After cutting ties with the controversial former Red Sox ace, ESPN cut footage of Curt Schilling's notorious "bloody sock game" from its rebroadcast of a documentary about the team's majestic run through the 2004 ALCS en route to its first World Series victory in 86 years.
The network fired Schilling last month after the latest in a long series of politically-charged social media posts. He had been publicly disciplined for such incidents in the past.
But according to the Washington Post, when ESPN2 aired its 30-for-30 documentary "Four Days in October" on Sunday, it cut the full 17 minutes dedicated to Game 6 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees.
Countless fans lived their full lives without seeing the Red Sox win the World Series – the drought lasted from 1918 to 2004. It seemed fans would be waiting even longer when the team fell down three games to none against the Yankees. The 30-for-30 piece immortalizes the improbable comeback. Game 6, an important part of the lore, saw an injured Schilling take the mound with a blood-stained sock.
Schilling had opened the series by getting shelled, giving up six runs in three innings before exiting. In Game 6, though, he went seven innings, giving up just four hits – the only run he yielded came off a solo homer from Bernie Williams.
Now even more outspoken on Twitter, with "#ESPNLIES" now prominently displayed in his bio, Schilling took to the web to share his dismay.
Two games before the bloody sock game, the Sox were down by a run in the bottom of the ninth with Mariano Rivera, history's best closer, on the hill for the Yankees. It took a very aggressive steal by Dave Roberts and a single by Johnny Damon to put the game in extra innings. David Ortiz homered in the 12th to extend the series.
After that, the team won seven more games in a row, topping the Yankees despite facing elimination through the rest of the ALCS. They went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
Schilling is nearly as controversial of a Hall of Fame candidate as he is a public figure. In 2016, his fourth year on the ballot, he received 52.3 percent of the vote. While he never won a Cy Young Award and his 3.46 career ERA is more good than great, he finished second in Cy Young voting three times, had tremendous postseason success, and had tremendous control through his 20 seasons in the majors. His 4.38 strikeout-to-walk rate is the best in baseball's modern era.
Meanwhile, Boston.com reports that Fox Sports passed on hiring Schilling after the former Sox player was fired by ESPN.