Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A-Rod Admits Steroid Use

For readers of the Statement Analysis blog, you knew that in 2009 what everyone else is just finding out today:

A-Rod used steroids.  

Analysis of an interview from 2009 showed the inability to deliver a Reliable Denial, for which Statement Analysis concluded:  Deception Indicated. 

In short statements in the past few years, Statement Analysis conclusion was further buttressed. Each time he spoke, it was clear in the analysis:  he used exogenous testosterone. 

Like Lance Armstrong, A-Rod went on the attack and spent considerable money on lawyers to not only protect himself, but to attempt to harm others.  

This is sociopathic like behavior and turned one of the best base ball players of our era into one of the most despised ball players, including the hatred and ire of his fellow ballplayers and Major League Baseball, in general.  

Was the attacking of others a strategy by his lawyers?  Perhaps.

In Lance Armstrong's case, the language employed was personal and through him, speaking extemporaneously more than through written statements issued by lawyers.  Armstrong appeared to be incapable of "turning it off", including being deceptive in his interview with Orpah Winfrey, billed as a "coming clean."

It wasn't.

A-Rod would have been better off just telling the truth.  Everyone makes mistakes.  America is a forgiving people, especially when athletes are successful.  He could have talked about adding steroids to his workout and diet regime in hopes of overcoming age and injuries.  Roger Clemens could have done the same.  They would have accepted their suspensions or punishment and went on with their lives . 

Instead, they angered the American public which is the echo of the sportswriters who vote on the Hall of Fame inductions.  

Here is an old interview of A-Rods:

This is an article from 2009.  Note that a reliable denial consists of three components:

1.  The pronoun "I" must be present

2.  The past tense verb "didn't" (or "did not") must be present, rather than "never"

3.  The specific allegation must be addressed.

"I did not use steroids" is an example of a reliable denial.

Lying causes internal stress on humans, therefore, they avoid a direct lie and will use "never" rather than "didn't", or drop their pronoun, or make the allegation 'vague' in their statements.  Here, A-Rod is seen deceptive on a number of points. 

 Can you pick up all the places where A-Rod is deceptive?  Some areas are not highlighted.

George Mitchell's blistering report detailing the illegal use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs in baseball rocked the sports world this week. It implicated more than 80 players, some of the best in the game: MVP's, Cy Young Award winners, future Hall of Famers. 

One baseball great who wasn't on the list is Alex Rodriguez. He's on track to become the home run king, surpassing the likes of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. But for all of his individual accomplishments and seemingly clean record, A-Rod has been a lightning rod for criticism -- for his poor performance in the postseason, for upstaging the World Series this year, and, most of all, for his staggering paycheck. And that was before he signed a new contract with the Yankees worth an estimated $300 million dollars. Katie Couricspoke with him just after the Mitchell Report was released.

"For the record, have you ever used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing substance?" Couric asked.

"No," Rodriguez replied.

Asked if he had ever been tempted to use any of those things, Rodriguez told Couric, "No."

Yes or No questions are the easiest to lie to.  Next in the steps of ease, there is the word "never" which, when substituted for "did not", is not only unreliable, but is often used as a method of 'vagueness' which may help eliminate some of the stress of guilt.  If the question is "ever", then "never" may be used as a direct response, but we look for someone to issue the three (not two, and not four) easy component of:

"I didn't use steroids."

The Interviewer makes the mistake of not only asking leading questions, but introducing the "ever" mentality.  TV interviewers seek to gain some information, but mostly to promote their own selves and their own shows, as a means of ratings. They must seek information, while maintaining a climate of entertainment. 

This is very difficult to do.  

"You never felt like, 'This guy's doing it, maybe I should look into this, too? He's getting better numbers, playing better ball,'" Couric asked.

"I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field. I've always been a very strong, dominant position. And I felt that if I did my work as I've done since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at any level. So, no," he replied.

This question was not answered with a Reliable Denial, but it also allowed him to introduce a new form of deception:  the reason 'why' in his tangent.

He does not say "I did not take steroids because I was not overmatched..." instead, he allows the listener to interpret his words as his reason.  It is a clever response.   

What's Rodriguez's reaction to this investigation?

"Katie, you're putting me in a tough spot. I mean, these are guys that I play with. They're my teammates. If anything comes of this, I will be extremely disappointed. And it will be a huge black eye on the game of baseball," he told Couric.

"It sounds like this is rampant. According to the Mitchell Report, every single club has a player using banned substances. Did you ever witness or hear about or even suspect this was going on?" Couric asked.

"You hear a lot of things. I mean, I came in 1993. And you heard whispers from the '80s and '90s. But I never saw anything. I never had raw evidence. And, quite frankly, I was probably a little bit too naïve when I first came up to understand the magnitude of all this," Rodriguez replied.

Here he also avoids issuing a denial and employs "seeing" in response to:  "witness" or "hear" (the language of the Interviewer).  This change in language is important.  

That he "never saw anything" is unreliable, but here, like most deceptive individuals, he is not content to leaving his denial alone. He adds to it, hoping to buttress it (revealing the need to strengthen equates weakness, itself).

"I never had raw evidence" indicating that some evidence was not "raw."  He introduced this word, "raw" which is unusual and should have been asked about it from the Interviewer.   

"When I first came up" is a specific point of time.  He has now admitted to using steroids:  not when he first came up, but in the latter years, when his body was aging and becoming more injury prone.  Steroids, including testosterone and human growth hormone, help in healing and anti-aging.  
Note that his ignorance was to the "magnitude of all this"; not specific to the use of steroids.  

But there's no escaping the magnitude of the scandal now. The Mitchell Report comes on the heels of Barry Bonds' recent indictment in San Francisco for perjury and obstruction of justice in a federal steroids investigation.

"Given this controversy, Alex, who do you think has the real homerun record? Barry Bonds at 762 or Hank Aaron 755?" Couric asked.

"Well, I think Barry Bonds. He has 762," Rodriguez said.

"But, he has an asterisk next to his name?" Couric remarked.

"Does he?" Rodriguez said. "Not yet."

"In the minds of many, he does," Couric said.

"The federal government is going to make its decision on that. Barry's been a phenomenal player. And I've really enjoyed watching him play. But, he's innocent 'til proven guilty," Rodriguez replied.

On the same day the Mitchell Report was front page news, A-Rod was making headlines as well. The Yankees announced he had been re-signed, breaking his own record-setting deal. He already had the highest paying contract in any team sport.

Asked why he thinks he gets so much grief over his salary, Rodriguez told Couric, "'Cause I make a lot of money."

"Your new contract is worth $300 million-plus. Are you worth it? Is any player worth that kind of salary?" Couric asked.

"I'm not sure," Rodriguez said. "I mean, that's not my job to evaluate or appraise players. I love to play baseball."

But the game that got Alex Rodriguez the most attention this past season was one he wasn't even in. It was the fourth game of the World Series and the Red Sox were about to sweep the Colorado Rockies, when the announcer suddenly broke away from the game, saying that Rodriguez had decided to opt out of his Yankees contract.

Opt-out, meaning he was leaving to become a free agent. That announcement upstaged one of the biggest nights in baseball.

"Can you understand why so many people found that so incredibly offensive?" Couric asked.

"Absolutely. A hundred percent," Rodriguez said. "If I was a sports writer, if I was a fan, I would have been very, very upset. I was angry and upset. Shocked -- disbelief. I mean, I'm sitting in my living room."

"You were watching the game?" Couric asked.

"Yes. And that was very, very difficult," Rodriguez said.

Asked what he did when he heard it, Rodriguez told Couric, "Nightmare -- you know, I got white like a ghost. I just couldn't believe my eyes. I was under the impression that it would come out a day or two after the World Series concluded. And I would never do anything to harm the game … to the Red Sox and the Rockies, my deepest apologies, and to all of Major League Baseball."

"You got hammered by the press. A number of respected sports writers called you, among other things, 'A gold plated phony.' 'Pay-Rod in Pinstripes.' They say you upstaged more World Series games than you actually played in. Were you surprised at the level of vitriol that came your way?" Couric asked. 

"No. If I was a writer, I would have done the same thing, because it was unacceptable. And inappropriate," Rodriguez said. "And, you know, when you do things the wrong way, that's what you get."

The whole debacle started, he says, when his agent, Scott Boras, told him the Yankees didn't want him anymore. 

"But they were trying to reach out to you. It's kind of hard to believe that you were taking Scott Boras' word as gospel when you had all these other signs coming from Yankee management," Couric remarks.

"You're right," Rodriguez says.

Asked why he fell for that, Rodriguez said, "Why wouldn't I trust my attorney. Most people trust their attorneys. I'm a baseball player. I'm not an attorney. I've never negotiated a contract." 

But at the age of 32, he was about to. 

"When I realized things were going haywire, at that point, I said, 'Wait a minute! I got to be accountable for my own life…this is not going the way I wanted to go and I got behind the wheel,' and I called Hank," Rodriguez recalled.

Hank, as in George Steinbrenner's son, who is now in charge of the Yankees. Taking the advice of his friend billionaire Warren Buffet, A-Rod says he negotiated directly and personally with the Yankees. 

Scott Boras, who told 60 Minutes he couldn't talk about his clients, was not welcome at the table, but he still stands to make about $15 million on the deal. A-Rod says he will pay him, and will keep him.

"What is your relationship like with him today? Why do you have to think about that so much?" Couric asked Rodriguez.

"Well, the whole situation saddens me a little bit," he replied.

Asked if he talks with him at all, Rodriguez said "No."

"Do you think that will change?" Couric asked.

"We'll see," Rodriguez said. 

Asked if he was talking to Boras during the negotiation process, Rodriguez said, "No, I wasn't. I was talking with my wife."

The word "with" between people indicates distance.  Did his wife disagree?

"Cynthia, how do you think Alex changed as a result of this?" Couric asked.

"He wasn't used to having to take such initiative and such action, especially in this arena….and he actually had to pick up the phone, make the calls, make some decisions and stand behind them…be confident and be sure…it was very difficult, but it was a huge growing experience," Rodriguez's wife replied. 

Is it all about the money for you?" Couric asked.

"No," Rodriguez said. "But economics always play a part of it. I wanted the best deal the Yankees had for me. Whatever that number was."

"Some people say you overplayed your hand. That there wasn't that much interest in you among other teams," Couric remarked.

"I beg to differ," Rodriguez said.

Asked why, Rodriguez said, "I thought there was a lot of interest out there."

"You thought or you knew?" Couric asked.

"I knew," he replied.


paperback now available:

Wise As A Serpent; Gentle As A Dove: Dealing With Deception


trustmeigetit said...

Interesting... I was just typing up a post about how reliable SA is by looking at statements of a few athletes we now know did drugs and see this new post. My planned OT comment is below and now fits well

Some validation that Statement Analysis is a great tool.
I saw an article on facebook today titled “Best Athletes on Steroids”
So I took a few of these top athletes that we now know DID in fact take steroids and have their “denial” below where they are ATTEMPTING to deny while lacking any real “reliable denial”

So I took a few (8) of them and then included their public “denial” as reported by the media.

It is really interesting…. So we know they lied and this was how they responded initially.

I am sold on Statement Analysis.

Not one of them said “I did not take steroids/performance enhancing drugs…”

Roger Clemens:

“It never happened. Never happened. If I have these needles and these steroids and all these drugs, where did I get them? Where's the person that gave them to me? Please come forward.”

Mark McGwire:
"My lawyers have advised me that I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family, or myself,"

"I'm not here to discuss the past, I'm here to be positive about this subject."

Sammy Sosa:
"To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs,"

Lance Armstrong:
“I can emphatically say I am not on drugs."
"We're sick and tired of these allegations and we're going to do everything we can to fight them. They're absolutely untrue."

"I have never had a single positive doping test, and I do not take performance-enhancing drugs."
"Why would I enter into a sport and then dope myself up and risk my life again? That's crazy. I would never do that. No way."

Barry Bonds:
"They can test me every day if they choose to."

Jose Canseco
“I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy with Major League Baseball, but it’s just crazy and ridiculous

Marion Jones:
“I have never, ever used performance-enhancing drugs and I have accomplished what I have accomplished because of my God given abilities and hard work”

Ryan Braun:
"If I had done this intentionally, or unintentionally, I'd be the first one to step up and say 'I did it.' By no means am I perfect, but if I have ever made any mistakes in my life, I have taken responsibility for my actions...I truly believe in my heart, and would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point."

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