To be repeat All-Star, Webb needs help

To be repeat All-Star, Webb needs help

SAN FRANCISCO -- If you take away his starts against the Rockies this year, Brandon Webb wouldn't be a Final Vote candidate for the 2007 All-Star Game.

The right-hander would be on the team without a doubt.

Overall, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner is 8-5 with a 3.05 ERA in 17 starts. If you remove his four starts against Colorado, the numbers change to 8-3 with a 2.03 ERA.

Now in its sixth year, the Monster.com 2007 All-Star 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 Chevrolet, and continues until 3 p.m. MST on Thursday, July 5. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

There are two ways for fans to vote for the 2007 All-Star 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. Whether celebrating the Fourth of July or Canada Day, fans will have the freedom to vote from wherever they are. Standard rate text messaging fees apply -- please check with your mobile carrier for details. Fans can get the mobile ballot now. In Canada, fans should text the word "VOTE" to 88555.

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 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com.

The 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 5 p.m. MST. 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.

Webb is scheduled to spend the All-Star break in San Diego with teammate Brandon Lyon and their families.

All-Star Game Coverage

"I obviously want to make the All-Star team because it's a great honor," Webb said. "I'd definitely like to be there."

Webb showed what he could do on the big stage in the 2006 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh as he made the most of his one inning by retiring Derek Jeter, David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez in order.

He struck out Jeter, got Ortiz to pop out and induced Rodriguez to ground out. It was a coming-out party of sorts for Webb, who until then had toiled in relative anonymity in the desert. After getting seven straight sinkers in his at-bat, Jeter swung through a curveball, and the Yankees shortstop was asked after the game if he thought his eight-pitch matchup with Webb was a good one.

"Yeah, until he threw a curveball," Jeter said, shaking his head. "I didn't even know he had one. That's one of the things, when you face a guy for the first time, you don't really know what they have. He's been pitching well all season. We haven't faced him, but you see him on the highlights. He did a good job."

Webb was a Final Vote candidate in 2005 and wound up finishing third behind Houston's Roy Oswalt and San Diego's Trevor Hoffman. Ironically, he finds himself competing with Oswalt once again this year for the honor of going to San Francisco.

"Reigning Cy Young Award winner who has a good record, a great ERA," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said in making a case for his pitcher. "There were times when we really, offensively, didn't do much for him. Of course I'll root for my guy. Unless Eric Byrnes is in it, I'm probably voting for Brandon Webb."

The other Final Vote candidates are Carlos Zambrano (Cubs), Chris Young (Padres) and Tom Gorzelanny (Pirates).

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