Family and friends voting for Zambrano

Family and friends voting for Zambrano

WASHINGTON -- Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano has seven brothers and lots of friends with computers in Venezuela. And they're all voting for the right-hander to help him get to the All-Star Game.

Zambrano is vying for a spot via the 2007 All-Star Final Vote. His competition includes Houston's Roy Oswalt, San Diego's Chris Young, Pittsburgh's Tom Gorzelanny and Arizona's Brandon Webb.

Balloting began on Sunday, and it will continue until 5 p.m. CT Thursday.

"My brother called last night and said, 'Hey, call everybody and tell them to vote for you,'" Zambrano said Monday. "It's good to be in this position. I'm happy so far. I'm happy for the selection.

"The only thing I was surprised at was that Chris Young of the San Diego Padres was not on the team. He deserves to go. Honestly, he's the one who deserves to go in that group."

So Zambrano would vote for Young?

"Last year, I was watching the Cy Young and who it was going to, and at the last moment, I wanted Brandon Webb to win because he had better numbers than anybody who was competing," Zambrano said. "That's the same thing here. I think Chris Young has better numbers."

Young is 8-3 with a 2.14 ERA in 16 starts, while Zambrano is 9-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 17 starts. Oswalt is 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA, Webb is 8-5 with a 3.05 ERA and Gorzelanny is 8-4 with a 3.05 ERA.

"It's about votes, not about selection," Zambrano said of the Final Vote campaign. "If I have more votes, I don't think I'll call [Young] and say, 'You go for me.' No. I'll go for myself."

Zambrano won't share his bonus, either, if he gets named to the National League team.

The right-hander once suffered a strained forearm because of too much computer use. He will be careful now.

"I don't vote," he said. "Two years ago, I voted for [Derrek Lee] because he was doing great in the first half, and I voted a lot for him. This year, I didn't go to the computer to do that. I have my friends and my brothers and people who know me in Chicago to do that."

What about a campaign? T-shirts? Vote for Big Z?

"If you want to do it, do it," Zambrano said. "If I don't go to the All-Star Game, I go to Venezuela and rest and see my family. It's good to have those three days in Venezuela. If I go to the All-Star Game, I will enjoy that, too, because I will bring my family."

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The Cubs have two All-Star representatives in Lee and Alfonso Soriano.

"Soriano's really come on in June, and Derrek's been consistent all year long," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Both are deserving. I voted for [Aramis] Ramirez also, and I voted for Zambrano. Hopefully Zambrano can get in. He still has a chance in the online voting."

Will Piniella vote for Big Z?

"If I have to vote on the computer, I think Zambrano's in trouble," Piniella said laughing. "I've never voted on a computer in my life. Can I call it in?"

Maybe he can figure out how to text a vote.

Zambrano did not pitch in last year's All-Star Game because of a sore right elbow, injured in a freak accident when White Sox coach Joey Cora hit him during batting practice. If Zambrano does go to San Francisco, he will be careful.

"I will stay away from the fungoes," he said.

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