One of the characters involved in the Ryan Braun urine sample debacle wants to remind the world that he is a person.
Dino Laurenzi, Jr., the collector tasked with getting Braun's fateful urine sample from Miller Park to FedEx for delivery to a testing facility in Montreal, released a statement through his attorney Tuesday defending himself from any wrongdoing.
From ESPN Wisconsin (yes, it exists!), here's Laurenzi's plea:
"This situation has caused great emotional distress for me and my family. I have worked hard my entire life, have performed my job duties with integrity and professionalism, and have done so with respect to this matter and all other collections in which I have participated."
Based on his account, if it's true, you can see why Laurenzi is upset:
"I completed my collections at Miller Park at approximately 5:00 p.m. Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.
"Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3. In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident."
Given the nature of arbitrator Shyam Das' ruling, that last part might be used against MLB by another player who tested positive, if he can show that Laurenzi was his courier, as well. Laurenzi might have followed his company's own protocol — taking the wee-wee all of the way home — but it still conflicts with the rules Major League Baseball and the players association put in place.
Assuming he is telling the truth, and there's no reason not to, that means Laurenzi has gotten a lot of grief for doing his job the best anyone could.
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