Sports Outside the Beltway

Paint ball

So was the bloody sock really bloody?

Gary Thorne, calling the Orioles-Red Sox game Wednesday night, sparked a huge debate when he claimed that the infamous bloody sock of Curt Schilling was actually paint and that BoSox catcher Doug Mirabelli told him so. Mirabelli vehemently denied doing so.

Baseball Musings, for his part, doubts Thorne.

Everyone associated with the Red Sox and this story, Mirabelli, Schilling and Francona denied it was paint. Having seen Thorne screw up on the air many times with ESPN, I have no doubt that the Red Sox are right here. I try very hard not to dislike people, but I have strong professional dislike for Thorne. In the early days of the STATS/ESPN relationship a number of people were upset that ESPN didn’t use Elias. Gary was one of these people. One day, he called STATS out during a broadcast for supplying incorrect caught stealing statistics. What Gary failed to realize, however, that the report we provided only dealt with caught stealing by catchers, where the report his friends at Elias gave him dealt with all caught stealings. Gary was forced to apologize on the air. 

So I’m biased about Thorne. In my opinion, he’s sloppy. And in this case he’s very likely wrong.

more at Ballbug.

UPDATE: see the previous entry. One of the comments at Baseball Musings points to this item from the Boston Globe’s blog. Dr. Bill Morgan who performed the surgery on Schilling said

“Anyone who’s ever had stitches knows there’s going to be oozing from the wound. I put a bunch of stitches in the guy, and then he had to go out there and pitch at a professional level. The sutures were tugging at the skin, it opened up a little bit. The thing expanded right before our eyes.”

UPDATE II: Unsurprisingly, Curt Schilling has now weighed in. In the aptly named, Ignorance has its privileges, first he argues that the issue of the sock, is mostly of the media’s making.

The only problem I have is this. If you look back, from the day of game six in the ALCS, through today, you won’t find a newspaper article, radio or TV interview in which I offered the blood, the sock, the game, any of it, as a topic. I haven’t talked about it since the post game interview room that night. 

People have asked and I have answered, but the mileage the media got from the incident is all of their own making. When I walked into the room for the post game interviews and offered up my first response to the questions about the game I basically said that the night was a revelation for me. That my faith in God that evening showed me things I’d never believed.

As I uttered those words I could see pretty much every person in that room roll their eyes and smirk. That’s not what any of them wanted to hear, truth or not. That was not good copy. They needed more and what I didn’t give them, they got themselves.


And this general shot at the profession of journalism/broadcasting/media

If you haven’t figured it out by now, working in the media is a pretty nice gig. Barring outright plagiarism or committing a crime, you don’t have to be accountable if you don’t want to. You can say what you want when you want and you don’t really have to answer to anyone. You can always tell the bigger culprits by the fact you never see their faces in the clubhouse. Most of them are afraid to show themselves to the subjects they rail on everyday.


Before he finishes, he puts things in perspective:

The saddest part in all of this is the following. Yesterday, as I was warming up for the game, I got to see a young kid, could not have been more than 20, who had served in Iraq. He was being honored by the Orioles and threw out the first pitch. He was a double amputee who’d lost the lower portion of both of his legs serving his country. He refused to use his cane and getting to see him do that was incredible. 

Instead of finding this kid and writing a story that truly matters, something that would and could truly inspire people, the media chose to focus on a story that was over two years old and a completely fabricated lie. What a job.


Finally he puts it on the line:

Someone gave me a great idea to end this once and for all. No one will ever need to bring it up again. I’ll wager 1 million dollars to the charity of anyones choice, versus the same amount to ALS. If the blood on the sock is fake, I’ll donate a million dollars to that persons charity, if not they donate that amount to ALS. 

Any takers?


The question now is, why did Gary Thorne say it? (Schilling suggests that he mis-over-heard something.) And will the Orioles take any action?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad.

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