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The Final Day Of The 2011 Season

Discussion in 'MLB Discussion' started by brandonchristensen, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. brandonchristensen

    brandonchristensen mad photochops SoSH Member

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    They will go down as the most thrilling 129 minutes in baseball history. Never before and likely never again—if we even dare to assume anything else can be likely ever again—will baseball captivate and exhilarate on so many fronts in so small a window the way it did September 28, 2011.
    - Tom Verducci



    I just stumbled into this video on YouTube, and while I remember this day clearly (as it was terrible), with the benefit of two titles and time, it's really fascinating how so many things happened that day.

    What was at stake?

    In the AL EAST the Rays and Red Sox were tied for the wild card. The only reason they were tied was the Red Sox had blown a 9-game lead over the Rays, finishing the season going 6-18.

    Tampa Bay was playing the Yankees, Red Sox playing the Orioles. A win for both put them into a 163rd game, a win and a loss for other meant elimination.

    Over in the NL, both the Cardinals and Braves were vying for the final playoff spot. The Atlanta Braves were cruising, but from Sept 1st to the end of the season, they blew their 8.5 game lead over the Cardinals by going 8-18 to finish out the year.

    The Cards were playing the Astros, and the Braves were playing the Phillies. A Cardinals loss meant the Braves were in, and vice versa.

    So what happened?

    - In Tampa Bay, the Yankees stormed ahead to a 7-0 lead in the 5th, this lead would last until the 8th.

    - The Sox had a 3-2 lead in the 7th when they had a 90 minute rain delay.

    - Over in St. Louis, that game was never in doubt - with the Cardinals crushing the Astros 8-0 on then back of a gem by Carpenter. So the fate of their season was up to the Braves over in Atlanta.

    - Back in Tampa Bay, the Rays score 6 in the bottom of the 8th. 7-6 ballgame.

    - In Atlanta, Craig Kimbrel blows the save in the 9th and they go to extras tied 3-3. The Cards sat in their locker rooms watching the game, hoping for the Phillies.

    - Back in Tampa, a pinch-hit homer by Dan Johnson sends them to extras.

    - In Baltimore, the rain delay ends and the Sox threaten to score, and a double finds Marco Scutaro thrown out at home and their lead remains 3-2, into the bottom of the 9th.

    Then, basically all at once - things end.

    - In the top of the 13th, the Braves give up a series of small hits and give up a run. 4-3. They threaten in the bottom half, but can't score - the Cardinals advance.

    - Papelbon strikes out the first two men in the bottom of the ninth. One out and they're in the playoffs. He gives up back to back doubles, and then the low liner to Carl Crawford which he puts in minimal effort towards and the winning run scampers home. Game over.

    - Evan Longoria comes up in the bottom of the 12th and hits a low line drive homer, probably too low to get 'out at the toilet', and wins the game. Rays are the wild card winners, Sox go home.

    In the span of literally minutes, the Braves blew the biggest lead in MLB history. And then immediately, were trumped by the Red Sox blowing the biggest lead in MLB history.

    So while it sucked as a Red Sox fan, it was pretty incredible how all of these events played out. Thank God for 2013.

    More here:
    https://www.mlb.com/news/remembering-dramatic-final-day-of-2011-season/c-203704820
     
    #1 brandonchristensen, Dec 27, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  2. Dehere

    Dehere Member SoSH Member

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    3,032
    A footnote to this is that this all happened on a Wednesday night. The last day of the regular season had been moved from Sunday to Wednesday in the hopes of getting away from the NFL and generating some interest in the season's final day.

    In 2011 it worked out spectacularly as far as drama and pretty well as far as TV viewership, but the clubs balked at losing weekend home dates to close the season. The regular season ended on Wednesday in 2012 and then went back to Sunday, where the regular season's final games again get buried annually by the NFL.
     
  3. Old Fart Tree

    Old Fart Tree the maven of meat Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    It was so shitty. My business partner and I got drunk at Greens - a generic sports bar that apparently has Yankee leanings because the bucaneer a Sox bar down the clock was closed - getting jeered at by like Braves fans. And everyone. Then someone stole my phone when I went to the bathroom. It was a ducking disaster.
     
  4. Tokyo Sox

    Tokyo Sox Baka Gaijin Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I can tell you without watching the video that Longoria's HR was low enough that it wouldn't have been out at the Trop either, if only it was a few feet to the right. The fence has a little cutout by the foul poles that lowers it 2-3 feet or so; he snuck it right in the perfect terrible little window. I remember being dumbfounded by the absurdness of it all.
     
  5. Seels

    Seels Member SoSH Member

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    2,111
    My lasting memory of that is Crawford, after a terrible year and a reputation as a great defender, put in an effort that would have made Manny blush.

    What a loser.
     
  6. brandonchristensen

    brandonchristensen mad photochops SoSH Member

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    Yeah that’s what I meant. Isn’t it called the Longoria corner now or something?

    I wondered at the time if the Yankees were throwing that game once they gave up 6.
     
  7. ThePrideofShiner

    ThePrideofShiner spooky action from a distance SoSH Member

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    I remember my wife being highly confused when I started rooting against the Yankees late in that game. Truly nuts how it all came to head at the same time.
     
  8. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

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    I am kind of curious to pull up the NY game thread and see what we were saying then. NY went with a bullpen game because they had the ALDS starting a few days later, but the guy who blew it was Boone Logan who made the postseason roster and pitched in 3 ALDS games, so it wasn’t a September scrub (Andrew Brackman pitched in that game!).
     
  9. Dan Murfman

    Dan Murfman Member SoSH Member

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    If they just changed the wild card format one year earlier the Sox and Rays would have been just playing to see who hosted the wild card game on that last night.
     
  10. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Member SoSH Member

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    Amen. Born loser. After his “attempt” to catch that ball I lost my shit. I was on the phone with my buddy back east and I let out an unintelligible string of ranting and raving for a good 5 minutes. The amazing thing was that the rain delay allowed the Sox game to perfectly sync up with the rays game which further compounded the horror show that was unfolding. How long was it after the Sox game ended that Longoria hit that homerun? I swear I flipped over after the Sox lost and within a minute, that ball sailed over the left field wall. I’m sure I’m misremembering but damn I recall it as almost instantaneous. Double nut punch loss.
     
  11. VORP Speed

    VORP Speed Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    That evening was the most enjoyable moment in Rays history. Benefiting from the Sox chicken and beer slow motion train wreck and having it capped off with the overpriced free agent signed away from the Rays dogging it and blowing the whole season was almost too much joy to handle. Didn’t even matter what happened in the playoffs after that.
     
  12. 24JoshuaPoint

    24JoshuaPoint Grand Theft Duvet SoSH Member

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    That was the first and only time i've ever sat up on the Green Monster. My brother had gotten the tickets wayyyyy early in the season so down the stretch it was just going to be a 'fun way to end the season'. It was not fun. At one point i mistakenly walked into the woman's bathroom while i was in a daze of rage.
     
  13. uilnslcoap

    uilnslcoap Member SoSH Member

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    It was a brutal night. The swing from "We're gonna be in the ALDS" to "Two maulings later and we're done" was a lot at once. Felt really bereft. Hated the Rays more after that with 2008 as a significant contributing factor. Remember feeling similarly punched and suddenly finished in 2009 when Papelbon blew it to the Angels when the Sox looked to get back into the ALDS. 2013 took a lot of that sting out, though.
     
  14. BoSox Rule

    BoSox Rule Member SoSH Member

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    The Red Sox game was in Baltimore...
     
  15. brandonchristensen

    brandonchristensen mad photochops SoSH Member

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    He didn’t say he could see the game.
     
  16. 24JoshuaPoint

    24JoshuaPoint Grand Theft Duvet SoSH Member

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    Dangit looks like i have my season-enders a bit blurry. I should have pre-empted with 'i think that was the first....'
     
  17. DukeSox

    DukeSox Rick Derris SoSH Member

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    I got drunk that night because of the outcomes, blacked out such that the next morning when I wokeup, I forgot what had happened in the games. So when I checked my phone and saw what happened, it was like I had to re-live the horror again.
     
  18. Toe Nash

    Toe Nash Member SoSH Member

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    I was at that game in Baltimore. It was not fun.

    Similar to Buckner getting the blame instead of Schiraldi / Stanley, I would blame Papelbon more than Crawford. But...they both sucked.
     
  19. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    Crawford missed the freakin' ball. He simply failed to put the glove exactly where it needed to be. Like Snodgrass and Buckner and dozens of others before him. There is no reason to assume absence of effort rather than the kind of random failure that is endemic to humans under pressure unless you are predisposed to do so.
     
  20. Jed Zeppelin

    Jed Zeppelin Member SoSH Member

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    32,777
    What's great now is that the Crawford miss just makes me think of Beni's much more difficult and much more important catch. I just watched the video again and couldn't believe how routine the Crawford play should have been. An unfathomably casual attempt given the circumstances.
     
  21. PayrodsFirstClutchHit

    PayrodsFirstClutchHit Member SoSH Member

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    I recall a rather emotional game thread experience that evening. The discussion around the future of Theo/Tito was rather hotly debated. The consensus was that ownership would not overreact and do something as foolish as move on from Theo/Tito.
     
  22. brandonchristensen

    brandonchristensen mad photochops SoSH Member

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    Yeah, what Beni did was absurd by itself. But to compare the non-effort by defense and speed first Crawford is infuriating.
     
  23. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    What evidence in the video supports the word "casual"?
     
  24. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Member SoSH Member

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    Well he played a short hop off to his side on a do or die play with the season on the line. Maybe not casual as he did make some sort of sliding “effort” but in that situation you need to be in a full sprint into a headfirst dive. Who cares if the ball gets by him? A winner makes that play. If he goes all out and and can’t make the play, so be it, but that was a sad attempt considering the situation.
     
    #24 Blue Monkey, Dec 28, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  25. BornToRun

    BornToRun Member SoSH Member

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    10,415
    I remember watching 162 on ESPN and not even being that pissed once the game ended. I recall laughing and then watching Tampa winning it not long after. I don’t think it settled in and I actually got angry until sometime in the ALDS watching Tampa play Texas.

    Seriously though, fuck Carl Crawford. I remember him getting dumped on the Dodgers and proceeding to talk about how awful Boston was. I don’t doubt that he put up with some awful shit here but that motherfucker didn’t do anything of use here and maybe it says something about me as a person but any sympathy I might have for him falls by the wayside in favor of disgust for how useless he was while wearing the uniform and how freely he discussed his hatred of the city once he left.
     
    #25 BornToRun, Dec 28, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  26. joyofsox

    joyofsox empty, bleak Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Adrian Gonzalez: "It's definitely something that didn't plan for. We were wholly confident that we would make the playoffs but it didn't happen. We didn't do a better job with the lead. I'm a firm believer that God has a plan and it wasn't in his plan for us to move forward. ... God didn't have it in the cards for us."
     
  27. ngruz25

    ngruz25 Bibby SoSH Member

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    12,765
    In retrospect, that Red Sox team was really not very good. Ryan Lavarnway was hitting 5th in a do-or-die game, and ended up bouncing into a crucial double play in the 9th (the slowest DP of all time, mind you).

    The thing is... there was probably nobody else to hit there. You want Salty at the plate in that situation? Lars Anderson? Jed Lowrie and his 83 OPS+? God.

    Just look at that lineup. An animated corpse was starting in RF.
     
  28. StuckOnYouk

    StuckOnYouk Member SoSH Member

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    2,907
    Having everything possible go wrong in a one hour period is still amazing to me.
    Everything had to line up perfectly to get knocked out that night the way things were going for us.
    It was a horrid night. It honestly wasn’t nearly as bad though once the Yankees got knocked out.
    Having the Yankees top it off with a WS victory would have been an all time sickening thing
     
  29. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    The bolded is conveniently tautological; Q: what is a winner? A: someone who makes that play. (Oh, OK. Have I learned anything about anything?)

    As for a headfirst dive, it doesn't look to me like he had time (or room) to make one. A shoestring catch, maybe, but he apparently thought the slide was the safer play. This wasn't like the Beni line drive, where Beni was playing a little deeper and had to go all-out to get near the ball. Crawford didn't fail to get to the ball; he just screwed up finishing the play. There's no reason to assume lack of effort, since there was nothing about the way he screwed up that could clearly have been prevented with greater effort. Random, momentary incompetence, as befalls all athletes at one time or another, is an entirely adequate, and by far the most likely, explanation.
     
  30. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The way that team played the last two weeks up til that game, them losing saved us all time and money that would have been wasted on postseason tickets and watching.

    I was angry for 24 hours but glad I wasn't wasting money on playoff tickets for games that team was not going to win.
     
  31. DeadlySplitter

    DeadlySplitter Member SoSH Member

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    the team wasn't very good? they were 81-42 or something fantastic in May-August.

    shitty chemistry among players and injuries wrecked the team, but they were plenty talented. they would have been fine if they didn't have to resort to Kyle Weiland, the corpse of Wakefield going for 200 wins, and blown-out elbow Lackey
     
  32. Adrian's Dome

    Adrian's Dome Member SoSH Member

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    He dogged it, if he didn't he wouldn't have been in such an awkward position to not make the play. That's a routine play for a fucking high schooler.

    But by all means, stick with your overly technical, overly wordy, inaccurate "assessment."
     
  33. brandonchristensen

    brandonchristensen mad photochops SoSH Member

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    For reference, here's the Crawford Gif:

    [​IMG]

    Not an EASY play, but not an impossible one. Considering the situation, you would think he would be balls out for that ball because it's a season saving catch if he makes it.
     
  34. Adrian's Dome

    Adrian's Dome Member SoSH Member

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    It was hit almost directly at him. All he had to do was charge it a bit and catch it on the fly, but instead, he took some...I wouldn't use lesirely, but definitely not hard, strides in and half-played it on a bounce. That was an easy play and I'll take it to my grave...Benintendi makes that in his sleep.

    God, I hate Carl Crawford.
     
  35. pedro1918

    pedro1918 Member SoSH Member

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    I was at Camden Yards as well. After staring blankly at the field for a few minutes, I headed for my car. Oriole fans screaming at me. Before I reached it, I heard a roar from the stadium and word of Longoria's home run came moments later. I was disappointed, but I remember chuckling at the absurdity of the entire collapse.
     
  36. Van Everyman

    Van Everyman Member SoSH Member

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    What happens if Crawford makes that catch and the team goes on to win that game? Or if that team wins the WS? Theo had already punched his ticket out of town but Tito presumably comes back. Does the Punto trade happen? Does Crawford get a shot at Lackey-2013 or JD Drew-2007 style redemption? Does Bard get his groove back and get made closer once Papelbon leaves for FA?

    That one missed catch set a *lot* of things in motion.
     
  37. santadevil

    santadevil Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Looking back, I'm okay with it

    But it's funny to think about how much a fairly simple on field play has changed the franchise in so many ways
     
  38. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Member SoSH Member

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    He makes that play one of two things happen.

    1) They go on to lose that game in extra innings and nothing changes

    2) They win in extras and lose game 163 against Tampa. Also not much probably changes.

    The outcome of that game and all of September was truly awful but that team was DOA before it even got to Baltimore. They weren’t winning anything. As others have said, it was a shitty outcome that ended 3 weeks of all our misery... why drag it out any longer? I moved on very quickly from that one.
     
  39. Trotsky

    Trotsky Member SoSH Member

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    2,003
    I hated Papelbon since ‘09. Hate is too kind of a word for my feelings for him after ‘11.
     
  40. snowmanny

    snowmanny Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Yeah. Crawford, to my eye, was a mediocre/below average fielder all year. If you see baseball seasons to any degree as stories, rather than watching them as a series of random events based on probabilities, it was fitting that the ball was hit to him.

    Would Benintendi or Yastrzemski or Brunansky catch that ball for the Red Sox in an equivalent circumstance? I’d take my chances with any of them over Boston Crawford.
     
  41. pedro1918

    pedro1918 Member SoSH Member

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    What year did he jump out of the Red Sox dugout, questioning an umpire's call during the bottom half of the 9th inning after blowing the lead in top, of the ALDS? If think it was against the Angels. I remember yelling "Sit down you jackass!" at my TV. His act had really grown thin his last couple of years in Boston.
     
  42. RIrooter09

    RIrooter09 Member SoSH Member

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    2009
     
  43. JohntheBaptist

    JohntheBaptist Member SoSH Member

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    It still doesn't totally make sense to me, but I was not mad as it all fell apart in strangely perfect fashion. I was too in awe of it, I think. It was surreal the way it all played out, in both leagues. I had to step back and appreciate it, I think. Plus I was definitely ready to stop watching that team, deep down. That collapse, the way every single thing that could go wrong in a game, would, night after night, for like two months straight, was exhausting.

    I honestly didn't remember feeling either way about the Crawford play, and hadn't seen it in years. Seeing it again, I have to agree, he has to catch that without a doubt. I don't know either way about effort but that was absolutely a bad play.
     
  44. Wake49

    Wake49 Member SoSH Member

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    Ah, yes, the bullpen game where they DIDN’T use Rivera. Good thing they saved him for the playoffs!
     
  45. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    17,077
    They had their seed locked up, why would they use him?
     
  46. Wake49

    Wake49 Member SoSH Member

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    Oh, I don’t really care, I just think it was funny that they saved him and then shit the bed in the division series.
     
  47. ngruz25

    ngruz25 Bibby SoSH Member

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    12,765
    Let me rephrase: the team that took the field for game 162 was not very good and was not going places.

    Ryan Lavarnway! Hitting 5th!
     
  48. BoSox Rule

    BoSox Rule Member SoSH Member

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    Injuries really took their toll on Crawford. I know everyone had their opinions on how his bat would play 81 games in Fenway and he turned out to be extremely thin skinned which made him an easy target for fans to this day... but forget the bat, he wasn’t himself athletically the minute he left Tampa. The Crawford from 2003-2010 makes that catch in Baltimore 1000 times out of 1000.
     
  49. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    With Crawford, it was never really clear if it was injuries, or simply a player that aged quickly and so could no longer rely on his athleticism. He was terrible from the day the team went north in March.
     
    #49 lexrageorge, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  50. Dewey'sCannon

    Dewey'sCannon Well-Known Member Silver Supporter

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    534
    I was also at this game, sitting about 12 rows behind home plate with my two daughters, then age 10 and 7, all in our Sox jerseys. Waited through the whole rain delay, watching the Rays comeback against the Yankees, then the loss by Papelbon/Crawford (who I thought could have/should have caught that ball), and was as depressed as I've ever been at a ballpark. Heard the Longoria HR on the radio walking back to the car, and had to explain to my daughters that the Sox were out. Of course, probably the only time in my life I ever rooted for the Yankees (and I grew up in Yankees country), and look how it turned out.

    But the next year wasn't much better - I was at Nats Park for Game 5 of the LDS, where they blew the lead in the 9th to the Cards (and again in 2016 where they lost Game 5 to the Dodgers). Sometimes being a fan is really hard. But it's what makes years like 2018 so sweet.
     

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