Skip to content

Ryan Braun had dinner with sample-collector Dino Laurenzi, they have “made amends”

Nov 27, 2013, 12:01 PM EST

Ryan Braun Getty new Getty Images

As noted earlier, Ryan Braun participated in a charity food drive today and afterward spoke to the media. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a transcript of his comments here.

If you’re looking for frank talk and Braun falling on his sword you’re not going to get it. There’s a lot of “let’s just look to the future and learn from our mistakes” stuff that never satisfies anyone. But he did mention one thing of note:

Have you apologized to Dino Laurenzi, Jr., or made any payments to him?

“I have not made any payments to him. I’ve had some really productive and positive conversations with him. The Laurenzi family was actually gracious and kind enough to have my fiancée Larisa and I over to their house for dinner last night, and we had some really good conversation. We’ve made amends and I think we’re both excited to be able to move forward and put this behind us.”

The subject of Laurenzi —  the man who collected the urine sample from Braun in 2011 and around whose handling of the sample Braun based his ultimately successful appeal — has long been one around which Braun-haters have rallied. It started when Braun made mention of Laurenzi — though not by name — at his spring 2012 press conference talking about the appeal of his drug suspension. Since then, people have accused Braun of ruining Laurenzi’s life, getting him fired, slandering him and number of other things which have served to destroy or harm the guy.

And, to be clear: Braun was wrong to say anything public about Laurenzi at all. But the characterization of what Braun did to or even said about Laurenzi has been so far over the top that it has become laughable. People have equated Braun to Lance Armstrong, who actually sued people and had them fired for opposing his lies. They’ve suggested that Braun is legally liable to Laurenzi, when there is no rational basis for a defamation case as a result of what he said. They’ve said that Braun should pay the guy reparations of some non-specific sort. Penance for a man against whom Braun has sinned.  It’s all been way too much.

I think people did this because in Laurenzi they had a victim of sorts. Or thought they did. An actual person they could use to cast PED users’ transgressions in concrete and horrible terms. This was irresistible given how hard it is to argue about the often gray area ethics and morals of PED-use in sports and how hard it is to keep consistent when slamming some baseball players for cheating in one way but not slamming others for cheating in other ways.  But a real human victim of an evil-doing steroid user? Who can argue against that?

Well, It seems Laurenzi himself can. If Braun is right, the past is the past. If Laurenzi’s silence for the past couple of years is any indication, the whole situation, however unpleasant it may have been, was not the stuff of outrage and legal action. A jerk lied about him publicly, but his life went on. And now he has found it within himself to break bread with the guy and have dinner.

Maybe that doesn’t satisfy everyone. Maybe we’ll hear commentary later today suspecting that Braun manipulated Laurenzi into helping Braun with a shameful P.R. offensive. For my part, though, I’m willing to say that this is all over if the people actually involved in it all are saying it.

Latest Posts
  1. Carlos Rodon will take Chris Sale’s rotation spot in Cactus League action

    Mar 1, 2015, 10:25 PM EST

    Carlos Rodon Carlos Rodon

    Though pitching prospect Carlos Rodon is taking over for Chris Sale, he likely isn’t pitching for an Opening Day role with the White Sox.

  2. Yoenis Cespedes would like to play for the Tigers beyond 2015

    Mar 1, 2015, 9:20 PM EST

    Yoenis Cespedes Yoenis Cespedes

    Yoenis Cespedes could see himself wearing a Tigers uniform for many years.

  3. Bryce Harper: “I have to step up a little bit.”

    Mar 1, 2015, 8:15 PM EST

    Bryce Harper Bryce Harper

    Bryce Harper wants to do more to help out on offense for the Nationals.

  4. Yu Darvish, when asked if he quit on the Rangers last season: “That is bull [expletive].”

    Mar 1, 2015, 7:10 PM EST

    Yu Darvish Yu Darvish

    Yu Darvish was colorful in responding to critics who think he quit on the Rangers last year due to an elbow injury.

  5. Phillies open up spring training with a loss to the University of Tampa

    Mar 1, 2015, 6:05 PM EST

    Ryne Sandberg Ryne Sandberg

    The Phillies kicked off the spring with a loss to a college team.

  6. Garrett Richards expected to miss first 2-3 weeks of season

    Mar 1, 2015, 3:24 PM EST

    garrett richards getty Getty Images

    There’s been some talk that Angels right-hander Garrett Richards might be ready for the beginning of the 2015 regular season despite tearing the patellar tendon in his left knee last August. But manager Mike Scioscia put that to rest Sunday in camp …

  7. Dodgers sign Mike Adams to minor league contract

    Mar 1, 2015, 11:33 AM EST

    mike adams phillies getty Getty Images

    From the official Twitter account of the Los Angeles Dodgers …

  8. Minnie Minoso has died at age 92

    Mar 1, 2015, 10:33 AM EST

    Minnie Minoso

    Minoso, a native of Cuba, batted .298/.389/.459 with 1,963 hits, 186 home runs, and 1,023 RBI in parts of 17 major league seasons split between the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and Washington Senators.

  9. Video: Rob Manfred at SSAC

    Mar 1, 2015, 8:49 AM EST

    manfred getty Getty Images

    Some highlights here from Rob Manfred’s sit-down Saturday at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference …

  10. Padres sign Tyson Gillies to a minor league deal

    Feb 28, 2015, 11:45 PM EST

    Tyson Gillies Getty Images

    The Padres signed outfielder Tyson Gillies to a minor league deal, perhaps hopeful he could turn his fortunes around with a new organization.

  11. Yasmany Tomas to work at third base and in the outfield during spring training

    Feb 28, 2015, 10:40 PM EST

    Yasmany Tomas Yasmany Tomas

    The Diamondbacks want Yasmany Tomas to get as many at-bats as possible during spring training, so he’ll be starting at both third base and in the outfield.

  12. Jimmy Rollins: Mets’ future “looks pretty bright”

    Feb 28, 2015, 9:35 PM EST

    Jimmy Rollins Jimmy Rollins

    It’s odd to hear Jimmy Rollins say nice things about the Mets.

  13. Blue Jays sign Dayan Viciedo to a minor league deal

    Feb 28, 2015, 8:27 PM EST

    Dayan Viciedo Dayan Viciedo

    The Blue Jays brought in Dayan Viciedo to hold the fort until Michael Saunders returns from his knee injury.

  14. Jose Reyes on former teammate Ruben Tejada: “Something’s wrong.”

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:25 PM EST

    Ruben Tejada Ruben Tejada

    Ruben Tejada has been something of a lightning rod, and he recently received criticism from a former teammate and mentor.

  15. Josh Hamilton’s potential suspension would begin at the start of the regular season

    Feb 28, 2015, 6:20 PM EST

    Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton

    Josh Hamilton’s punishment for using a drug of abuse may end up not being much of a punishment at all.

  16. Coco Crisp is dealing with a case of pinkeye again

    Feb 28, 2015, 5:28 PM EST

    Coco Crisp AP AP

    Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp missed more than a week down the stretch in 2012 due to pinkeye and now he’s dealing with it again.

  17. Craig Kimbrel made up some clever t-shirts for the new-look Braves

    Feb 28, 2015, 4:19 PM EST

    B-8j_DWXEAAL9Yh

    After trading the likes of Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, and Evan Gattis as well as adding a handful of veteran free agents, the Braves have a ton of new faces in camp this spring.

  18. Giancarlo Stanton was hit in the hip by a pitch during an intrasquad game today. Yes, he’s fine.

    Feb 28, 2015, 3:15 PM EST

    Giancarlo Stanton AP AP

    Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton had his season come to an end in horrific fashion last September when he suffered facial fractures and dental damage on a hit-by-pitch.

  19. Tweet of the Day: Juan Pierre has one regret as he heads into retirement

    Feb 28, 2015, 2:18 PM EST

    Juan Pierre Getty Getty Images

    Juan Pierre showed his sense of humor on Twitter after announcing his retirement from baseball.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Saunders (2565)
  2. E. Cabrera (2557)
  3. M. Upton (2350)
  4. A. Simmons (2302)
  5. H. Bailey (2273)