#Hot Corner

I collect urine for the city

Norm Hall

By now you've heard that Ryan Braun, in an effort to rally support from his fellow players, told them that the man tasked with ferrying Braun's urine sample to the testing laboratory was an anti-Semite and a Cubs fan. Although in some stories, the order of the two are hilariously reversed.

Now, calling someone an anti-Semite without cause is a pretty awful thing to do. Calling someone a Cub fan is a pretty great thing to do, unless you're questioning his professionalism as a urine collector.

Wait, is that what we're calling him? Urine collector? Apparently so, yes. Unless Dino Laurenzi Jr. has a really great sense of humor, it seems doubtful that he introduces himself to people as a "urine collector." Being referred to as such by several dozen publications probably mitigates the rightful sense of vindication he must be feeling these days. His actual job title is probably "laboratory assistant" or "testing operations supervisor" or something, but according to the Chicago Tribune and Sports Illustrated and The New Republic(!), Dino Laurenzi is a "urine collector."

It's probably not a bad gig, actually. It might even pay more than "baseball blogger," although the psychic rewards likely can't compare. A friend of my brother's used to pick up women in bars by telling them he scraped roadkill off the streets for the city. It was a lie, but the women in his moribund town were impressed. Here is a man with job security.

From everything I've read about the Braun appeal, I still think the arbitrator ruled correctly* that Laurenzi failed to comply with MLB's rules regarding the collection and shipment of samples. But there was certainly no call for Braun to accuse him of anti-Semitism or ostentatiously imply that he spiked the test.

* And paid a price for it.

Dino Laurenzi got picked on by someone a lot richer and a lot more powerful than he was, and won; No one actually believes he's anti-Semitic, and virtually everyone thinks Braun is a gigantic a-hole. Congratulations to the most famous urine collector in the world.

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