Don Norcross of UTSanDiego.com has the official findings of Peter Woodfork, a senior vice president of baseball operations for MLB. He "oversees umpiring", as if anyone has any kind of control of umpiring in baseball.
"After review and discussion with the umpire, we have determined that the call itself of a fair ball was correct. However, while making the call, there was an incorrect mechanic, which appeared to confuse San Diego’s base runners. At no time did the umpire verbally kill the play on the field. After reviewing the entire situation following the game, the umpire realizes his hands were in an exaggerated upward appearance similar to a call that would indicate a dead ball. While we all agree that it was a fair ball that did not hit the batter, the umpire recognizes that the proper mechanic was not executed as he tried to avoid the catcher."
So apparently an umpire can flamboyantly flail his arms around for an extended period of time and the base runners are supposed to know the ball is in play. But that doesn't explain the point in the video where Umpire Dale Scott either makes a clear and distinct "foul ball/dead ball" gesture or does an impersonation of Nixon resigning the Presidency.
I can't wait for a bee to land on Umpire Dale Scott and see him call mass ejections and home runs at the same time. No doubt Woodfork will defend it.
I was just reading this comment and realized that I had a very similar thought yesterday. This play reminds me of a dirty trick that a friend used to use when we played Street Fighter II on the Nintendo. We'd be battling it out, frantically tapping buttons as Chun-Li and Blanka battled for superiority in a ship yard. Then he would pause the game -- "Why'd YOU pause the game!!?" he'd ask me. When I inspected my controller to see why the game had stopped, he'd quickly unpause and finish me off with a flash kick or some other combo hit. It sucked then and it sucks now.