For just a moment, allow me to put on my Jim Garrison hat and bellow in a famous Kevin Costner disappearing/reappearing southern accent (while, of course, using lines from the end of JFK).
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you an argument. When it smells like it, feels like it, looks like it, you call it what it is: CONSPIRACY. I submit to you the events that transpired on the night of June 20 were a coup d'état headed up by the major league umpires present at Dodger Stadium and their brothers in the New York City offices.
In the late hours of Thursday evening in Los Angeles — early Friday morning on the East Coast where drowsy umpires fought to keep their eyes open and while falling asleep in their eighth cup of coffee — a controversial call unraveled a late rally the San Francisco Giants had put together in the ninth inning as they chipped away the exasperatingly high Los Angeles Dodger lead of nine runs. The Giants, trailing by a single run, had runners on first and second with zero outs. Tyler Austin then laid down a bunt which lead to Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger grabbing the ball and shooting it to third in order to tag Stephen Vogt out as he slid ahead of the thread.
In that crucial moment, Vogt was called out.
Video evidence clearly shows that Vogt narrowly beat the throw. However, the officials on the field ruled it an out. Bruce Bochy challenged that ruling and the call to New York was made. Sleepy men who were ready to go home at the tail end of their shift “reviewed” the tape and confirmed the out.
Buster Posey followed up with a fly ball, which WOULD have scored Vogt from third, thus tying the game with two outs (okay, this is all hypothetical because we wouldn’t have known the circumstances that could have transpired once Vogt left the bag for if the momentum would have shifted the way Buster swung the bat, blah, blah, blah just go with me here) and possibly throwing the game into extra innings.
But did New York want that? Did the umps at Dodger Stadium want that?
Obstreperous actions led to an angry domino effect started by the vocal Giants following their bitter 9-8 loss. First there was Posey.
Strong words from Buster Posey on replay officials: “There’s no accountability for those guys. Anything close, they’re going to say it’s inconclusive. That seems to be the trend.”— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) June 21, 2019
Bochy also chimed in with thoughts of his own.
Bochy on Vogt being called out at third to potentially load the bases with no outs in the ninth: “I’d like to know what they’re looking at in New York... he was safe.” pic.twitter.com/2tEQXOzLlw— KNBR (@KNBR) June 21, 2019
Gentle people of the jury, we understand that the fine officials at the command center running off East Coast time are full-time umpires who tend to be faced with the quandary of calling out their colleagues time and time again, and are forced to make them look like chumps if they overturn one too many calls. We get it, you don’t want to make your buddies look bad.
*takes a deep breath*
However, the truth is the most important value because if the truth does not endure, fatigued umpires will not be held accountable for their yawning actions and heated games starring potent rivals will be tossed into the wind. Conspiracies called out will be rendered effete and lost among the rubble of what will most likely be just chalked up to a really crappy season. As Tennyson wrote, ‘Authority forgets a dying king,’ and if anyone is currently in the process of recording a load death rattle, it’s sure as heck the San Francisco Giants.
Don't forget your dying king, drained umpires, otherwise I’ll be forced to do a fake southern accent again. Just go get some Red Bull.
It’s up to you.