Results tagged ‘ Affiliation Shuffle ’

Rivera’s Second Chance – September 23, 2014

Remember that the Rummage Sale and Pick-A-Seat Event is TODAY from 4pm to 9pm at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.  Some of the items available are at this link.

Yesterday, I noted that Rene Rivera made his MLB debut on 9/22/2004.   Today, I found this story on Rene Rivera from earlier this month.  Corey Brock, who was MLB.com’s Mariners writer when Rivera was coming up the Seattle system, is now the MLB.com beat writer for the Padres, Rivera’s new team.

In the spring of 2010, not quite eight years into his professional career, Rene Rivera sat at his home in Puerto Rico watching Spring Training games on television, waiting for his telephone to ring.

“My agent, now my ex-agent, said there was no interest,” Rivera said. “I was thinking that it was over.”

At that point in life, Rivera was 25 and, despite a light bat, had built a reputation as a good catch-and-throw guy, good enough to get 53 games with the Mariners from 2004-06. He was the team’s catcher of the future at one point, so he was told.

Now, it appeared that Rivera had no future.

Rivera’s last hope to stay connected to the game he loved was to play for a semi-professional team in Toa Baja, located 20 minutes from his hometown of Bayamon. Teams in the league were allowed to have one player with professional experience.

For Toa Baja, Rivera was it.

Read it all.

With all the hoopla of the Cubs leaving Kane County for South Bend and everyone wondering which MLB team will be with the Cougars, everyone forgot about Beloit…except for the Beloit Daily News.

It was widely expected Chicago would re-up with Kane County, given the proximity to Chicago, solid facilities and excellent attendance. For one reason or another, the Cubs decided to go in a different direction. Namely, south. 

The Arizona Diamondbacks, who were in South Bend, are looking for a new  city after the Cubs signed a four-year agreement with the Silver Hawks. 

Conerton said he hasn’t spoken to the Diamondbacks at this point, while he has had an ongoing discussion with the A’s.

“We certainly aren’t dissatisfied with Oakland, and I think they feel the same way about us,” Conerton said.

Developing.

Alumni Birthdays for September 23:
John Corcoran (’02) – 34
Harold Williams (’06, ’07) – 30
Evan Frederickson (’09) – 28

A pair of MLB Debut Anniversaries for our alumni for September 23:
Greg Halman (’07) got the start in center for the Mariners at Toronto on September 23, 2010.  He went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts against Shawn Hill, Jason Frasor, and Kevin Gregg as the Blue Jays beat Felix Hernandez and the Mariners 1-0.

Greg Halman as a Rattler in 2007

Greg Halman as a Rattler in 2007

Jake Odorizzi (’10) was the starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals in a home game against the Cleveland Indians on September 23, 2012.  He was the losing pitcher in Cleveland’s 15-4 win…BUT, Odorizzi pitched well.  He allowed three runs on six hits over 5-1/3 innings with a walk and three strikeouts.  Odorizzi had allowed two hits and took a 1-0 lead into the top of the sixth.  But, with one out, he gave up a triple to Jason Kipnis, an RBI single to Asdrubal Cabrera, a two-run home run to Carlos Santana, and a single to Michael Brantley.  That was the end of Odorizzi’s debut.
Photo Credit: Patrick S. Blood
Let’s take a look at the Rattlers Alumni who pitched in the Pacific Coast League in 2014…Not including those who pitched for the Nashville Sounds.

Player (Year w/ Rattlers) (Team/Organization)

Nate Adcock (’08) (Round Rock/Rangers):
18 games 1-0, 2 Saves, 2.95 ERA, 21.1IP, 11BB, 22K

Nathan Adcock as a Timber Rattler in 2008 wearing an Papermakers throwback uniform.

Nathan Adcock as a Timber Rattler in 2008 wearing an Papermakers throwback uniform.

Jonathan Arias (’08) (Tacoma/Mariners):
8 games, 1-1, 9.82ERA, 14.2IP, 7BB, 10K

Leury Bonilla (’07) (Tacoma/Mariners):
1 game, 0-0, *.**, 0.0IP, 4BB, 0K

Ryan Feierabend (’04) (Round Rock/Rangers):
25 games, 20 starts, 8-6, 5.11 ERA, 125.0IP, 29BB, 81K

Eric O’Flaherty (’05) (Sacramento/Oakland):
7 games, 1 start, 0-1, 4.32 ERA, 8.1IP, 3BB, 5K

Joel Pineiro (’98) (Salt Lake/Angels):
4 games, 4 starts, 1-2, 7.48 ERA, 21.2IP, 7BB, 11K

Pineiro

JJ Putz (’00) (Reno/Diamondbacks):
2 games, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.2IP, 2BB, 2K

JJPutz
RJ Seidel (’09) (Colorado Springs/Rockies):
9 games, 0-2, 10.02ERA, 20.2IP, 11BB, 20K

Justin Souza (’08) (Albuquerque/Dodgers):
12 games, 1-1, 7.13ERA, 17.2IP, 4BB, 12K

Justin Thomas (’06) (Salt Lake/Angels):
20 games, 20 starts, 4-8, 5.99ERA, 112.2IP, 41BB, 95K

Changes – September 19, 2014

Interesting day in the Midwest League on Thursday:

Kane County Chronicle: Cubs cutting ties with Cougars

Chicago Sun-Times: Why the Cubs moved from Kane County to South Bend

Thursday morning, the Cubs and South Bend announced a new PDC that runs through 2018. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein realizes the decision might not be popular with area fans.

“I don’t think in this industry you can avoid looking like bad guys,” Epstein said. “So you just have to roll with it and make sure you’re making decisions for the right reasons. In this case, we have to come back to what’s best for our prospects and move forward and try to handle the matters with as much professionalism as possible.”

South Bend already has started major renovations to their facility, including a new playing surface, and also has worked out a deal with the Cubs to change their name from the Silver Hawks and change their logos and colors. A news conference in South Bend is scheduled for next Thursday to announce the changes.

South Bend Tribune Column: Cubs fans in South Bend can cheer. Finally.

It’s not often that a Cubs fan gets good news in September.

Let’s face it, even when things seem promising — postseason success, one victory away from the World Series and a chance at the club’s first title since dinosaurs roamed the Earth — well …

But that fails to discourage me, a South Bend native and supporter since the late 1970s of the team that plays on Chicago’s North Side. Those weren’t exactly the team’s glory years — you’d have to go back a century or so for that — but  through the magic of WGN-TV, I was pretty much hooked after the first game. What was not to like about a lineup featuring Jerry Martin and Dave Kingman? (Yes, I thought they were impressive, but I was young).

South Bend Tribune News Story: South Bend: Cubs town

Andrew Berlin, owner of the South Bend franchise for the past three seasons, made good on a promise he made when he took over the club. He has given downtown a shot of energy and enthusiasm.

That mission was put into play when the Chicago Cubs signed a four-year deal with the South Bend franchise as their Class A affiliate in the Midwest League, ending the 17-year partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The new affiliation also ends the Cubs’ partnership with its now former Class A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars in Geneva, Ill.

In the Brewers system, there’s a new Triple-A affiliate:

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Brewers settle for Colorado Springs as AAA Host

The game of minor-league musical chairs finally came to an end Thursday, with the Milwaukee Brewers agreeing to a two-year player development contract with Class AAA Colorado Springs.

It was the culmination of a crazy 24 hours that saw the Brewers’ former Class AAA team in Nashville dump them for the Oakland A’s, leaving Milwaukee with Colorado Springs and Fresno as alternatives. The Colorado Rockies, meanwhile, left Colorado Springs for a new deal with Albuquerque.

When Fresno and the Houston Astros announced earlier Thursday they had agreed to a two-year deal, that left Colorado Springs as the only Class AAA team without a parent club and Milwaukee as the only major-league team without a top affiliate.

Colorado Springs Gazette News Story: Sky Sox sign two-year affiliation deal with Milwaukee Brewers

“That’s how it works sometimes in this process,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “Nashville decided to go in a different direction after we were there for a lot of years, like the Rockies did. We are confident we can make this a good fit.”

Any Brewers concerns were eased because they are familiar with the Sky Sox’s Elmore ownership group, which also owns the Helena (Mont.) Brewers, the organization’s rookie-level club. The Elmores will do what a MLB club needs for its players, Melvin said.

Colorado Springs Gazette Column: Sky Sox rescued from Rockies clueless tyranny

Over the past few days, I’ve heard Colorado Springs voices bemoan the dissolving of the Sky Sox’s 21-season association with the Rockies. These voices wonder what Colorado Springs could have done to keep the Rockies happy.

I have a different response to the departure.

Hallelujah. It’s time to celebrate.

The Sky Sox just concluded a catastrophe of a season. They collected a mere 53 wins to go with a staggering 91 losses. They were atrocious on the road (26-46) and befuddled at home (27-45.) That’s consistency. They lost nine of their last 10 games.

Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial: Conspiracy theorists thought Colorado Springs mayor was wrong about Rockies

Bach hoped a serious stadium plan would encourage the Rockies to stay while helping revitalize downtown. The stadium could also help with plans by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to add NCAA Division II baseball in several years.

The mere idea of a stadium became instant fodder for pseudo conservatives and conspiracy theorists of all stripes. The Rockies would never leave, they said. Bach merely wanted to line pockets of “crony capitalist” developer friends. Most notable among the instant opponents were a handful of freshman politicians who had just been sworn to the Colorado Springs City Council.

Alumni Report (International League Pitchers):
Phillippe Aumont (’08) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-3, 3.93ERA, 35 games, 55.0IP, 39BB, 65K

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
2-2, 3.89ERA, 17 games, 4 starts, 39.1IP, 11BB, 35K

Cesar Jimenez (’03) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-2, 3 Saves, 1.45ERA, 38 games, 2 starts, 49.2IP, 15BB, 46K

Mark Lowe (’05) Columbus/Indians:
4-3, 17 saves, 5.62ERA, 41 games, 41.2IP, 17BB, 47K

Shaun Marcum (’12) Columbus/Indians:
1-0, 2.35ERA, 8 games, 1 start, 15.1IP, 6BB, 10K
IMG_8576
JC Ramirez (’08) Columbus/Indians:
1-3, 2 saves, 3.45 ERA, 25 games, 31.1IP, 11BB, 15K

Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
1-0, 5.14ERA, 12 games, 14.0IP, 3BB, 11K

Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.20ERA, 12 games, 1 start, 15.0IP, 4BB, 9K

Juan Sandoval (’03) Durham/Rays:
0-1, 1 Save, 3.12ERA, 14 games, 1 start, 26.0IP, 14BB, 15K

Fabian Williamson (’07) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.50ERA, 1 game, 2.0IP, 2BB, 2K

All-Stars and Affiliations – September 18, 2014

Baseball America named two Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to their Low-A Classification All-Star Teams.

Clint Coulter was named the catcher and Taylor Williams was named one of the starting pitchers.

At least I think it’s Taylor Williams.

Trevor, Taylor, Tyler...we know who they meant.

Trevor, Taylor, Tyler…we know who they meant.

The Fort Wayne TinCaps have renewed their affiliation with the San Diego Padres.

“We’re ecstatic to extend our terrific partnership with the Padres,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “Our relationship with San Diego has been an essential part of the success we’ve had over the years as an organization in Fort Wayne.”

The two-year deal between the TinCaps and Padres will see their affiliation reach 18 years, tying it for the longest-lasting Minor League Baseball affiliation in San Diego history. Of the 16 teams in the Midwest League, currently, only the West Michigan Whitecaps have had a longer tenure in the league with their parent club, the nearby Detroit Tigers.

“The Midwest League is an important level for our player development, where players become first acclimated to a full season of professional baseball,” Padres Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller said. “We are fortunate to have such a strong, long-term relationship with Fort Wayne.”

That leaves Kane County, Beloit, and South Bend for the Cubs, the Athletics, and the Diamondbacks.  I expect announcements soon.  I was surprised there were no announcements yesterday after the Fort Wayne/San Diego release.

The Brewers will have a new Triple-A affiliate in 2015.

The Triple-A Nashville Sounds, Milwaukee’s top farm team since 2005, will have a new affiliation in 2015 along with a new ballpark. The Sounds informed the Brewers on Wednesday that they were cutting ties and going with a new parent club.

The decision elicited a strong reaction from Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, whose top affiliate will play in either Fresno, Calif., or Colorado Springs, Colo., beginning in 2015. Melvin said a resolution should come within 10 days.

Melvin delivered the Nashville news to reporters a few hours after the Brewers announced extensions of their player development contracts with two other clubs. It’s a four-year extension with Double-A Biloxi, which is bringing along the Brewers from Huntsville, Ala., into a new stadium at some point next season, and a two-year extension with Class A Advanced Brevard County. The Brewers had previously announced an extension with rookie-level Helena, and are already under contract with Class A Wisconsin beyond this year.

The new Triple-A affiliate will be either Fresno or Colorado Springs.

Speaking of Triple-A.  Here’s a look at Timber Rattlers alumni who played at the Triple-A Level this season.  To break this up, I am just going to look at former Rattlers who played in the Mexican League.  International League will be Friday.  Pacific Coast League on Saturday.

Jonathan Arias (2008) Sultanes de Monterrey:
1-1, 4 Saves, 1.46ERA, 25 games, 24.2IP, 9BB, 26K

Juan Sandoval (2003) Diablos Rojos del Mexico:
9-1, 4 Saves, 2.00 ERA, 35 games, 36IP, 9BB, 27 K

Johan Limonta (2006) Piratas de Campeche:
27 games, .305/.345/.533; 6HR, 15RBI

Israel Nunez (2008) Leones de Yucatan:
43 games, .310/.375/.405; 0HR, 11RBI

Oscar Ramirez (2000) Acereros del Norte:
77 games, .259/.361/.407; 5HR, 36RBI

Mike Wilson (2005) Acereros del Norte:
30 games, .304/.391/.598; 9HR, 21RBI

Mike Wilson hit 19 taters in the regular season and three in the postseason during 2005.

Mike Wilson hit 19 taters in the regular season and three in the postseason during 2005.

No birthdays or MLB debuts for Timber Rattlers alumni occurred on September 18.

Renovation Video & Photos and Details from Burlington & Beloit

Here are some quotes and comments from The Hawkeye in Burlington, Iowa on the new affiliation between the Burlington Bees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Angels were happy with the facilities during their visit, suggesting only small changes. One of those is improvements to the hitting tunnel, which at 10 years old needs a fresh coat of paint and new carpet.

The Bees will begin a field resurfacing next week.

Los Angeles will provide a clubhouse manager, training him through spring training before sending him to Community Field.

“That’s a big plus for us,” [Bees general manager Chuck] Brockett said.

Additionally, the Angels will pay for DirecTV in the clubhouse so players can watch the Major League club play after their own games, and send the Bees promotional items the team can give away to its fans.

“It’s a nice touch,” said Brockett.

Affiliated baseball has been around Burlington, Iowa for a long time.  Here is their list since joining the Midwest League in 1962.

The Angels started their affiliation with the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 1993 before having it end after the 2012 season.  The Angels had previously been in the Midwest League with Quad Cities (1962-1978), Danville (1982), Peoria (1983-1984), and Quad Cities again (1985-1992)

Next, reaction from the Beloit Daily News on the new affiliation between the Beloit Snappers and the Oakland Athletics.

I’m really excited about it,” said Snappers Chairman Dennis Conerton. “They are going to be a great organization to work with. I can feel that already. They are good people and experienced people which is what we are used to with the Twins. I think it’ll be a great relationship.”

The A’s are familiar with the Midwest League as they have been aligned with the Burlington Bees the past two seasons, the Kane County Cougars from 2003-2010 and Madison Muskies before that.

“They were familiar with our area and our league, obviously,” Conerton said. “They really wanted to play here and we are excited to be with them.”

The process of wooing a team is not a familiar one to the Snappers, who have had just two affiliates in their 31-year history.

This time, however, things went very smoothly.

“When we got the list of teams that had not signed a PDC, we sat down and sort of did an informal ranking of the teams in terms of what we knew,” Conerton said. “And I’m quite pleased to say that Oakland was right up there at the top of the list. They have a good farm system, and we liked that they are a relatively small market in the Major Leagues just like we are here.”

Oakland was affiliated with the Muskies from 1982-1993 and the West Michigan Whitecaps from 1994-1996.  They had been with the Burlington Bees from 1963-1974, too.

Last…you would think they could make a bigger construction vest…or a smaller announcer.

We shot another video on Wednesday that will debut next week.  Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite….Mmm, hungry…

The roof above the third base concourse is about gone.

A look from the outside.

The front looks a little different, no?

It’s probably just me, but this is what I thought of when I saw the machines doing their thing on Wednesday.

Great book for children…It’s over SIXTY years old!?!?

Remember, Reading is Fundamental.

Affiliation Shuffle comes to an end

The dance of the affiliation stopped about three hours after I posted yesterday.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are the new parent club of the Burlington Bees.

“The Angels have long viewed scouting and player development as the backbone of our organization,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “We maintain an organizational commitment to building excellence at both the Major and minor league levels, while placing a high value on strong communities and affiliations in the process. With this in mind we are excited to welcome the good people of Burlington to the Angels family, while looking forward to a long and successful partnership.”

The Oakland Athletics are the new parent club are the new parent club of the Beloit Snappers.

“We are delighted to welcome Beloit to our minor league system with today’s announcement,” said A’s Vice President and General Manager Billy Beane.  “It is an established Single-A market with a strong baseball community and management team.  We look forward to a very successful partnership.”

The papers in the respective markets will – most likely – have updates later today.  That’s The Hawkeye for Burlington and The Beloit Daily News for, um, Beloit.

This is how the Midwest League/Parent Club alignment sets up for 2013:

WEST:
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers – Milwaukee Brewers
Beloit Snappers – Oakland Athletics
Burlington Bees – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Cedar Rapids Kernels – Minnesota Twins
Clinton LumberKings – Seattle Mariners
Kane County Cougars – Chicago Cubs
Peoria Chiefs – St. Louis Cardinals
Quad Cities River Bandits – Houston Astros

EAST:
Bowling Green Hot Rods – Tampa Bay Rays
Dayton Dragons – Cincinnati Reds
Fort Wayne TinCaps – San Diego Padres
Great Lakes Loons – Los Angeles Dodgers
Lake County Captains – Cleveland Indians
Lansing Lugnuts – Toronto Blue Jays
South Bend Silver Hawks – Arizona Diamondbacks
West Michigan Whitecaps – Detroit Tigers

The only teams the Rattlers do not face in at home next season are: Bowling Green, Dayton, Lansing, & Great Lakes.

To see the entire schedule for the 2013 season, head over to the PDF of the schedule on the Rattlers website.

Notes and Links on a Tuesday (9/25/12)

One more step in the affiliation shuffle was taken Monday afternoon.

The Quad Cities River Bandits are now partners with the Houston Astros.

The deal not only renews a previous relationship — the River Bandits were a Houston affiliate from 1993-98 — but it also marks a return to the Midwest League for the Astros, whose low Class A affiliate for the past 10 seasons has been Lexington, Ky., in the South Atlantic League.

The Astros were last in the Midwest League as the parent club of the Michigan Battle Cats in 2002.

The Bandits may be tough next season.

In the past year, the Astros’ minor-league staff and players engineered a turnaround of 205 wins among its minor-league affiliates. The organization went from ranking last in win percentage among baseball’s 30 organizations in 2011 to ranking first this season with a .546 winning percentage.

Three Houston clubs reached postseason play, including the short-season Tri-City team which will feed the 2013 Quad-Cities roster with talent after finishing 51-25 and winning its division in the New York-Penn League.

“We’ve had not only an influx of talent, but a change of mindset,’’ Nelson said. “Jeff Luhnow has a proven track record of successful drafts, successful teams and there is an idea that winning and development go hand in hand.’’

Other moves that have been made:
The Cubs left Peoria for Kane County. (Game Changer apparently)
The Royals have left the Midwest League for Lexington in the South Atlantic League through at least 2016.
The Cardinals left Quad Cities for Peoria
The Twins left Beloit for Cedar Rapids
The Padres and TinCaps renewed for another two seasons

As of this morning the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are still without affiliates. Beloit and Burlington as still without parent clubs.

Will the A’s wind up back in Burlington after letting the Bees know that they wanted to take a look around and see what else was out there?

Will the Angels head to Beloit?

TUNE IN TOMORROW! <organ music plays>

Beloit has had Midwest League baseball since 1982.  This article from last Thursday after they lost the Twins to Cedar Rapids is filled with hope and realism.

The ever-optimistic [team chairman Dennis] Conerton sees the affiliation change as an opportunity for development, and something that could potentially spur activity down the road.

“One thing where this could be beneficial is that maybe now some people will see that what the Snappers have been trying to do for the last eight years or so is something that we need to pay a little more attention to,” he said. “But when you see an affiliate leave for facilities that are better, you do start to wonder when the Player Development Agreement is up in 2020 will the standards change at all, and if we were to continue with Minor League Baseball in the Beloit community.”

Jumping back to the Royals for a moment, former Rattler Jake Odorizzi made his MLB debut on Sunday in Kansas City’s 15-4 loss to the Indians.  Jake allowed three of those runs in 5-1/3 innings.

Consider Jake Odorizzi’s Major League debut a success.

He didn’t win the game — the Cleveland Indians wound up with a 15-4 victory over Kansas City on a lovely Sunday afternoon — but the 22-year-old Royals right-hander pitched superbly for five innings before giving up three runs in the sixth.

“I think he did an outstanding job for his first start,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

As the Royals’ top-ranked pitching prospect according to MLB.com, Odorizzi gave the 22,960 fans at Kauffman Stadium reason to anticipate the good that he might do for the club in the future. When he left the mound during the sixth inning, they gave him a standing ovation.

“It was pretty moving, just to hear the cheers,” Odorizzi said. “They were very accepting of me and it was great to get that on the way out. Especially on the first day, it made it just that much more special.”

Former Rattler Adam Moore (’06) hit a homer in that game.  He caught Odorizzi in AAA at Omaha.

Odorizzi’s start on Sunday ran the total of former Rattlers to make their MLB debuts in 2012 to eight.

Phillippe Aumont – August 23
Juan Diaz – May 25
Jim Henderson – July 26
Erik Komatsu – April 6
Jake Odorizzi – September 23
Wily Peralta – April 22
Tyler Thornburg – June 19
Carlos Triunfel – September 7

In the Timber Rattlers Era – aka. Since 1995 – that would make 83 former Timber Rattlers who have made it to the major leagues.

A possible future Rattler is Clint Coulter.  The Brewers took the high school catcher with the 27th pick of the 2012 draft.  Baseball America has begun publishing their list of Top 20 prospects in each minor league. BA placed Coulter at #10 on their list of prospects in the Arizona League.

His scouting report is behind the subscriber wall. Long story short: Offense good. Defense needs work.

Want to work with me?

Well, that’s not completely true.  Want to work where I do and not deal with me in any possible way?
Here are a few opportunities.

The Rattlers are taking applications for interns for the 2013 season.  I am told that the ability to start in January would be much appreciated.

Also, construction is underway on the renovations to Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.  One of the pieces of that renovation is the club level with the banquet facility.  The team is looking for a Banquet Facility Sales Manager and an Executive Chef.  Follow this link for details on those positions.

Speaking of construction, I will leave you with a few photos from last Wednesday when I took a brief tour stadium.

 

There used to be a team store here.

The net is down. The bleachers are out.

Empty front office.


We shot a video tour on the day I took those pictures.  The video hould be up tomorrow – with a cool PROG ROCK SUPERGROUP soundtrack!!  YES!  The plan is to post a construction video every week.

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