Cubs 2019: General Discussion

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Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:29 am

I am (as a typical Cubs fan is) very optimistic for this year. I think there will be some interesting story lines;

1. If everyone is healthy, I REALLY like our starting rotation. If Darvish is healthy, he's electric. He's also your #3 or #4 starter behind Lester, Hendricks and Hamels. Speaking of Hamels, I love what he gave to this team last year.

2. I was never a fan of Chili Davis, and thought that he screwed up the swings of a lot of the players last year. Davis was in Boston, and the hitters struggled. He left, and they lit the league up. I see the same thing happening on the Northside. Bats will return in 2019.

3. Maddon is going to have a real conundrum on his hands in May. I expect that Baez is going to light it up at SS, and force the Cubs to decide what they should do with Russell moving forward. I am guessing that they are going to trade Addison at the deadline in order to restock their farm system. Ultimately it will be good for the Cubs.

I can see Spring right around the corner. The Boys of Summer are coming! Baseball is back!
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:18 am

Bears Whiskey Nut wrote:I am (as a typical Cubs fan is) very optimistic for this year. I think there will be some interesting story lines;

1. If everyone is healthy, I REALLY like our starting rotation. If Darvish is healthy, he's electric. He's also your #3 or #4 starter behind Lester, Hendricks and Hamels. Speaking of Hamels, I love what he gave to this team last year.

2. I was never a fan of Chili Davis, and thought that he screwed up the swings of a lot of the players last year. Davis was in Boston, and the hitters struggled. He left, and they lit the league up. I see the same thing happening on the Northside. Bats will return in 2019.

3. Maddon is going to have a real conundrum on his hands in May. I expect that Baez is going to light it up at SS, and force the Cubs to decide what they should do with Russell moving forward. I am guessing that they are going to trade Addison at the deadline in order to restock their farm system. Ultimately it will be good for the Cubs.

I can see Spring right around the corner. The Boys of Summer are coming! Baseball is back!
I'm mixed about the Cubs. I think they'll need to do some major shuffling before the deadline in order to find themselves. Keeping Russell is a major risk, and hoping that Bryant and others remember how to see a pitch simply because they fired Chili Davis is kind of a shot in the dark.

I have ZERO faith in Darvish. I consider him one of those pitchers who gives you 5-7 quality starts a season, but can't stay healthy and has no killer instinct. Heyward I still haven't made my mind up on. Love his defense, but the guy's offense has fallen off the wagon. Schwarber's career is sort of in a weird place, too.

Baez is one of the best reasons to watch the Cubs, and I love Rizzo, Hendricks, and whenever guys like Bote come out of the woodwork. That said, injuries are becoming a disturbing trend, and if the Darvish and Quintana acquisitions don't start paying off in a consistent way, it makes me wonder if a shakeup is coming.

The team's window is on the edge of a knife, and the farm isn't exactly bursting (but has some solid talent at the top). I hope they remember that playing baseball is fun.
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:50 am

Source: Lester heads to IL for hamstring issue
CHICAGO -- Cubs ace Jon Lester is being placed on the 10-day injured list because of a hamstring injury suffered in Monday's home opener against the Pirates, a source said Tuesday.

Lester was scheduled to get an MRI on Tuesday, an off day for both teams, who meet again Wednesday.

Appearing on 670 The Score radio Tuesday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that Lester will miss one or two starts but didn't confirm a trip to the IL.
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Wed May 01, 2019 8:40 am

Cubs To Option Addison Russell
The Cubs will option infielder Addison Russell to Triple-A Iowa when he is activated from the restricted list Thursday, the team revealed to reporters (Twitter link via Gordon Wittenymyer of the Chicago Sun-Times). He’s yet to play in the Majors in 2019 due to a 40-game suspension under the league’s domestic violence policy (which was issued back in September).

Russell will split time between shortstop and second base in Iowa, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). He’s previously served as Chicago’s primary shortstop in large part because of his defensive abilities — Russell has just a career .242/.313/.392 line at the plate and tallied a career-low five homers in 2018 — but Javier Baez has thrived both offensively and defensively in that spot this season. Offseason signee Daniel Descalso has seen the lion’s share of playing time at second base so far in 2019 and posted an overall .268/.358/.380 in 81 trips to the plate. David Bote and Ben Zobrist, too, have chipped in at second base in the season’s early stages, though Zobrist has yet to replicate last year’s production.

The 25-year-old Russell won’t accrue service time on his optional assignment, of course, and it’s not clear when he’ll return to the Majors. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein suggested that the time in Triple-A will serve as a means of allowing Russell to get up to speed after the early downtime, which could point to several weeks in the minors for Russell. He’s already played six games with Iowa, as league policy allows players to begin an unpaid minor league assignment toward the end of their suspensions.
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:52 pm

Adult fan yanks away Cubs walk off HR ball from 2 kids
An official MLB ball is 5 ounces of leather, yarn and rubber. Certain adults still go crazy for them, as one Chicago Cubs fan showed when his team walked off the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.

Kyle Schwarber bashed his 21st homer of the season in the 10th inning to give the Cubs a 4-3 win. The ball ended up in the basket hanging over the outfield walls of Wrigley Field.

Two young fans, complete with baseball gloves, had the ball drop right in front of them and tried to reach for it. As the prize bounced inches away from them, an adult fan sitting next to them stretched over and yanked the ball away.

The fan, sporting a custom “Mai Tai Guy” jersey, then held up the ball for all the cameras to see.

Wrigley Field has seen behavior like this before, as a middle-aged fan seemed to take away a ball tossed to a young fan last season. It did later emerge that the older fan had apparently helped the same child obtain a ball earlier in the game, but it was still an awful look.

The Cubs ended up stepping in and giving the young fan a Javier Baez-signed ball, so all was well in the world. We’ll see if they do something similar here.

People, it’s a simple rule. If you find yourself physically competing with a child for something as small as a baseball, re-evaluate your priorities in life.

I've seen grown men almost trample children to get a ball at a game so this latest event is not in any way unique

it is simply the latest example of how people can just really suck for no reason
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:47 pm

Typical drunk grown up at a baseball game, a Bleacher Bum no less.

I don't know what the thrill is of getting a ball. I saw the highlight and the dude acted as if he hit the frickin home run. He should have gotten a beat down.
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:37 pm

I have a sinking feeling in my gut that the Cubs will flop in the final handful of games to miss out on a Wild Card. Their play on the road is the stuff of legend (in the worst ways).
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:55 pm

UOK wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:37 pm
I have a sinking feeling in my gut that the Cubs will flop in the final handful of games to miss out on a Wild Card. Their play on the road is the stuff of legend (in the worst ways).
Oh UOK...how fucking prophetic was this? JFC this weekend against the Cards was a complete dick punch. The Cubs found new and horribly painful ways to lose games. Is this "Dynasty" over before it ever got started?

Changes in the offseason;

1. New Manager, Madden's message is old. Their approach at the plate is horrendous.
2. Trade Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell. We need to restock the farm system.
3. Sign Castellanos.
4. Rework the bullpen.
5. Let Kintzler, Ciscek, Strop, and Zobrist walk.

This is just a few things that need to happen in the offseason. The Cubs could not play strategic baseball. It was homerun or bust. And they busted.

So, so, so disappointed.
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:05 pm

I think you go into 2020 with Bote at 3B, Hoerner at 2B, Castellanos in LF, Almora in CF, and Heyward in RF.
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:46 am

Bears Whiskey Nut wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:55 pm
UOK wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:37 pm
I have a sinking feeling in my gut that the Cubs will flop in the final handful of games to miss out on a Wild Card. Their play on the road is the stuff of legend (in the worst ways).
Oh UOK...how fucking prophetic was this? JFC this weekend against the Cards was a complete dick punch. The Cubs found new and horribly painful ways to lose games. Is this "Dynasty" over before it ever got started?

Changes in the offseason;

1. New Manager, Madden's message is old. Their approach at the plate is horrendous.
2. Trade Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell. We need to restock the farm system.
3. Sign Castellanos.
4. Rework the bullpen.
5. Let Kintzler, Ciscek, Strop, and Zobrist walk.

This is just a few things that need to happen in the offseason. The Cubs could not play strategic baseball. It was homerun or bust. And they busted.

So, so, so disappointed.

It was at home against the Cardinals where they truly, truly shit the bed. Absolutely embarrassing. On one hand, the team is in desperate need of a youth movement, a new managerial voice, and a rebuilt farm system. On the other hand, the team is about to debut the Marquee Network and doesn't want the first years of that cash cow to be lukewarm thanks to a franchise reckoning.

Let's assess the butcher's bill for the cost of the last couple of frustrating seasons, as well as what the team is likely to do considering that ownership wants no part of a rebuild.

GONE:
  • MANAGER JOE MADDON: It sucks, because I like Joe a ton. When he was hired he brought a looseness, wit, and "let's enjoy this, man!" mantra to the locker room. His decision making, most noticeably with the bullpen, arguably nearly blew the World Series of '16, and hasn't gotten better since. His team has forgotten how to have fun, which was his greatest asset, instead being mired in injury concerns, divorce and abuse scandals respectively, and the media has put the team on notice regarding their failures. No doubt that the 2016 World Series was worth it all, but at this point in the juncture, this team has a lot of shedding to do, and Joe likely will be included. Theo hasn't exactly waxed poetic about Joe lately, and with the team floundering badly the last couple of years, record be damned, you need a new voice.
  • SS/2B ADDISON RUSSELL: Russell is not only absent of the talent that made him such a special acquisition years ago, he's got a black cloud hanging over him with the domestic violence stuff. He's a complicated person who has lost his way personally and professionally. Those who think a trade's possible, I wouldn't get your hopes up. He could get you scraps, but that's about it, and for a farm system this empty, that may be quite appealing.
  • RP PEDRO STROP: Strop's arm is shot, and he has lost the extra bit of zip that made his slider devastating. No trade value there, either. Shed the money and move along.
  • OF JASON HEYWARD: Jason's gone because he's got actual trade value. He's in his prime and for a franchise that's ready to win now, he'd give a good return. It's risky to hang onto him while he's coming off a solid year, as he is known for going into glacial periods with the bat that may plummet his value before the deadline of the coming year. You'd shed $20 million from your books and get one or several younger players, hopefully pitchers, that develop into something special. Plus you'll need that money for Castellanos.
  • OF ALBERT ALMORA JR: He's declined every season he's been in the bigs, and now he's hitting .240 and one of the easiest outs opposing pitchers get all day. His defense is notable, and he's only 25, but do you really want a guaranteed out on your roster? If Joe were guaranteed to be here next year, Almora's probably back, but with the offense so inconsistent, you need utility defense that can occasionally scrap out a big hit. Almora's not that.
  • IF DANIEL DESCALSO: He had one job, to be a clubhouse guy. He's been that, but otherwise has been a complete liability. Defense sucks, offense sucks more. Old. Pointless.
  • IF/OF IAN HAPP: Happ's bat can sometimes crank, and he's gonna give you some bigtime runs, but consistency is not his strong suit. He's the right age you want in your clubhouse, but you can't count on him to start the season off so poorly that he needs 3 months in Iowa to fix his swing again. Plus I predict the Cubs will be in the unenviable position of having to choose between Schwarber and Happ in a trade deal for young pitching, and Happ will be the one to go.
  • SP/RP TYLER CHATWOOD: Chatwood's revamped himself from disastrous starter into solid long reliever, but for the money they're paying him, he simply cannot be on the books. I'm not saying he's gone in this case, necessarily, but they may give him the ultimatum of playing for someone else or staying in town and being paid far less.
  • SP COLE HAMELS: Hamels gave the Cubs a nice boost, but his performance is declining, as is his health, and the money he'd demand is better spent elsewhere.
LIKELY BACK, BUT WHO KNOWS:
  • OF NICK CASTELLANOS:The bitch of firing Maddon is that Castellanos loves Joe, and if Joe's gone, he may want to go play for him out in San Diego or wherever. I hope Castellanos returns, personally. When a guy shows he can consistently hit at Wrigley, you don't let him walk away. He won't be cheap, but he's in his prime and loves to wear that uniform.
  • IF BEN ZOBRIST: If Zo doesn't retire, that is. I'd speculate he wants one more year in the sun to wash the taste of Shitty Divorce Year out of his mouth before leaving the game on his terms, hopefully with a playoff run. He'd be the 2020 version of Daniel Descalso except actually useful.
  • 3B KRIS BRYANT: As for Bryant...I just don't know. If the trade offer is obscene, you kinda gotta consider it. He's an incredible talent, but he's not a "heart of the franchise" guy like Rizzo or a "this guy is baseball God" like Mike Trout. He's just really, really good and gets frequently injured. I don't believe the Cubs will want to get rid of a guy who's only 27 and watch him develop into a slugger for Milwaukee or the Cardinals, but keep a pin in this one, as the trade offers will be pretty ridiculous, and the Cubs system is so, so barren.
  • CP CRAIG KIMBREL: Kimbrel's health is paramount, and while he's clearly nowhere near as good as he used to be, you're not going to be able to flip him for anything with that contract. You're sitting in that. The Cubs will likely look at this as the not-so-bad version of the Joe Nathan disaster, and hope a long offseason of rest and rehab knowing he's on the roster will refocus Kimbrel and get him back to form. If he can put together a half-season of solid play and the team is middling around July, you can flip him for a pile of prospects and make out like bandits. If not, you're paying the guy $43 million to give up homers in the 9th. That's just how it is, yo.
THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO:
  • SP ADBERT ALZOLAY: While he's not the most incredible talent, Alzolay's got some nice stuff, and at 24/25 his arm is at its peak. He should be your number 5 starter and hopefully develop on the go while this team sorts itself out.
  • SS NICO HOERNER: Assuming that Russell is gone, Hoerner will be your day 1 shortstop. He's only 22 and has shown that he's unafraid of big moments. How he'd fare over a whole season is unknown, but I think the team likes him, and his nature would be a quality replacement over Russell's grim reaper vibe.
  • RP ROWAN WICK: I'm not sure if Wick is ever going to be a closer, but he's more than shown he's a fantastic bullpen presence who's still quite young and gave you 30+ consistent innings.
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:20 pm

UOK wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:46 am
Bears Whiskey Nut wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:55 pm


Oh UOK...how fucking prophetic was this? JFC this weekend against the Cards was a complete dick punch. The Cubs found new and horribly painful ways to lose games. Is this "Dynasty" over before it ever got started?

Changes in the offseason;

1. New Manager, Madden's message is old. Their approach at the plate is horrendous.
2. Trade Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell. We need to restock the farm system.
3. Sign Castellanos.
4. Rework the bullpen.
5. Let Kintzler, Ciscek, Strop, and Zobrist walk.

This is just a few things that need to happen in the offseason. The Cubs could not play strategic baseball. It was homerun or bust. And they busted.

So, so, so disappointed.

It was at home against the Cardinals where they truly, truly shit the bed. Absolutely embarrassing. On one hand, the team is in desperate need of a youth movement, a new managerial voice, and a rebuilt farm system. On the other hand, the team is about to debut the Marquee Network and doesn't want the first years of that cash cow to be lukewarm thanks to a franchise reckoning.

Let's assess the butcher's bill for the cost of the last couple of frustrating seasons, as well as what the team is likely to do considering that ownership wants no part of a rebuild.

GONE:
  • MANAGER JOE MADDON: It sucks, because I like Joe a ton. When he was hired he brought a looseness, wit, and "let's enjoy this, man!" mantra to the locker room. His decision making, most noticeably with the bullpen, arguably nearly blew the World Series of '16, and hasn't gotten better since. His team has forgotten how to have fun, which was his greatest asset, instead being mired in injury concerns, divorce and abuse scandals respectively, and the media has put the team on notice regarding their failures. No doubt that the 2016 World Series was worth it all, but at this point in the juncture, this team has a lot of shedding to do, and Joe likely will be included. Theo hasn't exactly waxed poetic about Joe lately, and with the team floundering badly the last couple of years, record be damned, you need a new voice.
  • SS/2B ADDISON RUSSELL: Russell is not only absent of the talent that made him such a special acquisition years ago, he's got a black cloud hanging over him with the domestic violence stuff. He's a complicated person who has lost his way personally and professionally. Those who think a trade's possible, I wouldn't get your hopes up. He could get you scraps, but that's about it, and for a farm system this empty, that may be quite appealing.
  • RP PEDRO STROP: Strop's arm is shot, and he has lost the extra bit of zip that made his slider devastating. No trade value there, either. Shed the money and move along.
  • OF JASON HEYWARD: Jason's gone because he's got actual trade value. He's in his prime and for a franchise that's ready to win now, he'd give a good return. It's risky to hang onto him while he's coming off a solid year, as he is known for going into glacial periods with the bat that may plummet his value before the deadline of the coming year. You'd shed $20 million from your books and get one or several younger players, hopefully pitchers, that develop into something special. Plus you'll need that money for Castellanos.
  • OF ALBERT ALMORA JR: He's declined every season he's been in the bigs, and now he's hitting .240 and one of the easiest outs opposing pitchers get all day. His defense is notable, and he's only 25, but do you really want a guaranteed out on your roster? If Joe were guaranteed to be here next year, Almora's probably back, but with the offense so inconsistent, you need utility defense that can occasionally scrap out a big hit. Almora's not that.
  • IF DANIEL DESCALSO: He had one job, to be a clubhouse guy. He's been that, but otherwise has been a complete liability. Defense sucks, offense sucks more. Old. Pointless.
  • IF/OF IAN HAPP: Happ's bat can sometimes crank, and he's gonna give you some bigtime runs, but consistency is not his strong suit. He's the right age you want in your clubhouse, but you can't count on him to start the season off so poorly that he needs 3 months in Iowa to fix his swing again. Plus I predict the Cubs will be in the unenviable position of having to choose between Schwarber and Happ in a trade deal for young pitching, and Happ will be the one to go.
  • SP/RP TYLER CHATWOOD: Chatwood's revamped himself from disastrous starter into solid long reliever, but for the money they're paying him, he simply cannot be on the books. I'm not saying he's gone in this case, necessarily, but they may give him the ultimatum of playing for someone else or staying in town and being paid far less.
  • SP COLE HAMELS: Hamels gave the Cubs a nice boost, but his performance is declining, as is his health, and the money he'd demand is better spent elsewhere.
LIKELY BACK, BUT WHO KNOWS:
  • OF NICK CASTELLANOS:The bitch of firing Maddon is that Castellanos loves Joe, and if Joe's gone, he may want to go play for him out in San Diego or wherever. I hope Castellanos returns, personally. When a guy shows he can consistently hit at Wrigley, you don't let him walk away. He won't be cheap, but he's in his prime and loves to wear that uniform.
  • IF BEN ZOBRIST: If Zo doesn't retire, that is. I'd speculate he wants one more year in the sun to wash the taste of Shitty Divorce Year out of his mouth before leaving the game on his terms, hopefully with a playoff run. He'd be the 2020 version of Daniel Descalso except actually useful.
  • 3B KRIS BRYANT: As for Bryant...I just don't know. If the trade offer is obscene, you kinda gotta consider it. He's an incredible talent, but he's not a "heart of the franchise" guy like Rizzo or a "this guy is baseball God" like Mike Trout. He's just really, really good and gets frequently injured. I don't believe the Cubs will want to get rid of a guy who's only 27 and watch him develop into a slugger for Milwaukee or the Cardinals, but keep a pin in this one, as the trade offers will be pretty ridiculous, and the Cubs system is so, so barren.
  • CP CRAIG KIMBREL: Kimbrel's health is paramount, and while he's clearly nowhere near as good as he used to be, you're not going to be able to flip him for anything with that contract. You're sitting in that. The Cubs will likely look at this as the not-so-bad version of the Joe Nathan disaster, and hope a long offseason of rest and rehab knowing he's on the roster will refocus Kimbrel and get him back to form. If he can put together a half-season of solid play and the team is middling around July, you can flip him for a pile of prospects and make out like bandits. If not, you're paying the guy $43 million to give up homers in the 9th. That's just how it is, yo.
THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO:
  • SP ADBERT ALZOLAY: While he's not the most incredible talent, Alzolay's got some nice stuff, and at 24/25 his arm is at its peak. He should be your number 5 starter and hopefully develop on the go while this team sorts itself out.
  • SS NICO HOERNER: Assuming that Russell is gone, Hoerner will be your day 1 shortstop. He's only 22 and has shown that he's unafraid of big moments. How he'd fare over a whole season is unknown, but I think the team likes him, and his nature would be a quality replacement over Russell's grim reaper vibe.
  • RP ROWAN WICK: I'm not sure if Wick is ever going to be a closer, but he's more than shown he's a fantastic bullpen presence who's still quite young and gave you 30+ consistent innings.
This is pretty much spot on with what I see with a few caveats.

I think to trade heyward, even with his improvement at the plate you are probably eating a portion of the contract, but there is a lot of money coming off the books this season.

Heyward is due about 23 million a season, until 2024 - might need to eat 25-50 percent of that to get much.

Cole Hamels expires which gives 24 million back - Castellanos money here.

Zobrist clears 14 million with his expiring contract.

Bryant, if traded clears at least 13 million but probably more with arbitration values.

Morrow clears about 10 million, but costs 3 million to do so in a buy out of the option.

Chatwood is getting 12.7 million, do you eat 50 percent to trade him? or keep him as a 5th Starter or long reliever?

Quintana is getting about 6 and is an innings eater, but he is what he is. Team control a couple more years.

Schwarber is still very cheap, but he is feast or famine, strike out or home run and a liability in the outfield. If you sign castellanos I think Schwarber is gone as you cant have two liabilities in the outfield.

You try to resurrect happ/almora to fill one if not two spots in the outfield.

Bote takes over 3rd

Hoerner gets SS

so on an so forth.
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:18 am

Hoerner is no SS. His arm is weak and you have Baez. Hoerner is more a 2Bman.

Wasted potential just like the 86-87-88 Bears.
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Re: Cubs 2019: General Discussion

Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:59 am

Otis Day wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:18 am
Hoerner is no SS. His arm is weak and you have Baez. Hoerner is more a 2Bman.

Wasted potential just like the 86-87-88 Bears.
Completely agree. Hoerner's arm is a noodle compared to Baez. He would be an ideal 2B compliment to Baez.

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