Dr. Bill Morgan, the orthopedist who performed the innovative procedure on Curt Schilling's ankle that allowed him to pitch in the 2004 postseason, was dumbfounded to learn that Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne, citing Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli as his source, said the blood on Schilling's game socks were not real.
"C'mon," Morgan said today from the Fallon Clinic in Worcester, "we all know what the reality is. I don't know where that comes from.
"I drilled a whole bunch of holes in the guy's ankle when we put the sutures in, we put a dressing on them, and the blood soaked through the dressing. The sock is like a sponge. It doesn't take a whole lot of blood, but there's like a capillary effect.''
Was Schilling bleeding profusely?
"Hey, my definition of profusely and yours may be very different,'' he said. "I operate every day. To me, a pint of blood a second may be bleeding profusely.
"Anyone who's ever had stitches knows there's going to be oozing from the wound. I put a bunch of stitches in the guy, and then he had to go out there and pitch at a professional level. The sutures were tugging at the skin, it opened up a little bit. The thing expanded right before our eyes.''
Morgan said he repeated the procedure before Schilling pitched in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees in the World Series, before Schilling pitched Game 2 against the Cardinals. "The exact same thing was done,'' Morgan said. "We took the sutures out after the first game, because we were worried about infection. The second game, we put the sutures in, there was some bleeding, we applied a dressing, it oozed through.''
The World Series sock is now on exhibit at Cooperstown.
"I would love to have the bloody sock in my cellar,'' said Morgan, who was the Sox team doctor at the time but now does work for three professional sports teams in Worcester: the Sharks, the Tornadoes and the Surge. "Don't think I didn't say to Schill, 'Where's the sock?' Unfortunately, I don't have it.''