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Ramirez needs your Final Vote
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07/04/2004  7:45 PM ET
Ramirez needs your Final Vote
Third baseman leads Cubs in average and RBIs
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Aramis Ramirez is known for his bat, but his defense has improved significantly. (Tom Gannam/AP)

MILWAUKEE -- Time is ticking to give the Cubs a Fab Four in 2004.

Aramis Ramirez is among five National League players who still have a chance at going to the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston, to be played July 13 at Minute Maid Park. It's up to fans to decide who gets that final slot, an opening that could give the Cubs another All-Star in addition to Sammy Sosa, Moises Alou and Carlos Zambrano.

Now in its third year, the Ameriquest 2004 All-Star Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final position player on each All-Star team. Balloting has been ongoing since Sunday night's Major League All-Star Selection Show and will continue until 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday. The winners will be announced at 8 p.m. CT exclusively on and will then be added to the AL and NL All-Star Game rosters.

After two days of voting and more than five million ballots cast, Ramirez finds himself running neck-and-neck with Philadelphia's Bobby Abreu.

"I talked to my brother in Minnesota, I told them to get online and vote for him," Zambrano said.

Jason Kendall of Pittsburgh is in third, followed by Arizona's Steve Finley and Florida's Juan Pierre.

"They all deserve to be there," Ramirez said, who added that he hadn't voted for himself. "That's a great thing for a player, but if I make it, good, and if I don't I'll go home."

In the American League, Hideki Matsui of the Yankees leads Frank Thomas of the White Sox and his teammate, Paul Konerko, who are virtually tied for second, followed by Lew Ford of the Twins and Travis Hafner of the Indians.

Ramirez finished second in the balloting among NL third basemen behind St. Louis' Scott Rolen, but he is first on the Cubs in RBIs and average, and is off to his best season ever.

"I would love to see him make the team, I think he's well-deserving," Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said. "He's probably the most underrated defensive third baseman in the league. All you really know about him is his batting average and home runs. He's also a clutch hitter and a great guy. I would hope the fans see that and vote for him."

JR Radcliffe is a contributor to Carrie Muskat, a reporter for, contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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