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Nomar, Lee campaigning for Perez

Nomar, Lee campaigning for Perez

Nomar Garciaparra agrees with the fans that a Chicago Cubs shortstop should be at the All-Star Game. But it's not him.

It's time to vote for Neifi Perez.

Garciaparra has been sidelined with a groin injury, suffered April 20, and played 14 games for the Cubs this year. He currently leads the NL shortstops in balloting with 312,892 votes, and he'll give up a trip to Detroit so Perez can go.

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"Neifi's been unbelievable all year," Chicago first baseman Derrek Lee said. "In that leadoff spot or No. 2 spot, he's been on base the whole time. He makes the plays, he's won a Gold Glove. The way he's swinging the bat, he's an All-Star right now."

Add Lee to the "Vote for Neifi" campaign.

"He deserves it," Lee said. "Look at his numbers. I don't think there's a shortstop with better offensive numbers."

"There should be a Cubs shortstop there, and it's the guy who's playing there right now," Garciaparra said of Perez. "He's been unbelievable. He definitely deserves it."

You can write-in a player on the online All-Star ballot by scrolling to the bottom of the ballot. Just type Perez's name under NL shortstop.

"It's nice and flattering," Garciaparra said about leading the All-Star voting. "I've always had wonderful support from the fans everywhere, from the place where I was at for so long [Boston] to here in Chicago. The support has been unbelievable. It tells me they want to see me back as much as I want to come back. I appreciate it so much.

"I also think they're looking at the boxscore and seeing the shortstop for the Cubs doing so well and think it's me, and I realize how great Neifi's doing," he said. "Hopefully, we'll have a Cubs shortstop at the All-Star Game."

Fans also need to vote for Lee, who is first in nearly every offensive category but still second among National League first basemen in the latest All-Star balloting, released Tuesday.

The Chicago Cubs first baseman, who is a Triple Crown candidate this year, trails St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols in the fan balloting. Lee has received 434,404 votes to Pujols' 748,844. Lee is off to a torrid start, earning National League Player of the Month honors in April and NL Player of the Week honors twice, most recently May 23-29.

Aramis Ramirez is fourth among NL third basemen with 282,109 votes. Corey Patterson, with 191,942 votes, ranks 11th among the top 15 outfielders. Neither Ramirez, Barrett nor Patterson have appeared in an All-Star Game.

Last year, Carlos Zambrano, Moises Alou and Sammy Sosa represented the Cubs.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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