358 thoughts on “Game Thread of Ineluctable Doom: Braves at Devil Rays, June 23”

  1. We”ll at least they have won 5 of their last 6. KC has also won 5 of their last 6. We are the worst team in Baseball

  2. Fossum has not faced the Braves since Aug. 8, 2004 when he was shelled for nine runs and eight hits over 3 1-3 innings of an 11-4 loss while with Arizona. Overall, Fossum is 0-2 with a 15.12 career ERA against Atlanta.

    We’ll go ahead, count it, another loss!

  3. What player wouldn’t want to leave the D-rays to come play for the Braves?

    Oh, waitaminute.

  4. Hi, Stu.

    At least we are jockeying for position to be able to draft David Price.

    Go ‘Dores!

  5. I don’t suppose anyone wants to know that Richmond’s lost 12 straight or has the International League’s worst record, do they? Or that Mississippi has the worst record in the Southern League’s South Division (counting both halves of the season)? The future’s so bright I gotta wear night-vision goggles.

  6. Vegas has got to be rakin’ on the Braves. I mean the odds of us winning ONE game is pretty good right now…..but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    I say Andruw goes deep tonight with LaDouche GIDP to end the game. Those two things I WOULD bet on.

  7. richmond and mississippi is why I said our next good team is going to be 2008 or 2009; I think we have 1 MLB prospect in AAA and AA right now, and he isn’t hitting his weight (Salty).

  8. Another fun fact: The Braves have the players with the worst BA in the IL (Nepotism Boy, .151) and the second-worst in the Southern League (Salty, .207) among qualified batters.

    But wait, there’s less! Both Richmond and Mississippi rank last in their leagues in ERA. Both rank last in WHIP. Both rank next-to-last in BB (but are middle-of-the-pack in Ks). Mississippi leads the SL in HR allowed (Richmond is average in the IL). Richmond leads the IL in percentage of inherited runners scored (Mississippi is better-than-average).

    To quote Charlie Brown, “Tell your statistics to shut up!”

  9. Ooops; yes, Matt Wright is looking good. I do note his success is not in limiting hits or walks, but HR’s (2 given up in like 70 innings)-Is that Mississippi park just huge or hard to hit it out of?

  10. Line-up tonight

    1. M Giles, 2B
    2. E Renteria, SS
    3. C Jones, DH
    4. A Jones, CF
    5. J Francoeur, RF
    6. M Diaz, LF
    7. W Betemit, 3B
    8. B McCann, C
    9. S Thorman, 1B

    1. J Lugo, SS
    2. C Crawford, LF
    3. R Baldelli, CF
    4. J Cantu, 2B
    5. A Huff, 3B
    6. J Gomes, DH
    7. T Wigginton, 1B
    8. T Hall, C
    9. D Hollins, RF

  11. Last ray of sunshine: Of the 25 players on the Richmond roster, 17 were born before 1980. That’s right: it’s not just a bad team, it’s an old team!

    The only young OF in Richmond is Gregor Blanco, called up from Mississippi where he hit about 287/391/374. Fine leadoff prospect. The only young pitchers are Chuck James (being called up to Atlanta), Will Startup (just up from Mississippi, 0.96 ERA in 25 innings of relief), and Manny Acosta (also called up from Mississippi,.4.60 ERA, 12 BB in 15.2 IP in AAA). The other youngsters are Brayan Pena, Tony Pena Jr., Martin Prado, and Nepotism Boy.

  12. I was counting James as in MLB already (I think he is going to be a good MLB pitcher). i would also include Startup as a guy who may have a very good MLB career.

    I didn’t realize Gregor Blanco was so good at taking walks; there may be hope for him yet.

  13. It’s like the 1980s all over again. I seem to have blocked a lot of childhood memories but they are flooding back now. This losing streak is very helpful to me, in a deep psychological way.

  14. We have John Smoltz going against the Devil Rays. If we can’t win tonight, I’m thinking we will go 0 for the rest of the season. Oh and I still say the Cubs and Royals are worse than us and probably the Pirates are too. Go, team! We’re only 4th worst in the bigs!

  15. There are lots of teams worse than us. Unfortunately, we had to pay a lot more money to get that way.

  16. I would love to see the Marlins sweep the Yankees.

    Team Salary:
    FLA – $14,000,000.00
    NYY – $198,500,000.00

    slight difference

  17. Jeff Francoeur’s in good spirits, at least judging by his TBS interview. Or on serious drugs, but that can work. Ask Dock Ellis.

  18. Fred McGriff threw out the first pitch. It’s an omen! It’s a sign! Someone run over to Turner Field and set a fire!

  19. Chipper swings at first pitch for a 6-4-3 DP right after Renteria walked. Who has custody of this team’s brain cell?

  20. Hi,

    I bet at the Outback Steakhouse in Tampa they have the “Awesome Fossum”. I hear it’s a hugr hit. I don’t know why, but that’s funny to me at this minute.

  21. Alex, let’s not be too rough on him- he’s lost five wins in his last six starts to the bullpen. At some point, you just give up.

  22. Hey csg…always good to see you too.

    Brian, agreed…bullpen sucks but Smoltz’s numbers are below the median for him. He’s been very avg.

  23. I am really concerned that Chipper has given up. he has the best strike zone judgment on the tem (best walk rate for about 9 years now). I have seen him swing at way too many first pitches lately; it is as if he wants to get the at-bat and the game over with.

    Not to pamper the pro athlete too much here, but it must be hard after having an entire CAREER of fighting for 1st place, waking up one morning in suckville.

  24. imagine that we score 2, they score 2 – when does it end! I’m blaming Chipper until he does something, its too easy to blame the bullpen.

  25. well, actually Chipper didn’t give up at the first sign of losing; he waited until the 10th sign of losing.

  26. Hey the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Major League Baseball are teaming up to remind kids the importance of not quitting. Maybe they can swing by the club house!

  27. Well, we college students still do have sleepovers, so I’m off. I’ll assume we’ve lost and hope to be pleasantly surprised tomorrow morning. Enjoy the game, all.

  28. And Smoltz pulls a muscle. He’d better be healthy. Six and a third innings of our bullpen may lead to mass suicides.

  29. Watching the Braves online…they are much enjoyable while watching “The Daily Show” ‘Indecision 2004’ disks with my wife…I need to laugh as we back into 11 straight losses.

  30. Wow the bullpen in the second inning! What is the record for runs in a game?
    Is this the final nail in the coffin?

  31. is it the Vulture, heck bring out Cormier we can skip his start and call up Barry or someone else

  32. Yeah…it’s Carmen…woo hoo! (I am doing an impression of someone on BravesJournal …any guesses who?)

    And who’s ROGER?

    I know an ANDIE MacDowell?

  33. i do note that our starter is leaving the game having given up more runns than innings, so 7 runs here by the bullpen, over the rest of the game, is an improvement.

  34. Something interesting….

    I noticed last night… which Brandon Jones is on the DL in Mississippi… but Esquivel didn’t play last night and I figured that maybe he was just getting an off night because he plays pretty regularly, but when I went to the roster on MS’s page he wasn’t there… well today he still wasn’t and then tonight when I looked again Jones is now gone.

    There are no transactions listed though and I can’t find any info at all! it’s wierd… but I got to thinking and I wonder… since JS is trying to make some trades maybe if he used two of our prospects in them? I’ve just been trying to figure it out and that crossed my mind because I can’t find any info on it and Mississippi hasn’t put any transactions up. It’s weird…

    Esquivel isn’t in the lineup tonight either

    I’m listening to the broadcast and they haven’t said anything as to any transactions or anything so I have no idea what’s going on…. but going back to wondering if this could be a trade with a couple of our prospects… they wouldn’t be able to release any info until they finalize everything and Atlanta releases what they’ve done right???

  35. Alex, it’s funny. When you mentioned ANDIE MacDowell, Oddibe McDowell came to my mind.

  36. goodness gracious, I hope we are not trading prospects,; at this stage of the season, that would be simply ridiculous. Are we trying to extend our “worst record” effort from MLB; AAA; and AA, down to high A?

  37. I don’t know… it’s weird but they haven’t listed any transactions and I’ve been watching those pages because it’s driving me crazy.

    I emailed the radio broadcaster for MS Braves games last night and he finally replied late last night and said that he didn’t know anything so I have no idea.

    Which MS is on the road… they’ll be back at home tomorrow night and I’ll be there and be able to see who’s missing on the field I guess… hopefully it’s a fluke on the web site but it’s just sort of odd and I don’t think we should trade either of those either

  38. Didn’t see Esquivel on the Richmond roster. Mississippi roster is one man light, with just 24 players (11 hitters/ 13 pitchers). The Braves have 44 men on the 40-man roster, or three short of capacity given that we have seven guys on the disabled lists. There may actually be moves afoot.

  39. This is from the John Sickels Minor League report Web site…
    Don’t shoot the messenger…

    A little girl was in Family Court and the judge asked her if she wanted to live with her father. She told the judge, “No.” So the judge asked why not. She stated it wa cause her father beats her.

    The judge then replied, “So you want to live with your mother then.” Again the little girl said that she would not. The judge asked her who she did want to live with then.

    “The Atlanta Braves,” She replies.

    “Why the Atlanta Braves?” The judge asks.

    “Because they dont beat anybody.” the girl says.

  40. I bet the MLB people are just not diligent in updating minor league team rosters. Miranda, I am sure you will find out by the end of next week, hah!

  41. Yea I’ve been checking the Richmond roster too. The Minor League site still lists Esquivel and Burrus on it so I don’t know. On MS’s site they finally redid some of their groupings and put Canizares in IF since that’s where he’s playing now.. he had been listed OF and they moved Rosamond to OF from IF on the list… dropped Burrus and Esquivel so I’m not sure what they’re doing… it’s interesting though.

  42. KC.. haha I’m not gonna make it that long! lol

    but I’ll be in Pearl tomorrow night and see with my eyes who’s on the field and who’s not!

    well the minor league site updates pretty well… most of the time at least … I know MB has Matt Harrison as being promoted to MS but MS’s site doesn’t have anything on him and the Minor’s site has him on the MS roster

    … it’s all weird!

  43. Bill Shanks says that Matt Esquivel was suspended indefinitely by the Braves, but he doesn’t say what for.

  44. 2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K. Maybe this will get Villareal noticed. Or traded. Or demoted for showing everyone else up.

  45. league is hitting .289 vs. Fossum; we are 2-13. Time to get some hits this inning; Villareal needs a lead to surrender.

  46. Maybe Smoltz should compete with Chipper for the starting first base job…or we could platoon them, just to keep them even healthier.

  47. okay, we are now hitting .125 for the game against a guy the rest of the league lights up like a christmas tree. Maybe next inning will be our inning.

  48. bfan, the Braves’ specialty is developing Cy Young winners. They have developed a few in the past three weeks.

  49. hey, kind of like the falcons secondary developing all-pro QB’s and the Hawks developing all-pro everythings.

  50. Does anyone realize, if “Awesome Fossum” pitched against the Braves the rest of the season, hewould officially challenge Jose Contreras, Johann Santana and others for the award.

    It’s incredibly sad but kind of pathetically cool if you think about it—ok, thinking…ok…never mind. not cool. just pathetic. Really pathetic.

  51. Awesome Fossum has just placed to the Commissioner’s Office asking if the Braves could be placed on the schedule…a lot…more.

  52. Actually, bfan, that’s quite impressive…from the Rays’ point of view…and the pitchers are not even hitting tonight!!!

  53. Seriously, he pullde a leg or groin muscle and came out in the 2nd. Villareal, shockingly, has held them off since then.

  54. I am becoming convinced that the vets have just elected to fold their collective tents, and the young guys do not yet have the talent to compete at an MLB level (except for that McCann kid). JS is going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do, to the new bosses.

  55. bfan, JS will just tell his new bosses that the players didn’t play to their true talent and disclaimed any responsibility for the team’s failure.

  56. And am I actually seeing good defense?

    Too bad we made Casey Fossum, he of the 5.45 ERA, look like Cy Young.

  57. I’m telling you, I know how to motivate people. It’s taking the right tone of voice, noticing the cues their behavior gives you, and threats of beatings with sacks full of doorknobs.

  58. And I just looked ‘herpes of the arm’ up on wikipedia. But good news on Smoltzie! This season just keeps getting better and better.

  59. As I said in last night’s thread, JS, right now, is in his golden fleece bath tub bathjing in 55 copies of his book drinking champaigne and receiving text updates of this game.

  60. well, wasn’t that just another marvelous 1-2-3 inning against a pitcher with an ERA in the high 5’s.


    Hit rewind with your DVR to hear it during the fielding of the last ground-out before the inning ended.

  62. ok.

    A pitcher’s duel between ‘Awesome Fossum’ & Carmen Villareal.

    Yes, folks, Baseball just doesn’t get any better then this.

    See YOU in October, Tampa Bay!

    (My sarcasm can easily be explained by the steady diet of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart I am feeding myself right now.)

  63. JS is not relaxing now; he is pouring over the waiver wires for a 1B-OF who can gives a walkless, punchless .230 BA, and relievers who can throw an inning or two and surrender some runs.

  64. …or he is reading stats from the Mexico league to see if he can unearth another Julio Franco.

  65. Right now, in fact, Russ Ortiz & Terry Mulholland are on a 1 way US Airways Flight from Phoenix to Atlanta.

    Yes folks, as the campaign slogans said in 2004, “Help is on the way.”

  66. or he is figuring out a way to work a .150 AAA hitter into the Braves line-up at 2B.

  67. Chelsea had her walk implosion and Gryboski moments last night. I guess Sarah is due tonight.

    We are officially the worst team in Baseball. Bar none.

    Hows that BATH JS?

  68. I like how the promo for “Saved” aired right after Yates blew it. And on the way home today, I saw a billboard for “The Closer.” It’s like Turner is taunting me.

  69. okay guys, this guy averages a walk an inning. let’s show some strike zone judgment here, just like Terry P. taught you.

  70. That’s Hilarious, Dr. Zachary.

    My goodness…I never realized that TNT’s 2 big SUMMER shows are the dire opposite of the Braves bullpen.

  71. Bfan, make up your mind. Are they supposed to show strike zone judgment or do what Terry taught them?

  72. I thought of one thing that could make things WORSE for the Braves:

    If they did fire JS and hired….Isiah Thomas.

    See? I just thought of something that could be worse!

  73. bfan, how can you say this team doesn’t lack talent when you look at the freaking bullpen.

  74. Attendance 21,280. The Braves will be referring to this a month from now as a monster crowd.

  75. Brian,

    JS needs to get out of the golden bath and look in the mirror as to why we will be at 8,000 fans a night by August.

  76. I just don’t understand what’s the difficulty in moving Marcus out of that leadoff spot.

  77. Two runners in scoring position, one out, and Chipper coming up.

    I have 10:1 against the Braves scoring. Any bets?

  78. I don’t think the Braves expect to remain competitive this season. JUST no more losing streak. make a pressing demand. Is this an unreasonable demand?

  79. Alex: the best thing is… right near the North Ave exit on I-75/85, the Saved billboard is on the right side of the highway, and directly opposite is the billboard which announces the date/time of the next Braves home game, featuring a photo of a triumphant Andruw. It took a lot of fortitude not to grab the steering wheel (gf was driving) and smash the car through the median into oncoming traffic.

  80. We may well win this game, but we were 2 hit by a 140 lb caucasian pitcher with an afro.

  81. we don’t read scoresheets; we trust our baseball instincts; we like guys who look good in the uniform and stuff. Stat sheets, we leave that stuff to those silly guys like Theo Epstein and Billy Beane.

  82. Which explains why our s**t never worked in the playoffs, or now in the regular season. But hey, Francoeur sells jeans, or plane tickets, or whatever.

  83. “Braves make contact!” says Chip, as if it’s a great achievement. For these guys, it is.

  84. Mr. Francoeur’s IQ test results came back negative. Now how do we give this run back, and with or without reinforcements?

  85. Now that we tied it, what’s the over/under on the bullpen for the bottom of the 8th? I’m thinking it might be 1.5, unless Paronto somehow makes an appearance and then it is probably 2.5.

  86. okay, for all of you who asked where the people who want to send Frenchy to richmond were, after he hit the HR vs. Boston, I again raise my hand. Our RF has an OB percentage of .266.

    Dave Kingman’s lifetime OBP was .302, and everyone made fun of him for being so one-dimensional. What does that make Frenchy?

  87. Since we’re on a road trip, that’s going to present some problems, kc.

    In June the Braves have surrendered 33 runs in 42 innings directly after scoring (7.07 R/9), a number which Martina McBridde seems determined to increase.

  88. You could put a freeze-frame on that shot of Andie McDowell talking to McBride and the infielders. Call it Meeting of the Mindless.

  89. he is making sure the infielders don’t look too dismayed on camera, when the next guy gets on.

  90. I don’t think Francoeur has a nice smile. Just in my opiion. Don’t complain. Just express my regret he swings at everything…

  91. Conversation sample:

    Andie: “Martina, you got anything tonight? You’re walking guys like crazy.”

    Martina: “Sorry, Andie, Mary gave me herpes of the arem, and well, we all suck.

    Andie: “Okay, just checking…good lucky, fatty.”

  92. Alex, I don’t blame Mac. He will get better sleeps by going to bed earlier nowadays.

  93. well, there really isn’t any need to stay up late to catch their west coast games any more; I am not sure whether seeing whether we will have the 2nd or 3rd pick in the draft next year is really that important.

  94. Another first pitch swinging out, this time by Betemit.

    Clearly, the entire team has quit.

    Personally, if JS were a real GM, he’d call the entire f-ng team into his office, and berate and humiliate them.

    But oh wait…he just signed another book. hes busy.

  95. oh come on, Diaz is having a terrific season. I would rate he and McCann (maybe Wilson) as the only bright spots on the 25 man roster.

  96. They’re playing for the win. Might as well get someone fast on second who can score after a single.

  97. So do I, but Cox doesn’t, and just to make sure he doesn’t accidentally do something heroic, let’s pinch-run Orr for him.

    Thor’s thunderbolts, so far, won’t generate static cling.

  98. I am not sure I would bring 23 players in to yell at them, but I sure would have a cup of coffee with Chipper and Hudson, and ask for a little more in the way of effort (or at least apparent effort).

  99. Thorman really seems like a gamer. He ran really hard on that routine out. It almost seems like he cares… or something.

  100. My concern with Diaz is, yep, lack of plate discipline. He didn’t draw his first walk until June and has four on the season. And he won’t hit .350 forever.

    He’s another Jeff Francoeur, with less hype.

  101. Rob…I have the game on the laptop so I couldn’t see the play, but it does warm my heart that he seems to be trying. Look, if we suck, but the guys who try should be praised.

    it seems a lot of guys aren’t trying and that’s the real problem here.

    But glad to know he ran it out…my bad for not at least seeing that.

  102. Alex, it’s a tie game. Stop the negativity. We haven’t lost. We may even win this one.

  103. what is the over/under on how many batters Tampa Bay needs to bat, before they win this game. i start the bidding at 3

  104. Rob,

    See above…I acknowledged what you said and did apologize.

    I am trying to be cool, but I should also be allowed to be down after a 10 game losing streak.

    Cut me some slack for once…OK?

  105. I wish Diaz walked more, too-he only has 5 in 109 AB’s going to into tonight. Frenchy has 6 in 300 AB’s, which means Diaz, who has a terrible walk rate, walks 3 times as often as Frenchy.

    But Fwenchy, he hit home run once a week, act all excited and stuff; me love Fwenchy.

  106. I wouldn’t want to face Crawford either. I actually want this guy on the Braves team.

  107. sorry, I missed that. Well, we apparantly are making chipper play against his will, why not another?

  108. I’ve actually already written tomorrow’s game thread (it’s very involved) and seeing the way the bullpen is pitching I feel pretty bad about it, but I’m sure that they’ll lose the game anyway.

  109. oh heads up tomorrow.

    Stu fought hard for this so the Bullpen will be debuting a woman named, “Rosa Sosa” in Saturday’s game.

    At this rate, we will see Rosa by inning 2. :-(

  110. Stockman had a Braves version of a perfect inning- he didn’t let anyone score, then hurt himself.

  111. Chipper = roids or greenies. I’m sorry, I just feel that way. Flame away.

  112. No, I really think it is attitude with Chipper. He has always been a bit spoiled, and the notion of putting out 100% for what are meaningless games is just too much for him right now. He will adjust in about 20 games when he realizes he is ruining his HOF chances, and get hot again.

  113. hi, I am Mets fan calling myself “danny kolb”.

    I have a small penis.
    women laugh at me.
    I live in my parent’s basement.
    I dress like a Klingon.
    I suck.

  114. we are in last place yet you spend all your time in our blog…what does that say about you? Rejected by your own faithful, Danny/Mets?

  115. danny – why are you telling us you have a small penis? you should definitely keep that to yourself. seriously, dude. seriously.

    now go play nice with all the other little Met fans and make believe you root for a real New York team.

  116. Well, with two pitchers hurt, they HAVE to go out and get some new ones. Hmmmm. Wonder what that will mean?

  117. I have been over into the future, and it sorta kinda works, but I still don’t trust it one bit.

  118. Hmmm, so is our bullpen trying to mess with our heads here? Giving us a little taste of what our bullpen could be like?

  119. This is true. I’m still wondering what Cox was thinking by taking out McCann. Yeah, he was going for the win, but I don’t think there was one person watching that believed we would see a single. UGH.

  120. Frenchy walked!!!

    What’s next…is Big Foot making an appearance and danny kolb/mets going to have se- with a real woman tonight in “other things you will never ever see again”!!!

  121. Um, is a bunt really the best idea considering we’ve got a power htiter at the plate? This makes no sense to me. But I haven’t been managing since the Middle Ages.

  122. Alex, well, we might win with McCann in. For years, I’ve seen the Braves tank games and swore they threw it for whatever reason. But a whole season? I’ve been a Braves fan a long time (and a Saints fan too) so I understand losing…………..what I don’t understand is losing when you don’t have to.

  123. None, Davey, but this is what happens when you pinch-run for McCann and have no one else who can catch. At this point, Cox’ idea of planning ahead wouldn’t include unzipping his pants before urinating.

  124. I wish I could say they were just tanking but Bobby’s in-game management is something that has greatly perplexed me for many years.

    Todd Pratt in there is par for the course.

  125. Now let’s see if Sosa has learned this lesson.

    To quote from the Darwin Awards, “Learn from other people’s mistakes. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”

  126. wow…we are a last placed team with the potential to possibly beat Tampa Bay.

    Yes…we are happy for the little things!

  127. And after nearly giving us a heart attack, Sosa preserves a win. In 11 innings. Injuring two pitchers. Against the Devil Rays.

    I’m going to depress myself anew if I keep talking.

  128. further appropo…that ball was almost outta here.

    That’s our season…thank G-d we won a game.

    Now just get about thirty more in a row and we are back in this thing, boys.

  129. Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win! Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win! Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win!Braves Win! (Okay, I apologize, but it’s a nice feeling…)

  130. Nothing to apologize for, Jeff. It’s a wonderful night.

    Even the announcers can’t keep the sarcasm away- observe Chip’s “Woo hoo.”

  131. did anyone see that clip…Freddy McGriff threw out the first pitch in a D-Rays uni.

    Tampa deserved the loss for shoving that in our faces. Karma, baby.

  132. Another win tomorrow, and we can equal the Devil Rays’ record and maybe escape the NL East cellar. Baby steps.

  133. Brian J,

    good thinking…one day at a time. I feel like being a Braves fan is like a 12 step program.

    The next step is admitting we have sucked so we can now move forward. We’re ready for the apologies any time, JS and Bobby. We are all sitting by our laptops/desk tops waiting.

    Ok, then. can we win despite those two?

  134. I think one of the important points tonight is that the guys pulled off this win after it looked utterly hopeless after Smoltz came out limp and the rest of the game was left to the bullpen. That’s a HUGE mental booster.

  135. This streak has been so humbling

    Usually, a three game series with Tampa..we would assuma a sweep..
    But look at us now…

  136. I hope so, but ten straight 11-inning wins would be a bit much for my heart to take.

    Hopefully, breaking the streak will convince our hitters to try not to hit grand slams with the bases empty. And Frenchy, you scored the winning run after walking. Think about it.

  137. rene is my guy…i will make sure he doesnt stay out too late to celebrate the division championshi….oh wait, we just beat the devil rays? i’ll take what i can get at this point

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