forget coming into the clubhouse before a day game against Oakland in 2009 when a reporter came up to me and said, “Hey, you know your name is about to be on a list of steroid users on ESPN?”
I literally said, “Ha!” and walked away. God’s honest truth: I thought he was messing with me.
Here we have the principle in statement analysis of "deity" in which is commonly used by habitual liars.
About 30 minutes later, I’m getting dressed when I see my face pop up on the TV. I see “Failed Test. 2003.”
Here is where he can say "I didn't fail the test in 2003", instead, he uses another (clever) tactic:
No one had ever told me I’d failed any test.
The test result is not addressed, but the lack of information given to him is. This is to blame the testers while avoiding saying "I didn't fail.'"
Next, note "I'm dirty" in his language, where he sources "some documents" as "saying" this. This is not to enter the language of another, but to embed:
Now six years later some documents get leaked and they’re saying I’m dirty. I called my agent and asked what was going on. He didn’t have any answers for me. I called the MLB Players’ Association and they didn’t have any answers for me. To this day, nobody has any answers for me. Nobody can tell me what I supposedly tested positive for. They say they legally can’t, because the tests were never supposed to be public.
Instead of saying "I didn't fail the test", he blames "nobody" for not telling him which drug they caught him taking.
This writer is a liar from childhood.
Let me tell you something. Say whatever you want about me — love me, hate me. But I’m no bullshitter. I never knowingly took any steroids. If I tested positive for anything, it was for something in pills I bought at the damn mall. If you think that ruins everything I have done in this game, there is nothing I can say to convince you different.
After I saw my face on ESPN, I felt a lot of darkness. I felt a lot of anger. I knew what was coming. But I went out there that day and when I stepped up to the plate, I just thought, Papi, look at where you are. Look at where you came from. Nobody’s shooting at you. Nobody’s trying to kill you. They pay you to play a kid’s game.
When I’m at the plate, I really feel like I’m in heaven.
I hit the game-winning home run into the bleachers at Fenway that day. That was it, man. That was my closure.
This is instead of saying, "Papi, you didn't use steroids, don't worry..."
When I got to the clubhouse, it was crazy. Reporters were everywhere. Nobody asked about the homer. Nobody asked how many times I’ve been tested since 2003. Since that day, I have been asked the same question a million times: Do you think you deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?
Hell yes I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
Would he say, "I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame because I didn't use steroids"?
He gives a different reason instead of not using steroids, since steroid use is what has kept Barry Bonds out:
I’ve won three World Series since MLB introduced comprehensive drug testing. I’ve performed year after year after year. But if a bunch of writers who have never swung a bat want to tell me it’s all for nothing, OK. Why do they write my legacy?
Note narcissistic lying patterns. Note the abundance of words used rather than the 4 or 5 needed to issue a denial.
Let me tell you what I really care about.
In context, it should now read about the 3 world series victories after drug testing. Instead he shows what he "really" cares about:
When we played in Texas a few days later after the news came out, people were screaming, “Cheater, cheater, cheater!” It was really vicious.
Here he can say, "I am not a cheater. I didn't use PEDs."
My family was sitting right there in the stands. After the game, my son came up to me in the hotel with tears in his eyes and he says, “Dad, why are they calling you a cheater? Are you a cheater?”
Here is yet another time to say "Son, I did not cheater. I didn't use steroids."
The race card has been played;
the homer card (home fans) has been played;
now father hood is another emotional topic employed in the place of denying steroid use. This is to show the personality of the writer, highly persuasive, highly narcissistic, and very deceptive.
As a father, that’s a moment you’re never prepared for. I looked at him in the eye and said, “No, I’m not a cheater.”
In 75 years, when I’m dead and gone, I won’t care if I’m in the Hall of Fame. I won’t care if a bunch of baseball writers know the truth about who I am in my soul and what I have done in this game. I care that my children know the truth.
Here he can tell us the truth and say, "I didn't use", but in each and every scenario he brought up, skillfully employing diversionary and emotional scenarios, he could not say the simplest of words.
The subject used 2332 words. The reliable denial is 4, or 5 at the most, which would come out to less than 1% in total, or
Here, we find that the actual percentage of words used to reliably deny using steroids or PEDs to be 0%
The subject is deceptive.
The subject is unwilling or unable to say that he did not use steroids; therefore, we are not permitted to say it for him.
He does, however, use more than 2,000 words to avoid saying "I didn't do it", showing not only an acute need to persuade, but a habit of speech common to habitual liars.
If David Ortiz wrote this, and English is his second language: even if we step back from the nuances of language, his need to employ this extreme volume of words, combined with the attempts to employ emotionally laden language, and the avoidance of the RD still shows deception.
A word about figures of speech in which attention is called:
There is an appropriate use of such terms, but in a statement where a denial is expected, or issued in an unreliable manner, specifically, indicates weakness and is the language of deception. Many people refer to the finger wagging or pointing (Rafael Palmero, Bill Clinton), which are both good examples. Yet, in any challenge, it is just that, a challenge.
"let me tell you" and so on...
In the context of a denial, it is yet another method of emphasizing the lack of denial, highlighting the weakness. Ortiz' use of it is extreme. This shows childhood habit.