Lee an NL Final Vote candidate

Lee an NL Final Vote candidate

ATLANTA -- The Astros have two players heading to New York for the 79th All-Star Game, but they could add one more, with a little help from the fans.

Outfielder Carlos Lee is one of five National Leaguers eligible to make the team as the winner of the 2008 Monster All-Star Game Final Vote, which will be decided by fans online at MLB.com. If Lee makes the team, he'll join first baseman Lance Berkman and shortstop Miguel Tejada, who were voted in by the fans and players, respectively.

Other Final Vote candidates include Pat Burrell (Phillies), Corey Hart (Brewers), Aaron Rowand (Giants) and David Wright (Mets).

"Anytime you have the opportunity to go, you want to go," Lee said. "I still have a chance. I need the support from the fans from Houston. It's going to be tough, because you're going against major cities like New York, and David Wright is very popular. The guy from Philadelphia, [Burrell], they vote a lot, too. It's going to be tough, but hopefully, I'll make it."

Now in its seventh year, the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Chevy and continues until 4 p.m. CT on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

There are two ways for fans to vote for the 2008 Monster All-Star Game Final Vote -- online now at MLB.com or on-the-go from their cell phones. Fans also can text the word "VOTE" to 36197 to have the All-Star Final Vote candidates sent to your phone. To vote for a specific player, simply reply with your choice. In Canada, fans should text the word "VOTE" to 88555. Standard rate text messaging rates apply -- please check with your mobile carrier for details.


"Anytime you have the opportunity to go, you want to go. I still have a chance. I need the support from the fans from Houston. It's going to be tough, because you're going against major cities like New York, and David Wright is very popular. The guy from Philadelphia, [Pat Burrell], they vote a lot, too. It's going to be tough, but hopefully, I'll make it."
-- Carlos Lee

The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the Monster 2008 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game on July 15.

The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. CT. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.

The Astros are no strangers to the Final Vote frenzy. Roy Oswalt won it in 2005 by a landslide, marking his first career selection to an All-Star team.

Lee is quietly putting together an All-Star-caliber year, and he's on pace to match his numbers from prior All-Star years, including 2007, when he logged 190 hits and 32 home runs. The left fielder started the season somewhat slowly, but he heated up in June, batting .301 with six homers and 16 RBIs.

Late in June, Lee moved from the fifth spot in the order to cleanup and provided immediate returns, logging 15 hits in his first 29 at-bats.

Lee has played in three All-Star Games -- in 2005 and '06 while with the Brewers, and in '07, his first year with the Astros.

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