Archive for the SF Giants Rumors category.

SF Giants Rumors: GM Brian Sabean Talks Pablo Sandoval Contract, Plus Other Giants News

Posted on February 20th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors
GM Brian Sabean - Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

GM Brian Sabean – Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

This morning San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean did an interview on KNBR. Sabean said he thought he was on his way out as the Giants GM, when the team had 4 consecutive losing seasons (2005-2008). When asked about a contract extension for infielder Pablo Sandoval, Sabean said Sandoval would be tough to replace if he hits the free agent market and signs elsewhere.

 
“I’ll visit with ownership, I would lean to try to figure something out, but then you have to have two willing parties,” said Sabean on the possibility of resigning Sandoval prior to Opening Day.
 
Sabean confirmed the Giants did make a substantial offer to Jose Abreu prior to him signing with the Chicago White Sox. Sabean was part of the New York Yankees front office that drafted shortstop Derek Jeter. Sabean says he can see Jeter as a GM when his playing career is over.
 
“He could probably do anything he wants in the game,” said Sabean about Jeter’s role in baseball when the spikes are hung up.
 
Starting pitcher Tim Hudson said in an interview with Murph & Mac on KNBR that his ankle feels good. He’s a little behind with conditioning due to the ankle injury, because he wasn’t able to push himself during the offseason.
 
“I don’t really think about it at all when I’m out there throwing off the mound. I’ve been off the mound now about 4 times. I don’t even think about it. Which tells me that from a health standpoint, things are good,” said Hudson about his ankle injury.
 
Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports (via Twitter) that the last two players who haven’t checked in at Spring Training, Santiago Casilla and Jose De Paula, are flying in from the Dominican Republic today.
 
Today the judge in the Bryan Stow case sentenced Marvin Norwood to 4 years, and Louie Sanchez to 8 years. Sanchez kept smirking during the sentence hearing.
 
Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!
 
~Steven Robles
 
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SF Giants Rumors: Brandon Belt and Giants Avoid Arbitration, Yusmeiro Petit Favorite For Long Reliever, Tim Lincecum’s Confident, Etc.

Posted on February 19th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors
Credit: Steven Robles - SF Giants Rumors

Credit: Steven Robles – SF Giants Rumors

Just 8 hours before the scheduled arbitration hearing, the San Francisco Giants and Brandon Belt were able to reach an agreement and avoid arbitration. Belt’s deal is a one-year, $2.9 million contract. By signing Belt last night, the Giants avoided an arbitration hearing. The last time they had an arbitration hearing was in 2004, that’s when catcher A.J. Pierzynski was granted $3.5 million by the arbitration panel.

 
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports (via Twitter) that Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants will definitely have a long-man in the bullpen. With Yusmeiro Petit out of options, he’s a strong candidate to win that job after his performance in September.
 
Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports (via Twitter) that starting pitcher Tim Lincecum rented a warehouse in Seattle over the offseason, bought a portable mound and threw to his friends. “I feel strong. I’m pretty confident,” said Lincecum.
 
Pitcher Barry Zito is going to take some time away from the game, but says he’s not retiring. There’s no word if his phone rang at all this offseason, but he sure doesn’t plan on hanging the spikes up just yet.
 
The Giants have signed 32 year-old infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen to a Minor League deal, and there’s not invite to Spring Training. He was signed to add depth and not to compete for an Opening Day roster spot.
 
Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!
 
~Steven Robles
 
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SF Giants Pitchers and Catchers Report, Tim Hudson News, Hector Sanchez Drops Pounds, G-Men Scouting Cuban Shortstop, Etc.

Posted on February 14th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors
Credit: Randy Boyles - SF Giants Rumors

Credit: Randy Boyles – SF Giants Rumors

Today’s the day that a lot of people have been waiting for…. It’s Friday, Valentine’s Day, and the San Francisco Giants pitchers and catchers are reporting to camp! We’ve already learned that Tim Hudson has his locker between Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. I think it’s safe to say that the Giants probably put him right next to Lincecum, so they can have some pitching conversations here and there. 

 
Hudson is not 100% as of yet, but his ankle is responding well. Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports (via Twitter) that manager Bruce Bochy said Hudson ran yesterday, and threw bullpen session. They expect Hudson to be on the same schedule as other starters.
 
Henry schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that reliever Santiago Casilla is having visa issues, so he’ll be working on normal early-spring conditioning at the Giants’ academy in the Dominican Republic till he can report to camp.
 
Backup catcher Hector Sanchez is reporting to camp much slimmer. Word on the street is that he’s lost 20lbs, and is 100% healthy.
 
Batting coach Hensley Meulens became an American citizen a few days ago.
 
Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports says reports (via Twitter) that the Giants were one of many teams to scout Cuban shortstop Aledmys Dias yesterday at the San Diego Padres Spring Training complex.
 
GM Brian Sabean made the following statement on the passing of Jim Fregosi:
 
“The passing of Jim Fregosi leaves a hole in the unique fabric of our great game. He was a great friend and mentor to so many no matter what hat he wore. His bigger than life personality will be sorely missed. He was a one-of-a kind baseball lifer.”
 
The Giants announced today that beginning this season, all fans entering AT&T Park will be screened with metal detectors. This complies with Major League Baseball’s mandate that all teams begin using metal detectors by the start of the 2015 season.
 
Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!
 
~Steven Robles
 
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Buster Posey: Putting on 10lbs of Muscle Will Help Him

Posted on February 12th, 2014 by Randy in SF Giants Rumors

 

Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

At Media Day (notes from media day) we learned that San Francisco Giants‘ catcher Buster Posey has put on 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason.  In Posey’s short career, he has set a high bar for what fans expect out of him by being the 2010 Rookie of the Year and the 2012 National League Most Valuable Player.  In 2013 Posey put up very solid numbers overall, but his second half left a lot to be desired.  His first half looked like this: .325/.395/.536 with 13 home runs and a 163 wRC+.  For reasons not exactly known, in the second half Posey hit .244/.333/.310 while hitting two home runs and having a wRC+ of 85, which are all far below Posey’s career numbers.

Why was Posey’s second half so awful?  A lot of people speculate it is because of fatigue.  After catching a career-high 112 games in 2012 and playing first base in 29 games, he went to the postseason and played another 16.  Posey played a total of 164 games in 2012 and then came back in 2013 and played another 148.  Although he wouldn’t tell manager Bruce Bochy to take him out of the lineup because he was tired, his performance on the field showed just how exhausted he really was.

So will 10 pounds of muscle help or hurt Posey? Well I think it could legitimately help his all-around game.  Posey had a dreadful slugging percentage in the second half of the 2013 season and 10 pounds of muscle could help improve that.  Not only will the extra muscle help his power numbers, it will help the 26 year old catcher’s durability throughout the season as he tries to take his team to the playoffs once again.

With a full offseason of strength training and workouts, Posey should be back to his elite status for the 2014 season.  He has a rare mix of power and on-base ability for a catcher that puts him in the upper echelon of players at his position and is expected to be an MVP candidate for the years to come.

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Randy Boyles

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San Francisco Giants Still Haven’t Reached An Agreement With Brandon Belt To Avoid Arbitration

Posted on February 11th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors
Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

With Spring Training just a few days away, the San Francisco Giants still haven’t come to terms with infielder Brandon Belt on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. In 2013 Belt made $531,500, and is now looking to get a couple million for the 2014 season. The Giants have offered $2.05 million and Belt has submitted a request for $3.6 million. If the two sides can’t agree on a one-year deal then they’ll head to an arbitration hearing. In the arbitration hearing, either the Giants $2.05 million offer or Belts $3.6 request will be chosen as his 2014 salary. There’s no middle ground. With that said, I do believe the Giants and Belt will come to an agreement and avoid arbitration. GM Brian Sabean said at Media Day that they’ll work the one-year deal before they get into a multi-year deal talks with Belt.

 
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says Belt won’t take it personally if the team rags on him in the arbitration hearing so the arbitration panel can select their $2.05 million offer over Belt’s $3.6 million request.
 
“I don’t think anybody likes that too much,” said Belt at FanFest. “At the same time that’s part of it. I know what I wasn’t good at, so if I go in there it’s not going to hurt my feelings any. If you can avoid it, both parties would like to do that. But going into it, if they have to tear me down a little bit, I’ll be ok,” says Belt.
 
Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!
 
~Steven Robles
 
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Let’s Get It Started- In Some Order….

Posted on February 10th, 2014 by Amin in SF Giants Rumors

 

Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

It’s almost that time. In less than a week pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Arizona for Spring Training. You know, there really is not a much better time than when baseball is set to renew itself each year. In honor of this, it’s time to start thinking ahead to the start of the season, and just how the starting rotation for the San Francisco Giants will look like come Opening Day. Mainly, let’s focus on what order the starters should be in- who will be starting Opening Day at Chase Field in Arizona against the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 31st; and who will be the fifth starter.

Most of the Giants returning rotation is intact, with Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, and Ryan Vogelsong are back and ready to reclaim their status as one of the best rotations in baseball after a lackluster 2013 campaign. With the offseason signing of former Atlanta Braves starter Tim Hudson, the Giants can roll out some quality arms steeped in experience, including playoff experience, that should position the men in orange and black to keep pace in the National League West with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Diamondbacks; and the rest of the division.

Of course there could be injuries, or spring training camp surprises that alter and change the pitching order for the Giants come the regular season; but for the sake of argument we will assume that the five aforementioned starters will be healthy and in the starting rotation when the season starts. That being said, here is how I breakdown the Giants starting rotation, giving them the best chance of winning and matching-up with other teams rotations also.

Cain is still a horse, and capable of winning 15 games and eating up innings in the process. Cain may have had a tired arm or shoulder last season with all the extra workload that included the 2012 playoffs. It was a close call deciding between him and MadBum, but with Cain’s longevity in a Giants uniform and what he has meant to the team, including his potential and productivity; Cain gets the nod on Opening Day.

I would follow that up with Bumgarner as the second man in-line to take the hill. He is a young, strong, dominant lefty who will wreak havoc on the league again this season. MadBum is a calming presence in the rotation, able to step-in and stop a losing streak and bring stability to the staff when things are going a little rough. This was evident last season when Bumgarner was called upon frequently to provide a quality start when things were in disarray for the Giants.

Now, spots three and four are really interchangeable, and based almost on preference. Even more so, this decision by Giants may be based upon loyalty and popularity. Lincecum and Hudson are going to be three and four in the rotation. Lincecum, that of a no-hitter last year, still has the stuff to get hitters out effectively.

In addition, with the contract situation off his mind, he can focus on the game of baseball and not the other stuff. Even though his fastball speed may not be what it used to be, he is remaking his game in to that of a more well-rounded pitcher who still can get a strikeout when needed; and uses his changeup to keep hitters off-balance.

Also the Giants faithful still love their adopted son from the Northwest, and with his status as a quality starter still present, Lincecum gets the number three starting position. That leaves Hudson as the number four starter. It’s a great option to have this big time pitcher in the number four slot in your rotation. A true bulldog on the mound, Hudson knows how to pitch and thrives in big games. Look for the former Bay Area pitcher to recover from his ankle injury last season, and really solidify the Giants rotation as one of the best.

Hudson really could have gone in the number three position, but Lincecum has been here longer, is younger, and should be rewarded for his contributions in addition to his productivity. Lincecum and Hudson could both win between 13-16 games this coming season if everything falls in to place nicely for the Giants.

This leaves Vogelsong as the number five starter. Not bad, not bad at all. I am willing to give him a pass on last season. A rough start hurt, and then just as he was getting in to a semi-groove, Vogey was injured and in essence lost any chance of having another stellar campaign for the Giants. Prior to last season, Vogelsong had two really solid seasons for the Giants, including big time performances in the 2012 postseason. I am ready to roll with Vogey in the five hole for the Giants pitching staff.

So there you have it, a look at what the Giants starting rotation order should look like on Opening Day. Do you agree with me? If not, what changes would you make to the starting order?

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Amin Arikat

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Grading The Giants’ Starting Rotation

Posted on February 5th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors
Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

In recent years when a person mentioned the San Francisco Giants they were usually talking about their fearsome young starting pitching and how they were the main reason why the Giants won two World Series titles in three years. Well that has changed and the Giants’ starting pitching staff has become a rather large question mark. In 2014 the Giants’ starting pitching rotation will be made up of Madison BumgarnerMatt CainTim LincecumTim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong. Although it is very tough to grade the starting pitching because of what happened in 2013, I would have to give them a C+. Here’s why:

Bumgarner: At age 24 he’s the Giants’ staff ace. He is the quiet 6’5″ southern southpaw we have all come to know and love and he has absolutely dominated the major leagues in his short career. Bumgarner has posted a 3.11 ERA and averaged 204 innings per season since 2011, his first full season. He has compiled a 12.8 fWAR and has averaged a 115 ERA+. It’s safe to say this kid is the best pitcher the Giants have and he has a very bright future ahead of him.

Cain: Cain is coming off of a year where he performed far below his career numbers. In 2013 he had a 4.00 ERA and an 83 ERA+. He also had a 1.1 HR/9 while throwing 184.1 innings. To make a long story short, he wasn’t very good at all. From 2007-2012 Cain averaged an ERA of 3.18 and an ERA + of 126. During that time span he also averaged a HR/9 of 0.8 and 216.5 innings. Hopefully Cain’s woeful 2013 season was just an aberration and he will return to his dominant and reliable form in the coming year. He is only 29 so it is reasonable to think that he will have a better year in 2014 than he did in 2013.

Lincecum: Lincecum is one of the strangest cases I have ever seen for a starting pitcher. He went from a perennial Cy Young Award candidate to pitching far below league average in what seems like overnight. From 2008-2011, he was an All-Star every year and averaged a 2.81 ERA and a 145 ERA+. In 2012 and 2013 we saw a completely different pitcher. In those two years he averaged a 4.77 ERA and had an ERA+ of 72. Though, he did show some signs of improving last year and if you take May out of his numbers, he had a season ERA of 3.94. Hope still remains for the 29 year old right-hander, but he needs to fix his problem if he wants to remain a starting pitcher.

Hudson: Hudson suffered a terrible injury to his right ankle after he was covering first base and Eric Young of the New York Mets stepped on his ankle and fractured it. He was carted off the field and didn’t throw another pitch the rest of the season. Prior to the injury, Hudson was having a solid season. He didn’t perform well in May, posting a 7.33 ERA, but in April, June, and July he averaged a 3.13 ERA. He has had a very good career, but the biggest question is if he will be able to come back healthy for the 2014 season. He is 37 years old and that remains to be seen. If he can be healthy and pitch a full season, I expect him to be productive and help the Giants win.

Vogelsong: Vogelsong is coming off of a year where he also suffered injury, breaking his right hand after being hit by a pitch on May 20th. Before and after the injury he pitched absolutely dreadful. He compiled a 5.73 ERA in 103.2 innings and had a 58 ERA+. From 2011-2012 he averaged a 3.04 ERA and a 117 ERA+. Again, age is a big factor for Vogelsong as he is 36 years old. He needs to return to his 2011 form to be considered worth the Giants’ money.

As you can see, the Giants’ starting rotation is a huge question mark. It is likely that Cain will return to his usual form, but as for Lincecum, Hudson and Vogelsong, there is no way of knowing or predicting what they will do. I give the starting rotation a C+ for now, but I could see that turning into an A- if they all return to their previous numbers in the coming season. A lot remains to be seen and their playoff hopes depend on their starting rotation.

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Randy Boyles

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More Nuggets From San Francisco Giants Media Day

Posted on February 3rd, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors
Credit: Steven Robles - SF Giants Rumors

Credit: Steven Robles – SF Giants Rumors

As promised, there are more nuggets below that I was able to gather Friday at San Francisco Giants media day.

 
Starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong is glad to be back with the Giants, and is looking to get back on track this year to help solidify the starting rotation.
 
“At the end of the day I’m where I wanted to be, I’m where my wife wants to be and I feel like this is the right place,” says Vogelsong when asked about re-signing with the Giants.
 
“I feel like I was a big part of the reason why we didn’t win last year, and I’ve taken a lot of different measures this offseason to try and fix everything that went wrong with me and try to have a better year,” says Vogelsong.
 
Closer Sergio Romo doesn’t expect reliever David Huff to have the same personality as ex-Giant Aubrey Huff and he’s assuming that there will be no random undergarments from this Huff either. 
 
“Old Aubrey Huff, that is one unique individual. His personality and his sense of humor, unbelievable character. Yes, definitely enjoyed playing on the same team with that man,” said Romo.
 
Lefty specialist Javier Lopez thinks the Giants need to get better outside of their division. They had the best record within the NL West. They played well against the teams that they had to beat, but Lopez points out their troubles with the NL Central. Lopez says they really dominated the Giants last year. That’s something they’ll need to clean up if they want to get back to the top of the NL West.
 
“The Way we played in September was what I think guys in the clubhouse, the fans and everybody else were accustomed too. Which was great pitching some timely hits, and having winning months,” says Lopez.
 
When asked about getting respect around baseball (Yankees on the East Coast, Dodgers on the West Coast), shortstop Brandon Crawford said they don’t really worry about what other people are saying.
 
“I think we actually play better as the underdog. I think we showed that in 2010 and 2012. I don’t think anybody picked us to win, we play better like that,” said Crawford.
 
Saturday at FanFest, outfielder Hunter Pence said manager Bruce Bochy told him that he’s going to break Pence’s streak early in the season. Pence played in all 162 games last year for the Giants. I guess the skipper wants to make sure Pence gets some rest to keep his as fresh as possible.
 
New left fielder Michael Morse played QB for his high school football team, and he said they never won a game, never scored a point and only crossed the 50 yard line once in a game. That was the 11th game of a 12 game season. Let’s be glad he decided to stick to playing baseball. He’s also not worried about hitting long balls at AT&T Park and is looking forward to the challenge. 
 
If you hit it good, it’s going to go out. If you don’t hit it good, it won’t go out,” Morse on hitting homers at AT&T Park.
 
During the offseason Morse works out in Florida and last week he worked out at the same facility with 49ers running back Frank Gore.
 
Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!
 
~Steven Robles
 
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2014 San Francisco Giants Media Day

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors

Credit: Steven Robles - SF Giants Rumors

Credit: Steven Robles – SF Giants Rumors

This is the day that that always seems to get me in baseball mode. Today was the first chance for the media to see the San Francisco Giants players and coaching staff. It was nice to see some familiar faces in Orange and Black, and it was also nice to see a couple new faces as well. Most of the media was looking for pitcher Tim Hudson, but word on the street is he couldn’t make it because of the bad weather. There was some regular players that weren’t in attendance today like Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan and Madison Bumgarner. I gathered a lot of information and did a couple fun interviews today. I’ll be updating the site with multiple posts (over the next week or so) with news and tidbits from media day. Below is a few notes from today.

 
Catcher Buster Posey says he’s gained 10 pounds of muscle this offseason.
 
Outfielder Michael Morse says he likes being loose and likes having a fun clubhouse. He feels like this team is that way. Last year was very frustrating for Morse health wise and said every player has a down year. Morse believes if he can stay healthy and on the field, then he can put up some great numbers.
 
“I had my down year, and now I’m healthy ready to go and I can’t wait to get started,” said Morse.
 
Outfielder Hunter Pence said he’ll hit anywhere manager Bruce Bochy wants to put him in the lineup.
 
Pitcher Tim Lincecum was really happy to sign a two-year contract with the Giants. He feels like he can get back into a comfortable mode knowing he’s going to be in San Francisco for two years.
 
Lincecum will obviously be rooting for the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, and said he didn’t attend any Seahawks games this year. On a more serious note, Lincecum would be happy to give us some of the Seattle rain to help with our rain drought.
 
Pitcher Matt Cain says the Giants always add good pieces to fit in their puzzle. Guys that easily fit in with the rest of the team. He’s very pumped that Lincecm and Pence are coming back in 2014. He believes that would have been irreplaceable if they hasn’t come back.
 
Infielder Brandon Crawford is happy to have a suite this year for media day. I told him he’s moving on up now… He compares Hudson to Ryan Vogelsong with the Bulldog mentality and says that’s always good to have in your rotation. Crawford also likes the addition of Morse, and thinks they can use the right handed power in addition with Posey and Pence.
 
Closer Sergio Romo said his sons wanted to see him pitch this offseason so he showed them some youtube clips of him pitching.
 
Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!
 
~Steven Robles

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21st Annual KNBR Giants FanFest

Posted on January 30th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors
fan_fest200hDo you have any plans Saturday February 1st? If not, come to AT&T Park and hang out with your favorite San Francisco Giants player! The 21st Annual KNBR Giants FanFest is this Saturday from 10:00AM – 3:00PM. This is a nice chance to see your favorite player up close and get some autographs. Sounds expensive right? Well it’s not; this is a free admission event. Below is the list of players and coaches that will be attending FanFest.
 
Jeremy Affeldt
Brandon Belt
Gregor Blanco
Bruce Bochy
Madison Bumgarner
Matt Cain
Brandon Crawford
Jake Dunning
Tim Flannery
Mark Gardner
Heath Hembree
Tim Hudson
David Huff
Roberto Kelly
Michael Kickham
Roger Kieschnick
George Kontos
Joe Lefebvre
Tim Lincecum
Javier Lopez
Hensley Meulens
Michael Morse
Nick Noonan
Hunter Pence
Buster Posey
Dave Righetti
Sergio Romo
Ryan Vogelsong
Ron Wotus
 
If Pablo SandovalMarco Scutaro or Angel Pagan are your favorite players, I’m sorry to tell you that they’ll not be attending this event. I’m sure you’ll still have fun seeing all your other favorite Giants players!
 
~Steven Robles
 
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