Not even Alex Rodriguez expected his name to come up in the All-Star Game selection process before the season began.
Coming off his full-season suspension for his involvement with Biogenesis, the Yankees' 39-year-old designated hitter said his only goal in spring training was "to make the team."
"I had no idea what to expect," he said before the Yankees hosted the Oakland A's Tuesday night.
Rodriguez not only made the Yankees' roster, he also has been one of the American League's top designated hitters, at 2.1 wins above replacement, according to Fangraphs.com. Only Jose Bautista, who has played 31 of his 78 games at DH for Toronto, has posted a higher mark (2.7) among designated hitters.
Rodriguez's WAR and his 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .284 batting average put him right in the middle of the discussion as Ned Yost filled out his AL All-Star roster Monday.
Rodriguez ultimately fell short of what would have been his 15th All-Star Game.
"I'm obviously disappointed," he said. "It would have been fun to go out and represent the American League."
He then added, "The fact that I'm in the conversation makes me happy."
Instead, Texas' Prince Fielder will back up starting DH Nelson Cruz. Fielder, who played only 42 games last season before getting shut down with a herniated disc in his neck, entered Tuesday night hitting .347 with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs. He has posted a 2.0 WAR.
"I think Yost had a very difficult decision," Rodriguez said. "You can't go wrong with Prince. He's . . . also a big comeback story, so I'm happy for Prince."
Two other Yankees -- Dellin Betances and Mark Teixeira -- made the All-Star team.
Betances earned a spot in the Midsummer Classic for the first time last year, while Teixeira made the team in 2005 and 2009.
"I think this is probably the most special of all of them," said Teixeira, who did not play more than 123 games in each of the last three seasons. "I mean I'll always remember my first one, but I didn't know if I'd ever make it back to an All-Star Game."
Teixeira is hitting .239 with 20 home runs and 59 RBIs.
Betances has a 1.65 ERA and has struck out 71 batters in 4311/3 innings.
"It's surreal anytime you get picked, especially by your peers, guys you play against," Betances said. "It's exciting."
The Yankees are hoping that Brett Gardner will beat out Boston's Xander Bogaerts, Detroit's Yoenis Cespedes, Minnesota's Brian Dozier and Kansas City's Mike Moustakas for the AL's Final Vote.
Gardner, who is hitting .296 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs, said, "Hopefully what I do on the field is enough to get enough votes to be the guy they pick."