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Thread: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

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    My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    I enjoy writing little articles, and since I love my Reds, I figured I'd throw something up to kind of introduce myself to everyone. If you guys like it, I'll write more. If not, I'll write more anyway.

    Today I wanted to take a little while to review the Reds season only 12 games in. I know it is very early for observations, and still 150 games to go before the playoffs begin, but I think it is necessary to form some thoughts on where we are and where we want to be. WE are the Cincinnati Reds fanbase, so I think it's fair to use WE when I speak of the Reds as a whole. Win together, lose together. Fans and their teams go hand-in-hand...so let us begin...

    Many of us were at Opening Day 2006, which was exactly 2 weeks ago today. 16-7 Cubs. It was fun, but it was a loss. And an ugly loss. I don't think anyone drew any conclusions about this team that day, nor have they today probably, but that game was certainly not a lot of fun for a Reds fan who had been waiting a long time to get back out there to the stadium to watch a game...

    Then, when the week continued, the Reds went on to win the next game with the Cubs 8-6, and the winning pitcher was Bronson Arroyo. He hit a home run, and everyone was back in a good mood again. Griffey also homered, as did Rich Aurilia. It was a good win, and split the short series between the division rivals.

    As that first week went on, we won 3 close games with the Pittsburgh Pirates on our own turf by a combined 4 runs, and things looked on the upside, other than we were beating the worst team in our division, and they were scoring a lot of runs. The 4 game sweep was cut short by a Dave Williams start. It was the only loss of the series, and he only received 3 runs of support while only giving up 2 runs in 6 innings of pitching. It was a quality start for Williams, but the bats didn't provide the offense we needed. Hopefully, we won't have to talk about that much this season.

    Regardless of all of that, we were 4-2 heading into a 6 game road trip against 2 of the best teams in the division...first we headed to Chicago's Wrigley Field for a 3-game series with the Cubbies...

    The first game, pitched by Arroyo, was home run after home run, as the Reds tallied up 6 homers and 9 runs on the day, in a 9-2 win over the Baby Bears on their home turf. Arroyo is definitely standing out as our ace of staff thus far, and to this day still has more homers than Barry Bonds this season, the active home run king himself.

    It was night and day and the Reds lost the next game 1-4, committing more errors than the number listed in the hit column. 5 errors. Yikes. How did they only ring up 4 runs? Claussens efforts should be applauded for keeping this in reach, but our bats couldn't touch Greg Maddux.

    In the finale of the first away series of the season, the Reds looked exactly how I would want them to look. Eric Milton, who is not the most popular guy on these boards, allowed only 2 runs in 6 and 2/3 of an inning, while three-run homers by Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns (not always very popular either) led the way to an 8-3 win. The bullpen held up well, and we won the game and took 2 out of 3 from the Cubs in Chicago. Onto St. Louis!

    If you weren't already in a great mood about the Reds 6-3 record, you got another reason to cheer in the first game of the Reds/Cards series in the new Busch Stadium. Our original Ace, Aaron Harang, pitched 7 shutout innings, while grabbing the sole RBI of the day, and looking the best he has this season so far. 1-0 Reds, and roll on to a 7-3 record, and first place in the NL Central. (Yes, its still early, but hey, I'm happy to say that anytime.)

    The next 2 games of the series, and also the last 2 games we have experienced, were not nearly as ugly as Opening Day was, yet by the response some Reds fans have given, one might think it was twice and bad for these reasons:

    Dave Williams looked horrendous and gave up 3, 2, 1 in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd innings, respectively. I was pretty angry at his performance myself, but more dissapointed that our bats couldn't hit Sidney Ponson, who I don't believe is nearly as great of a pitcher as Greg Maddux, who the Reds had their other poor batting performance against.

    The last game of the series was a nail-biter to the very end, and the Reds pitched to Albert Pujols after he had already hit 2 home runs on the day, to allow him to victoriously trot around the bases one last time. I wasn't too upset with this loss, as we all know the Cards are the better team these days, and they have the best player in the National League, without a doubt.

    So, here we are, 7-5, with 4 of those 7 wins against the Cubs and Cards, and 4 losses against them also. Not bad to go .500 against the best 2 teams in the division, I say. Especially with 6 of those games on a road trip, which we came out of 3-3. As long as these kinds of numbers keep rolling in, we will be alright. Nobody expects the Reds to win it all this year, and very few see a playoff berth. My expectations of this team are to play .500 baseball, or get within 5 games of .500. Now, we are going to have to have some pitching improvements and roster changes to get the right roster in the dugout from day-to-day....

    These are MY moves if I were the GM today...

    Priorities:
    1-Bullpen HELP immediately. Find someone that can perform innings of 1-2-3 work.

    2-1 Starting Pitcher.

    How do I get there?

    First of all, we obviously have too many infielders. I would put everyone on the trading block to see what we can get for them, and the evaluate their values, and try to make a move to get more bullpen help.

    Secondly, I would be willing to trade whoever the other teams wanted, besides Griffey (ticket sales, merchandise sales, and a great asset to the team and community, as well as 2005 Comeback Player of the Year), for a high-valued pitcher.

    Now, my conclusions from all that I have written today are this....

    We need better pitching, and I would be highly surprised if Krivsky does not make some kind of a move soon to get some higher quality players in the bullpen. That assumption made, I think the Reds can definitely be an around-.500 ballclub, and hopefully inject some kind of a morality booster into the organization and community, and show that this new ownership is on its way to achieving good baseball again.

    Thank you for reading this, and I hope to hear back from you all with constructive criticism. No flaming please.

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    Quote Originally Posted by uks2h
    I enjoy writing little articles, and since I love my Reds, I figured I'd throw something up to kind of introduce myself to everyone. If you guys like it, I'll write more. If not, I'll write more anyway.

    Today I wanted to take a little while to review the Reds season only 12 games in. I know it is very early for observations, and still 150 games to go before the playoffs begin, but I think it is necessary to form some thoughts on where we are and where we want to be. WE are the Cincinnati Reds fanbase, so I think it's fair to use WE when I speak of the Reds as a whole. Win together, lose together. Fans and their teams go hand-in-hand...so let us begin...

    Many of us were at Opening Day 2006, which was exactly 2 weeks ago today. 16-7 Cubs. It was fun, but it was a loss. And an ugly loss. I don't think anyone drew any conclusions about this team that day, nor have they today probably, but that game was certainly not a lot of fun for a Reds fan who had been waiting a long time to get back out there to the stadium to watch a game...

    Then, when the week continued, the Reds went on to win the next game with the Cubs 8-6, and the winning pitcher was Bronson Arroyo. He hit a home run, and everyone was back in a good mood again. Griffey also homered, as did Rich Aurilia. It was a good win, and split the short series between the division rivals.

    As that first week went on, we won 3 close games with the Pittsburgh Pirates on our own turf by a combined 4 runs, and things looked on the upside, other than we were beating the worst team in our division, and they were scoring a lot of runs. The 4 game sweep was cut short by a Dave Williams start. It was the only loss of the series, and he only received 3 runs of support while only giving up 2 runs in 6 innings of pitching. It was a quality start for Williams, but the bats didn't provide the offense we needed. Hopefully, we won't have to talk about that much this season.

    Regardless of all of that, we were 4-2 heading into a 6 game road trip against 2 of the best teams in the division...first we headed to Chicago's Wrigley Field for a 3-game series with the Cubbies...

    The first game, pitched by Arroyo, was home run after home run, as the Reds tallied up 6 homers and 9 runs on the day, in a 9-2 win over the Baby Bears on their home turf. Arroyo is definitely standing out as our ace of staff thus far, and to this day still has more homers than Barry Bonds this season, the active home run king himself.

    It was night and day and the Reds lost the next game 1-4, committing more errors than the number listed in the hit column. 5 errors. Yikes. How did they only ring up 4 runs? Claussens efforts should be applauded for keeping this in reach, but our bats couldn't touch Greg Maddux.

    In the finale of the first away series of the season, the Reds looked exactly how I would want them to look. Eric Milton, who is not the most popular guy on these boards, allowed only 2 runs in 6 and 2/3 of an inning, while three-run homers by Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns (not always very popular either) led the way to an 8-3 win. The bullpen held up well, and we won the game and took 2 out of 3 from the Cubs in Chicago. Onto St. Louis!

    If you weren't already in a great mood about the Reds 6-3 record, you got another reason to cheer in the first game of the Reds/Cards series in the new Busch Stadium. Our original Ace, Aaron Harang, pitched 7 shutout innings, while grabbing the sole RBI of the day, and looking the best he has this season so far. 1-0 Reds, and roll on to a 7-3 record, and first place in the NL Central. (Yes, its still early, but hey, I'm happy to say that anytime.)

    The next 2 games of the series, and also the last 2 games we have experienced, were not nearly as ugly as Opening Day was, yet by the response some Reds fans have given, one might think it was twice and bad for these reasons:

    Dave Williams looked horrendous and gave up 3, 2, 1 in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd innings, respectively. I was pretty angry at his performance myself, but more dissapointed that our bats couldn't hit Sidney Ponson, who I don't believe is nearly as great of a pitcher as Greg Maddux, who the Reds had their other poor batting performance against.

    The last game of the series was a nail-biter to the very end, and the Reds pitched to Albert Pujols after he had already hit 2 home runs on the day, to allow him to victoriously trot around the bases one last time. I wasn't too upset with this loss, as we all know the Cards are the better team these days, and they have the best player in the National League, without a doubt.

    So, here we are, 7-5, with 4 of those 7 wins against the Cubs and Cards, and 4 losses against them also. Not bad to go .500 against the best 2 teams in the division, I say. Especially with 6 of those games on a road trip, which we came out of 3-3. As long as these kinds of numbers keep rolling in, we will be alright. Nobody expects the Reds to win it all this year, and very few see a playoff berth. My expectations of this team are to play .500 baseball, or get within 5 games of .500. Now, we are going to have to have some pitching improvements and roster changes to get the right roster in the dugout from day-to-day....

    These are MY moves if I were the GM today...

    Priorities:
    1-Bullpen HELP immediately. Find someone that can perform innings of 1-2-3 work.

    2-1 Starting Pitcher.

    How do I get there?

    First of all, we obviously have too many infielders. I would put everyone on the trading block to see what we can get for them, and the evaluate their values, and try to make a move to get more bullpen help.

    Secondly, I would be willing to trade whoever the other teams wanted, besides Griffey (ticket sales, merchandise sales, and a great asset to the team and community, as well as 2005 Comeback Player of the Year), for a high-valued pitcher.

    Now, my conclusions from all that I have written today are this....

    We need better pitching, and I would be highly surprised if Krivsky does not make some kind of a move soon to get some higher quality players in the bullpen. That assumption made, I think the Reds can definitely be an around-.500 ballclub, and hopefully inject some kind of a morality booster into the organization and community, and show that this new ownership is on its way to achieving good baseball again.

    Thank you for reading this, and I hope to hear back from you all with constructive criticism. No flaming please.
    You lost me when you proclaimed Jr. is the only untouchable...c'mon.

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    Off the schneid TStuck's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    I agree with the obvious need for bullpen help, but I'm not convinced that help isn't at Louisville. Give the current group 1-2 more weeks to get it together and if they don't, then bring up Shackelford and Wagner and cut a couple of them loose (Hammond and White are leading candidates).
    Next, If Wilson returns, kick Williams out of the rotation and jettison the next weakest link in the pitching staff (which may actually be Williams himself).
    Also, let's bite the bullet and make Coffey the closer. He has pitched pretty decently of late and I think Weathers is more valuable in a setup role.
    Will all of this miraculously make us a top tier staff?? NO, but I believe it would be an incremental improvement using pieces we already have in place.
    Better to be silent and thought a fool, than speak and be proven one.

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    Member kheidg-'s Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    At this point I don't think I'd trade Dunn, Kearns or Griffey. The only moves I see Krivsky making at this point would be:

    1. Trade a catcher - likely Valentin or LaRue. What that would net us is likely not much. Maybe some relief help or a B level prospect.

    2. Trade Aurilia, Womack, or Freel. I see them most likely to trade Freel as he is the only one with any value. Womack won't net much of anything and they seem enamoured with Rich Aurilia with him batting 3rd and 4th.

    I don't see any move of Coffey to closer happening soon. They likely will stick out the main Weathers/Mercker combo for at least another month or two. Coffey and Belisle may get a chance or two.

    IMO, Hammond and White have a better chance at sticking around than Burns. In a perfect world both Wagner and Shackelford would both be already here but that won't likely happen until an injury occurs.

    I don't have any confidence that Wilson would be better in the rotation right now than Williams. Not that I like Williams but I really don't like to watch Wilson loft up 85 mph fastballs that appear as if they were on a tee. Let Wilson have 3-5 starts in AAA, if he even does pitch well in AAA - it would likely be June before we even see him.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    I am still shocked that Griffey wasn't dealt to the CWS last year.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44
    I am still shocked that Griffey wasn't dealt to the CWS last year.
    Dan O.
    Go Gators!

  8. #7
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    Dan O.
    Perfect reply.

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    Off the schneid TStuck's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    Call me crazy if you like, but I actually think I see Mr. Krivsky's method to the madness. I really believe he's working to make this a better team - Just hear me out on this.

    First of all there are a few facts that need to be considered:
    1. Krivsky was hired late in the game going into this season. By the time he was in place, there were very limited unsigned FAs remaining.
    2. The club and organization he inherited was fatally flawed in a number of ways. To wit- weak farm system, poor pitching, crowded outfield, insufficient pieces to pull off BIG trades without further weakening the team, etc. Remember, every player on the big league roster was already tied to the team except Hatteberg, Arroyo, Ross, and Phillips.
    3. Realistically, the Reds weren't going to be a post season contender this year. While it's entirely possible a miracle run could occur, the logical bet was not on the Reds.
    4. Mr. Castellini wants to win, but this should be interpreted as building a winning franchise that consistently contends year in and year out. The first step for this year was to a) make the most of what we have in place and b) make supplemental moves to fill gaps and give ourselves a CHANCE to compete.

    So, what has Krivsky done since he's been in charge? Exactly what I would have expected him to do.
    1. Took care of the outfield glut and got a decent pitcher in return. Not Cy Young, but a guy who would give his team a chance every time out. He dealt from an area of strength and addressed an area of weakness. Face it folks, no one on this team except potentially Dunn would fetch a #1 starter. Arroyo is probably the best return on Pena to be expected.
    Result - Net improvement

    2. At the same time, he signed Hatteberg in order to return Dunn to the OF. Is Hatteberg an all-star? Nope, but there weren't any to be had. Casey was already gone, so he got the most proven commodity available to hold down 1st base temporarily this year and keep his team's star happy by returning him to his normal position in the field. In evaluating this, you can't compare Hatteberg to Casey because Sean was long gone before Wayne hit the scene.
    Result - At worst a wash, but I say net improvement since Dunn didn't have to focus on playing a new position. Players learning new positions will frequently suffer in other areas of their game.

    3. Pickup of Ross. LaRue was ailing and was potentially going to miss some time. Sardinha was given a chance during ST, but once again lived up to his "no stick" billing. It was apparent he wasn't the answer. Ross is a younger catcher who has a bit of upside and had some big league experience. When LaRue comes off the DL, this leaves a crowd, but this gives an area to deal from and also provides some flexibility for the use of Valentin as a 1B and PH.
    Result - a potential piece for the future and/or freeing up a player for potential trade to further strengthen the team.

    4. Pickup of Phillips. Here was a chance to take a flyer on a kid who has a world of unrealized potential, but still has a chance to fulfill it and who could be the potential long term answer at 2B. I don't care how many 2nd basemen you have on your team, if the kid realistically could still become a good player, you have to pick him up and give him a shot. If he pans out, great - cut the weakest link loose. If not, nothing really lost and you cut him loose.
    Result - potential piece of the future.

    To me these are all "positioning" moves that are simply pieces of the overall master plan that can not possibly be achieved in 1 year. To me, these make sense and I think overall gets us a step further along toward the ultimate goal. This is by no means the end though. Depending on the team's success leading up to the trade deadline, you could expect to see additional moves be made. But, if not, I would certainly expect to see some significant movement this offseason.
    As for the team on the field- who plays and who doesn't, who bats when, and who pitches when is the product of Narron's managing. This year is his tryout as well. If he's so full of nonsense and the end result is garbage, he can expect to be unemployed at the end of the season. This too will be evaluated and dealt with in due time as well.


    Sorry for the long post folks....this thread just got me going and I had to say what I've been thinking for awhile now.
    Last edited by TStuck; 04-18-2006 at 01:41 AM.
    Better to be silent and thought a fool, than speak and be proven one.

  10. #9
    Habitual Line Stepper halcyon's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    Quote Originally Posted by TStuck
    2. At the same time, he signed Hatteberg in order to return Dunn to the OF. Is Hatteberg an all-star? Nope, but there weren't any to be had. Casey was already gone, so he got the most proven commodity available to hold down 1st base temporarily this year and keep his team's star happy by returning him to his normal position in the field. In evaluating this, you can't compare Hatteberg to Casey because Sean was long gone before Wayne hit the scene.
    Result - At worst a wash, but I say net improvement since Dunn didn't have to focus on playing a new position. Players learning new positions will frequently suffer in other areas of their game.
    Good post, but I'm not sure that I can agree with this part (at the risk of beating a dead horse). Even if it was a net improvement, which is dubious, I'm unconvinced that it was the best that Krivsky could do. Perhaps Dunn needed to be moved back to the OF for one reason or another...that doesn't quite explain why Hatteberg is on the roster. I can't quite believe that Scott was the best we could do to fill our hole there. There are numerous options from within and without that I think would have been more acceptable. I would have to give Krivsky a failing grade on the Hatteberg acquisition, though I suppose its still early.

  11. #10
    Member Topcat's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    Griffey and Larue are the tradeable commodities. I would deal both of them in a heck of alot of deals for prospects. Stick Denofrio in CF, axe Womack and make hattie a ph 1b sub, Love kearns but throw me 2 prospect pitchers and im biting hard on it. Dream deal for me is sending kearns and larue to the Angels for Ervin Santana and Brandon Wood and (of) Nick Gorneault

  12. #11
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    I love Junior, but if I can get two decent young players for him, I move him. With this most recent injury though I don't know what kind of market (if any) is out there for him.

    I keep Dunn and Kearns (unless someone offers can't-miss starter for Austin) and use Freel as my everyday CF/leadoff hitter, backed by Denofria. Phillips is my everyday 2B and Aurillia is my top INF reserve (unless someone offers me anything of value for him) - Womack is gone.

    I use a catcher and maybe someone from the bullpen and possibly a minor leaguer to find a young closer or 1B..

    If someone gives me a decent return on Milton, I do the deal and use the money saved on he and KGJ to make a serious run on FA pitching next year.

  13. #12
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    The only thing I would do right now for this years team would be to see if we couldn't flip a 2B or Ross to KC for Affeldt. Affeldt is only in their starting rotation because of injury problems within their rotation. If KC is willing to give him up im all for it. Affeldt has a good gb/fb ratio and only gives up 1 HR per 11 plus innings. Might help this teams bullpen.

    other than that I wouldn't make a move unless it's to help this team next year. No more crafty or scrappy vets

  14. #13
    Cruisin' for trouble
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    I like the idea of going after Affeldt and see that as the right approach. I'd offer up Dave Williams (Milton makes too much $$$ for KC) and see what KC counters.

  15. #14
    Off the schneid TStuck's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    Quote Originally Posted by halcyon
    Good post, but I'm not sure that I can agree with this part (at the risk of beating a dead horse). Even if it was a net improvement, which is dubious, I'm unconvinced that it was the best that Krivsky could do. Perhaps Dunn needed to be moved back to the OF for one reason or another...that doesn't quite explain why Hatteberg is on the roster. I can't quite believe that Scott was the best we could do to fill our hole there. There are numerous options from within and without that I think would have been more acceptable. I would have to give Krivsky a failing grade on the Hatteberg acquisition, though I suppose its still early.
    Halcyon,
    I know my statement here appears to be a bit of a stretch and I know that many will just have to agree to disagree with me. I ultimately think that Hattie's biggest value is as a potential trade bait at the deadline to flip for more potential pieces for next year and beyond. He is the type of "veteran bat off the bench" that clubs in contention typically go for down the stretch. The gamble is that he has to perform well enough through the year to generate value at the deadline. Worst case, he's a 1 year rental that didn't cost an arm and a leg. If Hattie's dealt, give Jesse Gutierrez a 3 month audition at 1st.
    I know that several on the board were really hot after Carlos Pena, but there just seems to be a bunch of warning flags from his past that I think Krivsky was ultimately smart to steer clear of. Beyond him, I'm not sure what better (or more sure) options there were via FA for a 1 year rental at 1B. I'm certainly open to consider that there could have been someone else, but I keep going back to the fact that Hatteberg was a known commodity to Krivsky from their AL days.
    Better to be silent and thought a fool, than speak and be proven one.

  16. #15
    Pagan/Asatru Ravenlord's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts on the Reds (so far) and what I would do if I were GM...

    Quote Originally Posted by TStuck
    Beyond him, I'm not sure what better (or more sure) options there were via FA for a 1 year rental at 1B.
    Russell Branyan and Hee-Seop Choi.

    and Krivsky did most of his work scouting the NL.
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