Capuano a candidate for Final Vote

Capuano can go to All-Star Game in Final Vote

Brewers left-hander Chris Capuano plans to spend his All-Star break in quiet Cape Cod, Mass. But Capuano is one of five National Leaguers eligible for the 2006 Monster All-Star Final Vote, and fans have an opportunity to change his travel plans.

"If I had to change them it would be amazing," Capuano said. "I love Cape Cod and I haven't been back there in a long time, and that would be great. But it's a little kid's dream to be an All-Star."

Now in its fifth year, the Monster 2006 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 5 p.m. CT Thursday. The winners will be announced on ESPN and shortly thereafter.

"There's still a chance," Capuano said after the Brewers' loss to the Twins on Sunday.

Capuano is up against Bobby Abreu of the Phillies, Nomar Garciaparra of the Dodgers, Billy Wagner of the Mets and Chris Young of the Padres for the final NL spot. It's a diverse group; Capuano and Young are starting pitchers, Wagner is a closer, Abreu is an outfielder and Garciaparra is an infielder.

There are two ways for fans to vote for the 2006 All-Star Final Vote -- online now at, or on-the-go from their cell phones. Fans can also text the word "VOTE" to 36197 to receive the All-Star Final Vote Candidates sent to your phone. To vote for a specific player, simply reply with your choice. For $.30 per text message vote, fans will have the freedom to vote from wherever they are. Fans can get the mobile ballot now. In Canada, fans should text the word "VOTE" to 28776.

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 at the 77th All-Star Game via the Monster 2006 All-Star Game MVP Vote on

The All-Star Game, to be held at Pittsburgh's PNC Park on Tuesday, July 11, at 7 p.m. CT, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while will provide extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will provide exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.

Capuano has quite a case. The left-hander put together a Major League-best 16 "quality starts" in his first 17 games before a rough outing in Minnesota on July 1 that may have been attributed to a line drive off Capuano's forearm in his previous outing. Even after that outing, he ranked second in the NL with nine wins when the All-Star rosters were announced, second in innings pitched, fifth in strikeouts and 10th in ERA.

"If he's not the best pitcher in the National League, he's in the top three," said Brewers outfielder Carlos Lee, who is already headed to the All-Star Game along with Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow. "He deserves to go. Every time he goes out there, he gives you a quality start."

The Brewers return home on Monday, and plans are under way to have locations at Miller Park where fans can utilize a computer to vote for Capuano. Brewers event services personnel will sport "Vote Cappy for All-Star" T-shirts and flyers will be distributed by ushers to all fans at games Monday through Wednesday. Players will show their support for Capuano with a video spot encouraging fans to vote often for their teammate. The spot will air on the Miller Park scoreboard and possibly local television.

"We plan to pull out all of the stops to get Chris the recognition as an All-Star that he deserves," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said in a team statement. "The competition is strong and with other finalists representing the two largest markets in New York and Los Angeles, we'll have to be very aggressive in getting out the vote."

The Brewers have had success with the Final Vote in the past. In 2003, outfielder Geoff Jenkins made his only All-Star Game appearance after an intense campaign by the Brewers to drum up support.

"Hopefullly, Cappy will [make it]," Turnbow said. "We're going to push hard for him. He deserves it -- there's no question about that. He's been pretty dominant this year. He's been pitching very well for a long time, even last year. We hope he gets there."

Should Capuano be selected, the Brewers will have three All-Stars for the first time since 1983, when they sent first baseman Cecil Cooper, outfielder Ben Oglivie, catcher Ted Simmons and shortstop Robin Yount to the Midsummer Classic.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.