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Ryan Braun has caused MLB to switch to glass pee containers in drug testing

Mar 25, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT

ryan braun getty Getty Images

One may worry about the impact of all of the drug allegations to the legacy of Ryan Braun, but in one respect his legacy is secure: he’s the guy who killed plastic pee containers in MLB drug testing. Andy Martino reports:

According to two major league sources, MLB quietly switched from plastic to glass containers for urine samples in 2012, a direct result of Braun’s victory on grounds that the collection process was flawed.  Before the Braun case, players gave the urine sample in a triple-sealed plastic container … The bottles have a locking mechanism on the top, as opposed to tamper-proof stickers on the plastic version. The only way to open the glass bottles is to smash the top with a hammer, which the lab does in what a person familiar with the process described as a “controlled manner.”

We have a new front-runner for “worst job on the planet.”

  1. markofapro - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    A definite peon

    • heyblueyoustink - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      Who might get paid much more than you would think. We’re talking about being a drug tester for MLB. not your average roofer.

      • paperlions - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:08 AM

        Lab techs don’t get paid that much. Actual chemists/physiologists/biochemists, can make decent money….and those companies make a killing, but being a lab tech is just following protocols someone else designed….yeah, you have to be careful and conscientious, but it isn’t a glamorous or high paying position.

      • heyblueyoustink - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        Paper, if I ever had to phone a friend on a gameshow, I would be obligated to put you and church on my list.

        I have a client who does some drug testing as the administrator and tech, they pay him well, and he just does Union roofers. That’s my only experience in the field.

  2. heyblueyoustink - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    Worst job on the planet? Nah, I still reserve that one for kindergarten teachers and editors for overly snarky baseball bloggers…..


    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      That’s where you’re wrong. I have no editor.

      Not that I, you know, had to tell any of you that.

      • heyblueyoustink - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:18 AM

        You know what they say about absolute power: they somehow become the team of the decade in the 90’s despite only winning one World Series :-)

      • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        Gee, Craig, who said he was talking about you?

      • Old Gator - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        That’s nothing. Craig’s bon mots are usually of a very minor order, overpowered of the earnestness with which he constructs their contexts.

        Now if you want an example of text production requiring serious editorial intervention, I give you The Macondo Feeshwrapper. I used to use it in my freshman composition courses as “don’t let this happen to you” object lessons – one must be creative in the use of pedagogical aids when teaching football scholarships at 7:30 AM. Here’s a great example from today’s edition of the Feeshwrapper, which almost caused me to snark my cafe con leche back up my nose: Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Gay Marriage Case.

  3. Kevin S. - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Huh. Improving the process… a.k.a. the appropriate reaction to the Braun appeal.

  4. polonelmeagrejr - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    WHy? For taste?

    • bravojawja - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      Why else would they use brown bottles?

  5. hammyofdoom - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Wait a minute…. I haven’t been in TOO many science lab sort of scenarios, but having taken a chemistry class at my college relatively recently I can’t remember the last time I saw PLASTIC containers in a science lab. Plastic is far more porous than glass so plastic can be contaminated and far harder to clean (as far as I know at least). It seems odd to me that they are just using glass now… I always associated dealing with chemicals and liquids in a scientific way with glass containers.

    • indaburg - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      In the hospital, we regularly use plastic for samples. I have collected urine samples for drug testing and it is done in plastic containers. A hospital chain I worked for has a contract to collect urine for drug testing in the ER for worker’s comps cases. Yeah, I just loved doing that when I had actual sick people to care for. (Also, we don’t clean the plastic. Once it is used, it is disposed.)

      I’m curious to see these new glass containers myself. The plastic containers with their stickers are tamper resistant, but not completely tamper proof. Someone really motivated (and evil) could think of a way to defeat those stickers.

  6. DelawarePhilliesFan - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    TMI, TMI, TMI!!!

    (covers eyes) I’m in my happy place, I’m in my happy place

    • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      So, you’ll be bidding on ebay?

  7. mvp43 - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    So basically MLB is saying that there was a flaw with the system and Braun was correctly vindicated. Yet, they’re still out to get him……….

    • dwdive - Mar 25, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      Not at all, Braun is guilty as sin and has been a user for years. MLB is trying to make it harder for weasels like Braun to win appeals on technicalities that didn’t really make a difference anyways. There is still NO reason scientifically or practically for those levels to be that high.

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