BALTIMORE -- The story of Curt Schilling's famous bloody socks from the 2004 playoffs is turning into a bloody mess after a prominent broadcaster claimed one of Schilling's teammates acknowledged the blood wasn't real.
Much Ado About Nothing?
• Alan Schwarz and Jayson Stark don't believe Curt Schilling invented his bloody sock from his Game 6 start against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. Listen
• In an excerpt from Schwarz's new book, "Once Upon A Game," Schilling recalls the "Bloody Sock Game" against the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs. Story
• In an Oct. 20, 2004 interview on The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio, Schilling says he bled from his ankle because a suture got stuck or fell out during his Game 6 appearance. Listen
For those who have somehow forgotten, here's what happened: Schilling, who had a right ankle tendon injury, had sutures stitched into his ankle to keep the tendon stable so he could pitch in Game 6 against the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series. A red stain, presumably blood, could be seen on the sock during the game, which the Red Sox won.
Schilling repeated the feat in Game 2 of the World Series and the bloody sock from that game was sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., after the Red Sox won their first series title since 1918.
A Hall of Fame official confirmed to ESPN's Cold Pizza on Thursday that the sock in the Hall is from the World Series. The Hall of Fame's Web site, however, says that the Hall has the bloody sock worn by Schilling during Game 6 of the ALCS.
Fast-forward to Wednesday night's Mid-Atlantic Sports Network's telecast of Red Sox-Orioles.
In the bottom of the fifth, Orioles play-by-play man Gary Thorne said on the air that he had been told by Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli that the substance was paint, not blood.
"The great story we were talking about the other night was that famous red stocking that he wore when they finally won, the blood on his stocking," Thorne told broadcast partner and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer.
"Nah," Thorne said. "It was painted. Doug Mirabelli confessed up to it after. It was all for PR. Two-ball, two-strike count."
Two innings later, according to media reports, Thorne explained Mirabelli had told him the story "a couple of years ago."
"Go ask him [Mirabelli]," Thorne said.
After the game, Mirabelli flatly and angrily denied Thorne's story.
"What? Are you kidding me? He's [expletive] lying. A straight lie," Mirabelli said, according to The Boston Globe. "I never said that. I know it was blood. Everybody knows it was blood."
"It gets stupider," Schilling added, according to the newspaper. "I got the 9-inch scar for you. You can see it. ... There are some bad people in your line of work, man."
Red Sox manager Terry Francona also questioned Thorne's version of the story.
"What Schill did that night on the sports field was one of the most incredible feats I ever witnessed," Francona said, according to The Globe. "[Thorne's remarks] go so far past disappointing. Disrespectful to Schill, to his vocation. I'm stunned.
"I am just floored. Schill takes his share of shots, and this one is so far below the belt that I'm embarrassed and I wish somebody would have had the good conscience to ask me," Francona said, according to the newspaper.
Thorne now is stuck and should probably publicly withdraw his statements. His only source is calling him a liar. Bad spot for a journalist; journalists have lost their jobs over much less.
"I do not think baseball of today is any better than it was 30 years ago... I still think Radbourne is the greatest of the pitchers." John Sullivan 1914-Old athletes never change.