Ryan Braun made some pretty strong comments yesterday about how his urine sample was handled by the collector, saying that he was a “victim of a process that completely broke down and failed.”
We’re still hearing different information regarding where the sample was stored in the collector’s home — some reports say it was stored in a cooler in his basement while others say it was left in a tupperware container on a desk — but the identity of the collector is no longer a mystery.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported yesterday afternoon that the collector’s name is Dino Laurenzi. He has collected specimens for MLB since 2005 and even the NFL and NHL through his job with Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc.
The Associated Press left a message on Laurenzi’s cell phone seeking comment, but they were able to speak with the collector’s father, Dino Laurenzi, Sr. He said his son was a collector for baseball’s testing program and is currently at spring training. He didn’t know his son was involved in Braun’s case, but said that any accusations about his conduct “would be unfounded.”
“He’s a straight shooter. Never been in trouble,” Laurenzi Sr. said.
Laurenzi sounds like a pretty experienced individual by all accounts, so one wonders who stands to benefit by revealing his name to the press. It’s probably not Braun or even arbitrator Shyam Das.
Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.
The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.
The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.
The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
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As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense: