Schilling excoriates media for bloody sock story

Updated: April 27, 2007, 6:52 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Curt Schilling responded to the controversy over whether his socks were really bloody with a brush-back pitch and a $1 million dare.

In his blog, entitled 38 Pitches, Schilling asserted the blood on his socks during the 2004 ALCS and the subsequent World Series was indeed real. He lambasted Baltimore Orioles play-by-play man Gary Thorne for saying on the air that it was paint and criticized the media for running wild with the story. And he offered to make a $1 million wager, payable to charity, with anyone who wants to scientifically test the sock, which presently on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"My only real problem is not that Gary Thorne said something stupid and ignorant, which he did, but that without a word being uttered by anyone in our clubhouse this somehow became a major news story," Schilling wrote.

Thorne, during the fifth inning of Wednesday's Orioles-Red Sox game, said on the air he had been told by Boston catcher Doug Mirabelli that the blood on Schilling's sock was actually paint. After the game, Mirabelli denied ever saying that, and the Red Sox reacted angrily.

On Thursday, Thorne said he had misunderstood Mirabelli.

"I'll wager one million dollars to the charity of anyone's choice, versus the same amount to ALS. If the blood on the sock is fake, I'll donate a million dollars to that person's charity; if not, they donate that amount to ALS. Any takers?"
-- Curt Schilling

"He said one thing, and I heard something else," Thorne said. "I reported what I heard and what I honestly felt was said. Having talked with him today, there's no doubt in my mind that's not what he said, that's not what he meant ... I took it as something serious, and it wasn't."

That was little comfort to Schilling, who was not happy with Thorne's explanation.

"So Gary Thorne says that Doug told him the blood was fake. Which even when he's called out he can't admit he lied," Schilling wrote in his blog. "Doug never told Gary Thorne anything. Gary Thorne overheard something and then misreported what he overheard. Not only did he misreport it, he misinterpreted what he misreported.

"So now you have the actual doctor that performed the surgery both times, my teammates and coaches all admitting it was real [as they did two years ago], yet people still want to think otherwise. The sock from Game 2 of the World Series has been in the Hall of Fame for 2 years now, anyone at anytime could have tested it if they truly wanted to know. However if they do that, and realize that the blood is real, what happens to the story? I'm still convinced that the sock from game 6 of the ALCS is in someone that works in the Yankee clubhouse's home."

Schilling's media criticism was not reserved solely for Thorne.

"The other great part of this is knowing that anyone that wrote anything about a 'conspiracy' or a 'plot' is someone that is so far removed from understanding how physically and mentally challenging it is to play this game at this level you can almost laugh off their stupidity," he wrote in his blog.

"So for one of the first times this blog serves one of the purposes I'd hoped it would if the need arose. The media hacked and spewed their way to a day or two of stories that had zero basis in truth. A story fabricated by the media, for the media. The best part was that instead of having to sit through a litany of interviews to 'defend' myself, or my teammates, I got to do that here."

Schilling had sutures stitched into his right ankle to hold an injured tendon in place so he could pitch in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, and repeated the procedure again in Game 2 of the World Series. In both cases, what appeared to be blood could be seen seeping through Schilling's sock.

Ever since, Schilling has dealt with doubters questioning whether the red stains were really blood. In his blog, he addressed those doubts again.

"It was blood. You can choose to believe whatever you need to, but facts are facts," he wrote. "The 25 guys that were in that locker room, the coaches, they all know it. In the end nothing else really matters. The people that need to believe otherwise are people with their own insecurities and issues."

And for anyone still doubting the veracity of the blood on the socks, Schilling had an astounding offer to end the debate "once and for all," with the proceeds benefiting research to fight Lou Gehrig's disease or the bettor's favorite charity.

"I'll wager one million dollars to the charity of anyone's choice, versus the same amount to ALS. If the blood on the sock is fake, I'll donate a million dollars to that person's charity; if not, they donate that amount to ALS. Any takers?"