KANSAS CITY -- If it's any consolation to Josh Donaldson, Detroit manager Jim Leyland said Sunday morning in Cleveland that he felt badly that the A's third baseman was left off the American League All-Star team.
"There's a kid (Donaldson) that got shortchanged, but there's nothing we could do about it," Leyland said while addressing the media before Sunday's Tigers-Indians game. "You've got Miguel Cabrera, and the players voted (Manny) Machado. You have him (Donaldson), and you still have (Evan) Longoria and (Adrian) Beltre (both left off the team).
"It's too bad. I'll go on record as saying this kid is an All-Star this year."
"That's nice to hear," Donaldson said after being told that after Sunday's 10-4 win over the Royals. "But it doesn't change anything."
Donaldson actually got the message from Leyland twice. Earlier he'd heard Leyland's apology through A's manager Bob Melvin, who had talked with Leyland after the team was announced late Saturday.
"We talked last night," the manager said. "He said a lot of that."
The A's third baseman, hitting .319 with 15 homers and 57 RBIs, said all along that given the depth at third base in the league, he wasn't expecting to be named to the team and, "it's all right."
Leyland didn't seem to think it was all right. Asked what impressed him most about Donaldson, Leyland was effusive.
"He's just a good hard-nosed, all-around player," Leyland said. "And he's getting better all the time. He's grown up right before everybody's eyes. I was impressed with him last year.
"He's a perfect corner guy -- he's got power. He's a hard-nosed guy. He's a scrapper defensively. I like him a lot. He truly could have been an All-Star this year. It just didn't work out that way."
The AL team wound up adding Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis (. 296, 13 homers, 54 RBIs). He got the nod because of his versatility.
"This makes three second basemen," Leyland acknowledged. "But if you made it a shortstop, you have three shortstops. If you make it a third baseman, you had three third basemen. Jason Kipnis might be very usable late in the game to steal a base for your DH — (David) Ortiz or (Edwin) Encarnacion or someone else."