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Jul 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; American League outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) of the Oakland Athletics poses with the championship trophy after winning the 2014 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland A's Dominate the All Star Break

The All Star break, and game for that matter, haven’t had many Oakland A’s representatives in recent years. In fact, it’s pretty much just been the necessary one player, as MLB insists. But for this season, it was an entire Oakland takeover. It was known for weeks that Josh Donaldson had run away with the third base all star voting, so fans knew that for the first time since 2003 they’d have a position player in the midsummer classic.

Once the rosters were announced, it was five more Athletics players (Sean Doolittle, Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Kazmir, Derek Norris and Brandon Moss) earning honors, for their first half play, which led the A’s to the MLB best record at the break, 59-36. Also, Jeff Samardzija, whom the A’s traded for right before the break, was selected as an NL All Star for his stellar play, but wasn’t able to play for either team because of the trade.

It was also well speculated that Home Run Derby champ of 2013, Cespedes, wanted to defend his crown, and although MLB blindly decided on Jose Bautista as captain of the AL squad, Yo was bound to be selected. What A’s fans didn’t know was that, just days before the HR Derby was to be held on Monday, Donaldson received word he’d been added to the Derby roster.

So, the events began and the HR Derby had every green and gold fans’ full attention.

After Donaldson had already blasted three home runs, the champ finally took the stage for an encore performance from 2013. However, it wasn’t ass smooth as last year, as Yo struggled and only hit three bombs, setting him and JD up for a three-pitch swing-off. Yo would get the win over his teammate and move on to face Adam Jones in the next round. From there on out, it was smooth sailing for La Potencia, as he outhit Jones, who had surpassed Yo for the final outfield spot in the AL starting roster, and set his eyes on Joey Bats. He was no competition, as Yo knocked the man, and his beard– and all 200,000 Twitter friends of Joey’s– out of the contest. In the final round, Yo completely demolished Todd Frazier 9-1 and ended up holding the WWE belt and Derby trophy once again.

In the All Star Game, the A’s bats didn’t fare too well, although Norris was able to get Oakland’s lone hit, as well as the tie-breaking run. Donaldson got the start alongside shortstop Derek Jeter, who was the main focus for most of the week, and season for that matter, and made a couple outstanding plays that he’s known for making. On the mound, Kazmir pitched 2/3 innings and struck out one during his service. Closer Doolittle came in to pitch in the seventh inning, taking the field with three other Oakland players, and K’d two, while also giving up a hit.

Another couple off-the-field, only-Oakland things that happened during the week included two videos. One of JD, DNo and Doo acting how… well… bearded, mullet-haired baseball players do. A video showed Doo and DNo trying to help JD pick a walk up song, varying from Careless Whisper to the Ultimate Warrior theme song, that led to beard-pulling and hair tussling (yes, it was as glorious, and weird, as it sounds) and the other a video of A’s players failing to spell new teammate, Samardzija’s last name, in a hilarious skit.

If you didn’t think the A’s would be somehow overlooked, there were a couple sign incidents that happened, one leaving Derek Norris without a sign, or truck to drive in on for the Red Carpet Show (luckily Doo was there for the save), and the other, in Oakland fashion, falling off of Brandon Moss’ truck, leaving the driver to hold it up as Mozay and his family rode in.

Also, during the celebrity softball game – yes, I am including the celebrity softball game, don’t question me. If I can bring the lead-off legend into an article, I will – perhaps the greatest Athletic of them all did what he does best. Rickey Henderson led off the bottom half of the first with a solo shot that barely stayed fair.

It was just Rickey being Rickey. That summed up the All Star festivities for the Oakland A’s. Collars were popped, swagger was high, and one-of-a-kind creativity was shown. It was just the A’s being the A’s, doing what players of other teams just can’t/won’t do and I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other way.

Tags: All-Star Home Run Derby Oakland Athletics Yoenis Cespedes

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