FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 5/20/14

5:47
Paul Swydan: Hi guys, join me tonight at 9 pm ET. I put up some polls, so vote for those and then get your questions in. Or, get your questions in and then vote. Or just come back at 9. Look, do something, OK?

9:01
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody! Let’s chat.

9:01
Comment From Matt
Do you still have faith in Wil Myers turning it around this season? Any power?

9:02
Paul Swydan: His swing percentages are improving, and his plate discipline percentages are either the same or improving. It’s his batted ball mix. More grounders, more infield popups, fewer homers. I’m inclined to think that this will correct itself once he adjusts back to the adjustments pitchers have made on him. I’m not worried.

9:02
Comment From Markkk
Is Josh Donaldson really this good? SSS?

9:03
Paul Swydan: Well, he’s been this good for going on nine-10 months, so I’m not willing to call him a fluke at this point.

9:03
Comment From Marty
Where does Mike Minor sit in pitching ranks? Doesn’t seem to be elite but a young stud nonethless

9:04
Paul Swydan: He doesn’t strike out enough hitters to be elite. In fact, his FIP and FIP- paint him as below average at this point. A lot of that is the homers, which should normalize, but he won’t be elite until he gets more Ks.

9:04
Comment From Smithz
When are we going to see Alex Guerrero?? He’s absolutely mashing

9:05
Paul Swydan: Team has little reason to bring him up at this juncture. Let him mash.

9:05
Comment From Rags
NL-only keeper. I need steals. Is Kennedy @ 6 and Cody Ross @ 1 too much to give for Cingrani @ 10 and Revere @ 23?

9:06
Paul Swydan: I mean, $23 seems like a lot for Revere, but if you need the steals, you need the steals. And no, Ross is fungible and while Kennedy has pitched well, he’s probably a little over his head, and I love Cingrani.

9:06
Comment From First Time Poster
Guy offered me Pederson, Miller, Susac, Cecchini, and Swilhart for C. Gomez and Lucroy… how hard to I reject? (dynasty)

9:07
Paul Swydan: Depends on where you are in the win cycle. I’d certainly want higher ceiling players for Gomez and Lucroy, but that’s not an awful collection of above-average/high-floor prospects.

9:07
Comment From First Time Poster
Should I sell high on Cueto?

9:07
Paul Swydan: Yes.

9:07
Comment From Jake
At what point do the Indians end the 3B experiment with Santana. Turning him into a utility man doesn’t seem to have been the best idea. He was supposed to be the cleanup hitter on a fringe playoff team but now his slash line is the worst among qualified hitters. What gives?

9:08
Paul Swydan: I guess only they know if his defense is affecting his offense. It’s easy for us to say that it is, but his slump could be anything else. FWIW, I think it’s something else, because his batting eye has still been sharp. He is drawing plenty of walks.

9:08
Comment From Matt
I don’t like the Drew deal because I think it slows down the development of Xander/ reduces his positional value. I also would rather see Xander/Middlebrooks/Cecchini and don’t see Xander/Drew as being much better because Drew’s bat is bad and I imagine he is rusty. Please make me feel better and tell me why I am wrong?

9:10
Paul Swydan: I’d love to tell you you’re wrong, but I have a hard time disagreeing with you. I think that basically, this isn’t the team’s year, and let’s just give the kids a full year to prove or not prove that they have what it takes at their respective positions. No matter how good Drew is, he isn’t the difference between the Red Sox winning the East and not winning the East.

On the other hand, this only cost them cash, and if Drew really isn’t needed when Middlebrooks comes back, they shouldn’t have a hard time trading him. So it’s hard to get too worked up about it. But I don’t like what it says about the team’s patience. Earlier this week they said they had no plans to move Xander off of shortstop this year. Now he’s been moved off of shortstop.

9:10
Paul Swydan: Sorry for the long answer!

9:11
Paul Swydan: But you knew it was coming!

9:11
Comment From IWASONCEYOU
Even by his standards, Jose Reyes has shown terrible range. Should the Jays give Lawrie a shot at SS and move Reyes to 2B?

9:11
Paul Swydan: I don’t think so, no. Unfortunately, the Jays have to live with what Reyes does or does not do.

9:12
Comment From Joseph
My team is loaded on offense while my pitching has been average at best. Im being offered Lester or Samardzjia for Braun would that trade make sense for me?

9:12
Paul Swydan: Lester, yeah. I would try to get both. :-)

9:12
Comment From Connor G
Is Chris Tillman underrated or overrated?

9:12
Paul Swydan: I think he’s been on both sides of the spectrum frequently enough that he’s just rated.

9:12
Comment From IWASONCEYOU
This afternoon on a Toronto radio station, Bob Ryan called Bill James the Karl Marx of sabermetrics and that people like you, Mr. Swydan, have co-opted his field of study and given it a greater significance than it actually deserves.

9:14
Paul Swydan: I think the reality is that the internet has allowed people interested in all disciplines to elevate their passions into things that may not be of interest to the vast majority of people on the planet. That doesn’t mean what we do is actually insignificant.

9:14
Comment From David
Can you guys add RA9 to the leaderboards and player profiles? Thanks!

9:14
Paul Swydan: We have RA9-WAR. Close enough? http://www.fangraphs.com/st…

9:15
Comment From Boston rejoicing at the return of a Drew brother
The idea being pushed by the media that pedroia should be batting in the middle of the lineup “to drive in runs” is completely ridiculous and wrongheaded, right? I only motion it because I actually heard one of the official radio broadcasters mention it and nearly drove off the road in anger

9:16
Paul Swydan: I heard that too, but pretended I didn’t. I think people can be forgiven for thinking that Pedroia should be in “run-producing” spots.

9:17
Paul Swydan: The reality however, is much different. Even if you want to go by RBI, Pedroia’s career-high is 91, and that came in 2011. Last year he had 84. Shrug.

9:17
Comment From Jim
Thoughts on Yangervis Solarte? Its not like he is fueled by Babip, he has good discipline, solid swing, i’m sold on .280/.350/.425

9:18
Paul Swydan: I spoke with Mike Axisa about him a couple of weeks ago – do yourself a favor and read River Ave Blues if you love/want info on the Yankees – and he was leaning buy as well. It seems like he can do this all year. Maybe more like .275/.340/.410, but that’s splitting hairs.

9:18
Comment From Justin
Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock have almost identical batting lines. Do you buy Pollock as a legitimate offensive threat going forward?

9:19
Paul Swydan: No, he just had a good week. But if he can hit .280 and steal a lot of bases, he could be a valuable player in fantasy. The question is will he play enough when Trumbo returns. Four spots for three guys there.

9:19
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Are you experiencing early onset Jose Fernandez withdrawal? I know i am….

9:19
Paul Swydan: Fortunately, I have never owned Fernandez in a fantasy league, so no, I am not.

9:20
Comment From Scott
Took a dynasty team (10 team) over this year. In last place with a ton of potential. Hosmer, Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Bogaerts, Yelich, etc. Also have Cabrera and Cueto. Have an offer on the table where guy says his roster is open for me to get those two. If I can get 4 of Cole, Bumgarner, Wacha, Syndergaard, Oscar Taveras, Springer, Profar, or Dozier, would you do it? Which 4 or try to move them for someone like Harper or Puig. Not sure I can do that though.

9:21
Paul Swydan: Well, assuming you mean Miguel Cabrera, I would aim for Bumgarner, Wacha, Springer and Cole/Taveras/Profar. I would love Puig, but if you get those four, that’s better.

9:22
Comment From Buddy
Thanx for chatting. For ROS how do you rank these young SP – Richards, Cole & Sonny Gray? Would it differ long term?

9:22
Paul Swydan: Gray, Cole, Richards. Basically the same long-term. Maybe elevate Cole into a tie with Gray.

9:22
Comment From Reggie
Was offered Sonny Gray for Teixeira. Need the pitching, seems fair. Your assessment? Tex’s durability over long season a concern.

9:22
Paul Swydan: I’d do it. Sell high on Tex.

9:22
Comment From Tulo
CarGo’s been relatively quiet despite the Rockies’ success. You worried? Any indicators worth watching?

9:22
Paul Swydan: I am, he’s playing on a banged up knee, and he’s not exactly Mr. Durability to begin with, so this may end poorly.

9:23
Comment From Mookie The Wookie
Ok so I know I jumped the gun but Mookie is playing center at AA and I grabbed him in my Keeper league. Now the Sox sign Drew. Does this effect bringing Mookie up as a Super Utility and Do we see him this summer?

9:24
Paul Swydan: I think it absolutely affects them bringing him up as a super utility player, because now there will be no reason to have him play shortstop, and much less incentive to have him at second in the event of a Pedroia injury as well. If Bradley keeps struggling, we could see Mookie around the All-Star break, but I think now he waits until September.

9:24
Paul Swydan: Just another reason to not like the Drew signing. :-)

9:24
Paul Swydan: What is Pedroia swinging at? BAH!

9:24
Comment From PS
SONNY GRAY IS NOT IN A TIE WITH COLE PAUL

9:24
Paul Swydan: OK, settle down PS.

9:24
Comment From Dusty
You love Cingrani? Can you tell us why, other than the Ks aren’t his #s middling? I’m curious, really…

9:25
Paul Swydan: Well, K’s are generally the best indicator of future performance, so if I can only have one thing that’s what I want.

9:25
Comment From AJ
Jon Niese or Jose Quintana in a keeper league?

9:25
Paul Swydan: Quintana.

9:25
Comment From PS
im sorry paul

9:25
Paul Swydan: It’s OK, I still love you. After all, we have the same initials!

9:25
Comment From Vliet
Does Walker and Paxton news = fantasy false optimism?

9:25
Paul Swydan: I missed this news. Link me.

9:25
Comment From PS
my favorite hitter pitcher combo on any team is gray/donaldson. (gronaldson?)

9:26
Paul Swydan: How about Donaldgray?

9:26
Paul Swydan: Or Grayson? That’s an actual real name.

9:27
Paul Swydan: Quick story – I used to work with a Grayson at the Rockies, and I would call him Castle of Grayson, like Castle of Grayskull, on He-Man. I don’t think he liked it very much, but I kept doing it anyway. True story.

9:27
Comment From AJ
You’re watching the Sox game too? Doubront is killing me emotionally

9:28
Paul Swydan: Well, it appears he either has, or has been told he has, shoulder fatigue. So, it looks like we’ll be seeing someone come up from Triple-A either to start or to take the Capuano role in the ‘pen.

9:28
Comment From Todd
O/U 30 hrs for Chris Davis this year?

9:28
Paul Swydan: That, my friend, is a poll.

9:29
Comment From PS
am i too young to get that reference?

9:29
Paul Swydan: Castle of Grayskull was He-Man’s castle on the show He-Man. Google it. If you’re asking, you’re probably too young. Which makes me sad.

9:29
Comment From Vliet
Walker and Paxton: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/art…

9:30
Paul Swydan: Eh, I’m not going to get excited about simulated games.

9:30
Comment From Nittanychris
Drew Smyly for Xander Bogaerts, AL-Only, 10 team league. Fair value?

9:30
Paul Swydan: If you’re getting Xander, then ya.

9:30
Comment From Nittanychris
Evan Longoria HAS to come around eventually? Right?

9:30
Paul Swydan: Of course. Don’t panic.

9:31
Comment From Grilli Cheese
Are shutdowns/meltdowns worthwhile stats?

9:31
Paul Swydan: Yes, I wish we all used them more often.

9:31
Comment From Tom
Which struggling player would you rather have, Fielder or Craig?

9:31
Paul Swydan: Well, I saw on the Twitters today that Fielder has some sort of neck injury for which there are no good position player comps, so … Craig.

9:31
Comment From Lars
Which city is most likely to get a MLB franchise that decides to move: Montreal, Charlotte/Carolina, Las Vegas, or another?

9:32
Paul Swydan: Montreal. Which is to say, none of those cities is getting a team.

9:32
Paul Swydan: Las Vegas, to me, is a non-starter. It has over a million people, but half of them are always working. The next largest city is Austin, Texas, but people there are either young, have plenty of other stuff to do, or both.

9:33
Paul Swydan: And when I say young, I mean “not the target demo for buying suites and/or sponsoring things.”

9:33
Comment From TB
Does solarte deserved to be owned in a 12 team league?

9:33
Paul Swydan: I mean, I don’t think it’s imperative, but picking him up isn’t a bad idea, certainly.

9:33
Comment From ST3
Is Verlander droppable or am I overreacting? I’ve shopped him around and nobody will give up anything of value for him.

9:33
Paul Swydan: You’re overreacting.

9:33
Comment From Nittanychris
Will Scioscia continue to confine the great, young power of CJ Cron to a platoon with a washed-up Ibanez?

9:34
Paul Swydan: Probably for another month or two. Also, Cron hasn’t even drawn a walk yet. Let’s pump the brakes on him a touch.

9:35
Comment From Itchy but not Scratchy
it’s safe to give up on Zack Wheeler yet?

9:35
Paul Swydan: I think it’s safe to give up on the notion of “Zack Wheeler, staff ace.” I don’t think it’s safe to give up on the notion of “Zack Wheeler, productive major league starting pitcher.”

9:35
Comment From TB
Watch any of Bauer, thoughts?

9:36
Paul Swydan: I haven’t had the chance yet, no.

9:36
Comment From PS
morality question here, is it ok to like gray and donaldson more than any player on the red sox (my favorite team) i mean i love X but but more as like a #3 favorite

9:36
Paul Swydan: Yeah, that’s totally fine.

9:36
Comment From Vinny
Do you see Machado eventually getting into a groove?

9:36
Paul Swydan: Yes.

9:36
Comment From Doug
CC droppable in an 8 team AL-only format? Could use the room for prospect stashing, as DL is full.

9:37
Paul Swydan: Yeah, if it’s only eight teams, that softens the blow.

9:37
Comment From Todd
Rank these 3 outfielders ROS: Kemp, Myers, Cespedes, Jennings

9:37
Paul Swydan: Just how you have them. Maybe put Jennings over Cespedes.

9:37
Comment From PS
can we use the actual term ‘meltdown’ if we use that stat? it sounds so inexact and the opposite of what you baseball guys are trying to do

9:38
Paul Swydan: Well, I’m open to suggestions. If I had to guess, I’d say that Meltdowns was picked to coordinate something catchy along with Shutdowns, which is more specific and exact.

9:38
Comment From boottan
Brantley gonna keep this up, or is he due for regression? With the exception of HR/FB rate the peripherals all look fine.

9:39
Paul Swydan: I could see this being Brantley’s year, but I wouldn’t want to pay too much in trade to find out. He’s the kind of guy, not unlike Donaldson last year, where he’ll probably be the most valuable to the team who has him.

9:39
Comment From AJ
I’m trying to acquire Jason Heyward, is this a mistake?

9:39
Paul Swydan: Depends on who you have to give up for him.

9:40
Comment From Fresh
Due to so injuries I’m in desperate need for OF power (preferably not destroying my avg. in the process). Pick up Granderson, K Davis, Fowler, De Aza, Ozuna or Springer?

9:40
Paul Swydan: I like Fowler, Ozuna or Springer.

9:40
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
What would the Blue Jays playoff odds be with a better bullpen? Somebody should run the math on all those games they’ve blown

9:41
Paul Swydan: I don’t think that’s doing it, I think it’s more the rotation, which is middling at best, and there are a bunch of starts built in there for Stroman, who may or may not actually receive them.

9:41
Comment From Tom
How much can we believe in Mesaraco?

9:41
Paul Swydan: I always liked Mesoraco, and felt he was treated poorly by Dusty Baker.

http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

So, I’m in.

9:42
Comment From Scott
Would you move Harper in keeper where you can keep him forever for Bryant, Jennings, and Taveras? Would have to drop Francisco and Upton. Would probably only keep Taveras and maybe Jennings. Trying to win this year.

9:42
Paul Swydan: If you’re trying to win this year, dropping Harper and Upton seems like probably a bad idea. I don’t think Bryant and Taveras are going to help you win this year, and I’m not a big Jennings guy.

9:43
Comment From Bob
Is Juan Francisco legit? His swing percentage is much lower, his walk rate is up, ks are the same, but he seems to be improving…you buying?

9:43
Paul Swydan: I am not buying. He’s OK, but he’s not a stud.

9:43
Comment From Chico
Rosario or Mesoraco ROS in obp league?

9:44
Paul Swydan: Mesoraco in OBP league for sure. Rosario swings at everything.

9:44
Comment From Jake
What is going to happen to Corey Dickerson now that Cuddyer is back?

9:44
Paul Swydan: He’ll go back to being benched for the most part.

9:44
Comment From Guest
Beyonce or Rihanna ROCareer

9:44
Paul Swydan: Wow, that’s tough. Rihanna is younger, but Beyonce seems to have incredible drive. I love them both, but I’ll have to say Beyonce by a whisker.

9:44
Comment From Joe
Dodgers worth worrying about? Or is it just awful performance in high leverage situations that is bound to turn around?

9:45
Paul Swydan: Can’t it be both?

9:45
Comment From PS
i only need one real question answered tonight and that is about Neil Walker. is this semi-sustainable? or should i sell high? i kinda like the guy

9:45
Paul Swydan: Walker is the guy who is always there for you. He’s not a superstar, but he carries his lunch pail and gets the job done. Big fan.

9:45
Comment From Maddie
Ventura or Gray ROS?

9:45
Paul Swydan: Gray

9:45
Comment From Adam Sam
Do you like beer?

9:46
Paul Swydan: I do. I really do. In fact, I lamented my lack of beer earlier tonight. Oh well. I’ll buy more soon.

9:46
Comment From Jay
Would you take Rios or Dozier ROS?

9:46
Paul Swydan: On positional scarcity, gotta say Dozier.

9:46
Comment From Dave
NFL: the teflon league? The latest allegations are just atrocious but not making waves to speak of (certainly not waves like steroid use in MLB does, which pales in comparison).

9:47
Paul Swydan: Yeah, well, I think that’s because the NFL using pain killers isn’t exactly a secret. Brett Favre got addicted to them and it still didn’t track, because he was just having fun out there. Put simply, at the end of the day we still love watching these guys kick the crap out of each other too much.

9:47
Comment From Davey
Thoughts on Atl’s C. Johnson.

9:47
Paul Swydan: Meh. Good luck to Atlanta getting full value out of that extension.

9:47
Comment From Adam Sam
What’s your favorite beer?

9:48
Paul Swydan: Ehhhhhh, I try to not buy the same beer over and over, but I’m always partial to Allagash White. Of major beers, probably Blue Moon. I like wheat beers, is what I’m saying.

9:48
Comment From Guest
nba lottery is fixed…

9:48
Paul Swydan: Well, it certainly used to be, though I’m having concocting a good reason for the league to want Cleveland to have the #1 pick two years in a row. Payback for LeBron leaving? Meh.

9:48
Comment From Todd
2 hr’s for Crash Davis tonight, I will take the over now

9:49
Paul Swydan: Now you tell me!

9:49
Comment From Lefty Tyler
100 years ago today, Braves lost to drop to 4-18, low point for the season. They got better.

9:49
Paul Swydan: Indeed they did.

9:49
Comment From Adam Sam
Try Bell’s Oberon Ale! Tasty wheat beer

9:49
Paul Swydan: If I ever see that at my local liquor store, I will!

9:49
Comment From Timmy H
What can we expect from Mat Latos when he comes back?

9:49
Paul Swydan: At this point, I’m not sure. I figured he was going to be back by now.

9:50
Comment From Lars
Drew Stubbs: 20/20 candidate?

9:50
Paul Swydan: I don’t think he’ll get enough playing time for that.

9:50
Comment From Lars
Do line drives caught by diving infielders that would have otherwise been hits count towards a player’s defensive range, or is it only based on plays made outside of their zone?

9:51
Paul Swydan: I think you have to make the plays inside your zone and outside your zone in order to be truly superlative by our defensive metrics, but it’s been a long time since I read the fine print.

9:51
Comment From Not a Stephen Drew Question
when is polanco getting called up? how about taveras? what is wrong with Trout? Was Xander overhyped? is it time to bail ship on Springer? Will the marlins call up Heaney soon? Do UCL’s go to heaven? etc

9:52
Paul Swydan: Polanco and Taveras I would expect up after the Super 2 deadline in June.

Trout will be fine.

Xander was not overhyped. Find me some more 21-year-old shortstops with a .370 OBP.

It is not time to bail on Springer, unless it’s a redraft league, and even then I still wouldn’t.

No idea on Heaney, but if you’re asking for a guess, I’ll say no.

Yes, son, they do.

9:52
Comment From Lars
Can Joey Batts keep up his .290 40 HR pace or will he regress to around .260 with 25-30 HR?

9:53
Paul Swydan: I’m in for a full Joey Bats resurgence. Paying forward all those good vibes on Twitter has finally paid off for him!

9:53
Comment From joey
will the red sox ever win another game

9:53
Paul Swydan: Nope. Folding the franchise tonight. Doubront’s injury was the last straw!

9:54
Comment From Toothpicks r us
Any expectations out of Nick Tepesch? Will he show enough to factor into future plans or is he just another in a long line of Ranger dung?

9:54
Paul Swydan: Dave Cameron had a post that compared him favorably to Martin Perez, and I like Martin Perez, so I think Tepesch could hang around for a bit.

9:54
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
The challenge time for Jays games would be a lot quicker if John Gibbons didn’t take 20 minutes to wobble towards the umpire.

9:54
Paul Swydan: He really does walk like he has a load in his pants, doesn’t he?

9:55
Comment From I Sev
Do we see Mark Appel this year?

9:55
Paul Swydan: I will say no.

9:55
Comment From Gene Autry
Is Grant Green now reduced to the wrong side of the platoon situation or do you think his decent start and multi position flexibility will get him some playing time?

9:56
Paul Swydan: It’s 44 plate appearances. He’s going to need to do it for a little longer in a reserve role, I’d expect.

9:56
Comment From Jake
If you own Mesoraco, what do you do with the black-hole vortex the-end-is-oh-so-near Mr. Santana?

9:56
Paul Swydan: I don’t know. I’m holding, if only because I’m terrified that as soon as I drop him he’ll light the world on fire. But this is killing me.

9:56
Comment From Brandon Legendre
Do you notice that Mike Carp has the same batting stance as Bryce Harper? That’s gotta mean something!

9:56
Paul Swydan: That Bryce Harper should change his batting stance?

9:57
Paul Swydan: Ha, just kidding, I love Mike Carp.

9:57
Comment From Mrs Longoria
I’m starting to get worried about my son Evan. Can you say anything nice about him to talk me off the ledge?

9:57
Paul Swydan: Just the other day I suggested Tampa Bay name the team after him, Mrs. Longoria!

http://www.hardballtimes.co…

9:57
Comment From Jake
Any shot Nick Franklin sticks around even after C. Hart comes back? Is he just a AAAA player?

9:58
Paul Swydan: I don’t think he’s a 4A player, but the Mariners are kind of stuck between a rock and their own strange decision making.

9:58
Comment From Jim Bouton
Its Franklin time everybody! Is this a showcase for a trade or do you think his blistering start has Mariners brass seriously thinking he has a future in sunny Seattle?

9:59
Paul Swydan: It’s not that he couldn’t have a future, but they signed Cano to play his position, and he isn’t a natural fit anywhere else on Seattle.

9:59
Comment From Jake
David Murphy, Stubbs, Parra or Lake Ros?

9:59
Paul Swydan: Murphy

10:00
Comment From Zach Cochran
Can Johnny Cueto fix my TV?

10:00
Paul Swydan: Probably not, but you never know.

10:00
Comment From JCougar
Poor ST3…I was able to turn Verlander and J Ellsbury into Miguel Cabrera and Michael Brantley. Someone please tell me I’m awesome.

10:00
Paul Swydan: You’re awesome.

10:01
Paul Swydan: Actually, all of you are awesome. But nevertheless, I am going to have to call it a night. Thanks as always for hanging out. If it’s any consolation, I saw Godzilla on Sunday and really enjoyed it. Probably should have mentioned that earlier. Oh well. Until next week!



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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.



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Paul, you *gotta* try Bell’s Oberon Ale. It’s in season, delicious and is distributed mostly east of the mississippi. Plus it sports a 6.02 BAR if yr into Beergraphs at all:)

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