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A golden lesson in a rough-cut diamond

What can a 37-year-old journeyman baseball player teach law enforcers about “routine” events?

Yesterday, in the middle innings of an otherwise-meaningless spring training game, Marco Scutaro drew a two-out walk.


But things got interesting when he arrived at first and observed shortstop Gregorio Petit and second baseman Alexi Amarista not paying a whole lot of attention.

A sports talk radio guy I listen to described it as “two guys staring down at their shadows, spitting into their gloves.”

As soon Scutaro arrived at the first base bag, he beat feet to second and stole it easily.

I looked and looked, but couldn’t find video of yesterday’s play. Good thing Scutaro has been a smart ballplayer for a long time. I found footage of him doing the exact same thing in 2009 against the Phillies. Take a look...

We hear it all the time: “There’s no such thing as routine.”

But we all know that there are moments which are so frequently-repeated that they naturally lull a person into a false sense of security.

In every single profession there are certain things which happen — during which time, basically nothing happens. In baseball, there is probably nothing which better fist this description than when a pitcher issues a walk to a batter.


Then a veteran like Scutaro pulls a veteran move, and we all gasp, mouths agape, “WOW!” 

Happily, no baseball player’s life will be imperiled by a momentary lapse of focus. But we can look at this video, and while also being entertained by it — baseball is, after all, entertainment — we can be reminded of the deadly consequences for police officers for just one instant of “taking your eye off the ball.”

“Routine” should be considered a four-letter word.

Don’t go staring at your shadow and spitting in your glove, lest some veteran violator pull a quick one on you before you even look back up.

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