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Scutaro catches world champs napping, steals second on a walk

Big League Stew

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The Philadelphia Phillies: World bleeping sleeping champions.

Chase Utley(notes) will have to rework his hilariously obscene phrase from October, because Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel must have been hitting the snooze button on the team's alarm clock Thursday morning.

The Phillies were totally blindsided in the third inning by Toronto's Marco Scutaro(notes), who stole second base on a walk by keeping his eyes open and his feet moving.

Scutaro, usually one of the more heads-up players in the league, seemed to have the idea in his head just he took ball four from Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton(notes). As he jogged to first, Scutaro slyly scanned the Philly infield, like any good baserunner would, and noticed Blanton put his head down while infielders Jimmy Rollins(notes) and Utley chatted it up — with neither standing near second base.

So, after rounding the first-base bag, Scutaro put his ambition into overdrive and took off like a Blue Jay out of heck for second. Blanton whirled and, after a double-clutch because neither of the former All-Stars had been paying attention, threw to Rollins. Too late.

All the Philly announcers could say was, "Wow" and how it reminded one of them of "Little League." All first baseman Ryan Howard(notes) could say was, "Football practice!" as he appeared to awake in a cold sweat.

MLB.com has VIDEO, plus Meech and friends at The Fightins did a tremendous animation of the play via the miracle of the .gif. More scathing analysis, plus a screen capture, comes after the jump.

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Check out those eyes. They are among Venezuela's keenest.

The Jays, whose wings have been clipped by a massive rash of injuries, managed a three-game sweep.

Here's the take of Cholly Manuel, who probably was sporting a rash somewhere else, one caused by anger and embarrassment:

"[Scutaro] was very heads-up, and it looked like Joe kind of came off the mound and kind of dropped his head," Manuel said. "That was not being very alert."

Howard spread the blame.

"It was one of those things where he made a good play and everybody was kind of sleeping or whatnot," Howard said. "More than just the pitcher was napping on that."

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