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Is It Important for Josh Donaldson to Represent Oakland in the All-Star Game?

Apr 12, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) celebrates with his teammates after hitting a walk off home run during the twelfth inning against the Detroit Tigers at O.Co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in extra innings. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIJune 10, 2013

The most pleasant surprise for the Oakland A's this year has been the performance of catcher-turned-third baseman Josh Donaldson.  Donaldson was hot at the end of 2012 after a call-up from Triple-A Sacramento and has continued his hot hitting in 2013.

With the success that Donaldson has had at the plate—a .324 batting average and .394 on-base percentage—he is getting a push from A's fans to be sent to the All-Star Game.  

Donaldson is starting to get the attention that he deserves, as he recently surpassed Kevin Youkilis of the New York Yankees for the fifth spot in votes at third base.  

While Donaldson will likely not surpass players such as Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Donaldson could certainly move up further and pass a player like Adrian Beltre—who has a .307 batting average—of the division rival Texas Rangers.  

Donaldson deserves a trip to the All-Star Game, but is it a big deal if he is snubbed?

The A's tend to not get the respect they deserve in the national media.  Just after winning the 2012 division title, the A's were seen as underdogs to the Los Angeles Angels, again, in 2013 by the likes of ESPN.  With that perspective in the national media, it will be very difficult for Donaldson to get enough votes outside of the Bay Area to make the American League team.  

In the NBA, I said the same thing with Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors as I will say about Donaldson: being voted to the All-Star Game is not as important as team success.  It is certainly nice to be voted by the fans as one of the best players in the game, but the voting isn't exactly an accurate calculation of talent.

In the NBA, Curry was short on votes for the popularity contest known as the All-Star Game.  In reality, he led his team to the second round of the playoffs and he set the record for three-pointers in a single season.

In the MLB, Donaldson is going to have trouble competing with more established names like Cabrera and Beltre for votes.  Donaldson's best chance to make the AL roster may be as a hand-selected representative rather than receiving fan votes.

If Donaldson is not awarded a trip to the All-Star Game, he shouldn't worry about it.  The real great players show off their skill by winning in October, not July. 

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