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   1. Hugh Jorgan Posted: June 22, 2009 at 01:57 AM (#3227299)
Alright, I'll be first...Woohoo a Sox Therapy post. Now that this has been taking care of...

Dice-K...its a mystery, I'm taking a wait and see attitude here.

SS situation is working o.k. right now. Maybe after another decent start or two, then can bundle Penny and Lugo to some sucker...err competitor...

I like Pedroia in the lead off spot, regardless of his recent BA demise. I like the way the lineup works right now and I wouldn't change it. I'm still not sold on Ellsbury's overall OBP abilities and he seems to be more relaxed down the order. And yes, I like Papi still at 6, regardless of his mini resurgence. Let's walk before we run here...

Paps. Ah paps. It's painful but he's getting it done. It's approaching Dice-Kish levels of frustration to watch but what do you do? Tell him to knock a few mph off the pitches to try to throw straight strikes? My only fear of course is him totally losing it in the 7th game of a playoff series..and then we will be truly f*cked.

Hey we've got the best record in the AL and as far as I'm concerned the best combo of ownership and management to go along with it, so I have faith. And from an atheist, that's something.
   2. Xander Posted: June 22, 2009 at 02:31 AM (#3227312)
Rizzo, FedEx, and Mailman will be getting promoted to Salem after the SAL ASG (this week). Exposito will be getting promoted to Portland. Wagner will probably be getting promoted to Pawtucket.
   3. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: June 22, 2009 at 02:54 AM (#3227327)
Paps seemed to have trouble getting "on top" of the ball today; the ball seemed to slip out of his hand quite a bit. He threw a few pitches at 88 MPH that broke away from lefties, although almost certainly not by design, so I'm guessing those were pitches that he wasn't gripping well. He's beyond exasperating to watch these days.

I am pleased the Sox DL'd Dice K instead of repeating their mistake with Buchholz last year and allowing him to continue to rack up automatic losses for 3 months. If there's no structural damage found yet Dice K is throwing 91 instead of 94, there may be a tired arm going on. Regardless I'm happy they got him out of the rotation. I hope he enjoyed his WBC fun this year; it will be his last.
   4. JB H Posted: June 22, 2009 at 03:03 AM (#3227336)
Daisuke's DL trip almost feels punitive. It seems like he's not on board with whatever arm program voodoo the Sox have.
   5. Joel W Posted: June 22, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3227356)
Isn't the Dice-K DL trip basically just because they can't send him to the minors to figure his #### out?
   6. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: June 22, 2009 at 03:55 AM (#3227368)
Isn't the Dice-K DL trip basically just because they can't send him to the minors to figure his #### out?


I think so

I won't miss him for the rest of the year - Clay will be up sooner than he thinks I feel.
   7. dave h Posted: June 22, 2009 at 03:59 AM (#3227369)
Yeah the DL use seems pretty sketchy.

I think I'm going to two Portland games this week, who should I be looking for?
   8. Xander Posted: June 22, 2009 at 04:11 AM (#3227374)
Reddick, Kalish, Anderson, Wagner.
   9. Joel W Posted: June 22, 2009 at 04:34 AM (#3227381)
I'm not sure I'd call Papi's hitting of late a "mini" resurgence. This just looks like, well, Papi. He's hitting the crap out of the ball, and just looks fundamentally different. Just so that the day is marked, he went to the eye-doctor on June 8th, and the Sox next played June 9th. Since then, he's absolutely killed the ball. I don't think it was actually the dry eyes really, but I just wanted a non-random date from where he really looked different, and that seems to be a good one. We'll see if it holds up.

I alluded to this in the Gamechatter, but I wonder if Papelbon will revert in the second-half of the season. Maybe his arm can't take 70 innings of that motion per year, but 35-45?
   10. Chip Posted: June 22, 2009 at 04:50 AM (#3227388)
Watching Papelbon pull his Dice-K act high wire act this year makes you understand more the front office's lowball offers on a contract extension.
   11. Hugh Jorgan Posted: June 22, 2009 at 05:13 AM (#3227397)
Since then, he's absolutely killed the ball.

Have you got numbers from the "eye doctor" date you've chosen not so randomly. I'm too lazy too look it up myself.
By god man, I hope you are correct in that he's just mr. 950 OPS Papi again...
   12. Mattbert Posted: June 22, 2009 at 10:00 AM (#3227431)
Hugh, here are Ortizzle's numbers since June 9th as gathered from bb-ref. These are through the 20th, so they don't include Sunday's game.

1.107 OPS (.286/.429/.679)
35 PAs: 8 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7/5 BB/K

Add yesterday's performance (2-for-4 with a HR) to that, and it's even more encouraging. If I've done the math right, he's now got an 1.186 OPS (.313/.436/.750) since visiting the eye doctor.
   13. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: June 22, 2009 at 12:08 PM (#3227452)
Reddick, Kalish, Anderson, Wagner.

And see if you can catch a Tazawa start. He's been pitching very well up here.
   14. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 22, 2009 at 12:23 PM (#3227453)
This Nick Green thing can't last forever, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can. Also, I'd stick with Green and leave Jed in AAA until July (where he can get his timing back and everyday playing time), and then go with Jed/Green in August while sending Lugo back to whatever hellhole he came from.
   15. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: June 22, 2009 at 12:35 PM (#3227459)
Oops, Tazawa was just put in the minor league DL with a calf strain. You won't see him this week.
   16. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: June 22, 2009 at 12:35 PM (#3227460)
while sending Lugo back to whatever hellhole he came from.

Do you thing the Sox are going to eat all that money left on the contract? The chances of them swinging a trade to get Lugo off the team seem...remote.
   17. John DiFool2 Posted: June 22, 2009 at 01:10 PM (#3227490)
The money is already as sunk as the Titanic, I think the Sox already acknowledge that.
   18. plim Posted: June 22, 2009 at 01:19 PM (#3227493)
actually (again, courtesty of bb-ref), ortiz has been hitting .319/.418/.702 (1.102) since June 3. so his return to normal papi started before the eye doctor.
   19. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 22, 2009 at 01:30 PM (#3227504)
The Sox have seemed pretty good in the Epstein/Henry era about taking a hit when needed. Not that the money was huge but they played Ellsbury over Crisp quite a bit last year, they ate a bunch of money on Renteria and they've already effectively announced that Lugo is dead to them. At this point I can't imagine they are going into 2010 with Lugo on the team in any meaningful way so the only money they "lose" I suspect is whatever portion of 2009 they don't keep him.

I like the idea of giving Lowrie some extra time at Pawtucket if he doesn't look right on his rehab stint though. No reason to force him in there. I'm with the IronChef on this one that Green isn't going to go like this forever but hell, ride it while you can. It's reminiscent of Alex Cora deciding to hit .380 for the first two months of 2007 while Pedroia found his way. It's not going to last but the timing is pretty freakin' convenient.
   20. Joel W Posted: June 22, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3227512)
Plim, that's sort of the reason I picked the eye-doctor thing, because I didn't want to just do the selective start date thing. Also, I think the June 6th home run was that dinky thing that wrapped around Pesky's poll. I think he still looked off through June 7th (to whit, 7Ks and 1 BB from June 1st-7th, from June 9th to today he has 7BBs and 7Ks). Obviously this is mostly conjecture, but that's basically the timing I'm going with.
   21. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 22, 2009 at 02:23 PM (#3227587)
Also, I think the June 6th home run was that dinky thing that wrapped around Pesky's poll.

I took that as one of the "good" signs, because he turned on a dinky changeup, which meant Papi still had enough pitch recognition skills
   22. John DiFool2 Posted: June 22, 2009 at 05:31 PM (#3227846)
I like the idea of giving Lowrie some extra time at Pawtucket if he doesn't look right on his rehab stint though. No reason to force him in there.


Well, his batting eye isn't rusty it seems (2 BB last night). He may play lights-out and get himself up sooner (fingers crossed).
   23. Joel W Posted: June 24, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3230736)
Also, uh, just like that the Sox are up 5 on the Yankees and 7 on the Rays. It's a little early to start thinking about the impact of the standings, but that certainly is not insignificant. The Rays have really underwhelmed their pythagorean. Is that just a fluke, or are there legit reasons for it like bullpen?
   24. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 24, 2009 at 01:51 PM (#3230756)
The schedule is really set up for them to surge to the ASB. The road trip is against beatable teams and then a long homestand right before the break against sub-.500 teams.

The Rays bullpen has been pretty crummy this year. Whether that is the cause of them underperforming their PR I don't know. I would say it's been more luck than anything, they've had a real bad record in one run games (8-15).
   25. dave h Posted: June 24, 2009 at 03:02 PM (#3230879)
Went to the Defenders-Sea Dogs game last night. I'm not much of a scout, but the one obvious thing was that Reddick started off the game with a towering homer and then followed with a double, and then was given a steady dose of breaking stuff that made him look absolutely horrible. About five (no exaggeration) half swings at breaking pitches, resulting in two ugly k's. Nothing else that I could tell just based on one game - maybe I'll pick up more on Thursday. It's a nice park and dirt cheap, so I'd recommend heading there if you're in the area, but if you're in the area you probably already knew that.
   26. The Essex Snead Posted: June 24, 2009 at 03:21 PM (#3230922)
The Rays bullpen has been pretty crummy this year. Whether that is the cause of them underperforming their PR I don't know. I would say it's been more luck than anything, they've had a real bad record in one run games (8-15).

Also doesn't help that they're getting next to nothing from Navarro, Upton, Burrell, and their RF spot (Gabe Gross needs to get the hell out of Matt Joyce's way) -- maybe Barlett & Zobrist going nuts has helped mitigate that somewhat, but not enough. And the nominal back of their rotation (Sonnanstine & Kazmir) has, to this point, been about as bad as their bullpen. Still, they're only 2 games back of the WC, so it's not like they're beyond redemption by any means. I liked the Rays to win the WC over the Yankees before the season, and I'm still confident they'll get there.
   27. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 24, 2009 at 03:33 PM (#3230956)
Where on earth did Zobrist's power surge come from? I thought he'd be good enough to hold down short, but instead he's been all over the diamond and acting like Babe Ruth.
   28. Joel W Posted: June 24, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3230974)
But Essex, their run differential is still sick, so on some level, they have made up for all of those hitters. They're leading the league in runs scored. The problem is that they're underperforming their pythag, and baseballprospectus seems to think they should have even more runs.

Probably a good dose of bad luck and an average bullpen have combined to hurt them.
   29. Joel W Posted: June 24, 2009 at 03:45 PM (#3230982)
As a note, we all know how good the pen has been, but just to quantify: According to WPA, the bullpen is responsible for 4.4 wins on its own, which is essentially the same as the lineup (starting pitching has cost us one overall, but that will improve I imagine as Beckett and Lester stop posting big ERAs and Dice-K sits on the DL). Tampa's bullpen, meanwhile, has cost them .5 wins on the season.
   30. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 24, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3230995)
Where on earth did Zobrist's power surge come from? I thought he'd be good enough to hold down short, but instead he's been all over the diamond and acting like Babe Ruth.


I've read that he totally overhauled his swing, and he's always had a very good batting eye. Still, there has to be some significant regression coming.
   31. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 24, 2009 at 04:06 PM (#3231029)
I always got bemused when people started referring to Zobrist as the worst hitter in baseball last year. Sure, he had a terrible year, but people were acting like he was worthless when his minor league numbers strongly suggested a good major leaguer.
   32. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 24, 2009 at 04:18 PM (#3231055)
I also got bemused when everyone was proclaiming Grant Balfour's "breakout" last year. He's now had one good year in his career, and it looks to stay that way. He's not exactly young, either.
   33. bibigon Posted: June 24, 2009 at 05:47 PM (#3231205)
I always got bemused when people started referring to Zobrist as the worst hitter in baseball last year. Sure, he had a terrible year, but people were acting like he was worthless when his minor league numbers strongly suggested a good major leaguer.


Dude hit .253/.339/.505 - you sure you're talking about last year?
   34. Joel W Posted: June 25, 2009 at 02:01 PM (#3232367)
Other random Red Sox thoughts:

I hadn't realized how good Masterson has been as a reliever this year, mostly because he was so maddening as a starter (though relatively effective as a fill in). 20Ks, 6BBs, and 1 HR in his 21 innings of relief. He looks nasty doing it too.

Papi's home run was a shot given the size of that stadium. He remains returned.

The Globe has an article about Varitek's neck being stiff and it affecting his hitting. Here's an idea Red Sox, sit him more often then. Until the past couple days, he'd been awful in June, and if they gave him more rest, maybe he'd do better now and latter.

I will never figure out how Hideki Okajima is good, but he is. One thing though: a huge natural platoon has emerged this year, unlike the past two. Small-sample size, or is he coming from the side more?
   35. Mattbert Posted: June 25, 2009 at 03:55 PM (#3232530)
Post-Doc Papi Watch Update (through June 24th): 1.281 OPS (.343/.452/.829)

And...his OPS on the season now stands at an even .700! The first time it's been that high since April 8th.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: June 25, 2009 at 05:20 PM (#3232639)
Dusty Brown = Moonlight Graham?
   37. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 25, 2009 at 05:49 PM (#3232729)
I will never figure out how Hideki Okajima is good, but he is. One thing though: a huge natural platoon has emerged this year, unlike the past two. Small-sample size, or is he coming from the side more?


I'm glad I'm not the only one baffled by his success. Mediocre stuff, OK control, I don't get it.

As for the other thing, I can only speak from visual evidence but I don't see a difference in release point. Maybe he's moved further over on the mound? I would guess more sample size than anything else though.
   38. John DiFool2 Posted: June 25, 2009 at 06:12 PM (#3232792)
but that will improve I imagine as Beckett and Lester stop posting big ERAs


Dude, that's been happening for over a month now:

ERAs, May 16-present:
Beckett, 1.60
Lester, 2.78
Penny, 3.35
Sox overall, 3.31
   39. Joel W Posted: June 25, 2009 at 06:19 PM (#3232824)
I phrased it poorly John, I meant to say "continue to pitch well, bringing their ERAs down." On SoSH they've been talking about Penny's velocity being significantly up, which is an exciting prospect.

Edit: Here's the graph of Penny's velocity: http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.aspx?playerid=535&position=P&pitch=FA
   40. chris p Posted: June 25, 2009 at 07:39 PM (#3233071)
I'm glad I'm not the only one baffled by his success. Mediocre stuff, OK control, I don't get it.

he doesn't have mediocre stuff. he has a good change up and curveball. also, his delivery is consistent between his 3 pitches. i'm not particularly baffled.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 25, 2009 at 08:34 PM (#3233178)
I'm not baffled by Okajima's success, but I do agree that it's hard to watch him and understand why no one can hit him. I think the key issue is that he's been throwing that same fastball, 86-89 mph without any special bite or sink, for two and a half years and getting major leaguers to swing and miss. It must be very hard to pick up the ball out of his hand, and he's got a bizarre delivery to which we can reasonably attribute that.

The other reason I think he's so hard to hit is that his split-change is a serious plus pitch. It either has huge movement for a changeup or it comes in far slower than a normal split, and clearly hitters have not been able to distinguish the fastball from the split-change out of his hand. When he has the split-change working, Okajima is one of the better relievers in baseball. The curve doesn't look all that special to me, and when Okajima's limited to the fastball and curve, like it seemed last night, he's walking a tightrope. I do think that Okajima seems to end up pitching better on that tightrope than I'd expect, and that might be where some of the surprise comes from. He's a smart pitcher and he's never afraid to throw any of his pitches in any count.

Penny's velocity is up in his last three starts, but so are his walks. I'm hopeful that he can adjust to his better velocity and either improve his command or recognize he doesn't need to shoot for the black when he's sitting 95, but he needs to adjust before it's going to translate into consistent results.
   42. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 25, 2009 at 08:57 PM (#3233207)
I'm really hoping to come around on Masterson, but I still haven't seen him pitch to lefties this season without feeling that it was a bad matchup for the Sox. His numbers this year against LHB are significantly better than his numbers last year, and he's seen a notable increase in velocity (sitting 94-96 in relief most of the year). So hopefully I'm just wrong and Masterson now has the stuff to get lefties out in the big situations, as seems to be reflected in his stats, and as we can hypothesize is a result of better fastball velocity and more use of a four-seamer. But the sample is far too small to be useful, statistically, and again, watching him last night did not get me all juiced up to see him face Jorge Posada or Carlos Pena any time down the stretch.

As a long man / semi-roogy, he's wicked great. And his rubber arm is a huge asset - I mean, if the Red Sox think a 24-year-old pitcher can mix 10, 30, and 50 pitch outings without any trouble, and scale up to starting or back down to relieving in a week, they must think his shoulder is basically bionic.
   43. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: June 29, 2009 at 04:28 PM (#3236632)
It must be very hard to pick up the ball out of his hand, and he's got a bizarre delivery to which we can reasonably attribute that.

An additional possibility is that the ball moves differently than ones thrown by other pitchers, which slightly upsets hitters.

Should the Red Sox look for a Mike Lowell replacement? He has been sliding offensively and if it is injury related, you have to be worried that it will linger. Plus, I don't think the defense is going to return and the left side of the infield is a huge problem.
   44. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 29, 2009 at 04:32 PM (#3236637)
Should the Red Sox look for a Mike Lowell replacement? He has been sliding offensively and if it is injury related, you have to be worried that it will linger. Plus, I don't think the defense is going to return and the left side of the infield is a huge problem.


I think "should" and "will" get you to two pretty different answers. I think for 2009 the plan such that it is is to go with Mark Kotsay and Youkilis on the corners like we saw this weekend. I think if they get confirmation that his 2009 is over they might be aggressive at the deadline but if it is an issue where they feel it can be managed they will just go with the status quo.

Obviously we are only a few months removed from a pretty aggressive pursuit of Teixeira so if a long term replacement comes available they'll do it but I can't think of anyone who fits that bill right now.
   45. Joel W Posted: June 29, 2009 at 06:16 PM (#3236773)
Nick Johnson was being tossed around as a name, and acquiring Johnson while having Youk play 3rd would make a lot of sense, no?
   46. Darren Posted: June 29, 2009 at 09:39 PM (#3237032)
Johnson would make a ton of sense, especially if the price is anything close to the ridiculous-sounding Delcarmen rumor. Having Kotsay start anything more than rarely is a bad idea.
   47. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: June 29, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3237045)
Something that occurred to me in the last few hours: Why isn't Lugo seeing time at 3rd? His lost range wouldn't be as much of an issue and he is just about the same offensively as Kotsay.
   48. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: June 30, 2009 at 02:22 AM (#3237427)
And his rubber arm is a huge asset

He's the new Jose Melendez!
   49. Darren Posted: June 30, 2009 at 02:33 AM (#3237432)
Because Kotsay looks very good while playing very badly. That's all I've got.
   50. Joel W Posted: June 30, 2009 at 07:19 PM (#3238037)
If the Sox could get Johnson for Delcarmen it would be absurd not to do it, especially as this team is currently constructed. Our bullpen, presently constructed, has 7! pitchers with ERAs between 1.85 and 3.44, and a combined ERA of about 2.5. The downgrade from Delcarmen would be minimal at best.

Related to this: when was the last time a bullpen, anywhere, was this good top to bottom?

Data: Current members of Red Sox bullpen, as relievers, combined this year: 178Ks/82BBs/16HRs in 200.2 IP or 8Ks/9, 3.5BBs/9 and .72HRs/9.
   51. tjm1 Posted: June 30, 2009 at 08:18 PM (#3238129)
If the Sox could get Johnson for Delcarmen it would be absurd not to do it, especially as this team is currently constructed. Our bullpen, presently constructed, has 7! pitchers with ERAs between 1.85 and 3.44, and a combined ERA of about 2.5. The downgrade from Delcarmen would be minimal at best.


It would be an upgrade for the Sox to do that, but they might be able to get more for Delcarmen. Look at his stuff. Look at his numbers. He's closer material. A team without a closer might give up someone better (or at least more durable) than Nick Johnson. I'm just saying this in the sense that there might be someone else out there, not in the sense that I have someone particular in mind.
   52. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: June 30, 2009 at 08:24 PM (#3238134)
Lowell to DL, Bailey in starting lineup. Lugo must have done something really bad to be buried this deep, but he was quoted saying the right things on Sunday.

[EDIT] I missed Lugo in place of Green and leading off.
   53. Textbook Editor Posted: June 30, 2009 at 08:34 PM (#3238146)
I suspect the Nick Johnson Era is on the horizon. I'm not wild about Youkilis playing everyday at 3B, though. In short bursts I think he's passable, but he hasn't played long-term there in what seems like forever.
   54. Jon T. Posted: June 30, 2009 at 08:45 PM (#3238156)
Seems like the more he plays there though, the better he gets, as he gets more comfortable.
   55. tjm1 Posted: June 30, 2009 at 08:59 PM (#3238172)
I suspect the Nick Johnson Era is on the horizon. I'm not wild about Youkilis playing everyday at 3B, though. In short bursts I think he's passable, but he hasn't played long-term there in what seems like forever.


He'll be OK. I think he'll be better than Lowell has been this year playing on the bad hip (he's been great on the reaction plays but has no range), but not as good as a healthy Lowell. As long as he's passable, and it doesn't affect his hitting, he'll be among the best 3Bs in the league in overall value.
   56. Joel W Posted: June 30, 2009 at 09:27 PM (#3238193)
Lowell officially is on the DL now. Today Will Carroll indicated that might mean it's even worse than has been let on.
   57. Darren Posted: June 30, 2009 at 09:40 PM (#3238201)
Good, I was worried until I heard that.
   58. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: July 03, 2009 at 03:20 AM (#3241147)
With the Lowell injury, Lugo stays when Lowrie comes back, correct? Lugo provides more backup than Bailey. I just want to see Lugo do well. The fans irrationally slagged him last year and this year it seems he is playing hurt in the field.
   59. Good cripple hitter Posted: July 03, 2009 at 03:33 AM (#3241150)
Related to this: when was the last time a bullpen, anywhere, was this good top to bottom?

Data: Current members of Red Sox bullpen, as relievers, combined this year: 178Ks/82BBs/16HRs in 200.2 IP or 8Ks/9, 3.5BBs/9 and .72HRs/9.


I don't think it's all that rare. Take last years Jays bullpen: 7.5 Ks/9, 3.75 BBs/9, .7 HRs/9. The peripherals are a bit worse, but that's over an entire season, and that's everyone from BJ Ryan to Armando Benitez. ERA was 2.94, sOPS+ was 82 (this years Red Sox: 3.18, 88). Granted, that was a phenomenal bullpen, but it was made up of Jesse Carlson, Scott Downs, Brian Tallet, and Jason Frasor. Surely some team has done better at some point.
   60. Hugh Jorgan Posted: July 03, 2009 at 03:51 AM (#3241162)
Today Will Carroll indicated that might mean it's even worse than has been let on

You know what, I think Will Carroll is worse then he let's on. Am I the only one who thinks Will Carroll is annoying?
   61. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 03, 2009 at 04:10 AM (#3241172)
Am I the only one who thinks Will Carroll is annoying?


No - he reminds me of Greg Growden - a total douche
   62. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 03, 2009 at 05:23 AM (#3241193)
He doesn't annoy me because I just ignore the douche completely.
   63. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 03, 2009 at 09:25 AM (#3241227)
I just want to see Lugo do well. The fans irrationally slagged him last year and this year it seems he is playing hurt in the field.

Slagging Lugo is far from irrational.

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