Bruan, Ruh…Roh….and Keyser Söze

In the famous words of Scooby Doo, “Ruh Roh.”  This image of Scooby telling Shaggy that something is wrong echoed in my mind after reading Dino Laurenzi, Jr.’s statement on ESPN Milwaukee’s website.

Let me be real straight before we look deeper into this issue.

I could care less if a player takes or took steroids during their career.

This isn’t some “has-been” who is furious about not being in the game.  This is a “has-been” who wants the truth.  Ok, are we good now that everything is qualified?  Super!

Bring in Söze….

Please join hands and welcome  Keyser Söze aka Roger “Verbal” Kint from the movie, The Usual Suspects.  For those of you who haven’t seen the movie…shame on you.  And, since I am not a movie spoiler, you will just have to rent it to see why he is here.

To the statements!

Statement 1:  “there were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way that the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened.”

Scooby:  Ruh Roh… Did he just bring the collector into question?  Won’t the collector have to make a comment?

Söze:  That was a mistake.  Always blame the process.  That keeps the discussion subjective.  You can always find someone to agree with you no matter what if you keep it subjective.  Now the collector will make a statement and this could backfire.

Statement 2:  “I am a 1983 graduate of the University of Wisconsin and have received Master Degrees from the University of North Carolina and Loyola University of Chicago. My full-time job is the director of rehabilitation services at a health care facility. In the past, I have worked as a teacher and an athletic trainer, including performing volunteer work with Olympic athletes.

“I am a member of both the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association.

“I have been a drug collector for Comprehensive Drug Testing since 2005 and have been performing collections for Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program since that time. I have performed over 600 collections for MLB and also have performed collections for other professional sports leagues. I have performed post-season collections for MLB in four separate seasons involving five different clubs.

Scooby:  Ruh Roh…Two Masters degrees?  That sounds official.

Söze:  Problem…the guy is qualified out of the ying-yang.  People don’t just get two masters degrees.  Even if this guy is the biggest flake, the public thinks this is a guy who is a finisher.

Who is advising Braun?  Did they do any research on the qualifications of the collector?  Well, people are still human.  Maybe he made a major error in the collection process.

Statement 3:  “I sealed the bottles containing Mr. Braun’s A and B samples with specially-numbered, tamper-resistant seals, and Mr. Braun signed a form signifying, among other things, that the specimens were capped and sealed in his presence and that the specimen identification numbers on the top of the form matched those on the seals.

“I placed the two bottles containing Mr. Braun’s samples in a plastic bag and sealed the bag. I then placed the sealed bag in a standard cardboard Specimen Box which I also sealed with a tamper-resistant, correspondingly-numbered seal placed over the box opening. I then placed Mr. Braun’s Specimen Box, and the Specimen Boxes containing the samples of the two other players, in a Federal Express Clinic Pack.

“None of the sealed Specimen Boxes identified the players. I completed my collections at Miller Park at approximately 5:00 p.m. Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.

“Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3. In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident.”

Scooby:  Ruh Roh….what are tamper resistant seals?

Söze:  Bad…..bad…bad….they’re dead.  Sounds like the guy followed protocol.  He has Braun’s initials on both samples.  The samples were sealed in a box with another tamper resistant seal?  Bad…bad…bad.

The collector has painted a picture of someone who does things the right way.  He has those two masters degrees and proof of following protocol in 600 previous instances.  Again, he might be the biggest liar in the world, but the public is going to believe him.

Wait….Braun still has a chance.  The samples are in tamper-resistant containers inside a bag inside a tamper resistant box right?  Oh…never mind…he’s in trouble.

Final Thoughts

Scooby:  I would like a Scooby Snack.

Söze:  The problem with this whole thing is that the samples got to the lab intact.  If there was any visible evidence that the samples had been tampered with they would have immediately cried “foul.”  And no the lab wouldn’t need video replay to determine that the sample was “foul”  you “smart aleck.”  The lab also doesn’t know or care whose sample they are testing.

So after all of these statements, Braun believes that someone opened the seals and put something in the sample.  The only person who could have done that was the collector or a random lab tech who wanted to choose some sample of a person they don’t know and sprinkle in some testosterone that they brought in their pocket and placed in their lab coat.  That seems likely.

Message to Braun

Ryan, someone is either out to get you or you are not telling the truth.  I think you took something over the counter that “could” raise testosterone or maybe not.  You were probably feeling the pressure of leading the Brewers into the playoffs for the first time in a long time.  People will understand.  We don’t think that you are a steroid user….we think you took something one time at the end of a season to get through playoffs.

Ryan, everyone I talk to says you are a great guy.  They say that you have a huge heart and I believe them.  I think you are completely natural except for this “hiccup.” If you hadn’t accidentally said, “there were a lot of things that we learned about the collector,”  then there probably wouldn’t be as big of an issue.  But, you did bring the collector into this and now his integrity is being questioned just like yours.  The problem is that he is a “little fish” and he has spent part of his career doing a job that requires integrity for his employment.

I beg you to find out who tampered with your sample.  This is no longer about you, it is about Dino Laurenzi Jr’s integrity.

20 Comments on “Bruan, Ruh…Roh….and Keyser Söze”

  1. DodgerFan says:

    This article with Victor Conte is dead on. Braun simply got popped from the “recovery patch” technique…more common than average joe thinks it is.

    “And whether this was Braun’s game or not (Braun has appealed and his lawyers insist he is innocent), here’s what Conte believes is going on out there:

    Baseball players – along with other athletes – are loading up on synthetic testosterone (and perhaps HGH) at night, when the body is repairing itself between games and workouts. The testosterone is administered through patches, gels, creams or orals. By the following afternoon, when that player is vulnerable to MLB testing, the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone is beneath the 4-to-1 ratio that triggers a positive test.

    “It’s a loophole,” Conte said, “you could drive a Mack truck through.”

  2. John says:

    I have no idea if Ryan Braun really took steroids or not, but I think pointing to his defense as evidence that he did is ridiculous. When you are defending yourself against an accusation, you take the easiest way out. If you were accused of a felony and you didn’t do it, and you had the option of either trying to prove a shaky alibi or getting out on a technicality that was easier to prove, you’d take option 2 every time – you take the easiest route to getting declared not guilty, not the best way to prove your innocence. Plus, we don’t even really know that was the main reason for the arbitrator’s decision – all of this speculation is dumb until we see the arbitrator’s report.

    • Great points John. I’d be surprised if the report said anything. The problem is that you got off but said that, “the truth came out.” If the report has the truth in it that everyone wins. My guess is that Braun would be telling us what was in the report if it solved the case.


  3. Hi says:

    What annoys me about all of this-if Yuniesky Betancourt fails a test & all these same steps were taken, it’s a non-story.
    A man who’s integrity is required for his job had questions about his credentials & the process he uses. A ballplayer that has been good since his rookie season (3B defense, notwithstanding), is now always going to be labelled a “cheater”. I won’t even begin to get into the anti-Semitic statements or rumours about his sex life that also fly like crazy.
    According to some NL West fans, Braun singlehandedly took out the D-backs & stabbed Matt Kemp’s puppy & punched his girl when he won the MVP.
    I do appreciate your analysis, Morgan. One of the few that’s not showing an obvious bias. Give Scooby a snack 🙂

    • Scooby Snack it is! Personal stuff is a real touchy subject. The anti-Semitic stuff really bothers me. I’m completely against stabbing puppies and no hitting girls. Fans should root for their team to do well, not for the other team to mess up in order to win.

      That last sentence didn’t make any sense, but you know what I mean.


  4. […] Ensberg checks in with his take on the Ryan Bruan and the […]

  5. Steve P says:

    Usual Suspects, since 1996 has been one of my all time favorite movies. Thanks for a well deserved nod

  6. Sofia Pena says:

    With such a spectacular sense of humor and some wicked wit, I must say Mr. Ensberg, your commentary is almost a sin to read! It’s like my little guilty pleasure. With that said, I now nominate you to replace Milo in the booth!

  7. Matt D says:

    “And, since I am not a movie spoiler”

    Uh, apparently you are, since you spoiled it in the first sentence of that paragraph. 🙂

  8. Arkatekt says:

    One word…Brilliant.

  9. sanders says:

    good stuff man.

  10. Kevin Bradshaw says:

    I doubt just the mishandling of a sample would get him off. Usually legal arguments are made- when done skillfully I think- by presenting two or three of your best arguments.

    Typically, judges, juries, arbitrators and the like don’t let people off on technicalities. I imagine Braun’s team presented expert testimony/other expert evidence as to how mishandling or testing issues could cause a false positive. That the only arguements and evidence that leaked concern handling does not mean that Braun on made such arguments, though that’s the general tenor of the commentary on the subject. The press, which is very anti-PED, is the filter from which we get all we know about the Braun case.

  11. robert says:

    I know this has nothing to do with This story…But Morgan you were one of my Favorite Baseball players, wished Astros would have gotten you back, Do you take any Fan mail? i would like to write you a long letter. lol i know cheesy. i bought the 50th anniversary dvd astros came out with, and it gives me so much memories, do you think you will be checking it out?

  12. Natalia says:

    Speaking of Scooby Doo… my kids love the series:) all the do is watch Scooby Do and play Papa’s Freezeria game at haha

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