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Beyond "Chirp Chirp" - Trevor Bauer

 
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Thu 4/1/21 10:08 pm    Post subject: Beyond "Chirp Chirp" - Trevor Bauer Reply with quote

I have so much to say about Trevor Bauer, who makes his first start for the Dodgers tomorrow, but his past "off the field"/"on social media" conduct is what has many fans concerned.

I have to say that I honestly didn't know about a lot of this. Facebook is my only social media platform, and although I've been a fan of Trevor for over ten years, I'm now finding myself uncomfortable in some ways. I just hope he's serious when he says he's committed to changing and being a better person. I want to root for him, especially now that he's a Dodger and a vital part of our deep pitching rotation.

But for starters, here's Dylan Hernandez's column in the L.A. Times, from when the signing took place:

"Do Allegations Of Harassment, Bullying Make Trevor Bauer A Risk For Dodgers?"

by Dylan Hernandez
February 13, 2021


Can’t be too surprised.

Half of the city couldn’t watch the Dodgers on television for six years because of these people.

Of course they would sign Trevor Bauer.

The team’s owners believed this was good business, acquiring the top free-agent pitcher on the market on an unusually short deal.

Segments of their fan base are uncomfortable they signed an Internet bully with a history of allegations that he harassed women, mocked transgender people and spread conspiracy theories, but the Dodgers didn’t view any of that as a reason to pass on an opportunity to show the world how smart they are.

Asked during Bauer’s introductory videoconference Thursday about the message this sent to fans who feel alienated by the team, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said unconvincingly, “We very much value them.”

Friedman said he and team president Stan Kasten spoke to Bauer about “some stuff that is more public,” presumably his activity on social media.

“In our conversations, he’s alluded to past mistakes he’s made, and you know what?” Friedman said. “We’re all going to make mistakes, and what’s important for me is how we internalize it, what our thoughts are going forward. It was important to have that conversation, and we came away from it feeling good about it.”

What was “most important” in Friedman’s view was the feedback the Dodgers received from Bauer’s former teammates, which led them to believe he will be an asset to the organization’s culture.

None of which addressed how LGBTQ fans might feel about their favorite team employing a player who posted on his Twitter account multiple times, “I identify as a 12 year old.”

Bauer, who will inherit the No. 27 jersey previously worn by legendary jerk Kevin Brown, won’t be the first unlikable player to represent the Dodgers, and he won’t be the last.

However, because of his tendency to defiantly flaunt his less-endearing features, Bauer will conflict fans in ways few Dodgers have in recent years.

Under Friedman, the Dodgers have generally kept their distance from outwardly disagreeable personalities. They traded the polarizing Yasiel Puig. When Mookie Betts was acquired around this time last year, Friedman spoke as much about his character as he did his ability.

Now, in Bauer, the Dodgers have a player who posted on his Twitter that former President Barack Obama was “supposedly” born outside of the United States. Bauer also responded to a fake quote about wanting to take down the country that was attributed to George Soros by writing, “can’t spread truth like that because then you’re a ‘racist’ or ‘conspiracy theorist.’ ”

Many fans won’t mind, but some will. Bauer almost certainly didn’t win over many of his detractors Thursday.

“Everyone makes mistakes in the past,” Bauer said. “I try to learn from them as quickly as I possibly can. I try to understand other peoples’ viewpoint on things and be better in the future.

“I grew up here, spent 20 years here before I signed professionally, my parents are still here. I still consider myself a member of the community and look forward to having a positive impact on the community.”

That was a start.

But questioned about his two most high-profile incidents on social media — both involved women who said he harassed them — Bauer declined to specify what he learned or the behaviors he now recognizes were inappropriate.

“I’m not going to go into specifics on everything, on all the conversations I’ve had with people across all walks of life over the past couple of years and all the things I’ve learned,” he said. “I can say I have learned from those, I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people to try to understand other peoples’ perspectives, and I’m doing my best to be better in all walks of life. I am committed to being better on social media, on being better on the field, in the clubhouse, in life in general.”

So, he’s sorry, but not sorry.

The most charitable interpretation of Bauer’s refusal to apologize could be linked to his childhood in Valencia. By all accounts, he didn’t have many friends. He was bullied. It’s not hard to imagine he developed an abrasive personality as a defense.

Except he’s now at the top of a highly competitive profession. He’s famous and admired. He’s wealthy.

Shouldn’t Bauer be above striking back when feeling attacked, as was the case with the aforementioned women?

Earlier this week, Bauer came across as defensive when responding to fans who questioned subjects as trivial as the addition of his name in Japanese to his Twitter profile and the sincerity of his apology to fans of the New York Mets, with whom he almost signed.

From this vantage point, at least, Bauer didn’t do anything wrong. At the same time, why is he compelled to respond to such nonsense?

Maybe he controls this impulse. Maybe he doesn’t.

Friedman acknowledged there are no guarantees.

“Time will tell,” he said.

More than wins and losses are at stake. This is about what the franchise stands for, the values it represents.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DB6 comments: I want to believe. But I'm being cautious.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sat 7/3/21 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, now Dylan Hernandez can say "I told you so", and he does that quite effectively in the Times yesterday.

I'm bumping this thread from earlier this year, about my concerns and hopes that Trevor's past behavior would be left in the past, and there would be no distractions to the Dodgers in his first year pitching for them.

That was certainly optimistic of me. And if you want to re-read what Hernandez wrote in February, scroll up to the original post.

For now, let's leave the criminal aspects of the allegations in the Blotter thread, and discuss the character issue that the Dodgers were somewhat concerned with earlier, and seemed assured would be left in the past.

"Column: The Dodgers never should have signed Trevor Bauer"

By DYLAN HERNÁNDEZ, COLUMNIST
JULY 3, 2021 5 AM PT

With Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, Mookie Betts and others standing behind him, President Biden offered the widely held opinion of how the Dodgers are more than a baseball team.

“They’re a pillar of American culture and American progress, and that’s for real,” Biden said. “The team that brought us the voice of Vin Scully and the [arms] of Sandy Koufax and Fernando Valenzuela.

“Above all else, the heart of Jackie Robinson.”

And now, the president kindly neglected to mention, the destructive ego of Trevor Bauer.

As a player who wasn’t on the team that won the World Series last year, Bauer wasn’t part of the Dodgers traveling party that visited the White House on Friday. His presence nonetheless hovered over the proceedings.

About an hour after the ceremony, Bauer was placed on paid administrative leave by Major League Baseball, which is investigating accusations of sexual assault that were levied against him by a woman in a temporary restraining order request filed earlier in the week. Representatives for Bauer maintain the sexual encounters were consensual.

The Dodgers waited 32 years to be invited back to the president’s residence and workplace, only for the celebration to be completely overshadowed by one of the darkest episodes in franchise history.

As it deserved to be.

The damage was entirely self-inflicted, the crisis the making of three men who noticeably went out of their ways to politely laugh at Biden’s attempts at humor: Dodgers owner Mark Walter, president Stan Kasten and baseball chief Andrew Friedman.

These were the people who unnecessarily signed a pitcher with a history of making troublesome decisions when they already had the best team in baseball.

Speaking to reporters in the afternoon at Nationals Park, Kasten was asked if he was disappointed by what has transpired.

“We don’t know what happened,” Kasten said.

Which doesn’t make the Dodgers’ decision to sign Bauer any less irresponsible.

In the petition for the temporary restraining order, Bauer’s accuser said she was choked and lost consciousness during two separate sexual encounters in April and May, with Bauer sodomizing her while she was unconscious the first time and punching her in the face when she woke up the second.

“I agreed to have consensual sex, however, I did not agree or consent to what he did next,” the woman wrote in the court declaration.

Bauer’s agent said his client engaged in “rough” sex that was consensual.

The question isn’t whether Bauer’s judgment was poor, but how poor. At very least, he engaged in violent sex acts with a woman he met recently on social media. Making bad choices isn’t a crime, but the franchise that drapes itself in the imagery of Jackie Robinson shouldn’t be in business with a player who regularly makes such bad choices.

A rudimentary Google search should have shown the Dodgers what they were in for, that Bauer had a track record of embarrassing himself and his employers.

Like when he harassed women online.

Or mocked transgender people.

Or spread antisemitic conspiracy theories.

None of this means Bauer’s guilty of the allegations made by his accuser. While he remains under investigation by Pasadena police for felony assault, he hasn’t been arrested or charged with a crime. At the same time, there’s a reason he’s a constant source of headaches and controversy.

He’s 30 and already on his fourth team. The Cleveland Indians traded him to the Cincinnati Reds after he fired a ball over the center-field wall when manager Terry Francona approached the mound to remove him from a game.

He spoke out against the use of foreign substances by other pitchers, explained by how much he could increase the spin rates of his pitches if he used sticky materials, increased by his spin rate by that amount, then wondered how he became the poster child for the controversy.

Considering how intelligent he sounds when he talks about baseball, he makes a shocking number of head-scratching moves.

Everyone knew this, which was why there were widespread concerns when the Dodgers signed him, including here.

“More than wins and losses are at stake,” I wrote after Bauer’s introductory news conference in February. “This is about what the franchise stands or, the values it represents.”

The Dodgers had previously kept their distance from players who could invite trouble. They traded Yasiel Puig. They didn’t pursue players such as Aroldis Chapman and Roberto Osuna, who were suspended under baseball’s domestic violence policy.

They were a team built around an exemplary role model in Kershaw. They made it a point to extend the tradition to the next generation by trading for a player with a similar temperament in Betts.

Under Walter’s ownership group and Kasten’s front office, the Dodgers have prided themselves on their brains. They weren’t content with simply outspending their opponents; they had to construct their rosters in ways that reminded others of how smart they were.

Ultimately, the chance to sign Bauer to an unconventional contract outweighed concerns about his citizenship. Friedman defended the deal at the time by citing how he and Kasten spoke to the Cy Young Award winner about his past behavior.

“In our conversations, he’s alluded to past mistakes he’s made, and you know what?” Friedman said. “We’re all going to make mistakes, and what’s important for me is how we internalize it, what our thoughts are going forward. It was important to have that conversation, and we came away from it feeling good about it.”

The words sounded empty then and sound even emptier now. Bauer’s deal marked a shift in culture, the three-year, $102-million contract making a statement that winning was lone concern, that citizenship wasn’t valued anymore.

While Kasten offered lip service about being “mindful” and “sensitive” to the opinions others have on Bauer’s situation, he sounded as if he failed to grasp the seriousness of the problem.

He greeted reporters on Friday by joking about the advice he offered manager Dave Roberts the previous day before his daily pregame videoconference.

“I told him, ‘They’re going to talk about Trevor Bauer,’” Kasten said. “Just say, “Can we please talk about foreign substances?””

He laughed.

Earlier in the day, Biden said he suspected the Dodgers could visit the White House again relatively soon. He could be right.

However, if they do, and if he speaks again about the organization’s contributions to society, he should consider using the past tense. They were a pillar of American culture and American progress. Today, they are a symbol of misplaced priorities.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DB6 comment: Well, that last paragraph breaks my heart, but let's hope this chapter ends without getting any uglier.

Rolling Eyes
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Sun 7/4/21 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I had answered the earlier post when you mentioned this back in February. But it looks like I didn't.

I kind of dismissed Hernandez's column at the time, but I have to admit he called it. I've always found him to be pretty negative even when the Dodgers are winning, but I think he got this one right.

Re-reading this (earlier column) was not a good experience for me.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Sun 7/4/21 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it is not just a big distraction to your team, but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I guess having him miss a turn in the rotation today did not hurt things for your team. Sad But it would be interesting to see how the rest of this story unfolds. Hernandez seems a little high on his horse, but he makes valid points.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Wed 7/7/21 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, now the Dodgers are distancing themselves from Trevor. All items with his likeness or number in the Dodger Stadium gift shops and stands have been removed...
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 9/27/21 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Revisiting this thread, 2- 1/2 months later, Trevor has barely been missed, although his absence did create a large hole in the Dodgers' rotation, and is certainly not in any sense a part of his former team. They've moved on.

But that didn't stop Bill Plaschke from taking the Dodgers to task for signing him in the first place. In fact, he proclaims it as the Dodgers' most embarrassing transaction in franchise history.

From the L.A. Times:

"Column: Signing Trevor Bauer Is the Most Embarrassing Move the Dodgers Have Ever Made"

BY BILL PLASCHKE, COLUMNIST
SEPT. 11, 2021 5:30 AM PT

He won’t pitch again this season, but the shame he showered upon his franchise will endure forever.

He once took the mound with limitless promise yet now will walk off in legendary disgrace.

Trevor Bauer is officially the biggest embarrassment in Los Angeles Dodgers history.

This was certified Friday when Major League Baseball and the players’ union agreed to extend Bauer’s two-month paid leave through the end of the season amid sexual assault allegations.

The league is continuing its investigation, and Bauer’s legal status is unresolved, so it was smartly determined that Bauer should remain sidelined at least until 2022.

He will surely never pitch for the Dodgers again. He may never pitch for anybody again. But the damage his brief presence wrought upon an organization built on strong community and smart baseball has been indelible.

The Dodgers have suffered humiliations before, but never one as deeply felt as this.

In signing the troubled Bauer to a three-year, $102-million contract in February, the Dodgers seemingly overlooked his long history of harassing women online and apparently failed to uncover a previous sexual assault allegation discovered by the Washington Post and denied by Bauer’s attorneys.

After making just 17 starts this season, Bauer was accused of sexual assault by a San Diego woman who alleged that he punched her, choked her unconscious and sodomized her without her consent. His agents say all the encounters were consensual.

Last month, the accuser’s request for a permanent restraining order was denied by a judge who ruled Bauer posed no current threat and the woman’s injuries were incurred within her own sexual boundaries. But Bauer remains on administrative leave while the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office decides whether to pursue criminal charges and MLB continues its investigation.

He has not pitched for them since June 28. They essentially spent $38 million this season on a guy who gave them eight wins. They could still be on the hook for the remaining $64 million with zero return. All of this comes at a cost that is far greater than just financial.

The Dodgers have blown it before, but this mistake was epic.

On the field, the Bauer signing was not as misguided as the trades of Mike Piazza and Pedro Martinez, but his name will go down in free-agent infamy alongside Jason Schmidt and Andruw Jones.

In the front office, the Bauer allegations were a reprehensible rival to Al Campanis’ appearance on “Nightline,” and his acquisition was a poor decision along the lines of the Fox Entertainment Group’s sale of the team to Frank McCourt.

In the community, he’s a sore spot rivaled only by the television deal that kept the Dodgers games out of most Los Angeles households for six seasons.

Each of those past events was awful, but none of them have been as purely embarrassing and potentially costly to the entire organizational foundation as the Bauer affair.

First, obviously, there’s the money. The Dodgers have never wasted so much money. They could be throwing away $102 million, and if you think that doesn’t matter, check out how they handle next winter’s potential free agents such as Max Scherzer, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw, Chris Taylor and Kenley Jansen. Then there’s Trea Turner, who has one more year left on his contract and could also be affected.

Bottom line, even the richest organization in baseball can’t burn $102 million without consequences, and those could be felt long after Bauer has disappeared.

Another big blow was felt on the roster. Because of Bauer, the Dodgers no longer have two of their top prospects in Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray because Andrew Friedman had to trade them for Scherzer and Turner.

Yes, Scherzer has been a brilliant Band-Aid for Bauer, but he has come at great cost, and he’s only a rental, and he wouldn’t have been necessary if Bauer was still in uniform.

Finally, Bauer’s presence frayed a bond with the community, causing a disconnect that can be heard in increased boos and social media criticism. Since Bauer left this potentially all-time great team short-handed, fans aren’t as patient with the front office, they’re not as tolerant of the players and they’re absolutely heaping their ire on manager Dave Roberts.

Despite winning a World Series, three pennants and five division championships in his five years here, Roberts is particularly ripped for juggling a bullpen that was initially tested by Bauer’s absence. That bullpen has become one of the league’s best, yet Roberts still hears about it nightly as fans seemingly are giving less benefit of the doubt to an organization whose biggest offseason signing has brought them only shame.

At the time of Bauer’s acquisition, many prescient journalists wrote that the Dodgers should have passed because of his social media history. I was not one of them. I wrote that the strong veteran clubhouse would keep him under control.

“He has little tolerance for baseball’s button-down culture and his highly visible social media presence has at times curdled into bullying,” I wrote of Bauer. “But there’s no argument that he can pitch. And the Dodgers now have enough strong leaders in the room that combative personalities aren’t allowed to become distractions.”

The Dodgers obviously agreed, and that was obviously the wrong move, but if you’re going to blame someone, don’t blame Roberts and don’t even blame Friedman.

A move this expensive on a team that already had such a giant payroll could only come from the very top, from chairman Mark Walter, who jumped at a chance for the rich to get richer, and whose organization seemingly rushed the deal to completion without the appropriate vetting.

Now Bauer is officially gone for the season, and embarrassment is forever.

“Honestly ... I don’t think it’s changed anything from how we’ve gone about it,” Roberts said when asked Friday about potential Bauer closure. “That’s more on the legal side. For us, just focusing on the baseball side, it hasn’t really affected the guys in the clubhouse.”

Oh, but in different ways, it has. And for many months, it will.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Tue 9/28/21 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad Plaschke admits he wasn't one of the guys warning them. So many times he pontificates later about what a bad move something was, and doesn't mention he supported it originally. Look how many times he's made predictions that something will happen and then posts later that everyone should have seen this wouldn't happen. lol
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Wed 10/27/21 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Posting retroactively, from the L.A. Times:

"Column: Trevor Bauer Makes a Clumsy Grab at the Playoff Spotlight. The Dodgers Aren’t Amused"

BY DYLAN HERNÁNDEZ, COLUMNIST
OCT. 5, 2021 9:36 PM PT

They paid him millions not to pitch. They paid millions more in trading for his replacement. They didn’t allow him to interfere with their defense of their World Series championship.

And, still, the Dodgers can’t free themselves of Trevor Bauer.

He won’t let them.

The banished pitcher returned to the public sphere Tuesday afternoon in a backward cap and shoulder-length hair.

In a 36-second video that he uploaded to his once-ubiquitous social media accounts, Bauer casually addressed the sexual assault allegations that led to a paid administrative leave now entering its fourth month. He vaguely promised to provide “baseball content” in the coming weeks.

Just as he was receding from public consciousness. Just as the Dodgers were about to start their postseason.

Which was almost certainly the point.

The attention-deprived attention seeker was demanding attention.

How narcissistic. How selfish. How Trevor Bauer.

The hypocrisy was astounding.

When Bauer agreed last month to extend his paid administrative leave through the playoffs, his agents released a statement in which they said he did so “in a measure of good faith and in an effort to minimize any distraction to the Dodgers organization and his teammates.” Yet, here he was creating a sideshow as the team was taking the field for its final workout before Wednesday’s winner-take-all wild-card game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Suddenly, the Dodgers weren’t the winners of 106 games. They weren’t the defending World Series champions.

They were the fools who signed a known loose cannon, against whom the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is still considering criminal charges.

The Dodgers have skillfully avoided discussing Bauer since his early-summer banishment, but seething uniformed and non-uniformed personnel alike unleashed waves of expletives Tuesday afternoon when asked about Bauer’s video.

“Are you [kidding] me?” one Dodgers person asked.

That particular person hadn’t yet watched the video. Imagine if that person had seen the footage, which showed Bauer taking a leisurely walk down a street.

“Hey, guys,” Bauer said. “I know you haven’t heard from me in a while. I look forward to speaking about the false and misleading allegations in the future. But for now, this is what I’m able to share with you: One legal matter has been resolved. The judge’s detailed decision is available and it speaks for itself.”

On August 19, a judge dissolved a restraining order against Bauer that was requested by a woman accusing him of sexual assault.

The woman’s allegations were investigated by the Pasadena Police Department, which turned over its file to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office on August 27. Bauer also remains under investigation by Major League Baseball, which is empowered under a collectively bargained domestic violence policy to levy an unpaid suspension even if criminal charges aren’t filed.

“There is a pending matter, which I’m not able to speak about at this time,” Bauer said in his video. “With that being said, I’m going to be rolling out some baseball content here throughout the postseason.”

In other words, this won’t be Bauer’s last attempt to shift the public’s focus from the Dodgers to himself.

Once again, the hypocrisy was striking, as Bauer went on to say: “This is a channel that aims to celebrate baseball culture and entertain. And I love bringing you guys along for that ride with me. So, I’ll see you all in a video here soon.”

Celebrate? By reminding fans that one of the sport’s signature franchises employs someone accused of engaging in sexual behavior so violent it sent a woman to the hospital?

Bauer was widely viewed as tone-deaf even before the allegations surfaced. What he’s missing here is that the court of public opinion doesn’t operate by the same rules as the court system.

Avoiding prosecution won’t necessarily win over the public. He’ll also have to make a convincing case the alleged violence didn’t occur, that he doesn’t enjoy punching and choking women.

Trade-deadline acquisition Max Scherzer, who will start against the Cardinals, was more than a Cy Young Award-level staff ace for the Dodgers over the last two months. He provided cover, the perfect Band-Aid for the mistake the front office made in signing Bauer. Scherzer’s domination overshadowed why it was necessary to trade for him in the first place.

What the Dodgers learned on the eve of their postseason opener is that Bauer is a mistake that can’t be covered up. Every round they advance in the postseason, Bauer looms as a potential interloper, offering unsolicited commentary and making it harder for his nominal teammates to disassociate themselves from him.


DB6 comments: In retrospect, not having Trevor for the postseason didn't help matters, although truthfully I must say that inconsistent offense was more at fault.

But since Hot Stove season is coming up, and the Dodgers so far aren't talking, what can we make of Trevor's future--with L.A. or any other team?

Question
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Wed 10/27/21 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So tasteless! Evil or Very Mad
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