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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Hochman: Jim Bunning’s not-so-perfect day

But I draw the line on voting for the COBRA!

Jim Bunning spent the first weekend in December in San Diego, a member of a 16-man committee voting on Golden Era players to be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Dick Allen needed 12 votes. He got 11.

“I felt useless,” Bunning seethed the other day, his voice crackling with anger. “It was the most disappointing 3 days I’ve ever spent in my life!”

...Let’s back up. The voters, who included baseball writers, gathered in San Diego. Did they meet informally that night, have dinner together, drink a couple of beers together, swap stories that started, “Back in the day”?

“No,” Bunning said. “When we arrived we got a packet that listed the nine players, their achievements, their bios. There was one executive on the list, Bob Howsam. I felt he hadn’t been involved in major league baseball long enough. The nine players, each of them had done enough to be in the Hall of Fame. We gathered in a room that could hold 50. The 16 of us sat at a big, oblong table.

“Bob Watson didn’t make it. They never told us why. If he’d been there, it might have made a difference for two guys, Allen and Tony Oliva, who also got 11 votes. Dave Dombrowski replaced him. He’s the general manager in Detroit. Al Kaline was already on the committee, so that gave Detroit two voters. I thought about that.”

Let the record show that Phillies then-interim president Pat Gillick was on the voter panel. Didn’t that give the Phillies two voters? “I’m not sure Pat thought of himself as a Phillies guy,” Bunning said. “He just sat there, saying nothing.

“I spoke up for Maury Wills, because he changed the game with his speed. I looked at the other Hall of Famers in the room and asked them if they had changed the game.

“The writers said nothing. I wondered if Allen’s relationships with the writers had hurt him. I went 4 years in Detroit, hardly communicating. And then I decided to be more accessible.

“Why are there writers voting? The writers pick the 10 names on the list. I knew one of them, Phil Pepe [of the New York Daily News]. He was one of the New York writers who turned in blank ballots that one year [1988]. About seven guys from New York and two from Baltimore.

“Maybe they felt no one deserved to get in that year. Willie Stargell got in with about 76 percent of the votes. If they hadn’t sent in those blank ballots, Stargell would have gotten about 80 percent and I’d have gotten in with about 76 percent.

...“Guys were angry after the voting was announced. I stuck around for the press conference, but nobody asked me a question. The questions went to the writers.

“To me, it was a wasted weekend. We were there to pick someone for the Hall of Fame. We didn’t accomplish anything. OK, maybe Allen and Oliva will be at the top of the list in 3 years when they come up again.

“But who will be on the committee of voters? What will the rules be? Things have to change!”

Repoz Posted: February 04, 2015 at 06:17 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Roberto Alomar goes to bat for Jack Morris and Larry Walker

I guess Alomar doesn’t get smart, fun baseball writing delivered to his inbox.

Alomar on Morris: “Jack’s a winner, he pitched to the score. If Jack was winning 6-0 he threw strikes, he didn’t want to walk anyone. If the game was close he’d pitch guys away. Jack loved big games (Morris made 13 starts in seven different post-season series, starting Game 1 six times).”

Morris was named on 61.5% on the Baseball Writers of America Association ballots, shy of the required 75% in 2014, his final year on the ballot.

“Jack beat us twice in the 1991 playoffs when he was with the Minnesota Twins, then pitched 10 scoreless in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series to beat Atlanta and won 21 games for the 1992 Blue Jays,” Alomar said.

Alomar on Walker: “I don’t think Hall of Fame voters show him the respect he deserves. When I broke in when San Diego I played against Walker and he was a complete player. He doesn’t he get the recognition he should. Walker was a great right fielder, with a big arm, he stole 30 bases and people seldom even mentions him. He won two batting titles and an MVP.”

...“The only thing Walker didn’t accomplish was winning a World Series and that’s a team thing,” Alomar said. “I hope he gets more votes, in my own eyes he belongs. He was a clean cut guy who played with injuries and played hard. I want to have a voice for him.”

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2015 at 12:24 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Murray Chass on Baseball: BONDS YES, CLEMENS NO; BONDS NO, CLEMENS YES

MURRAY YES, CHASS NO; MURRAY NO, CHASS YES.

To give Clemens a four-vote margin over Bonds there had to be at least five other ballots with Clemens checked but not Bonds. As of early Thursday morning, 230 ballots had been published, meaning the other “split” ballots were among the 319 non-published ballots.

Alan Robinson, formerly of the Associated Press in Pittsburgh, where I began my career, and Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill., voted for Bonds but not Clemens. Mike Fine, who used to cover baseball for the Quincy (Mass.) Patriot Ledger, voted for Clemens but not Bonds.

...Robinson voted for two of the four players who were elected, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, plus Bonds, Fred McGriff and Tim Raines.

“I looked at each guy individually,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’m a tough voter.”

Why Bonds, whom Robinson covered in Bonds’ early years with the Pirates, and not Clemens?

“I went back and forth with Barry,” he said. “With Barry, we have a clear line of demarcation when he started using ‘roids. The physical changes are noticeable. His head gets bigger. His body gets bigger. He’s hulk like. We are pretty sure when he started juicing. He was already a Hall of Famer when he started.

“Clemens we don’t know. Physically, it’s not as easy to describe as with Barry. We don’t know what seasons he did and what seasons he didn’t. With Barry, we know, but to me Barry was already a Hall of Famer if his career had ended right then. With Clemens we don’t know.”

Robinson said he didn’t vote for Bonds the first two years he was eligible. “Then the more I thought about it I decided he was a Hall of Famer before he began using,” he said.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2015 at 10:17 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Listing of public ballots released by BBWAA

I could be wrong, but I count 7 ballots with 10 players that did not include Piazza.

JRVJ Posted: January 08, 2015 at 01:44 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Murray Chass On Baseball: DOWNS AND UPS OF HALL OF FAME VOTE

Chass and Russo and Pray for Ouzo.

I think the primary reason for the excitement for both Schilling and Raines was that they rank high on the lists of the practitioners of the monster metrics, who seemed to be thrilled that the writers were finally starting to get it right where those two players are concerned.

“Interestingly, while watching one of those shows, I saw a film clip from another show, in which Brian Kenny of MLB.com was arguing with Chris Russo, a talk show host, about which players belong in the Hall of Fame.

Getting nowhere and becoming exasperated with Russo, Kenny, a major proponent of monster metrics, said, “Well, what basic methodology do you use to rate players?”

“I watch the games,” Russo said.

I have always avoided listening to Russo, who screams too much and too loud for my liking, but in this instance, he won my allegiance. In four words, he made the case for those of us who prefer to judge players on what we see on the field, not on the computer screen.”

Repoz Posted: January 08, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Mad Dog Russo and Brian Kenny Debate Hall of Fame 2015

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is stuck in such a time warp…he still thinks Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez is Bruce Springsteen’s drummer!

Repoz Posted: January 07, 2015 at 04:23 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Hal McCoy’s HOF Ballot

McCoy- Unit, Pedro, Smoltz, Biggio, Bagwell, Edgar, McGriff, Lee Smith and Aaron Boone.

Nine votes including Boone. One would think McCoy could have found a better candidate than Boone (or Smith, or McGriff, for that matter) to fill out the 10th spot.

TJ Posted: January 07, 2015 at 03:17 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

The 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

Updated: Jan 6:  1:45 ~ 205 Full Ballots ~ (35.9% of vote ~ based on last year) ~ As usual…BBWAA ballot digging is welcome!

98.5 - R. Johnson
97.6 - P. Martinez
86.3 - Smoltz
84.9 - Biggio
76.1 - Piazza
————————————
63.4 - Raines
62.4 - Bagwell
51.2 - Schilling
43.9 - Bonds
43.4 - Clemens
35.1 - Mussina
31.2 - E. Martinez
24.4 - Trammell
21.0 - Lee Smith
15.6 - McGriff
14.1 - Kent
  9.8 - Sheffield
  7.8 - L. Walker
  5.9 - McGwire
  5.4 - Mattingly
————————————-
  4.9 - Sosa
  2.0 - Garciaparra
  1.5 - Delgado
  1.0 - Pete Rose (Write-In)
  0.5 - Percival
 

Big thanks to Ryan Thibs, Ilychs Morales & Butch for all their help! And check here for Thibs’ excellent HoF Ballot spreadsheet.

Took their ballot and went home - Buster Olney and Lynn Henning.

EDIT: Originally posted at 12/17/14 7:31 PM. Date updated to make it easier for visitors to find. Jim.

Repoz Posted: January 06, 2015 at 09:03 AM | 1534 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Monday, January 05, 2015

Jon Heyman on his HOF Ballot

On the one hand, this might be Heyman’s best HOF article. On the other, that’s not exactly the highest bar to clear…

TJ Posted: January 05, 2015 at 10:19 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Jerry Green: Hall of Fame voting is serious business

So Jerry Green didn’t vote for John Smoltz because of (wait for it)...Jack Morris!

Green Ballot: Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Gary Sheffield and Alan Trammell.

It must be noted that I did not vote for John Smoltz, who is likely to make it.

Again, these votes involve personal opinion. I do not consider any of my votes to be frivolous.

Smoltz won 213 games, mostly as a starting pitcher, and saved 154 as a reliever for the Braves. Great stats.

Jack Morris had greater stats with 254 victories, mostly for the Tigers. He was a dominant pitcher in his World Series and playoffs starts. He pitched for four World Series winners.

Morris was rejected 15 times by the voters of the BBWAA, some of whom just didn’t like him because he was too often abrasive to the media. My opinion. Not frivolous.

In 1991, Morris vs. Smoltz was the greatest pitchers’ duel ever — again, my opinion. Game 7 of a World Series, Twins vs. Braves, 0-0 into the 10th inning. Two magnificent pitchers in suspenseful battle. Smoltz was yanked by Hall of Fame Atlanta manager Bobby Cox in the eighth. Morris refused to be yanked when Twins manager Tom Kelly tried — and tried again.

In the 10th, the Twins scored a run. Jack Morris won the duel, 1-0, a complete-game winner over the Braves’ bullpen.

As happened with Nellie Fox, Jack Morris ultimately must be voted belatedly into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the codgers on the Veterans Committee.

Repoz Posted: January 03, 2015 at 10:35 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Friday, December 26, 2014

Ammenheuser: Picking the next Baseball Hall of Fame class

It took Ammenheuser longer to sign his name on the ballot… “After a lot of statistical examination and careful review of their careers, I chose to include Raines and Schilling to join Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Smoltz.”

The holdover list is much more enticing. The debate rages whether Bonds, Clemens, McGwire and Sosa belong in the Hall. Alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs will likely keep them out. And that’s too bad. Bonds and Clemens, specifically, were among the game’s elite performers before the alleged use began. But how can we tell when it actually began? That fact will cost them votes. Including this one.

I can make very good cases for Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Raines, Smith, Mussina and Schilling.

After a lot of statistical examination and careful review of their careers, I chose to include Raines and Schilling to join Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Smoltz.

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2014 at 01:37 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Dave Annebheuser’s HOF Ballot

His choices- Pedro, Unit, Smoltz, Raines, and Schilling. FTFA…

“I can make very good cases for Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Raines, Smith, Mussina and Schilling. After a lot of statistical examination and careful review of their careers, I chose to include Raines and Schilling to join Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Smoltz.

Who do you think I should have included?”

I don’t know, maybe the other five guys you considered…

TJ Posted: December 26, 2014 at 12:47 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Rob McMillin: Transparency In The Hall: An Appreciation Of Repoz’s Gizmo

Or as I told Rob…“I think the MLB Network should have a 3-hr show of all HOF ballots being opened…with a Sammy Petrillo-type host using a magic wall.”

It is probably not too strong to suggest that Darren Viola’s Hall of Fame Ballot Collecting Gizmo — an annual event for a number of years now — has sparked a dialogue about transparency in BBWAA voting that is vastly overdue. That it must be crowdsourced is understandable (at least for a while), as is the humble and necessarily incomplete means by which it operates. I came across a piece today from one Steve Buckley in the Boston Herald which neatly encapsulated many of the problems I have with the process, while somehow managing never to mention the Gizmo

...There’s a bunch more there, including why we need to shame the anti-steroids voters, and especially the “they all did it” tar-and-featherers. It’s one reason why I’m especially pleased to see Buster Olney’s surprisingly principled protest empty ballot, even if I think the act is misguided in some wise. There’s just no excuse for keeping Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens out of the Hall, and something needs to be done about it, sooner rather than later. Thank you, Darren, for helping to get this out in the open.

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2014 at 10:31 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: gizmo, hof

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Steve Popper’s First HOF Ballot

Popper’s Votes- Bonds, Clemens, Unit, Pedro, Smoltz, Piazza, Bagwell, Biggio, Schilling, and Mussina.

If voting for PED suspects is OK with, you, it’s a pretty good ballot/article- nice job, rookie!

TJ Posted: December 23, 2014 at 11:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jonah Keri’s Hypothetical Hall of Fame Ballot; Plus a Randy Johnson Appreciation

Those who challenge the notion that Johnson is the best lefty of all time commonly invoke Sandy Koufax’s name. While even the most ardent Koufax proponents have to concede that their man wasn’t all that great until the final six years of his career, those six seasons have taken on mythic proportions and are often held up as the greatest peak years by any pitcher.

Well, it turns out that Johnson’s best six-year run compares favorably with Koufax’s: The Big Unit won four consecutive Cy Youngs from 1999 through 2002 and added a second-place finish in 2004… If we take ERA and adjust it for both park factors and league norms, Johnson, who pitched in the height of the PED era and whose six-year numbers came at the hitter-friendly Kingdome and Chase Field, actually tops Koufax, whose raw ERA numbers look incredible but who accomplished those feats at a time when mounds were roughly 80 feet high, middle infielders weighed about a buck-forty, and you needed a rocket launcher to hit the ball out of Dodger Stadium.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: December 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, randy johnson

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Marty Noble’s HOF Ballot

Noble’s votes: Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and John Smoltz

This is without a doubt the worst HOF ballot and article I have ever seen. It would be well worth stripping the BBWAA of the vote just to get rid of this guy…

TJ Posted: December 20, 2014 at 10:59 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

The Jeff Jacobs HOF Ballot: Keep The Voting Serious And Fair

The Jeff Jacobs HOF Ballot (10) P. Martinez, R. Johnson, Smoltz, Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, Schilling, Raines, E. Martinez and Mussina.

That means no vote for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff, Lee Smith, Jeff Kent, Don Mattingly, Nomar Garciaparra or Gary Sheffield.

With full disclosure, comes this, too: If Bonds or Clemens is voted into Cooperstown by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, without a loud and official designation by the Hall of their use of performance enhancing drugs, I will resign as a Hall of Fame voter.

Never before have I rooted so hard for…

Repoz Posted: December 20, 2014 at 07:38 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

“You Are F——d”: Breaking down the first-year candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot (Sports Illustrated)

I was asking Martinez what it felt like on the days when he knew he had his best stuff. He motioned toward home plate and told me those are the days when the distance between the mound and the plate seemed to be shortened. And then a mischievous smile came over his face. “Then,” he said, “you are f——d.”

gehrig97 Posted: December 17, 2014 at 09:57 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Dan Shaughnessy Hall Of Fame Ballot

The sure messy Dan Shaughnessy HOF Ballot (6): P. Martinez, R. Johnson, Smoltz, Schilling, Raines, and Trammell.

This means I am not voting for (among others on the ballot), Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Larry Walker, Lee Smith, Carlos Delgado, and Nomar Garciaparra. Oh, and I also am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell.

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2014 at 06:05 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Joe Henderson’s HOF Ballot

From his Facebook page:

The Henderson Eight- Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, John Smoltz…

Although I am obviously not intelligent enough to follow his logic on making his call on Fred McGriff…

TJ Posted: December 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fred Kline’s HOF Ballot

“Have some players made the Baseball Hall of Fame in part because they were nice guys? The short answer is yes.”

Ron Santo, Richie Ashburn, and Phil Rizzuto made the Hall of Fame through the Veteran’s Committee because they were nice guys, not because Heaven forbid the BBWAA could possibly have been wrong about them…

TJ Posted: December 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Krieger: 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, Part 2

The soon to be controversial HOF Ballot from Dave Krieger: (10) P. Martinez, R. Johnson, Bagwell, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Smoltz, Trammell and L.Walker.

Prone as I am to stirring up trouble, and knowing the howls of outrage this would trigger among veteran members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, I might hypothesize that race had something to do with it — Whitaker is black, Biggio is white — and order up a quantitative analysis of voting on comparable players by race, and a parallel analysis of the racial makeup of the voting population. I don’t know what such a study might find on the first question, although I would note that Tony Gwynn and Frank Thomas sailed in a lot faster than some white comparables, and Jim Rice got in with a JAWS score lower than Minnie Minoso, Lance Berkman and Jose Cruz. On the second, my guess is the racial makeup of the voting population looks something like the racial makeup of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, which is why the hypothesis must be considered.

Another hypothesis would be that the absence of a significant sabermetric influence in 2001 revealed an embarrassing blind spot in qualitative analysis. Whitaker’s offensive numbers in the traditional, non-sabermetric categories — .276/.363/.426, 244 homers, 1,084 RBI — while above average for a second baseman, were nowhere near the numbers generally required of hitters who played the corner positions or the outfield. And while he was known as a smooth fielder, few voters were probably aware this would translate into 15.4 defensive WAR.

Given what’s happened to Trammell, who has been treated slightly better but has earned nowhere near the level of support the quantitative analysis would suggest, maybe it’s some strange prejudice against Detroit.

In any case, this is one of the more remarkable divergences between quantitative and qualitative analysis in the history of the Hall, and I admit to being totally on the quants’ side on this one. Whitaker was a wonderful player who belongs in the Hall and with any luck will be installed by some iteration of the veterans committee. But it is not his absence that is outrageous; it is the failure of the BBWAA to consider him even worthy of consideration.

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2014 at 11:15 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Friday, December 12, 2014

Michael Gee’s Hall of Fame Ballot

To show that not all HOF voters are pinheads- one of the better HOF ballots and articles I’ve come across…

TJ Posted: December 12, 2014 at 08:43 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

David Borges: My first Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

The David Borges HOF Ballot (8): Bonds, Clemens, R. Johnson, P. Martinez, McGwire, Piazza, Schilling and Smoltz. Circular ruins, if ever…

That’s why I didn’t vote for Jeff Bagwell. Sorry Connecticut folks, but the Xavier High and University of Hartford product doesn’t quite do it for me. A very good player for many years, but never must-see TV. A career .226 postseason hitter with two homers in 106 October at-bats. Not to diminish a terrific career, but not a Hall-of-Famer to me — and I couldn’t care less about his PED suspicions.

...I voted for McGwire, a confessed steroids-user, for many of the same reasons. I’m big on the transcendent moment(s), and what was bigger for baseball than the 1998 home run race between McGwire and Sammy Sosa? Boosted the game’s popularity to no end.

So why no Sosa? Here’s where I get a little hypocritical. I see Sosa as solely a product of PED use. Practically a steroid lab experiment gone awry. No doubt, he was bigger than the game at one point. No doubt, his career stats are among the greatest of all time. But there just seems something wrong, to me, about his whole career. Maybe I’m being hypocritical voting for McGwire and not Sosa, but that’s my vote.

As for some others on the ballot: Craig Biggio had over 3,000 career hits, and I can’t remember a single one of them; Don Mattingly is the ultimate “on-the-fence” candidate, but if you’re on the fence, you’re probably not a Hall of Famer; Tim Raines wasn’t Rickey Henderson; Mike Mussina, Gary Sheffield, Fred McGriff and Jeff Kent had great career numbers, but were never great players. Nomar Garciaparra didn’t do it long enough; Edgar Martinez was a DH.

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2014 at 11:45 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Monday, December 08, 2014

Lynn Henning: 10-player limit justifies boycott of Hall vote

Henning: “I was told by BBWAA officials this year that the Hall of Fame bosses want ballots to be private.” Jeez, I knew my HOF Ballot Gizmo was having an impact but… ‪#ScrewO’Connell

And, so, reluctantly and distressingly, for the first time in 25 years I’m not sending in a Hall of Fame ballot.

A once-happy, interesting, even exciting privilege and responsibility, has become a negative act resistant to simple, reasonable, ultimately necessary repairs.

In alphabetical order, here were the 13 names I concluded deserved a place on a ballot that this year offered 34 names for consideration (howls accepted at least until explanation is offered for a couple of unpopular people):

Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, John Smoltz and Alan Trammell.

It’s a heavy group, for sure. In many eyes, it should have been even larger if you decide as some have that Curt Schilling, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly, Lee Smith, Larry Walker, etc., also belong in Cooperstown.

But realizing there will always be sound and constructive disagreements on any two ballots about who is Hall of Fame-qualified and who isn’t, those are the 13 names I’ve been asked to magically stuff onto a 10-man list.

No. It’s not going to happen. Not this year. Not after I personally wrote last January to the Baseball Writers Association of America leadership asking that we do away with the absurd 10-man limit and was basically ignored in terms of even cursory feedback.

Repoz Posted: December 08, 2014 at 01:10 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

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