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Published: Sunday, 3/4/2012

Tigers fans flock to Comerica to get tickets

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT -- About 1,000 people braved the rain, snow, and biting wind outside the home of the Detroit Tigers to secure individual game tickets for the upcoming season.

The Detroit News reported the faithful, frigid throng waited outside Comerica Park Friday to get a numbered wristband.

Officials then drew a number Saturday morning to see who would be first in line to buy the tickets.

Tickets also were available online and by phone.

Twenty-four-year-old fan Jarel France of Royal Oak said he thinks the recent acquisition of Prince Fielder will propel the Tigers to the World Series.

Marlins Ballpark: Thousands of fans are showing up to take a peek at the Miami Marlins' new ballpark and join the growing bandwagon for a team transformed by a winter spending binge.

The retractable roof was open Saturday, but the air conditioning was also on for the team's annual Fanfest. Salsa played in the plaza behind home plate. Beyond the outfield, fans gawked at the downtown skyline and the colorful subtropical sculpture that will go into motion when the Marlins hit a homer.

A Miami-style traffic jam clogged the concourse where players sat at autograph tables, and fans stood in line for an hour or more for a single signature.

The souvenir store bustled, with four jerseys on display, including those of newcomers Carlos Zambrano and Mark Buehrle.

Brewers/Axford: The Milwaukee Brewers renewed the contract of closer John Axford.

Axford set a team record with 46 saves last season and converted his last 43 chances in a row.

He was 2-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 74 appearances to help the Brewers win the NL Central.

The 29-year-old Axford struck out 86 in 73⅔ innings.

Milwaukee begins its exhibition season on Sunday against San Francisco.

A's/Cespedes: The Oakland Athletics and Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes have finalized their $36 million, four-year deal.

The 26-year-old Cespedes will be placed on the 40-man roster after the A's moved third baseman Scott Sizemore to the 60-day disabled list with a tear in his left knee that will sideline him for the season.

Cespedes played in Cuba's top league for eight seasons before defecting in 2011. He starred for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, hitting .458 with two home runs, and five RBIs in six games.

Padres/Maybin: The San Diego Padres said they have reached a deal with Cameron Maybin that goes through at least 2016.

The 24-year-old Maybin was traded to the Padres in November, 2010, from the Marlins in exchange for two relief pitchers.

He was named the team's most valuable player in 2011 after he hit .264 with nine homers and 40 RBIs and stole 40 bases in a career-high 137 games.

The deal includes a team option for 2017. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Cameron has certainly emerged as a core player," general manager Josh Byrnes said in a news release.

"During his time with the Padres, he has impressed us with his play and with his character. He has shown us that he is committed to the Padres, and we are happy to secure his rights through 2017."

Maybin would have been arbitration eligible after this season and eligible for free agency in 2016.



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