If you were still wondering just how despicable Ryan Braun’s actions were in the wake of his positive test for elevated levels of testosterone late in the 2011 baseball season, I think we may have finally hit rock bottom.
According to a new report from ESPN’s Buster Olney, while mounting a campaign for support of his appeal against a suspension in early 2012, Braun claimed the man who handled his positive test – Dino Laurenzi, Jr. – was anti-Semetic. Braun, who is Jewish, also said that Laurenzi was a Chicago Cubs fan, implying that he would have an incentive in seeing Braun suspended.
Braun successfully appeal the 50-game suspension in 2012 due to questions about how Laurenzi had handled the test, but never actually disputed the fact that he had tested positive. Braun was suspended by Major League Baseball for the remainder of the 2013 season on July 22 due to his connection to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami.
Braun reportedly called fellow major leaguers to rally support for his cause. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki were among those contacted. A number of the players Braun reached out to, and some of his teammates, believed the allegations about Laurenzi.
A source close to Laurenzi has said any allegations of anti-Semitism are completely untrue.
A person close to Braun issued the following statement to ESPN:
Ryan isn’t currently commenting on anything – rumor or reality – related to his arbitration process or his suspension. He has acknowledged mistakes, accepted his punishment, and is beginning to make amends and will comment at an appropriate time.
After Braun won his appeal, he referred to Laurenzi derisively in a statement to the press, essentially blaming him for the positive test.
Over the past few days rumors have circulated that Braun is planning to speak publicly for the first time since his drug suspension at some point in the near future, perhaps as soon as Monday. Sources close to Braun are indicating that he wants to make things right.
Personally, I think it’s going to take a lot for Braun to “make things right.” And the first person he should be apologizing to is Dino Laurenzi Jr.