OAKLAND -- You hear it at least three or four times a game when the A's play at home these days -- a rhythmic chant that generally starts in the right field corner.
"I believe in Stephen Vogt," it goes. "I believe in Stephen Vogt."
It's a takeoff on the ESPN commercials for the World Cup. The commercial's refrain -- "I believe that we will win" -- has the same number of syllables and same inflection as "I believe in Stephen Vogt."
"It did start about the time I began playing some in right field," Vogt said, "and I'm just guessing it had something to do with the World Cup going on at that time."
There is much for the A's and their fans to believe in when it comes to Vogt. He wasn't on the opening day roster because the A's opted to experiment with a setup of two left-handed hitting first basemen, Brandon Moss and Daric Barton.
That ended in May, when Barton was designated for assignment and Vogt, who had been the starting catcher in all five games of the American League Division Series last October, was recalled from Sacramento. The A's already had two healthy and productive catchers, John Jaso and Derek Norris, so Vogt, an outfielder/catcher by trade, has been getting his starts where he can -- behind the plate, in right field, even at first base.
It didn't matter where manager Bob Melvin put him. Upon his recall, Vogt went on the best offensive spree of his career. Through the end of a career-best 12-game hitting streak July 12, Vogt's average was .371. And the more he has hit, the louder the "I believe in Stephen Vogt" chants got.
He was at first base Sunday and was splendid at the plate, where he walked, singled twice and doubled, collecting his 18th RBI along the way. And during every at-bat, the believers made themselves heard.
"It's pretty cool to be in the batter's box and hear that," Vogt said. "It's an honor to have a stadium chanting for you. It's cool to have the fan base behind you and to be up here contributing a little bit."
But finding at-bats for Vogt is about to get more difficult for Melvin. With Josh Reddick (knee strain) eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday and Coco Crisp (neck) seemingly on the mend -- he has played the last three games -- the situation for Vogt will change, even with his .364 batting average.
"I really don't know what's going to happen when Reddick comes back, but obviously he brings a lot to the table," Vogt said. "I know that the left-handed at-bats are going to become more scarce. Whatever role is given to me is the one I'll accept and go with.
"My No. 1 goal is to help contribute to winning. And if that means playing first, right, catching, pinch-hitting, whatever the role comes up to be, I'll accept it and go with it. That's just who I always have been."
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