…and neither am I! Though New York Mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner has done a bit to take the heat off suspended Milwaukee OF Ryan Braun, the latter’s burial of MLB sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. (above) still sticks in the craw of many observers. I can’t pretend I’m impartial here —- a good looking Jewish guy at the top of his field tried to get someone named Dino fired? BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Or as SBN Nation’s Bill Parker might put it, guilty or not, Braun “doesn’t owe Laurenzi anything”, much less an apology.
A major, kind of unspoken part of how the criminal procedure system works is that if your rights to having proper procedures followed have been violated, you not only have the right to contest those procedures, you’re not only acting in your own rational self-interest, but you almost have a duty to raise those issues; regardless of guilt or innocence or something in between, in making sure the proper procedures were followed in building the case against you, you’re a part of helping to police and enforce the integrity of the process for everyone else.
“Things we learned about the collector” could insinuate something unsavory. It could also mean, translated from lawyer-speak into baseball-player-speak, that they learned that the collector may not have handled the sample in strict accordance with the procedures.
Which is ultimately what it did mean. Which Laurenzi didn’t. Which is the reason Laurenzi faced media scrutiny and apparently lost his job — not because Braun made one or two statements that may or may not have vaguely suggested bad things about him, but because Laurenzi did not in fact do his job.
So whatever else you may find in the litany of things Braun is guilty of, the ruination and character assassination of one Dino Laurenzi, Jr. is not on there. Rail at Braun all you like for the cheating he (apparently) did. In that 2011-12 appeal, though? Braun and his lawyers used the criminal procedure rules as adopted by baseball and the MLBPA in exactly the way they were intended to be used, and has nothing to apologize for there.