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David Brown

Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil makes all-time bonehead error

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Toronto celebrated the 20th anniversary of Rogers Centre earlier this season.

American dollars to Canadian doughnuts, I guarantee the two-base error rookie left-hander Brett Cecil(notes) made against the Red Sox on Thursday night was the strangest in the history of the former Skydome.

It might even take the otherwise promising Blue Jays pitcher another 20 years to live it down.

After retrieving a loose ball he wanted tossed out in the fourth inning, Cecil — forgetting to call timeout first — just chucked the live ball into the Jays dugout as he walked back to the mound.

Brain freeze. Caught: on video!

Umpires sent Jason Bay(notes), who had walked to lead off, to third base because Cecil had thrown the ball out of play. Bay had stopped briefly at second; Cecil's error was so unusual, it took umps a moment to realize Bay deserved another base.

Cecil threw up his arms at first as if to ask, "What did I do?" But he figured it out.

From MLB.com

"It's pretty obvious I wasn't even thinking about timeout being called or anything," Cecil said. "I saw a scuff mark or some dirt on the ball and I wanted to throw it in; I wanted a new ball. I turned around and chucked it and that was that. The fact didn't even come to my mind that time hadn't been called or anything like that.

"I pretty much just got out of rhythm when I threw the ball into the dugout."

One out later, Bay scored the go-ahead run on Mike Lowell's(notes) single through a drawn-in infield. The Blue Jays committed three errors in Boston's 8-1 victory, which began to unravel for Toronto after Cecil's unique mistake.

There's a first time for everything, Boston left-hander Jon Lester(notes) said.

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"I've never seen anything like what happened tonight," said Lester, the winning pitcher. "It's just one of those deals where I don't know if you lose concentration, or just think that the ball is dead, or whatever. I don't know what happened. It's just one of those things that actually helped us out, but you hate to see stuff like that happen.

"The kid's pitching a decent game and something like that can really break your confidence."

Just 23 years old, Cecil has shown dominant stuff from time to time in his first big league season; In five of his 13 starts, he's allowed one or no earned runs.

He didn't want to use his blunder as a crutch in explaining one of his roughest outings of the season, but he admitted it affected him.

"I was definitely upset about it," Cecil said. "It's nobody's fault but my own, but it shouldn't be tough to regain focus from it. I made a mistake. Whatever. Forget about it."

Good luck with that.

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