Gubernatorial candidate and former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, while criticizing a $75 million state loan guarantee to Curt Schilling’s video game company, questioned Tuesday whether the Boston Red Sox great faked his famous bloody sock in the 2004 playoffs.
Chafee, a Republican-turned-independent, made the comments on WPRO-AM a day after state economic development officials approved the deal with 38 Studios, which Schilling co-owns. The deal has come under fire from gubernatorial candidates and others who say it’s too much taxpayer money to put on the hook for a company that has no proven track record.
“I think it goes back to the principal, Curt Schilling, and the trust that (state economic officials) have in him to deliver,” Chafee said. “I just remember his own teammates didn’t like him. They thought he was a bit of a salesman. I remember one of his teammates said he painted his sock, the bloody sock, he painted it. Kevin Millar, I think, said that. I don’t know if I trust Curt Schilling.”
Schilling’s sock was bloodied in Game 6 of the 2004 AL championship series against the New York Yankees as he pitched just days after ankle surgery. The Sox won the playoffs and went on to win their first World Series in 86 years.
Millar actually defended Schilling in 2007 after a Baltimore Orioles broadcaster claimed that Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli said the blood was paint. Mirabelli denied he said it, and the broadcaster later apologized.
J.R. Pagliarini said later Tuesday that Chafee respects Schilling’s achievements as a professional athlete and his support of charitable causes and regrets that what he intended as an offhand reference has deflected attention from the real issue.
“We don’t trust Curt Schilling in that he doesn’t have a track record of running a business of this size, and as such we’re putting the taxpayers’ money in jeopardy,” Pagliarini said. “He’s not questioning Curt Schilling’s honesty and sincerity. He’s just questioning whether he can produce what he says he can.”
Schilling’s publicist did not immediately return a message seeking comment.