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Leyland, Tigers preparing for cold weather in Minnesota


MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers had been following the forecast for Opening Day all week. On Sunday, they got their first taste of truly cold Minnesota weather again.

It was an optional workout requested by Tigers players, but nearly all of them seemed to be out on the field at Target Field getting ready for the elements they haven't experienced since last postseason.

The latest forecast for Monday calls for a high temperature in the low to mid-30s, with winds between 10-20 mph. According to weather.com, the forecast temperature at first pitch is 32 degrees.

The temperatures will be an adjustment, but a strong wind could have a bigger effect on the actual game. Winds were blowing out to right field during batting practice Sunday, when Prince Fielder hit a line drive off a flagpole along the right-field plaza.

"There's no sense saying it's cold, because you knew darn well for three weeks it was going to be cold," manager Jim Leyland said. "There's no sense in downplaying it. If somebody says, 'Are you cold?' I'll say, 'You're right, I'm cold.' And I think that's the best way to handle it."

One player who seemed unfazed by the temperatures was Victor Martinez, who took batting practice in short sleeves. After missing last season recovering from knee surgery, he'd play in any weather.

"He's probably the happiest guy out there right now," Leyland said. "After you sit out a year and don't get a chance to play and you like to play as much as he does, he's probably the happiest guy in the clubhouse. …

"He asked me not too long ago, 'Did you ever miss the whole season when you were a player?' I said, 'No, I did not, but it wouldn't have made much difference. With you, it made a difference. With me, there were probably some people that were very happy about that.'"

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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