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Elephant Rumblings: Rooker makes All-Star wish

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MLB: Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

Brent Rooker had himself a fine Sunday yesterday: he was named the A’s lone All-Star representative for 2023, and then hit his first home run since June 11. The former development was a bit of a surprise, as Rooker has been in a fairly deep slump since his red-hot start to the season. It seemed more likely that one of the A’s Rookie of the Year hopefuls, Ryan Noda or Esteury Ruiz would get the nod. But Rooker got the honors on the fumes of his phenomenal spring—and to be fair, his season line is still looking pretty good.

Brent took the news with surprise, humility, and grace. After yesterday’s game, he was asked by a reporter which players he would like to meet during the All-Star break:

Rooker’s response was all about two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani. The A’s outfielder and DH said he intends to “humbly” ask Ohtani to sign a picture of him hitting this home run off the Angels’ slugger and ace pitcher back on April 27.

Rooker has good reason to take pride in that moment. He went on to dollop high praise on Ohtani.

“If there’s anybody doubting that he’s the best baseball player of all time, I don’t really know why they are because he could be the front page story in every newspaper every day and it wouldn’t be talked enough, what he’s doing from an offensive and pitching standpoint.”

Rooker’s not wrong about Ohtani. If you think the Babe Ruth comparisons are hyperbolic, consider that Ohtani is on pace to hit about 58 home runs this season. He’s hit 31 home runs and struck out 127 batters coming into this final week before the All-Star break. That all sounds pretty GOAT-level to me.

One could make a solid case that Ruiz and Noda were equally or more deserving to make the All-Star team, but both have cooled off somewhat recently, and Rooker is by far the A’s best slugger this season. I’m happy for Rooker’s selection, especially after seeing how excited yet humble he was about it. Congrats, Brent! Make us proud next week.

A’s Coverage:

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Roster moves.

Rooker reacts to news of his selection.

Oh yeah...Sonny too.

Smoke not happy about the All-Star selection.

Nice to see a healthy Liam Hendriks back at the Coli!

I all kinds of love this.