The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 16, 2014

A’s enjoy spotlight

MINNEAPOLIS — Oakland had a major league-high six players selected for the All-Star game, plus a seventh in recently acquired right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who would’ve been included on the NL side had he remained with the Chicago Cubs.

After consecutive AL West titles with a roster largely unknown to mainstream fans around the country, these Athletics have finally received their due.

“It’s definitely an honor for all of us to be here,” said third baseman Josh Donaldson, the lone starter in the group. “I feel like this is the results of playing well the last two years, and obviously playing well this year, too. We feel that we definitely have the team to beat, just because the last couple years we’ve won the division and our guys are real focused on that.”

With outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, first baseman Brandon Moss and catcher Derek Norris joining Donaldson, the A’s have position players represented for the first time since catcher Ramon Hernandez in 2003.

That’s a long gap, but it’s a good guess that they won’t have to wait so long for the next recognition.

“It’s really cool to have that many guys here and get to share it with them,” Moss said. “These are the same guys that have been there for two years, except for Kaz. But we have a lot of guys that can do a lot of special things.”

Pitchers Sean Doolittle and Scott Kazmir were the other A’s on the AL squad.

Still welcome: Jeff Samardzija was declared ineligible by Major League Baseball to participate since the trade that sent him from the Cubs to the A’s was finalized the day before the All-Star rosters were revealed.

Still, the lanky long-haired Samardzija was at Target Field for the festivities this week.

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