Players, Fans Still Believe in Stephen Vogt, Even if Management Doesn’t

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OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 15: Khris Davis #2 of the Oakland Athletics is hit in the face with a cream pie by Stephen Vogt #21 after the game against the New York Yankees at the Oakland Coliseum on June 15, 2017 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the New York Yankees 8-7 in 10 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

The Athletics twitter-verse was abuzz with tweets about Stephen Vogt yesterday morning. Vogt, a fan-favorite and one of the longest-tenured players on the current roster, was designated for assignment and is expected to be claimed off waivers or traded to another team. Clearly, fans still believe in Stephen Vogt. In fact it seems that everyone (fans, media, and team mates old and new) still believes in Stephen Vogt.

A look at his stats for the 2017 season thus far seems to belie all the positive tweets. Why wouldn’t fans be happy to see a guy batting just .218 with four homers go? A catcher who leads all catchers in the AL in errors and is league-worst at throwing out base-stealers?

One reason is that it’s hard to forget a game-winning, walk-off hit in the 2013 ALDS. Or that he was a two-time All-Star (2015 and 2016).

But even more so, it’s hard to dislike a guy like Vogt. He is seen as a veteran clubhouse leader:

Fans Still Believe in Stephen Vogt

He is a fan-favorite, likely because he engages with fans and is always willing to chat, sign an autograph, or take a photo.

His fan-favorite status was cemented by a hilarious sketch that he did on MLB Network in which he hilariously imitated a basketball referee, SNL-style (he can also do a great Matt Foley).

Fans in the right field bleachers loved him so much that they made up a chant for him, the now famous (in Oakland) “I believe in Stephen Vogt!”. The chant became so popular, in fact, that it was incorporated into a talking bobble head as well as a t-shirt.

Besides being a clubhouse leader and a fan-favorite, Vogt’s admirable character shines through in his work in the community. In particular, he has been very involved with the School of Imagination. The School of Imagination serves children on the Autism spectrum. Stephen started the Vogt Family Fund. He also appeared at benefits and helped with fundraising efforts. His true character is revealed, though, by the way he interacted with the students on a personal level. It is evident from the video below that he is a kind and caring individual.

So, yes, fans are sad. They are angry at management:

But, according to Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle, even management had a hard time with the decision:

Despite all the love and support being shown to Stephen Vogt on social media right now, baseball is, in the end, a business. A’s fans will have to find a new player to cheer and chant for, but it will be hard to find a guy who compares to Stephen. Those are some big white cleats to fill.

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