George Mitchell has swept up, and shut the door.

The former Maine senator’s report on performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball caps the game’s “steroid era.” Its findings were stunning, yet expected, as any doubts about widespread use of steroids, or human growth hormone within its ranks, were long-extinguished.

Mitchell, however, confirmed our worst fears. Yes, it was marginal players who succumbed to the allure of drug-induced success, sacrificing their bodies for the chance to shine. But it was also icons, backyard heroes and poster boys, who allegedly used these drugs to remain in, or retain the spotlight.

This means every player, and the integrity of America’s pastime, is tainted. Nothing that occurred during the past 10 years, or so, in Major League Baseball can be considered the sole product of natural ability, talent, blessed skill, fine coaching or amazing luck. It was, more than likely, enhanced.

Many wish to put an asterisk on Barry Bonds’ allegedly drug-addled home-run record.

Can baseball put an asterisk on an entire decade?

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