The Mitchell Effect: Questioning Baseball From A-Z

While former Senator George Mitchell’s report on steroids and human growth hormone use in major league baseball was thorough, comprehensive and filled with enlightening anecdotes, any serious baseball observer of the past 20 years was left with more questions than answers. Here are the most pressing ones, in alphabetical order by those accused:

Did Manny Alexander, who had been groomed to succeed Cal Ripken Jr. at shortstop for the Orioles, really think steroids would make him more likely to play in thousands of consecutive games?

Didn’t Gary Bennett realize that buying HGH while playing in Coors Field is redundant?

Does Barry Bonds feel a little less lonely now?

When Kevin Brown punched a wall, knocking him out of action for a month of the 2004 season… was that ‘roid rage?

Was Jose Canseco using steroids when he saved that lady’s player piano in the Simpsons’ episode “Homer at the Bat”?

Do steroids make a pitcher throw shards of bat at Mike Piazza? If so, given the pervasive nature of steroid use in baseball, is Piazza in constant danger?

Lenny Dykstra was famous for leaving tobacco stains all over the center field wall at Veterans’ Stadium. Given the evidence of his steroid use, does this still count as disgusting?

Will records like Matt Franco’s most pinch-hit walks in a season still have resonance to future generations of baseball fans?

Just how high would Eric Gagne’s ERA have been with the Red Sox if he’d played clean?

Does drug use explain David Justice’s harsh treatment of Halle Berry?

Considering that Paul Lo Duca hit just 14 home runs in nearly 1,000 at bats for the Mets, don’t fans have a right to demand a note of apology on the same Dodger Stadium stationary Lo Duca reportedly used to thank his dealer?

Did Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman think it was strange that after finalizing Andy Pettitte’s one-year, $16 million deal just a day before the release of the Mitchell Report, his agent yelled out, “No take-backs!”

Didn’t Gary Sheffield think $50,000 was too much to pay for, as he reportedly said in the Mitchell Report, “vitamins?”

Were the boos directed at Mets reliever Scott Schoeneweis artificially amplified by HGH?

Did HGH give Mo Vaughn the munchies?

Was Toronto Blue Jays catcher Gregg Zaun’s criticism of the Mitchell Report related to the copy of Zaun’s check for purchase of steroids found in the Mitchell Report?

And a bonus: On the night of August 7, 1989, Mets left fielder Mark Carreon misplayed a deep fly ball by Philadelphia’s Charlie Hayes, costing the Mets the game. In light of Carreon’s alleged steroid use, do my tears still count?

The Mitchell Effect: Questioning Baseball From A-Z