- The Washington Times - Friday, April 27, 2007

Call it the saga of the bloody sock. It started with a thousand 2004 photographs of Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s heroically sutured, Yankee-beating, history-making ankle. It will only end with a DNA test of the sock.

If you’re just joining this baseball story, Curt Schilling’s ankle all but imploded in the ‘04 playoffs, which at the time seemed to dash Boston’s postseason hopes. But after a gruesome temporary suturing of the tendon to the bone, the pitcher muscled through the pain en route to an unprecedented comeback victory over the New York Yankees, followed by a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The team’s first World Series victory since 1918, the win reversed the Curse of the Bambino. No Schilling ankle fix, no curse reversed. And thus the symbolic, triumphant bloody sock, which now rests at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Enter Baltimore Orioles announcer Gary Thorne, who this week alleged that the bloody sock is a hoax, before quickly backtracking. “It was painted,” he initially said. “Doug Mirabelli” — Red Sox backup catcher — “confessed up to it after. It was all for PR.” But no, a humbled Thorne said the next day, it was Mirabelli joking. “I took it as something serious, and it wasn’t,” he told the Boston Globe. The charge wasn’t new; it’s been leveled before.

For it to be fake, so, too, would the gruesome sockless photos of a swollen ankle need to be; team doctors would need to be lying; Mirabelli would also be lying; as would Schilling himself. They don’t call it the Schilling Tendon Procedure for nothing.

The logical solution would be a DNA test. But wait — this isn’t logic. It’s baseball.

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