News Release

The Mitchell Report: Absolving the Owners?

ROBERT LIPSYTE
“Jock Culture” correspondent for Tomdispatch.com, Lipsyte is author of several books on sports; most recently Yellow Flag, a novel about stock car racing. He said today: “By investigating itself, Major League Baseball headed off a larger and tougher investigation that the government would have done — and would have been happy to do to divert attention from itself. Of course, we don’t have hard-hitting in-depth investigations of the U.S. government. Who would do them? God?

“Baseball is being incredibly smart and cynical here. The genie is out of the bottle and players are now on to much more sophisticated drugs that can’t be easily tested like hGh. The danger here is that teenagers — who are particularly vulnerable in their development — will get into steroids. Everyone will likely come down on the players union now, but for better or worse, they’ve just been doing their job — protecting their members — it’s like Teamsters with jockstraps.” Lipsyte wrote the recent piece “We Know What You Did Last Summer: Four Sports Scandals That Saved the Bush Presidency and a Fifth That Should End It Now.”
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DAVE ZIRIN
Sportswriter Zirin’s latest book is Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics and Promise of Sports. He just wrote the piece “The Mitchell Report: Absolving the Owners,” which states: “Ever had someone spit in your face and tell you it’s raining? That’s how it felt watching former Sen. George Mitchell’s press conference on steroid use in Major League Baseball. The former Senate Majority Leader unleashed his ‘investigative findings’ speaking with the somber, deliberate tones of an exhausted undertaker. Mitchell strained to convey scorn upon both baseball owners and the union for being ‘slow to act.’ Yet beneath the surface, his report is ugly sanctimonious fraud, meant to absolve those at the top and pin blame on a motley crew of retired players, trainers, and clubhouse attendants. This is truly the old saw of the magical fishing net that captures minnows but lets the whales swim free.”

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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.