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Sock update: Hall of Fame says it's real blood »
April 26, 2007
Interesting day in baseball (though aren't they all?) . . .
ONE AND DONE: It's rare that a 6-1 game is decided in one at-bat, but Steven Krasner says that's what happened last night in Baltimore. (projo.com) The fact that the at-bat was from David Ortiz wasn't so rare. Kraz gives a good breakdown of Ortiz' 11-pitch battle with Jamie Walker that ended with him dumping a run-scoring single to left-center with two outs in the seventh, breaking a 1-1 tie and giving the Sox the lead for good.
HAVEN'T WE BEEN THROUGH THIS? Curt Schilling's bloody sock was front-and-center on the Orioles' television broadcast last night, as announcer Gary Thorne announced casually on the air that the blood seeping through Schilling's stitches as he pitched against the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS and the Cardinals in Game 2 of the World Series ''was painted. Doug Mirabelli confessed up to it after. It was all for PR.'' (The Boston Globe) When asked about it by Gordon Edes between innings last night, Thorne said he had been told this by Mirabelli ''a couple of years ago . . . Go ask him [Mirabelli].''
Edes did, along with others in the Red Sox clubhouse and in the organization. The reaction was swift and angry.
Mirabelli: ''What? Are you kidding me? He's [expletive] lying. A straight lie. I never said that. I know it was blood. Everybody knows it was blood."
Manager Terry Francona: ''What we're going through today as a nation, you hate to use a word like heroic on the field, but what Schill did that night on the sports field was one of the most incredible feats I ever witnessed. [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. I saw the leg. If that had been painted, I wouldn't have had my knuckles so white, and having so much anxiety.''
Team president Larry Lucchino, responding via e-mail: ''I have never heard any such thing internally, and I refuse to believe it now. It was a courageous moment for Curt Schilling and a glorious moment for the Red Sox, and it shouldn't be sullied with such speculation now."
Schilling: ''It gets stupider. I got the 9-inch scar for you. You can see it. There are some bad people in your line of work, man."
The only thing close to a non-denial denial came from GM Theo Epstein, who -- in I-refuse-to-dignify-this-with-a-comment mode -- refused to dignify it with a comment: ''You're kidding me, right? I'm the GM of the team, not Jerry Springer. I couldn't give two [expletives] about what was on his sock, I care that we won the game. The rest, and Gary Thorne, is just noise."
From the Orioles' clubhouse, Kevin Millar chimed in: ''It was definitely blood. He had some stitches there. It was a hell of an injury at the time. So I think that was more [Mirabelli possibly] messing with Schilling. Like I said, I just saw blood and that was the bottom line and thank God we won that game. Blood or ink, it was a win. I mean, it was one of the single greatest performances I've ever been around. He couldn't walk and Dr. Morgan found a way to do something with his ankle and he manned up for us. It was a big performance at the time."
Edes' story concluded by saying the Red Sox may seek a retraction from Thorne.
And talk radio has ready-made programming for the day.
THE TRANSCRIPT: Allan Wood relates the entire conversation between Thorne and fellow announcer Jim Palmer. (joyofsox.blogspot.com)
I HAVE TO ADMIT, I SMILED AT THIS ONE: Old friend FelixMantilla on the Sons of Sam Horn board finds it ironic "that now it's G38 who is getting 'Swift-Boated.' '' (sonsofsamhorn.net)
FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH: Schilling himself doesn't address the issue at all in his breakdown of the game, in which he calls the game-tying home run by Miguel Tejada "an inexcusable mistake" on his part ("I went to [the] curve ball, and threw what can only be described as a hanger. I knew when I let it go that I didn’t finish it, and was praying that it went to the backstop or something, but it didn’t.'') He also ruminates a bit on last weekend's Yankees series, and laughs at those who think Mariano Rivera is losing it. ''Check back in September when he’s sitting on 40+ saves and a 2 ERA,'' he writes. (38pitches.com)
NEXT TIME, CALL TIME: Kraz' Inside The Game examines the strange episode in which plate umpire Angel Hernandez refused to grant Julio Lugo time when he stepped out of the box, resulting in a called strike, then instructed Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera to throw when Lugo wouldn't step back in, resulting in another called strike. (projo.com) Can't say I've ever seen that one before.
FAMILIAR SIGHT: This one, though -- Coco Crisp possibly headed to the disabled list because of an early April injury -- is a little too familiar. (projo.com)
LET'S TRY AGAIN: This is one of the entries that got wiped out in yesterday's computer crash. Joe Posnanski asked Bill James to come up with a list of players who could have made the Hall of Fame had the circumstances of their careers been just a little different. (thesoulofbaseball.blogspot.com) James' list has a distinct Red Sox tinge to it, as it includes Fred Lynn (Hall killer: leaving Fenway Park), Elston Howard (Hall killer: playing behind Yogi Berra for so many years and spending 95 percent of his career in the Death Valley-for-righthanded-hitters known as the old Yankee Stadium) and Luis Tiant (Hall killer: playing two meaningless years at the end of his career, delaying his Hall eligibility past the time when pitchers with similar statistics to his, like Catfish Hunter, were being elected, and into a time when a wave of 300-game winners hit the ballot, crushing his chances). It's a fascinating read, and I highly recommend it.
A LOOK BACK: Mention of Tiant prompted Posnanski to take a closer look at Looie's incredible 1968 season with the Indians . . . which is of particular interest to Joe, since he grew up in Cleveland as an Indians fan.
SAD BUT FAMILIAR: It like Bill James once said: There are probably more players who could have been Hall of Famers were it not for injuries than there are Hall of Famers. (Chicago Sun Times)
HOLD YOUR HORSES: FoxSports' Dayn Perry puts the pace in perspective. Though I don't know, why couldn't Josh Beckett go 36-0?
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:50 AM | Permalink