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AROUND & ABOUT

Free agent Troy Percival and Detroit agreed on a $12 million, two-year contract, giving the Tigers two closers for their bullpen. Percival, 35, was 2-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 33 saves last season with the Anaheim Angels. On Nov. 5, Detroit exercised a $4 million option on Ugueth Urbina.

Tiger Woods disagrees with the PGA of America's selection of Tom Lehman as captain of the 2006 Ryder Cup team, saying it should have been Mark O'Meara. Woods, speaking in Miyazaki, Japan, cited O'Meara's Irish heritage and the fact that the next Ryder Cup matches will be played in Ireland. Woods overcame soggy conditions to fire a 5-under 65 for a three-stroke lead today after the first round of the Dunlop Phoenix. "I don't remember leading after the first round of any tournament this year," said Woods.

Buffalo native Steve Mesler was among 14 men named to the U.S. World Cup bobsled team. Mesler, a former track standout at City Honors High School, was an alternate on the 1992 Olympic team.

Syracuse Athletics Director Jake Crouthamel, 66, said he will retire in June.

So Sweet a Cat, winner of four races including the $75,000 New York Oaks, at Finger Lakes Race Track this year, was named the track's Horse of the Year and its top 3-year-old filly.

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