The Blue Jays have not been happy with the strike zone that their ALCS opponents are getting. There have been a couple of egregious strike calls, too, but nothing that would make you think that Baseball and its umpires are rigging the series in favor of the Indians over the Jays.
Well, maybe you feel that way, but Jose Bautista does not.
"Circumstances" is a vague way to imply that the Indians are getting all the calls in a way that suggests favoritism. Bautista can’t actually say more than this, because he’d be fined for even a stronger implication of this than what he gave. He felt strongly enough to bring it up in the first place, though, and the Indians felt strongly enough about responding that their Twitter account has made this a rallying point for their fans in response.
First, they changed their Twitter bio in a hurry after this quote came out:
That’s pretty subtle since you have to go looking for it, but on Monday, they went right for Bautista and the Jays’ explanation of Cleveland’s ALCS success:
We've had sign stealing and circumstances.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) October 17, 2016
POLL: What will our opponents' next excuse be? #RallyTogether
You gotta respect what the Indians’ Twitter account is doing, since it’s not the actual players on the team responding to the "circumstances" claim. And Bautista and the Blue Jays are in a weird position where they can’t really retaliate to this anywhere but on the field, or else they will officially be Mad Online about it.
Maybe Bautista should take a more measured, less complain-y approach to this, like Yasmani Grandal and the Dodgers have with their belief the Cubs are stealing signs. Then Joey Bats won’t have to suffer the indignity of being owned online by a brand.