Red Rover, Red Rover send Ryan over!
Remember that game? For those who don’t, you form two teams. each team forms a line facing each other. You join hands. Now, you call someone from the other team. They have to run towards your team to try to break the human chain. The strategy is to look for the weakest link. You attack that link with everything you have in the hopes of breaking through.
This can be fun as a child’s game but not so fun in real life. Take the case of Lance Armstrong. He attacked the chain lined up against him and tried to obliterate it. One link was named Emma O’Reilly. To small to fight, to poor to amass a legal team to fight back, her life was ruined. What does she do now when vindicated? Will she have to stand in line yet again behind all those legal teams looking to sue Lance?
I thought about Emma who loved her job as a soigneur and happened to be hired by US Postal. Little did she know that would be her last job in professional cycling. I thought about her when the Ryan Braun news broke. Early in 2012, Ryan tested positive for testosterone/epitestosterone ratio. The legal limit of baseball is a 4:1 ratio. Ryan tested at 20:1. To protect his MVP award, he went after the chain with the same fervor as Lance. He attacked the weakest link. The sample collector. Dino Laurenzi Jr. Dino did not have the money to stand up for himself. He took Ryan’s collection and since it was after 5:00 pm, he followed his protocol to store the sealed samples in his house rather than having FedEx keep them in their warehouse. Ryan went after that link by saying;
“There were a lot of things we heard about the collection process, the collector and some other people involved in the process that have certainly been concerning to us.”
In fact, he followed that with a sanctimonious;
“I know what it’s like to be wrongly accused of something and for me to wrongly accuse somebody else of something wouldn’t help anybody. I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body.”
Ryan broke the chain and beat a positive drug test. He didn’t care if it ruined a man’s life in the process. What does Dino do now?