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Monday, March 15, 2021

Former Tigers pitcher Eulogio “Frankie” De La Cruz dies at 37

Longtime pitcher Eulogio “Frankie” De La Cruz, who signed with the Detroit Tigers as a teenager out of the Dominican Republic and then plied his trade all over the world for two decades, has died at the age of 37.

Toros del Este, De La Cruz’s team in the Dominican winter league, announced the news Monday morning. Several Dominican media sources, including the newspaper Diario Libre, reported that De La Cruz suffered a heart attack on Sunday night.

De La Cruz was pitching as recently as this winter, when he posted a 2.35 ERA in 15 innings for the Toros, playing alongside current Tiger Jeimer Candelario.

De La Cruz began his journey with the Tigers when he was signed by famed scout Ramon Pena. De La Cruz made his Major League debut as a 23-year-old in 2007, but was traded to the Florida Marlins months later as part of a package players for Miguel Cabrera.

De La Cruz pitched for parts of four seasons in the big leagues with the Marlins, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers but never found a lasting role.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2021 at 12:43 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, tigers

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Detroit Tigers top prospect Spencer Torkelson cuts finger, will miss spring training games

AJ Hinch and his coaching staff had just finalized lineup plans Wednesday for the first couple of exhibition games, which start Sunday, with Tigers’ top prospect Spencer Torkelson to make an early start at third base.

Then came the phone call Wednesday night: Torkelson cut his right index finger at his house in Lakeland. The cut required stitches to close….

According to two sources familiar with the incident, Torkelson was making dinner at a house he shares with Jake Rogers and Riley Greene. They didn’t have a can opener in the house so he tried to improvise with a wine opener that had a serrated, half-inch knife on the other end.

The knife folded up on him, making a half-inch cut in the index finger. He took three stitches to close the wound. No muscle or tendons were affected.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2021 at 08:37 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: spencer turnbull, tigers

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Detroit Tigers sign outfielder Nomar Mazara to one-year, $1.75 million contract

The Detroit Tigers signed outfielder Nomar Mazara to a one-year contract worth $1.75 million plus incentives, a source with knowledge of the agreement told the Free Press on Thursday.

The source requested anonymity because the team has not yet announced the move.

Mazara, 25, played 42 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2020. A left-handed hitter, he logged a .228 batting average with one home run and 15 RBIs. In 2019 with the Texas Rangers, he hit .268 with 19 homers and 66 RBIs.

He was non-tendered by the White Sox in December, a year after the White Sox acquired him from the Rangers for 24-year-old minor-league outfielder Steele Walker.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2021 at 09:16 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: nomar mazara, tigers

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Tigers hope slugger Renato Nunez can fill a void at first base

The club announced they have signed former Baltimore Orioles slugger Renato Nunez to a minor-league contract, with an invitation to spring training.

Nunez, entering his age-27 season, was a fixture in the Orioles lineup the last two seasons — a productive fixture. He slugged 31 home runs and knocked in 90 in 151 games in 2019. He followed that up with 12 homers and 31 RBIs in 52 games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

It was surprising, given his productivity, that the Orioles decided to designate him for assignment to clear roster space ahead of the Rule 5 draft last November.

“He’s a quality player and a good hitter and a big power threat,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias told the Baltimore Sun. “Ours is not the ideal roster for him in terms of a fit. We have several players that play the defensive spots that he does and sort of fill that profile for us.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2021 at 01:43 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: renato nunez, tigers

Friday, February 05, 2021

Jonathan Schoop rejoins Detroit Tigers on 1-year, $4.5M deal

Second baseman Jonathan Schoop has re-signed with the with the Detroit Tigers on a one-year deal, the team announced Friday.

Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that the deal is worth $4.5 million.

Schoop paid dividends for the Tigers after signing a one-year deal last offseason, providing solid defense up the middle in 2020 while hitting .278 with 23 RBIs and eight home runs, which ranked second on the team.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to rejoin the Tigers for the 2021 season,” Schoop said in a statement. “We have a really good group here—we started to build something special last year and are going to take it to the next level in 2021.”

In 2019, Schoop, 29, batted .256 with 23 homers, 59 RBIs and a .777 OPS in 121 games during his only season with the Minnesota Twins. It was his fourth consecutive season with more than 20 home runs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2021 at 06:52 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: jonathan schoop, tigers

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tigers fill need with catcher Wilson Ramos

Hours after new Tigers manager A.J. Hinch mentioned catcher as one of his team’s lingering needs, he has someone to fill it. The Tigers spent Tuesday evening finalizing a one-year, $2 million contract with free-agent catcher Wilson Ramos, sources told MLB.com.

The club has not confirmed the deal. Jose F. Rivera, a reporter with Wow Deportes, first reported the deal. Ramos’ agent, Gustavo Marcano, later tweeted best wishes for his client in Detroit along with an image of him in a Tigers uniform.

The 33-year-old Ramos will join a Tigers club that currently has Grayson Greiner and prospect Jake Rogers as its only catchers on the 40-man roster. Hinch has welcomed the opportunity for Rogers to compete for a big league spot, but he also made it clear Tuesday they were looking for veteran help.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2021 at 09:54 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, wilson ramos

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Tigers agree to two-year, $10 million deal with outfielder Robbie Grossman

It may not be the name fans were hoping for, but with the signing of 31-year-old, switch-hitting outfielder Robbie Grossman, the Tigers got the kind of proficient bat they’ve lacked in recent years.

The Tigers and the former Oakland Athletic Grossman reached an agreement Tuesday on a two-year, $10 million contract, sources confirmed to The Detroit News. The Tigers have yet to announce the signing, presumably waiting for the results of medical examinations.

The stat line might not wow you — .252/.350/.380 with a 101 OPS-plus over eight big-league seasons – but look closer. His career .350 on-base average is impressive enough, certainly. The only Tigers who came close to that on-base proficiency last season were Willi Castro and Jeimer Candelario.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2021 at 05:07 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: robbie grossman, tigers

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Detroit Tigers sign RHP Jose Urena to one-year, $3.25 million deal

The Detroit Tigers’ 2021 rotation continues to take shape as the team added a veteran starter in right-hander Jose Urena on a one-year, $3.25 million deal.

A source with knowledge of the deal confirmed the signing to the Free Press on Wednesday, and the Tigers later announced the move.

Urena was non-tendered by the Miami Marlins earlier this month after six seasons in the big leagues and five starts in 2020.

“Once José became available, we had him identified as a player that could come in and help our ballclub win games,” Tigers general manager Al Avila said in a released statement. “We’re excited to add his experience pitching at a high level, and know he’ll contribute to our young staff in significant ways. José has a great ability to navigate a lineup and limit damage, while keeping his team in the game, which is exactly the stability we’re looking for heading into the 2021 season.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 24, 2020 at 10:10 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: jose urena, tigers

Friday, October 30, 2020

Detroit Tigers hire A.J. Hinch as new manager

A.J. Hinch, days removed from completing his one-year MLB suspension for his role in the Houston Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing plot, is returning to baseball to manage the Detroit Tigers, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Free Press on Friday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has yet to be announced.

Hinch, 46, interviewed with general manager Al Avila on Thursday and spent the entire day in Detroit with him and other members of the front office. His wife, Erin, was expected to take a plane Friday to join him.

The financial terms of Hinch’s agreement weren’t immediately available.

Official now:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 30, 2020 at 01:09 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. hinch, tigers

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Ranking five best MLB general manager/manager openings

1. White Sox manager
This is a roster, even more so than that of the Mets, that is ready to win, since Chicago just went to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. There are oodles of young and prime-age talent, highlighted by Tim Anderson, Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert. Plus, the financial splash last offseason to retain Jose Abreu and sign Yasmani Grandal and Dallas Keuchel signaled that owner Jerry Reinsdorf hungers for another title.

But early indicators are he also yearns for Tony La Russa, who managed the White Sox from 1979-86. Reinsdorf has said letting La Russa go is one of his most regrettable decisions. Will he feel the same way about bringing back someone who, yes, is a Hall of Famer, but also is 76 and hasn’t managed in a decade? If not La Russa, keep an eye on A.J. Hinch, whose suspension for ties to the Astros cheating scandal is up after this season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:34 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, phillies, red sox, tigers, white sox

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tiger Tales: Replacing V-Mart

Lee Panas projects Victor Martinez’ 2012 production, and that of some possible replacements.

Would Martinez have had a WAR of 5.0 again in 2012?  Probably not. He’d likely hit about as well overall (lower batting average, more homers).  However, he might lose a fraction of a win by not catching.  More importantly, we would not expect him to come anywhere close to his 2011 performance in situational hitting.  Even if he we think he would have hit a little better in clutch situations than other at bats in 2012, we would estimate that he would have had a WAR of about 3.0.

So, we have two questions: (1) How much will the Tigers lose going from Martinez in 2011 (5.0 WAR) to Player X in 2012?  (2) How much would they have lost going from Martinez’s expected performance in 2012 (3.0 WAR) to Player X in 2012?

Mr Dashwood Posted: January 19, 2012 at 09:38 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, tigers

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tigers’ Victor Martinez likely out for season with torn ACL

Shouldn’t have gone motorbike racing with Jeff Kent.

The Detroit Tigers today made the following announcement regarding catcher/designated hitter Victor Martinez:

Martinez injured his left knee last week during his off-season conditioning. An MRI at the Watson Clinic in Lakeland yesterday revealed Martinez suffered a torn ACL in his left knee.

Martinez will be re-evaluated by Dr. Richard Stedman next week and surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee is anticipated. If surgery is required as anticipated, Martinez will most likely be lost for the 2012 season.

Martinez hit .330 (178x540) with 40 doubles, 12 home runs and 103 RBI in 145 games with the Tigers during the 2011 season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 03:31 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Monday, January 16, 2012

CAPUTO: Why I won’t vote for Bonds, Clemens or Sosa for the Hall of Fame

Former Tigers pitcher Jack Morris was named on the second-most ballots - nearly 67 percent.

In the aftermath, Peter Gammons, one of the preeminent baseball writers of all time, talked on MLB Network about how he put Morris on the ballot the first three years he was eligible, but stopped because another baseball writer had displayed extensive statistical proof to him that Morris’ 3.90 ERA was “not because he pitched to the score” but rather because he lost a lot of leads.

Right then I decided this coming year, the first time they are eligible for election to the Hall of Fame, I am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or Sammy Sosa.

...Gammons said Bagwell is like a hockey player (whatever that means) and was one of those 10-to-12 hour per day in the weight room guys, who lost weight later in his career (ala Pudge Rodriguez) because he had a shoulder injury that prevented him from lifting. It’s the type of thinking that was prevalent from many baseball writers during the steroids era. Always buying the story. Unfortunately, I was one of them. I’d like to think I’ve learned my lesson.

...But if Hall voters are going to be so picky about the career ERA of Jack Morris, why not about possible PED use?

I strongly feel this: If Morris gets in, it will still be the Hall of Fame.

If Bonds, Clemens and Sosa are inducted, it would become

(Yanks out Rogers’ Dictionary of Cliches ~ Looks for entry form)

the Hall of Shame.

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:40 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, steroids, tigers

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Zumaya agrees to deal with Twins

Game on!

The Tigers could end up seeing a lot of Joel Zumaya this year after all. It’ll just be in a different uniform, albeit an awfully familiar one.

After throwing for teams in December and holding out for a roster spot and the right situation, Zumaya has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Twins, the reliever told MLB.com. The two sides spent Saturday putting together a deal that could pay him anywhere from $800,000 to $1.7 million if he reaches incentives.

A Twins official would neither confirm nor deny the deal to MLB.com, but said they’ve been in negotiations since December.

Zumaya weighed what he called “good offers” from three other clubs,  but the Twins included guaranteed money rather than a minor-league deal with a Spring Training invite. If he’s healthy, they’ll bring him to the same mound at Target Field where he last threw a Major League pitch. He fractured his elbow throwing for the Tigers against the Twins on June 28, 2010.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, twins

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Friday, January 13, 2012

BBPro:  Heartburn Hardball - Jack Morris in Motion

Morris, who was the face of the Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff for the entirety of the eighties before spending the early nineties hopping between the Twins, Blue Jays, and Indians, has every right to be thrilled at the news. And the rest of us, especially those who were too young to see him pitch, have every right to ask…why Jack Morris? Why now?

To answer that question, I decide to watch the most famous performance of his career, the game that proved once and for all that he was a true ace and a true winner.

....

The Twins will win 1-0 in the bottom of the 10th, winning the second World Series title in franchise history and solidifying Jack Morris’s place in baseball history.

And when it’s over, I will be more convinced than ever that Jack Morris is not a Hall of Fame pitcher.

 

 

Completely Unbiased 3rd Party Lurker Posted: January 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame, tigers, twins

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Brisbee: Alan Trammell: Victim of Context

[Barry] Larkin getting in after a couple of decades or a Veteran’s Committee ballot wouldn’t add to Trammell’s cause. But Larkin got in on his third year of eligibility with 86 percent of the vote. Larkin wasn’t a borderline case—he didn’t satisfy the extra-super-special-first-ballot-bonus-points ninnies, but he was clearly a Hall of Famer in the voters’ eyes right from the beginning.

It’s that last statistic up there that’s the reason for the gap between the HOF perception gap between Larkin and Trammell. CRiL is a proprietary statistic I developed specifically to measure shortstops against each other. It’s a park- and era-adjusted stat that can sum up a shortstop’s Hall-of-Fame chances in a single number. It stands for “Cal Ripkens in League.” Larkin outpaces Trammell easily on this one.

Again, it’s not that Larkin wasn’t better than Trammell. By most metrics (and obviously in the court of public opinion), he certainly was. But if Larkin is a Hall of Famer, Trammell certainly deserves a closer look. The gap between them wasn’t that big…

Another difference between Larkin and Trammell is that the latter had a sidekick who was also worthy of the Hall of Fame. For just under two decades, Lou Whitaker played along Trammell, making All-Star teams and hitting at a position where most teams shouldn’t have a hitter. The two rode around on tandem bikes and finished each other’s sentences, and there might have been a tendency to pretend that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. If Trammell played a couple decades with Doug Flynn, maybe he would have stood out more.

I’m sure many of us remember the Trammell/Whitaker Starting Lineup figures.

The District Attorney Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:40 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hall of fame, history, tigers

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Murray Chass: NO TWO SIDES TO AN MLB.COM SELIG STORY and MORRIS UNLIKELY TO MAKE IT

Murray Sez… have a Bud and a Jack chaser

When I left The New York Times in 2008 after having written for the newspaper for 39 years, the first offer I received to continue writing came from a high-ranking Major League Baseball official who was in position to offer me a job as a columnist with MLB.com. My initial reaction was to say no, but some people urged me to reconsider and at least talk about and consider that possibility.

Accepting that offer would have turned out to be more economically lucrative than what I have done with this Web site the past three and a half years. But money isn’t everything. Writing for MLB.com just didn’t seem like the right thing to do.

How could I have gone to work for the organization I had spent my professional life covering? Wouldn’t I be compromising my professional ethics by accepting a salary from people I would be in position to criticize and question if necessary? ...

To be sure, MLB.com serves a purpose, even for baseball writers, for whom it can serve as a 30-team research site in one location and a source of comprehensive statistics that are not mingled with WAR and VORP and all of those other metrics, as their advocates like to call them.

But then there are the self-congratulatory articles that can induce nausea. I guess we don’t have to read them, but they are there as propaganda for fans to see and be taken in by. Yes, baseball propaganda. I had never thought about it before this moment, but that’s what it is. ...

And maybe someday, perhaps when he retires, whenever that is, Selig will be big enough to allow an MLB.com columnist to write the truth about collusion and his role in the labor wars.

By the way, this column was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Based on e-mail I have received from critics of Morris and me, the Hall of Fame should take the vote away from baseball writers and simply establish statistical guidelines for players’ election. The players over the line make it, those under don’t.

Such a system would eliminate what is perhaps the greatest debate in sports, but that wouldn’t bother the stats zealots. Their numbers tell them who should be in the Hall of Fame, and the writers would be wrong if they disagreed.

That system would also eliminate the aspect of the voting that they hate most. Their opinion doesn’t mean beans. The writers’ opinion means everything.

bobm Posted: January 08, 2012 at 05:08 PM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, hall of fame, media, online, orioles, reds, tigers

Saturday, January 07, 2012

ESPN’s OTL: Strength from Weakness (Ben Petrick profile)

Who could have known? Who could have known that a player some considered a potential Hall of Fame catcher [...] would have his future stolen from him by an incurable disease that rarely afflicts people as young as 22?

How good was Petrick? Go back and look at his stats. In those 240 games for the Rockies and Tigers, he hit .257 with 27 home runs and 94 RBIs while trying to control the symptoms of Parkinson’s, which include tremors, rigidity and slow movements. He was not only tough enough to be a catcher, the most demanding position on the field, but also athletic enough to play centerfield when he wasn’t behind the plate.

“Looking back, I am amazed at what he accomplished,” says Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who was Colorado’s first pick in the 1995 draft, the year Petrick was taken in the second round. “It’s hard enough performing at the highest level of this game, which he did. On top of that, he had to fight off a disease that robbed him of his physical ability. And on top of that, he had to play under the tremendous pressure of hiding the effects of that disease.”

Helton pauses. “You know what, though?” he says. “I’m more impressed by what he’s done with his life since.”

Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: January 07, 2012 at 10:03 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, tigers

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Former Major Leaguer Howie Koplitz passes away at 73

What is there to say…

Howie Koplitz

Repoz Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:43 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, obituaries, tigers

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jayson Stark (ESPN): Strange stuff … in the 2011 postseason

The postseason edition of trivia and oddbits that Jayson Stark excels at collecting and presenting…

Here’s one I didn’t know:

All four teams that advanced to the LCS—the Cardinals, Brewers, Rangers and Tigers—got outscored by the teams they played in the Division Series … and won.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Australian Baseball League: World All-Stars prevail in inaugural showcase

The ConocoPhillips 2011 ABL All-Star Game, held at Perth’s Barbagallo Ballpark, was a thrilling affair in which the World All-Stars, led by game MVP Tyler Collins, prevailed over the home-standing Australian National Team by an 8-5 score. Collins drove in three on an opposite field home run, scored two, and added another hit in the game. Mike McGuire started on the mound for the World team and was credited with the win and veteran reliever Dae Sung Koo picked up the save.

Collins is in the Tigers system.

Gamingboy Posted: December 21, 2011 at 11:10 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, international, minor leagues, tigers

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tweet partings: Tigers bid Will Rhymes farewell

Using Beatnik Ramble Rhymes, it spit out…“in she bid Tigers Zelter mighty to see the likes of thee, and oh!  The smell, the smell, the awful smell!”

But an October editorial comment on Twitter Rhymes authored during the Tigers-Rangers playoff series probably eliminated any chance he would join Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago, and Danny Worth in a bid for second-base work in 2012.

During that Oct. 8 game against the Rangers, Rhymes, who was not on the playoff roster, disagreed with manager Jim Leyland’s decision to pinch-run Worth for Santiago.

“I turned the game off when Danny ran for Santi,” Rhymes wrote on his Twitter account.

“They are the same speed, at best. Very confused. I’ll check the box tomorrow.”

Dave Dombrowski, president and general manager for the Tigers, made little of Rhymes’ punditry when asked about Monday’s decision, although he acknowledged: “I don’t think it was something that you’d recommend a player to do. But it didn’t have anything to do with our decision.”

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: media, tigers

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tigers finalize one-year, $3.5 million deal with Octavio Dotel

According to BobbyMac, these are the most lopsided projected left/right splits (in terms of True Average, formerly EqA) for active players, minimum 500 IP:

Name               Split        Size
Octavio Dotel      R, vs. R   +.112 TAv
Ramon Ortiz        R, vs. R    .110
Dontrelle Willis   L, vs. L    .105
Horacio Ramirez    L, vs. L    .105
Chien-Ming Wang    R, vs. R    .092

Detroit and Octavio Dotel made their deal official, with the Tigers paying the veteran right-hander $3 million in 2012 and $3.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2013.

This will be his 13th team in 14 seasons… Dotel has the highest strikeout rate of all time among right-handers with 800-plus innings and even at age 37 got more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings for the fifth straight season…
Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Dotel chose the Tigers over the Brewers, with the Padres also in the mix.

The District Attorney Posted: December 10, 2011 at 03:50 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Friday, December 09, 2011

Tigers, Nationals swap hard-throwing relievers [Perry for Balester]

A trade between three unelected and frankly unaccountable teams.

the Tigers and Nationals pulled off an exchange of right-handed relievers Ryan Perry and Collin Balester on Friday….

Perry… ended the year with a 5.35 ERA and a 24/21 K/BB ratio in 37 innings. Overall, he has a 4.07 ERA and a 129/82 K/BB ratio in 161 1/3 innings as a major leaguer.

Balester is viewed more of a flop than Perry, but he also has the better raw stuff; while both tend to throw in the 93-95 mph range, Balester’s curveball is a superior offering to Perry’s slider. It shows in the strikeout numbers, as Balester has fanned 62 in 56 2/3 innings of relief over the last two years.

Balester, though, has more of a wild streak than Perry. He’s also out of options, whereas Perry still has an option year left.

The District Attorney Posted: December 09, 2011 at 10:59 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, tigers

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