KANSAS CITY — The A's came into Saturday with the second-best win total in the American League, but you'd hardly know it from the All-Star selection process with only starting pitcher Bartolo Colon named.

Third baseman Josh Donaldson, the team's top hitter at .317 with 15 homers and 57 RBIs, was skipped, as was closer Grant Balfour, who has been perfect in all 22 of his save opportunities with a 1.82 ERA both were skipped.

So was, Jed Lowrie, the shortstop who has slipped to .296 with five homers and 34 RBIs.

Colon was baffled as to why he will be going to New York alone.

"I have no words to explain it," Colon said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. "I think Donaldson and Balfour should be part of it, too."

Manager Bob Melvin, whose team is the defending American League West champion and whose team came into Saturday the current AL West leader, was plainly unhappy to see that his 51-win team got just one player.

"We had performances suggesting we had more than one guy," the manager said. "I'm very happy about Bartolo. To make the All-Star team at age 40 is pretty incredible."

Almost as incredible as the A's having no one else on the roster.

Balfour, who has gone 14 months without a blown save, tried to take it in stride, but he struggled.

"I'm a little disappointed," he said. "I guess perfect isn't good enough."


Advertisement

Donaldson, who most national baseball writers picked to make the team, was more philosophical, looking at how loaded third base is in the American League with Miguel Cabrera in Detroit and Manny Machado in Baltimore.

"I wasn't expecting it," Donaldson said. "Is third base the toughest position? People say it is. That being said, I don't play against the other guys. I play against (other teams)."

More than that, Donaldson isn't one of the five names on the final ballot where fans can add on one more deserving player."

Colon had been named to an All-Star team twice before this year, but he said none of the others felt as sweet as this one.

Colon is now 40 years old. He's back pitching with the A's after having served a 50-day suspension for association with performance-enhancing drugs. He's 11-3 with a 2.78 ERA going into his next start Monday in Pittsburgh.

Talking through interpreter Ariel Prieto, Colon said this one was special.

"I believe yes (it is the most special)," Colon said "At my age right now, no one can think I have a chance to go to the All-Star game. And that is what has happened."

Many of Colon's teammates were pulling for him to make it one last time. Colon was an All-Star in 1998 in his first full year in the big leagues with the Indians. The honor struck again in 2005, a season in which he would later be named winner of the American League Cy Young Award while pitching for the Angels.

"I'm more happy for Bartolo making it," Donaldson said. "Look what he's done at age 40."

Colon's season began with him sitting out the first five games, the residue of his PED drug problems that took him off the Oakland roster in August of 2012.

Once he returned, April became his friend as he went 3-0 for the month and the A's won all five of his April starts. He lost his first two starts in May, then reeled off eight consecutive wins to put himself in All-Star position.

He said that as his numbers got better and better, he didn't spend much time thinking about the possibility of returning to the All-Star Game for the first time in eight years.

"I'm always thinking about the way I have to pitch each game," he said, indicating thinking about an All-Star berth would only be a distraction."

In many years, an 11-3 record would be grounds for possibly being named the All-Star starting pitcher. And while that could still happen, with Detroit's Jim Leyland the manager and the Tigers Max Scherzer 13-0, it seems unlikely that Colon would get the start.

"That's the manager's decision," Colon said. "I can't worry about that."