ryan braun whoaAfter Ryan Braun tested positive for an absurdly elevated testosterone level late in his MVP 2011 season, he avoided suspension by arguing that the sample collector – Dino Laurenzi, Jr. – didn’t follow the proper protocols, raising issues about the chain of custody.

As that was going on, according to an ESPN report, Braun was also arguing behind the scenes that Laurenzi was an anti-Semite (Braun is Jewish), and (worse?) … a Chicago Cubs fan!* Braun reportedly reached out to fellow MLB players to rally support, suggesting that Laurenzi’s biases, including his Cubs fandom, had something to do with how Braun’s positive test came into being.

I love the Cubs as much as anyone, but it strikes me as a touch insane to intentionally taint a specific player’s urine specimen – and risk losing one’s job – because he plays for a rival of the Cubs. That’s apparently the portrait of Laurenzi that Braun was trying to paint, which is obviously awful. Throw in the much more serious anti-Semetic claims, and Braun is probably going to have some legal ‘splainin’ to do.

Back when Braun “won” his appeal, and held his famous press conference to claim victory, he said this, among other things, about the collector:

“Why he didn’t bring [the sample] in, I don’t know. On the day that he did finally bring it in, FedEx opened at 7:30. Why didn’t he bring it in until 1:30? I can’t answer that question. Why was there zero documentation? What could have possibly happened to it during that 44-hour period? There were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way that the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened.” (emphasis added)

I think it’s fair to suspect now that Braun was referring to the twin sins of being anti-Semetic and a Cubs fan.

If ESPN’s report is accurate, I’m thinking the dislike meter for Braun among Cubs fans will continue its downward slide.

*I like to imagine Braun discovering Laurenzi’s dark secret …

[Leafing through Laurenzi’s follows on Twitter] “Buster Olney, Ken Rosenthal, yes, yes, no help there. Wait. He follows Bruce Levine? *AND* Bruce Miles? The Bruces!? No … no … [scrolling down to reveal] @CubsNoHitStreak!? It can’t be! Laurenzi is … a Cubs fan!”

The shock and dismay that had only recently gripped Braun begin to wash away as he slides back in his chair, a fiendish plan turning over in his mind.

“A Cubs fan,” Braun repeats to himself, grasping at the very mustache he’d grown in the hopes he’d have occasion to twist …

  • michael hanson

    Sounds like Braun has been using PED’s longer than anyone, even he, realized.

  • Ben

    Well, Brett. This nicely written piece should be good for about 200 comments today. I think I will be quiet and just read today. Let it begin.

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    So when Braun offers his apologies, what apologies will he offer to the collector? A friend of a friend knows the dude personally and everything I’ve heard is he’s a standup guy (whom Braun dragged through the mud).

    That being said, I don’t dig the he-said she-said “unnamed sources” nature of this report. But I guess that’s baseball nowadays.

    Braun is a [rest of comment ommited due to family friendly nature of Bleacher Nation].

  • Dude

    Doesn’t being a fan of any team make you somewhat biased and incompetent?

    • Spencer

      I know that I feel biased and incompetent for watching Cubs games. Yet I still continue to do it…

  • tbone

    so who would play the role of Braun in a movie? Maybe a young Kevin Spacey?

    • Jon

      Sacha Baron Cohen

    • ssckelley

      Easy, Jake Gyllenhaal, and it is not even close.


      • Kev

        True, but if we want to capture his total douchiness, maybe this fellow?

    • SKiz

      I saw an old slasher flick a long time ago, Prom Night, and always thought the guy who played the killer was Braun:


  • Eric

    More like the mustache he was able to grow virtually overnight due to an elevated testosterone level.

  • JB88

    Braun is going to pay Laurenzi a TON of money for Laurenzi to dismiss the defamation suit. Oh man is Laurenzi going to get PAID.

  • Stevie B

    ” Yeah, I’m sure of it….I hate him”

    • ACA

      Tombstone? Awesome.

    • Jp3

      Ha! “He was just too high

    • JM

      I guess His hipocracy knows no bounds.

  • Spencer

    I’m having a really tough time reconciling who I dislike more regarding this PED stuff – Braun or A-Rod. Both are scum, but I can’t decide who is worse. If A-Rod ratted his teammate and fellow players, then he’s the clear winner. But Braun went to Melky Cabrera-like lengths to clear his name last year, and tarnished the name/career of that FedEx collector along the way. I can’t wait to hear his perfectly scripted and fake remarks whenever he finally decides to make them. If you missed it, Kirk Gibson had some pretty scathing words about Braun here: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9579006/arizona-diamondbacks-manager-kirk-gibson-cheaters-ryan-braun-rob-other-players

    • JB88

      Some of the information that is out there on what A-Rod has done makes Braun look like an absolute amateur. A-Rod, by comparison, is running a crime syndicate.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        There is so much anti-Arod stuff going on, I’m almost pulling for him to win the World Series MVP to see Bud Selig hand it to him.

  • ssckelley

    You think that is bad just wait until us Cub fans get a hold of Yadier Molina urine!

    • Ben

      SS Outstanding. You are now in first place.

  • Mak

    As a Jewish guy, I thoroughly resent Braun playing the anti Semite card (or as we call it, the Mel Gibson card). Braun doesn’t identify as a Jew and never has. It especially irked me when he refused to play for team Israel for the WBC along with American Jews such as Shawn green, youk, etc.

    • Harry Ramirez

      “Braun doesn’t identify as a Jew and never has”
      Not true at all.

      “I am Jewish,’’ Braun told USA TODAY last year. “It’s something I’m really proud of. But I don’t want to make it into something more than what it is. I didn’t have a Bar Mitzvah. I don’t want to pretend that I did. I didn’t celebrate the holidays. It’s a touchy subject because I don’t want to offend anybody, and I don’t want groups claiming me now because I’m having success. But I do consider myself definitely Jewish. And I’m extremely proud to be a role model for young Jewish kids”.

      “It especially irked me when he refused to play for team Israel”

      source: 2013 World Baseball Classic (Wikipedia)
      Under WBC rules, non-Israeli players of Jewish ancestry were eligible to play for Israel, and Major League All Stars first baseman Kevin Youkilis, second baseman Ian Kinsler, and outfielder Ryan Braun (whose father is Israeli)[11][12][13] expressed a desire to do so. However, Qualifier 1 took place in September, during the MLB season, precluding the participation of those major league players as well as Jewish major leaguers catcher Ryan Lavarnway, first baseman Ike Davis, third baseman Danny Valencia, outfielders Sam Fuld and Ryan Kalish, and pitchers Jason Marquis, Scott Feldman, Craig Breslow, and John Grabow.[1][14][15][16][17] Without its Major Leaguers, Israel, coached by former major league All Star Brad Ausmus, was evenly matched with Spain. It narrowly failed to qualify for the main tournament despite 4 home runs in 12 at-bats from minor league first baseman Nate Freiman.

  • miggy80

    Not only does it slide Braun down the dislike meter, but it also slides Bud Selig down the dislike meter too. He let Braun off easy is just garbage.

  • Ben

    Urine cup souvenir day when Milwaukee returns to Wrigley!

    • ssckelley

      Great idea! Line up all the kids by the Brewers dugout to get autographs on them.

      • Ben

        You are killing me.

  • Curt

    Ryan Braun = dousche bag , all I need to say.

  • cubzforlife

    That would be a hoot. Fans dressed as urine cups and fedex envelopes. I use to try and respect Brauns talent as a player. He is a scumbag of the first order.

    • ssckelley

      Or just make it FedEx hat day, give everyone a free FedEx hat. I can hear the announcer already, “todays Cubs/Brewers game is sponsored by FedEx. When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight use FedEx.”

  • DReese

    UNBELIEVABLE! I cannot believe anyone would stoop so low. To go after people and companies the way he does is just insanity. I cannot believe he would destroy a persons personal life (I assume Dino Laurenzi, Jr. is not an anti-Semite because I don’t think a company would hire someone like that) just to prove that he did not take PEDs, even though he did! This is completely appalling!

  • Cubbie Blues

    Braun, urine trouble now.

    • Internet Random


    • Hansman1982

      Proof of his dumbassness has trickled out.

  • Frank

    This guy has got to be the biggest shit head of all time. He lied, cheated and got off on a technicality and he was willing to throw anyone under the bus to cover his ass. He has no problem labeling someone an anti-Semite and possibly ruining their career or life. On top of it, he labeled the guy a Cubs fan. Anti-Semite is one thing, but a Cubs fan? God help Laurenzi’s sole.

    If the Brewers fans welcome this dick weed back with open arms, they’re a bunch of _________________. (fill in the blank)

  • Chunsum Choi

    Being a Milwaukee Brewer these days makes you stupid, apparently.

  • noisesquared

    I have an idea for PED punishment – what if the players contract was voided AND their MLB service time was reset to zero? The current team would retain the player’s rights, but no longer have to pay for a contract possibly inflated due to PED-influenced performance. The player would have to re-earn his rights to arb and free-agency. I’d figure it would be in addition to suspensions, although a contract voiding and service time reset would likely be enough to eliminate PED use completely.

    I don’t know if there any labor law ramifications to this though. I would think if the union is serious about eliminating PED’s, they’d be behind something like this. Every Braun that’s out there with PED inflated contracts is potentially taking $ away from a clean player, and the union finally seems upset about it.

    • Corey

      How about straight up banned from the league? Zero tolerance. Schilling said it best, there’s no deterrent to cheating if they only get suspended for a season.

  • Ben

    Schedule the urine collector guy to sing -Take me out to the ball game–when Milwaukee comes to town.

    • Jon

      If they scheduled him on a Saturday, he’d probably show up on Monday.

  • jh03

    Has Kershaw signed his extension yet? I don’t think I would have missed something so big, but I just haven’t heard much about that lately.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Brett – Given that Braun (per ESPN reports I read quickly and may have misunderstood) was calling up other players pushing this line of reasoning / personal attacks against the collector, would he be susceptible to any criminal charges? I can see words like “conspiracy” applying here, but I don’t know if the level of severity would be high enough to remotely make it worth it for anyone. If it is even possible. What he did may not even be illegal (which, I might add, does not make it right. It was a terrible, horrible, awful, despicable thing to do regardless of any formal legalities).

    • Coldneck

      I’m no lawyer, but I think we’re likely to see a libel or slander case. Laurenzi did lose his job through all of this which are real damages. The punitive damages could potentially dwarf the actual damages, however.

      • arkema15

        could all jump in as Plaintiffs, since Braun slandered out stand up reputation as Cubs fans?

        • arkema15


    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s possible, but I don’t think we have enough of the facts to conclude one way or the other.

      • hansman1982

        If Laurenzi isn’t consulting an attorney right now, he should. If nothing else, he should get a strongly worded letter sent out to Braun right away.

        • ssckelley

          The guy seems pretty thankful for not having to collect urine anymore.

  • Rev. Bud Green

    Braun is bad but ass-rod is a rat. Snitches get stitches for being punk ass bitches.

    • BABIP (MichCubFan)

      Thanks for that, Reverend.

      • Mick

        Every site needs a chaplain.

  • Joycedaddy

    Ah, yes, ’twas the Cubs fault, naturally. Or should I say synthetically.

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  • Jason P

    I hate Ryan Braun 10 time as much as I hate A-Rod. Braun is a scumbag and an awful human being.

  • Chef Brian

    Ryan “The Jewcer” Braun is a total jerk and he has lost any credibility within the game of baseball. I doubt he will win anymore hardware as a player. Baseball players past and present are a tight community and just like other cheaters he will be a pariah.

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