OAKLAND -- Closer Ryan Cook will be the lone player representing the A's at the All-Star Game in Kansas City, and other than having to deal with travel headaches, he's excited about the opportunity.
The right-hander had to pack for two trips since Oakland opens the second half on the road at Minnesota, and he said he wasn't even sure when he would be boarding a plane headed for Kansas City, except that it would be some time Sunday after the A's final game of the first half against the Mariners.
Once Cook finally does get there, though, he'll be ready to enjoy it.
"It's a great accomplishment, no doubt about it," Cook said. "I'm obviously ecstatic about it."
It's been a meteoric rise for the rookie, who made the team out of Spring Training and now is sixth among American League relievers with a 1.46 ERA. As for the second half, Cook wants to work on limiting his walks -- those have been the main problem in leading to his three blown saves -- and to just keep on attacking hitters.
Cook will be joined at the All-Star Game by A's manager Bob Melvin, who was chosen by Rangers skipper Ron Washington to serve on the AL coaching staff.
"I'll just be one of those onlookers that's just happy about being there, and to be able to represent the Oakland A's in an All-Star Game is pretty special to me," said Melvin, who hails from Palo Alto. "I would've never envisioned growing up that I would be in an All-Star Game in this uniform, so in that respect I'm very excited about it.
"Just lucky to be there and glad that I got the call from Ron Washington."
Cook and Melvin have something in common -- both said they had no idea what they'd be doing once they get to Kansas City, what with the ever-growing number of festivities surrounding the actual game. But that uncertainty hardly seems likely to put a damper on their experience.
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.