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03/26/2008 5:13 PM ET
Louie Responds to Bandits Accusations
Famed Clinton mascot answers questions posed by Quad Cities smear campaign

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Clinton, IA - Shortly after asking for a partnership with the Clinton LumberKings to make it to the Elite Eight of CNBC.com's Minor League Logo Contest, the Quad Cities River Bandits have apparently made Louie the LumberKing the center of an election-style smear campaign.

Louie, who will face the River Bandits and their as-of-yet unnamed mascot tomorrow, received word of the slanderous comments and the false quotes this afternoon, and had this to say in response:

"I'd like to say to all Clinton LumberKings fans, Minor League Baseball fans, and the public in general that not at any time did I take any performance-enhancing drugs. Yes, I do look a little different this year, but all I did was change my facial hair and roll up my sleeves. I've always been muscular, and I have been subjected to the same drug tests as all players and mascots throughout baseball. I have even been tested all throughout high school and my college years at Paul Bunyan University."

Louie also added that he was surprised by the turn of events on behalf of the River Bandits and felt as if he had his mighty axe stuck in his back.

"After Quad Cities came begging to form an alliance late last week, I'm surprised how quickly they are to turn on us. Misquoting me is one thing, but a false sense of grandeur for a mascot that is new on the scene is another. I mean, this is a team that wore sky blue and orange uniforms, had three sets of jersey numbers and had six mascots prior to this season, they really should be focusing more on themselves. They haven't even figured out what to call their raccoon yet. All I can think of is that they must be starving for a win of any kind after losing seven straight to get bounced from the playoffs last year."

LumberKings' General Manager Ted Tornow also issued this statement:

"As the chairman of the Clinton Substance Abuse Council, I take the issue of drugs or performance-enhancers very seriously. Louie has been tested and has always passed with flying colors. Our fans, especially the children of Clinton and eastern Iowa in general need to know that their role models are clean, and Louie is as clean as they come."

Although the accusations by the Bandits have put a negative tone on tomorrow's competition, Louie still wants his own fans and co-workers to keep things lighthearted and fun.

"Despite the developments, I want our fans and supporters to rise above this and not engage in a similar negative campaign with the River Bandits. This is supposed to be a fun competition and we will not sink to their level."

Fans can vote on the LumberKings-River Bandits match-up tomorrow, when Louie takes on the mascot with no name starting at 8 AM central time. Darren Rovell's SportsBiz blog and the CNBC.com Logo Contest can be found at www.darrenrovell.com.