Thursday, April 26, 2007

Was Schilling's Sock a Tribute to Bob Ross?

"Right here we'll put a happy little stain...."
(Game 2 - World Series)

First, I haven't slept this evening, so I apologize in advance if this doesn't make much sense. So there's breaking news today that Doug Mirabelli told Orioles announcer, Gary Thorne (one of my personal favorite announcers) that Schlling's sock in 2004 wasn't covered in blood. Nope, according to Mirabelli, Schilling painted it. There have been accusations about the famed undergarment being doctored (pun alert!) since the thing went down over two years ago, but never has the media received such a direct quote on the subject. I should let it be known that I would welcome this development as hopefully the true of Game 6 hero (Mark Bellhorn) would finally get his due for hitting the home run to win that game and we could instead call game 6 the "Mark Bellhorn" game. Whether or not you believe it's true, it's times like these that I like to fall back on the old maxim of Ockham's Razor: All things being equal, the simplest answer is usually correct. So let's break this down logically, shall we:

Here is the answer that is most salacious and exciting (and was apparently confirmed by Mirabelli): Curt Schilling, a late 30's pitcher who had already won a world series and doesn't have a lot more to prove and who stunk in a game a week prior and had a legitimate foot injury, was scheduled to pitch in a must-win game 6 at Yankee stadium but was in such pain that he and Dr. Bill Morgan decided to stitch his foot up to prevent something in his foot from creating a more painful situation blah blah blah. So in order to create more drama, Curt Schilling grabbed a can of red paint (readily available in the visiting locker room, or maybe he had a clubhouse attendant get him some paint), painted his sock KNOWING THAT THE FOX WOULD MAKE SUCH A BIG DEAL OUT OF IT and then got everyone else into the whole thing (including Dr. Morgan) to back him up and hold this lie over our heads for the rest of their lives. Even going so far as to agree to have the sock shipped to Cooperstown knowing full well that if the controversy ever arose at a later date technology is perfectly capable of determining the true contents of the stain.

Schilling's sock was stained with blood due to the stitches he got and much more has been made out of it by the media than was necessary; people play injured all the time.

Also, do you think Mirabelli is really going to come out and say this while visiting the Orioles for no reason whatsoever and not think people would make a big deal out of it? Even if it is true, do you really think the truth would come out like this? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Mirabelli may publish a book down the road or something and tell the "True Story of The Sock," and we'll get to the bottom of this, but there's no way he would ever break this with Schilling standing 10 feet away from him everyday.

Lastly, what possible good would it do to paint a sock? I mean, yes, the way things turned out it ended up being a big deal with the Yankees historic choke and the World Series and all that shit, but if he did paint the sock and someone found out about it, wouldn't the risk be greater than the reward? Imagine if this were true. Schilling's character would be smeared for life. He takes his place in the game more serious than anyone. Do you honestly believe he would jeopardize his place in history to create what was essentially a visual excuse for himself in case he pitched poorly? Maybe, but it just seems so absurd.

(UPDATE: According to the little birdies over at SOSH, the sock Thorne--through Mirabelli--is referring to is the one from game 2 of the world series, not game 6 of the ALCS. Basically, the story goes, Schilling was so surprised that the sock got so much attention, he doctored the sock for Game 2 right above his "K ALS" mark on his shoe (as seen above). There was no mark on his cleat in game 6 of the ALCS (as seen below). I believe he may have played up the blood angle and not cleaned it up on purpose, but I have a hard time believing he painted it. You can decide between the two pics though. It's an interesting debate. Not really.)

Game 6 - ALCS

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