Friday, November 21st, 2014

Rhode Island candidate waves the bloody sock

The bloody sock gets the Truth-O-Meter treatment.
The bloody sock gets the Truth-O-Meter treatment.

Our staff is full of journalists who are nuts for both politics and baseball, so we couldn't help but spotlight a story today by our affiliate, PolitiFact Rhode Island.

Independent gubernatorial candidate (and former Republican U.S. Senator) Lincoln Chafee courted trouble when he discussed former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling in an interview with John DePetro of WPRO on Tuesday.

"I just remember his own teammates didn't like him," Chafee said of Schilling. "They thought he was a bit of a salesman. I remember one of his teammates said he painted his sock, the bloody sock, that he painted it. Kevin Millar I think said that. I don't know if I trust Curt Schilling."

Briefly, Chafee was referring to an ankle injury Schilling famously suffered in the 2004 post-season. Team doctors temporarily fixed a ruptured and dislocated tendon in his right ankle to keep it from moving, allowing him to pitch in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees.  

If the reference seems somewhat random for a gubernatorial candidate, it's not -- in a controversial deal, Rhode Island economic development officials struck a deal to give Schilling's video game company, 38 Studios, a $75 million loan guarantee if he moves operations to Rhode Island from Massachusetts. Chafee criticized the agreement for encumbering more than half of a new state loan guarantee program and risking it "on one company that's never had a penny of revenue yet."

Still, Schilling has arguably become Bermuda Triangle of political discussion topics. During the special election for the late Edward Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts earlier this year, Democratic nominee Martha Coakley famously referred to Schilling as a Yankee fan and poked fun at her Republican opponent, Scott Brown, for standing outside Fenway Park shaking hands.

Diehard fans never forgave her. And Scott Brown is now Senator Brown.

We'll let readers dig deeper into the Chafee-Schilling controversy by reading PolitiFact Rhode Island's exhaustive account here.