Donaldson joins AL Home Run Derby squad
A's third baseman hopes to 'put on a show' at Midsummer Classic event
OAKLAND -- Josh Donaldson was announced Thursday as the final American League participant in the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby -- as if having six AL All-Stars, one National League All-Star and one defending Derby champion weren't enough for the A's.
On Thursday morning, Donaldson received a text message from AL team captain Jose Bautista saying the spot was his to take if he wanted it. The A's third baseman, who also earned a fan-elected start at the Midsummer Classic, could not pass up the opportunity.
"It's definitely pretty neat," Donaldson said after hitting his 20th homer of the year against the Giants. "It's just one of those things that, for me, adds icing to the cake. Hopefully go out there and put on a show."
Donaldson will compete Monday alongside teammate and defending Home Run Derby champion Yoenis Cespedes, as well as Bautista of the Blue Jays, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones and Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.
Including Cespedes and Donaldson, the A's have had 13 appearances in the Derby, which is second-most among AL teams behind Toronto.
While the event is notorious for messing with hitters' swings, Donaldson does not seem concerned.
"It's just going to be another round of batting practice, except with a lot more people watching," he said. "I'm just going to try to hit it out of the stadium."
A's manager Bob Melvin will take care of the worrying.
"Just another thing to worry about," Melvin quipped. "But you know what, you've got to put yourself in their shoes, too. This could be a once-in-a -lifetime opportunity, so I hope they enjoy it and they come back in one piece."
Bullpen coach Darren Bush will serve as Donaldson's Derby pitcher. The pair rose through the Minor Leagues together, making the event even more special for Donaldson.
"He was my first manager when I got traded over [to Oakland]," Donaldson said. "I had him in High A, Double-A and Triple-A. I remember hitting off him back then in the Minor Leagues, and it's going to be great just for the journey that both of us have made it up here. We've went through a lot of battles together."
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow fans to help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.