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Marlins Stuffing the Ballot Box, Putting Fannies in Seats

         The Marlins have a plan to kill two birds with one stone -- putting Marlins in the All-Star Game and butts in the seats at Sun Life Stadium.

          Starting tonight, every fan in attendance who punches in 200 All-Star ballots by the sixth inning will receive two free tickets to an upcoming Marlins game. The catch: fans MUST vote for all eight Marlins on the ballot (they can vote for whoever they wish on the American League side) in order to qualify for the ticket giveaway.

           "It is a little bit of bribery," said backup infielder Wes Helms. "But I guess in the past we haven't had a lot of All-Star pushes here. It's not like your big-market cities, like New York and Philly, where you've got a lot of people putting in All-Star votes. I think it's good that the team is actually doing something. We've got some guys who deserve to be there."

           The Marlins rank 28th in average home attendance, ahead of only the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians. Only shortstop Hanley Ramirez was among the top five at his position when the early voting totals were released this week. Ramirez was second among shortstops.

           According to Sean Flynn, the Marlins' vice president of marketing, fans who fill in at least 200 ballots at games on Saturday and Sunday will receive vouchers to a game during the upcoming Milwaukee series. Flynn said the promotion will continue indefinitely. Fan voting for the All-Star game ends on June 17.

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