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Friday, April 30, 2004
Jeter ends slump, Yankees sweep A's. (Yahoo!)

Alex Belth: "It was great to see the Yankees loose and smiling again. Funny what winning does to a team. As removed as modern athletes often feel from us in interviews, we are still invited to observe the intimacy and spirit of the dugout, when men light up like boys. Last night, the Yanks had a good reason to feel good about themselves. Really, how often do you go up against Hudson-Mulder-Zito and come away with a sweep? Not often, that's for sure." (Bronx Banter)

ChiSox's Loaiza continues April surge. "A 21-game winner last season and runnerup for the Cy Young, Loaiza (4-0) ran his career record in April to 18-3. The remarkable stretch includes 10 straight victories in that month dating back to 2001 when he pitched for Toronto." (Yahoo!)

Under The Knife: SuperSized. Will Carroll on all the latest injuries and rehabs. (Baseball Prospectus)

Eastern League Road Trip. Robert Dudek visits Erie, PA for some minor-league baseball. (The Hardball Times)

Best of the '05 free agents. Most attractive: Carlos Beltran. (

Kansas City Royals Hotness Evaluation. Most attractive: Carlos Beltran. (The Chop Shop)

Thursday, April 29, 2004
Boston 4, Tampa Bay 0. That's three straight shutouts, and 32 scoreless innings, for the Red Sox pitching staff. Granted, they've done it all against the Yankees and Devil Rays, but it's still damn impressive. Byung-Hyun Kim, coming off the DL for his first 2004 appearance, pitched the first five innings. (Yahoo!)

Cubs overcome Finley's three homers. Alex Gonzalez homered in the 9th to win it. (Yahoo!)

After appeal, Gonzalez helps Marlins win. (Different Alex Gonzalez.) (Yahoo!)

John J Perricone: "Starting in 1996, home runs, batting average, slugging, runs scored; virtually all of offensive categories are at historic highs. Barry Bonds' supposed late-career power surge coincides exactly with the league." (Only Baseball Matters)

Bryan Smith on Hee Seop Choi and other things. (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Sortable Stats: Batting. Mark Bellhorn continues to lead the AL in walks (21). (Yahoo!)

Sortable Stats: Batting. Barry Bonds: .469/.687/1.122. Unbelievable. (Yahoo!)

Favorite Non-Sox Players. "I've always liked [Darin] Erstad, every since the beginning of the 2000 season where he had 240 hits and hit .355. Although Erstad had that terrific season, he has been terribley inconsistent ever since. Its too bad too because he can show you signs of a Hall of Famer then he can show you signs of a 30th round pick." (Red Sox Haven)

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Yankees' rally in eighth sinks A's. Trailing 8-4, and in danger of losing their fifth straight and falling to 8-12, they erupted for six runs and won 10-8. (Yahoo!)

Bronx Bomb. Larry Mahnken examines why the Yankees are slumping. (The Hardball Times)

Piazza ties Fisk's home run record ...for catchers (351). (Yahoo!)

Catch him if you can. Richard Lederer compares Piazza to the other great-hitting catchers. (Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

Old Man Franco. "Dontrelle Willis was born about two weeks after Julio Franco made his major league debut. Jose Reyes, Edwin Jackson, Joe Mauer and Miguel Cabrera had not even been conceived yet when Franco played his first major-league game...Players who were still playing during Franco's first season in the majors include Willie Stargell, Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Bill Lee, Luis Tiant, Joe Rudi and Mark Belanger." (The Hardball Times)

Keith Woolner: "Cleveland Indians pitcher Jake Westbrook recently drew attention for an outstanding seven-inning perfect relief appearance. Interestingly enough, he retired the last batter he faced his previous appearance, and the first five batters of his next apperance (en route to a complete game win over the Tigers), for a total of 27 straight batters retired...Following Westbrook's accomplishment, I became curious about the idea of 'hidden' perfect games--instances where a pitcher retired 27 batters in a row, but may have done it across multiple appearances; i.e. the pitcher retired the last 15 batters he faced in one start, and the first 12 batters he faced in his next start, he would have a streak of 27 batters retired, and thus have a 'hidden' perfect game." (Baseball Prospectus)

Derek Zumsteg slams Pythagoras. (Baseball Prospectus)

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Reds beat Pirates, but lose OF Kearns. Broken forearm. Kearns, Griffey and Dunn played just 21 games together last season, and they're picking up where they left off. (Yahoo!)

Sexson, Johnson power Arizona past Cubs. "Richie Sexson's awesome power and Randy Johnson's ageless arm were more than enough to snap the Chicago Cubs' six-game winning streak. Sexson hit the longest home run in Bank One Ballpark history and Johnson struck out 10 on Monday night, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 9-0 rout." (Yahoo!)

Michael Fishman wants the Dodgers to put Wilson Alvarez into the rotation. (

The Day I Met Ted Williams. (The Baseball Crank)

Steve Treder on the West Texas-New Mexico League, which operated from 1937 to 1955. It was a hitter's paradise and a pitcher's hell. (The Hardball Times)

Monday, April 26, 2004
Red Sox complete sweep of Yankees. The Yankees scored a total of four runs in the three-game series. (Yahoo!)

Rivals in Exile: Time to Panic? Ben Jacobs and Larry Mahnken discuss the series. (The Hardball Times)

Salmon, Angels complete sweep of A's. (Yahoo!)

Ramon Ortiz...Again. "What are the chances Ortiz is going to return to his 2002 form? Not very good from what we've seen this season. I still haven't seen one positive sign from Ortiz that he is getting any better." (Pearly Gates)

Friday, April 23, 2004
Red Sox's Schilling loses for first time. He gave up a tie-breaking grand slam in the 8th. Toronto 7, Boston 3. (Yahoo!)

Jeff: "After two outs in the seventh, Curt Schilling gave up four straight hits. What was a nicely-paced, well played 3-1 Red Sox lead, turned into a 3-3 tie ball game. No harm done...the Red Sox have had a pretty good offense lately. Then stuff got bad." (The House That Dewey Built)

Visiting the 2004 New Baseball Stadiums. Woody Studenmund goes to Petco and Citizens. (The Hardball Times)

Derek Zumsteg on the need for offensive strength up the middle. (Baseball Prospectus)

Jay Jaffe on top sluggers and their home/away home run breakdowns. (Baseball Prospectus)

Thursday, April 22, 2004
Padres 11, Giants 0. Bonds didn't homer, obviously. Another rough outing for Jason Schmidt: six earned runs and seven hits in four innings. (Yahoo!)

Lowell hits 3 HRs, Marlins edge Phillies. The Marlins have won 8 straight, and 17 of 19, against the Phillies. (Yahoo!)

The Bowa-ry Boy. "Bowa is truly his own worst enemy...Bowa has to try a gambit the second he has the upper hand. And he gives the appearance of a manager who would myopically overlook the importance of the series with the Marlins to slake his pride." (Mike's Baseball Rants)

Ben on the future of the Marlins. "If the Marlins don't get the new stadium, what will the future of baseball be in South Florida? According to those involved with the team, in all likelihood, there will be no future for a Major League team in South Florida." (Talking Baseball)

Lineup muscles up for 5 homers in win. Ray Lankford, Scott Rolen, Marlon Anderson, Reggie Sanders and Jim Edmonds (grand slam) went deep. Cardinals 12, Astros 6. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Brian on Jim Edmonds: "It's like someone took a film strip of Will Clark swinging a bat, crumpled it up, cut out a few frames, reassembled them out of order, ran it back through a film projector, then used it to teach Jedmonds how to swing a bat. But the results -- those high, majestic home runs -- would be as if Thrill had hit them himself." (Redbird Nation)

Tim Kurkjian on the Brewers' Scott Podsednik. "Last year, Podsednik became the first Brewers rookie ever to hit .300 (.314). He's the fourth rookie in major league history to hit .300, steal 40 bases (43) and score 100 runs, joining Jimmy Barrett, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Ichiro Suzuki." And he's off to a good start in 2004. (

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Bonds homers again in Giant win. He's homered in the last seven games in which he's had an at-bat. (Yahoo!)

Yankees' bats awaken in win over ChiSox. They scored seven runs in the first inning and held on to win, 11-8. (Yahoo!)

Larry Mahnken: "God, Bernie Williams looks awful out in center. I think we might hear 'Bernie plays it on a hop' more often this season than 'Past a diving Jeter'. How can Joe keep putting him out there when he looks this bad?" (Replacement Level Yankees Weblog)

Pedro outduels Halladay as Red Sox win. Boston 4, Toronto 2. (Yahoo!)

Ibanez takes it home again. He hit two homers, including the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth. Seattle 2, Oakland 1. (Seattle Times)

Rob Neyer on the history of the slider. (

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Red Sox rally past Yankees, win series. Boston took 3 out of 4 in their first meeting of 2004. (Yahoo!)

Rob looks at the series. "So, Kevin Brown - these guys are a little tougher than the Devil Rays, no?" (Misery Loves Company)

Bonds hits No. 666, Giants beat Padres. In 13 games, Bonds is 18-for-36 with 5 doubles, 8 home runs, 12 runs, 17 RBIs, 15 walks and 3 strikeouts. (Yahoo!)

A Tale of Two Leagues (Part Two: 1956-2003). (The Hardball Times)

Free Benny Kauff (Part Two). (The Hardball Times)

Friday, April 16, 2004
Marlins run shutout streak to 30 innings. They've swept the Expos, 5-0, 3-0 and 9-0. (Yahoo!)

Tejada blasts first Oriole homer in 11th. It was also his first Oriole RBI. Baltimore 12, Boston 7. (Yahoo!)

Ordonez's homer gives White Sox sweep. It came on an 0-2 slider with one out in the bottom of the 10th. Chicago 6, Kansas City 5. (Yahoo!)

Another game to gray your hair. Notes on the game from a White Sox fan. (Exile in Wrigleyville)

Prospectus Triple Play: Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres. "There's a limit to the strength of ballpark effects, anyway. It's not as if Petco can turn a Klesko into, say, a Kerry Robinson. Only Bruce Bochy can do that--and that's exactly what he's doing. Through the first six games of the season, Klesko had started six games and finished exactly zero. An abridged game log follows, but here's the moral of the story: One reason--among many--that you don't want Kerry Robinson on your roster is that you feel compelled to use him." (Baseball Prospectus)

Thursday, April 15, 2004
Dye homers twice as A's beat Rangers. It's early, but maybe he's back. (Yahoo!)

Ordonez intent on 5-year deal. The White Sox are offering four. (

Jon Wells: "Ordonez is a very good player but he's no Vladimir Guerrero. And it seems he's insisting on the same contract Guerrero got from the Angels. I doubt Ordonez gets more than four years or more than $10 million on the open market next winter. Instead of acting insulted by the Sox offer, Ordonez should be asking where he should sign before the team changes their mind." (Grand Salami Blog)

Rocky Mountain Lie. Chris Kahrl says the Rockies shouldn't use Coors Field as an excuse for losing. (Slate)

Pat Garret...On the Back. A look at Garret Anderson's contract. "I just can't get around the fact that this guy wastes a tremendous number of outs. He may have produced given that constraint over the last couple of years, but I'm still not sold." (Mike's Baseball Rants) (Note: Alert reader Thomas Gorman noticed that Mike mistakenly left Alex Rodriguez off of his table of top-salaried AL players. For a minute I thought the Yankees and Rangers had somehow re-worked his contract so that the Yankees were paying him less than $12 million a year. As if I needed another reason to despise Tom Hicks.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Garret Anderson gets $48M extension. He's now signed with the Angels through 2008, with a $3 million team option for 2009. (Yahoo!)

Sean thinks it's a pretty good deal. (Purgatory Online)

Baseblogs - Obsessive fans track the national pastime on the Web.
Minnesota Twins fans, for instance, can follow every hangnail and torn meniscus on no fewer than five Twins-centric Weblogs. In the third inning of the Minnesota Twins' second game, local-boy-turned-super-prospect Joe Mauer tore cartilage in his right knee while chasing after a foul ball. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's beat writer wrote with a kind of composed distress—"What Mauer and the Twins must be concerned about is the prospect of a 20-year-old catcher suffering an injury that could lead to chronic arthritis"—but the paper's in-house fan blogger, Twins Geek, took the news a little harder. "What does this mean for a catcher who relies so much on his knees??!!?? What about a 20-year-old??!!?? Does it mean we'll have to start thinking about moving him to a new position?!? WILL THINGS EVER BE THE SAME????"

Marlins' Cabrera resumes power surge. "Miguel Cabrera swears he's not swinging for the fences. With four homers in his last nine at-bats, and five overall this season, it's hard to believe him. The 20-year-old slugger homered twice, and Brad Penny allowed only two hits in the Florida Marlins' 5-0 victory over the Montreal Expos on Tuesday night." (Yahoo!)

Nine Reasons To Give Baseball Another Chance. "It's possible, yes, that you genuinely think baseball is horribly boring and slow and you just don't care and never will. But it's also possible that nobody has taken the time to sell you properly on baseball -- to give you a good reason to get interested in it beyond droning on about the national pastime and the symmetry and the poetry of 'safe at home' and blah blah blah fishcakes. I've got your good reason right here. I've got a whole list of good reasons for you to like baseball." (Tomato Nation) (via Bookworm)

The Uncertain Glory of an April Joe Morgan Chat Day! (Mike's Baseball Rants)

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Mets rout Braves 10-6 in home opener. Even without Mike Piazza and Cliff Floyd, they were able to knock out Mike Hampton and build a 10-0 lead in the first five innings. (Yahoo!)

Joe: "While this lineup can't be expected to produce like this on a regular basis, it's good to see guys like Zeile and Spencer come off the bench and provide some offense along with guys who've been producing on a daily basis like Matsui and Cameron. If the Mets can continue to get a little bit of help from the bench as well as getting Piazza back in the lineup on Wednesday, they should be able to continue to put some runs on the board." (Betty's No Good Clothes Shop And Pancake House)

Position Report: Joe Borowski. "He is a throwback player in the sense that he actually does look like one of us. He’s a little doughy, a little schlubby, doesn’t throw particular hard, and, hey, he’s from Jersey! The main difference between him and us, of course, is that he’s proven he can pitch effectively in the majors (and the independent minors, and Mexico, and a bunch of other places). And that brings me to the second reason why I love him, which is that he blows the Myth of the Closer out of the water. Simply put, if a 32-year old journeyman can suddenly save 33 games, doesn’t that mean that the act of saving 33 games, in and of itself, doesn’t require the services of the specific type of pitcher who usually gets anointed 'closer'?" (The Cub Reporter)

A Tale of Two Leagues (Part One: 1901-1955). Steve Treder compares and constrasts the AL and NL. (The Hardball Times)

Free Benny Kauff (Part One). "Benny Kauff was ruled permanently ineligible by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis in a bizarre, shocking and utterly unexpected decision on April 7, 1921. The charge was that Kauff 'had participated in a game with a player under indictment for conduct detrimental for the good repute of baseball.' The player in question? Himself, Benny Kauff." (The Hardball Times)

Monday, April 12, 2004
Beckett dominates as Marlins sweep Phils. The Phillies, everybody's choice to win the National League, are 1-5. (Yahoo!)

Michael Berquist hopes the Phillies' new park (opening today) will help them succeed. (A Citizen's Blog)

Allen Barra hopes so too. (Slate)

Phils booed in first game at new park. Make that 1-6. "Paul Wilson allowed just one run over 7 1-3 innings, and the Cincinnati Reds beat Philadelphia 4-1 Monday in the first game at Citizens Bank Park, triggering boos from Phillies' fans frustrated by the team's slow start...A sellout crowd of 41,626 spent most of the afternoon hiding from the rain on a 48-degree afternoon. Most of the seats in the upper deck were empty by the fifth inning, and some of the remaining fans were booing or chanting, 'Let's Go Flyers!' by the seventh." (Yahoo!)

Franco becomes oldest non-pitcher to play since 1993. He's 45. Funny, I could have sworn Ray Lankford was at least 48. Didn't he inherit the Cardinals' left-field job when Lou Brock retired? (

St. Louis Cardinals - Stats. Fun with small sample sizes. Mike Matheny: 25 at-bats, .440/.444/.720. Tony Womack: 26 at-bats, .423/.483/.538. Ray Lankford: 20 at-bats, .400/.478/.900. (Yahoo!)

Friday, April 09, 2004
Angels finish opening sweep of Mariners. Seattle led 1-0 after 8, but Anaheim exploded for five in the 9th. (Yahoo!)

Bryan Smith on the first three days of the season. (The Hardball Times)

Not Earning Its Keep. Michael Wolverton argues against the concept of "earned" and "unearned" runs. (Baseball Prospectus)

Cubs, holdout rooftop business reach deal. "The Chicago Cubs and a holdout rooftop business settled a federal lawsuit Thursday after the team had reiterated its plans to block the business' view of Wrigley Field starting with Monday's home opener...Twelve of the 13 rooftop businesses that overlook the baseball stadium had already agreed to share revenues with the team after fighting with the Cubs for years. Skybox on Waveland was the last remaining defendant in the lawsuit." (Yahoo!)

Dan Lewis: "In the end, we have something unusual in America today: A big threat of litigation in a very visual (both literally and figuratively) context, and in the end, a settlement that probably been should have been worked out anyway, to both sides' benefit." (

A Home Run For The Ages. Bruce Markusen on Hank Aaron. (Baseball Primer)

Thursday, April 08, 2004
Clemens stellar in Astros debut.
R. Clemens (W, 1-0)     7.0  1  0  0  3  9

Matthew Bolin: "Why is it that the people in RSN with the biggest mouths always seem to be the ones who seemingly get the most cache in the public eye?...[T]o repeat what Bill Simmons (ironically, Hench's friend) said, who the hell made Ben Affleck the spokesman for Red Sox fans? He's part of that whole Chicken Little subgroup that-while actually a minority of Sox fans overall-are seemingly the majority of the public persona--allowing lazy sportswriters to profit from the whole 'Sox as tragedy' and 'Sox fans as deluded losers' bandwagon." (Boston Blog Sox)

Day Two: Thoughts Still Rolling. "4-for-4, 4 RBI, 1 Run scored...Neifi Perez. That puts him at .500 after his 0-for-4 last night. He also made a GREAT snow-cone catch to keep the Giants ahead. Is something wrong in the universe?" (The Southpaw)

Going for the cycle. Red Sox fan Charlie Hamilton plans to cycle 11,000 miles to see every big-league ballpark. (The Gleaner)

Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Schilling wins Red Sox debut.
C. Schilling (W, 1-0)     6.0  6  1  1  1  7

Trading Partners. Matthew Namee on Bill Veeck and Frank "Trader" Lane. (The Hardball Times)

Rob Neyer interviews Willie Mays biographer Charles Einstein. (

Number 100: Ivan Rodriguez. Shawn Weaver has been writing about baseball's 100 greatest players, one at a time, since September 2002. An ambitious project, the results of which could be assembled into a pretty decent reference book. (Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Giants 5, Astros 4. Barry Bonds tied the game with a three-run homer in the eighth, and the Giants manufactured the winning run with a HBP, a sacrifice, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. (Yahoo!)

Game log of the Giants opener.
9:15 Bonds steps in. GONE! First pitch fastball on the outer third of the plate and Bonds pulls it. 4-4. HAHA. Jimmy Williams looks pleased with himself. I love that the Astros fans CHEERED when Oswalt stayed in the game and now they're booing. Idiots.
(Fog Ball)

Lawrence stingy, Nevin grand for San Diego. Padres 8, Dodgers 2. Not a good start for the Frank McCourt Era. (

Craig Burley on Opening Day ("the real one, not the quasi-exhibition series between the New York Ricohs and the Tampa Bay Ricohs, or the made-for-TV hootenanny from Baltimore, or the first game for the stragglers in Florida, Arizona, Atlanta, and Seattle.") (The Hardball Times)

Monday, April 05, 2004
Lopez leads Orioles past Red Sox. Pedro Martinez gave up three runs in the second and lost, 7-2. (Yahoo!)

Rivals in Exile: Early Concerns. Alex Belth and Ben Jacobs discuss the Yankees and Red Sox. Jacobs: "Two years ago, Martinez gave up eight runs (seven earned) to the Blue Jays in three innings on nine hits and two walks in his first start of the season. He finished the season 20-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 199.1 innings...Last year, Martinez gave up 10 runs (all earned) to the Orioles in 4.1 innings on nine hits and four walks in his third start of the season. He finished the year 14-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 186.2 innings." (The Hardball Times)

Bronx Banter Interview: Bill James.
BB: Other than when Derek Lowe is on the hill, there has been a good deal of debate as to whether second baseman Pokey Reese is as valuable to the Red Sox as he might be to another team. Will his defense be all that valuable behind pitchers such as Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling, neither of whom relies on keeping the ball on the ground to retire the opposition?

BJ: Well, certainly it is going to be MORE of a priority to maximize the infield defense when Lowe is on the mound. But every pitcher appreciates (and needs) defensive support, and we do have other ground ball pitchers, such as Kim and Mendoza. We get an average or above-average number of ground balls. We're going to go into the bottom of the ninth with a one-run lead sometimes, and we'll want the best defense out there no matter who is on the mound.
(Bronx Banter)

Diamond Mind: Projected standings. They pick the Red Sox, Twins, A's, Phillies, Cardinals and Giants to win the divisions, and the Yankees and Cubs to win the wild card races. (

Indians trade Bradley to Los Angeles for minor leaguer. The minor leaguer is top prospect Franklin Gutierrez. (Yahoo!)

Dodgers not playing games, deal for Bradley. "'I've always dreamed about being a Dodger, and it's a great opportunity,' said Bradley, who was reared in Long Beach. 'There has been some stuff in the past and I've been characterized as a bad guy, but if you talk to my former teammates and coaches they'll tell you that I'm just a competitive person.'" (Los Angeles Daily News)

Friday, April 02, 2004
Looking Forward to 2004: Seattle Mariners. (Baseball Primer)

The ‘Burgh & I. A Pittsburgh-based Phillies fan on Pittsburgh sports. (A Citizen's Blog)

Aaron Gleeman on Milton Bradley and Jeriome Robertson. (The Hardball Times)

Know Your Enemy - Part V A - The Astros. (The Big Red C)

Know Your Enemy - Part V B - The Astros. (The Big Red C)

SI's 2004 Baseball Scouting Reports. As usual, Sports Illustrated's fearless forecast is almost exactly the same as last year's standings.
AL East: same.
AL Central: same.
AL West: Switch the Angels and Mariners.
NL East: Switch the Braves and Phillies.
NL Central: Drop the Pirates below the Reds and Brewers into last place.
NL West: Diamondbacks-Giants-Padres-Dodgers-Rockies. (Bold.)

Only Baseball Matters has added three new writers: Greg Hunnicut, Aaron Loomis and Doug Purdie.

2004 Boston Red Sox Preview. "The 2004 version of the Boston Red Sox is the best team the 103 year-old club has ever fielded. A record setting, punishing 2003 lineup returns virtually in tact while the run-prevention side of the ledger figures to improve dramatically." (The House that Dewey Built)

Thursday, April 01, 2004
Switching Sides. Randy Johnson is considering pitching the 2004 season right-handed. (Baseball Musings)

Steinbrenner Repents. (Baseball Musings)

A new manager? Goodbye Larry Bowa, hello...Dallas Green?? (Phillies Fan)

The Stunning Collapse in '64. (Philadelphia Daily News)

Tom Verducci believes that this year's Cubs and Royals will be exceptions to Bill James's rule that "when a team improves sharply one season it will almost always decline in the next." (

This Is SportsCenter? Matt Feeney on "the decline and fall of ESPN's franchise." (Slate)

NL East Preview.
Matsui and Reyes--I'm skeptical.
Though Cammy's a gold glove receptacle,
And the Mets seem improved,
I am not very moved;
I sense they will still be ineptical.
(The Humbug Journal)

NL Central Preview.
Pujols is worth an ovation.
I also profess admiration
For Woody and Morris,
The thing I abhor is
The rest of the Cardinal rotation.
(The Humbug Journal)

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