By Ronald Blum
NEW YORK - Baseball is about to get its official boxscore on the Steroids Era.
It's the Mitchell Report, the findings of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's 20-month investigation into performance-enhancing drug use that has tarnished some of the game's greatest stars and records.
It's due out this week, possibly Thursday, and while critics are sure to claim it's one-sided and outdated, it has given players and executives cause for pause and led some to fear a modern-day Black Sox scandal.
Shining light into the shadows, the 74-year-old Mitchell brought experience from many fields. The former chairman of The Walt Disney Co., he once was offered a spot on the Supreme Court by President Clinton and famously challenged Lt. Col. Oliver North during the Iran-Contra hearings.
But he also is a director with the World Series champion Red Sox, a role players say makes him hopelessly conflicted and an agent of commissioner Bud Selig, who appointed him.
For now, Selig claims not to know what's inside the report. Suffice to say, midway between Boston wrapping up the Fall Classic and the start of spring training, there are plenty of jittery people around the majors.