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.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.
The Red Sox inked Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract back in August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.