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Samson transcript from LeBatard show

Marlins President David Samson joined the Dan LeBatard Show on 790TheTicket Wednesday to discuss the trade and the direction of the ballclub. 

Q: When and how did you guys make the decision to do what you did yesterday, which is trade all the players everyone knows?

"Basically, the decision was made when we sat down after the season and talked about the team and said we cannot keep finishing in last place. It just doesn't make sense. We lost 93 games and we trusted all of our scouts and development people and upper level baseball people and said 'What we can do to possibly start this to turnaround? What needs to happen? How can it work?' And all sorts of different plans were possible. And it just so happens we found a way to possibly in one fell swoop get a whole lot better and get on the road to getting better. I actually recognize the names coming back are not names people are familiar with. But in the baseball world, people are familiar with them and so as far as I'm concerned what I really hope will happen and what I plan on happening is win more games. Each year, starting to win more games. That's what we want to do."

Q: The anatomy of the trade to the Blue Jays. How did it begin?

"I was just thinking about some of the calls we had during the season when the team wasn't playing well and losing all those games. I remember very well that our fans spoke to us and they said they were not happy with what we were doing and what the team was doing. So we said what can we do and where can we start and what can flexibility do we need going forward. We just started -- meaning the baseball guys -- started talking around something possibly came to fruition.

Q: Any part of you embarrassed today?

"No. To lose 93 games was the most embarrassing thing, far more embarrassing than this. Putting together a team in 2012 that we expected to win and the fact they didn't that was the most embarrassing. I think when we made the managerial decisions and player decisions we made last year we could not have guessed that our season would end that way. It's time to change. I'll be embarrassed if our team is as bad next year as it was last year."

Q: What do you say to the people who feel betrayed?

"I think people should feel betrayed by the fact we were losing so much and I would think they wouldn't want us to stand pat and keep losing because that's what everybody wants and that's what we want. We didn't think it would happen so many years in a row that we would finish in last place. But we don't want a team that for 20 years doesn't win 81 games or doesn't make the playoffs. We've already gone 10 years without making the playoffs. That's too much. I absolutely understand that. On the positive side, it's a great ballpark and now we need a great team go with it. We thought we had it last year. The evidence was overwhelming that we didn't."

Q: What do you say to those people who think this is a sham?

"What I say to them is we spent it wrong and it showed with everything off the field and on the field. We didn't approach anything we needed correctly. I don't blame more fans for not coming out because who wants to see 93 losses. But the fact is we think we have a young team that is maybe hungrier and should more. So, I say to them the difference with Montreal there was no ballpark, there was no future. There is a long term future for baseball in Miami and that is what the ballpark has been about and has always been about was making sure an All-Star Game comes to Miami, making sure that generations will see baseball. There's going to be losing seasons over the years. You just want to try to curb with as few as possibly. In our opinion, we were just having too many in a row."

Q: Why should anybody trust you guys just a year after you invested so much money in players that are no longer here?

"That's exactly what we said and exactly what did not happen. That's the whole issue. If we had all those starters pitching to where we thought they would pitch, then I don't think we're losing 93 games. So, that's my exact point. You may not know the name Jacob Turner or Henderson Alvarez or Nathan Eovaldi, but the fact of the matter is we think we're in better position to win more games. So, I hear you, it's the names. But at the end of the day the names added up to 93 losses. So shame on us if we go at it the same way."

Q: But why should anybody trust you guys?

"Trust in the fact we chose the right players. No, I will give you the fact we haven't been choosing the right players recently. But the faith we have in our scouts and our upper baseball management to come to our fans with names of players who can win more games, we still have that faith. We've been with them a long time. They were a big part of how we got a World Series ring in 2003. We have to trust them. If we move in a new group of pitchers and lose the same 93 games, that's not great."

Q: Right now, you're on the hook for about $16 million on books for 2013. Give us an idea of what the payroll will be next year?

"Those numbers aren't right. I'm not sure what range the payroll will end up at, but I know we will have the players in place to do better than last year and that's what it's about. We tried to raise payroll and ended up losing more games. Whatever the payroll is, the real important part is having better players. That's what it's about. It's been 10 years that most teams don't talk about a final payroll number. The final number that matters wasn't our payroll, it was 69-93. Because at the end that's all anybody focuses on."

Q: When a ballpark is publicly funded here is why a payroll is relevant: If a fan base doesn't know a payroll is going to be large, it sounds like you're just lining your pockets with money.

"Yeah, but I think everyone knows that can't be true. Everyone looks at the ballpark last year and saw the fact the team wasn't winning and the games weren't selling out, so obviously we have to do something different. Obviously, it was a public/private partnership. Let's not forget how much money Jeffrey Loria put it. $160 million of his money to get a ballpark, which has been a very positive thing and will continue to be long after all of us are gone."

Q: What was your reaction to Giancarlo Stanton being angry on Twitter

"Honestly, I have none. He's a good young player, very good young player and I don't expect players to be anything other than emotional. I get that. I didn't even call him about it."

Q: How did the players react? It's seem that now you would have a free agency problem

"I think at the end of the day players do come where the money is and that's okay. Listen, I spoke to Mark Buehrle and he said he was sorry things didn't work out. I said I'm as sorry as you are that they didn't work out. That's truly how I feel. If there was a year not to lose 93 it wasn't last year. It was just the perfect storm, starting with the Castro comments moving to the fact we couldn't win a game. It all snowballed. He was the only one I spoke to. Larry spoke to the others."


Q: It feels like the experiment with Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Heath Bell lasted only three months.
"I don't know where you got three year experiment from. That was never a word we used. This is about 30 to 40 years of baseball. It's no longer whether or not baseball can exist in Miami. We have a ballpark that exists in Miami and the Marlins aren't going anywhere for generations. So, it's not about three years. It's about a crop of players we put together thinking it would be better and then looking in the mirror and saying we don't want to drag our feet and then pray to have different results by doing the same thing over and over again."

Q: Do you feel the distrust, anger from the public?
"Of course I feel it and I understand it because the proof is in the win-loss record. There was no distrust when the team won the World Series in '03. And when we were going into '05 with the great and we didn't win, that was bad, people were upset. When went in '12 with a good team, everybody including us picked us to do better. Everybody and it just didn't happen. So, I think the distrust in warranted in terms of not winning enough."

Q: But it's personal than that. It's not just the distrust of the franchise or winning, it's a distrust of the owner, of you, of Larry Beinfest. It's a very personal distrust.
"I think that distrust again is based on the fact we're not performing. I get that. I think this isn't about me, Jeffrey or Larry. It's really about baseball and about winning. We have to try, whatever we have to do. We're custodians of this franchise, whatever period of time we're all working here. Everybody in the company is custodians of the Miami Marlins franchise because that franchise will go on long after all of the current employees are gone. There will be another group of employees, owners and presidents, just like before us. So, it was up to us during our time to get a ballpark built and now it's up to us to try to do better for everybody."

Q: You say what specifically to the angry Marlins fans today who feels bilked, betrayed?
"I can tell you that I hope that you believe you were not satisfied last year and the year before you weren't satisfied and that better days are coming with a team that's younger and hungrier to win more and that's our goal every year."

Q: What's the angriest you've heard a fan? What are you getting via email?
"Your listeners are fully supplying us with short jokes. Many of the emails are from people not exactly analyzing the players from just the names, they go right to the short jokes. I've got a bunch of emails analyzing all the players who say listen there is a chance. Josh Johnson. I love him. We had him for seven years. At the end of the day, he went 8-14. We love him. But we didn't win with him so we have to try something else. There's a bunch of people who try to follow what goes on in other team's farm systems and we haven't been as good on drafting as we'd like to be. So therefore That was another issue we had to address and one way to do it is to get some people who are scouts who we love on other teams. What we think we're doing of is trading up. But we'll see. Last December I made the mistake of saying all the signing we did and everything we did is going to be add up to being one of 10 [playoff teams]. I was completely wrong. I completely failed in that regard. So, the question is can you win a pennant in November? Can you lose a pennant in November? I guess I'm now convinced it's no to both of those."

Q: How active is the team going to be in free agency?
"It depends. It depends on who is out there and how many holes we have to fill. We just filled a bunch of holes on the team with the players we got back. We got a left side of the infield. We're looking for a center fielder. We got a No. 3 starter to go behind Ricky [Nolasco] and Jacob Turner. We've got two or three other guys that could come that are absolutely superb to go along with Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez. There's a shortstop that's being discussed, [Adeiny] Hechevarria, who if he becomes a Marlin is one of the great Cuban signings of all time -- a perennial All-Star, supposedly. But we have to do it. I guess all the talking we did last season didn't add up to any wins. So maybe less talking and more winning is in order."

Q: When you trade your name players, your expensive players and don't specifically answer we're going to spend this much, we're going to go after so-and-so, we're going to spend the money, people are going to assume you traded all the salary so you can just profit off the ballpark.
"That's just not accurately obviously. Dan, I know what to tell you. I don't know how to answer that. All I can tell you is we're trying to win games. We're trying to get people to believe that we're going to win more games. We just want to win more games and if you win more games with the players you have and they're younger, then that's good. If you lose more games with expensive players then you're like other teams that we just don't want to be like."

Q: To me this is the second worst day in history for the Marlins in terms of how the customer-base feels about the product.
"I hope if we do things right that people will look back on this day as the first day."

Q: But people want you to sell the team and Jeffrey Loria out of town.
"Okay, I don't know what to tell you. Jeffrey Loria stepped in and I will defend him because he stepped in when no one else wanted to buy this team. He got a ballpark done when no one else could and that ballpark goes to the benefit of everybody in our community."

Q: Yes, but nobody benefits more than Loria.
"It's immense personal risk. But it's not about that. No one cares about Jeffrey, no one cares about me, no cares about you. I think at the end of the day, people are trying to care about the team and the way people feel good -- just go around to other cities and ask them when you feel good about your team. It's when you win."


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lebatard throws softballs

Guy kept on saying that they lost 93 games...fine, but why weren't they held accountable. Their trades have sucked (Cabrera for nobody), first round picks are horrendous and he even admitted that try made huge mistakes in free agency. Again, Dan should have nailed him on that and asked them why weren't they accountable. Should fire themselves.....

Camera Mike

Did he really say that he has faith in the teams scouts and upper baseball management because they were a big part of the '03 championship? The vast majority of the '03 team was put together by Dave Dombrowski's staff under the ownership of John Henry. That whopper is one of the biggest lies in a history of big lies Samson has told. Le Batard if you are reading this please follow up with him on this and other lies.

Orlando Dolphan

What a ponzi scheme. Nevin Shapiro goes to jail and this guy is allowed to walk. He just ripped off the tax payers in S. Florida.

If you can't afford the team, then sell it. David Sampson should be ashamed of himself too for even trying to defend the garbage that they just pulled off. The players they got in return are not even rated as high as Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller.

Will they even attempt to have a Marlins Fan Fest this year. Who is going to show up to that? At least sports fans will have more money to spend on the Heat and Fins. Loria how does it feel to know that you have a joke of a franchise. S. Florida fans are not Cub fans we will not go see a loser play. I hope that we can break the franchise record for low attendance this year.

Don Suttelle

What a spin, Why not keep the players one more year and hire the right manager to lead them.

John Montague

I live in LA but have been a Marlins Fan from Day One since I grew up in Miami. My wife was nice enough to get me both tickets to opening day and a paver outside the stadium for this team. I wish I could dig up my paver and chuck it in the bay. This is worse than what the McCorts did to the Dodgers; it is borderline criminal to rob the taxpayers in Miami for the stadium to watch AAA baseball. They should have to go back to the old Miami Baseball Stadium with this ownership/management group.


I feel sick.


Damn it. Boycott these lying Madoff's. Boycott! Boycott! Boycott!


All I get from this article is excuses for failure and the expectations for a shít team for the future .

An EPIC failure .


Dirt Bag

I would SPIT right in his face if I saw him in person, close enough to know that my HOCKER hit him right in the face!

SELL THE MARLINS NOW and let's get rid of these PARASITES....Samson, Donna Shalala's best friend and former U of Wisconsin "buddy" - that right there should explain HALF OF THE REASONS why UM athletics has fallen to new lows!!

R. Gardner

I've been a Marlin fan since the beginning. Huizenga was bad but he looks like a saviour compared to Loria and his step son Samson. They have no concept about putting a quality team on the field. All they know is profits.... Sort of like a Bain Capital of MLB

Flav C.

Just read Capozzi mentioning that the Marlins are shopping Nolasco and Morrison.

Will the payroll even reach $20 million next season?

Orlando Dolphan

The best punishment we can deal this rat is to not go to games. I want to see that stadium empty. If Marlin fans are serious they will not put one more cent in this guys pocket. The only fans that should be going to see a game at the Marlins ball park are the fans of the opposing team. Thus, attendace should be somewhere around 5000 per game. Let's be true S. Florida fans and don't go to the games. Right now this guy is laughing at us, so let's show him.


Samson so arrogant. I called today to get refund for season tickets. Hope it happens by tomorrow!

Flav C.

Orlando, the best punishment is not only boycott the games in the stadium.

It is boycott the games on TV. Radio. Scare the sponsors away. No audience, no sponsors will want to be linked to this franchise.

I for one had already quit doing oil/car services on Jiffy Lube and wrote a letter to them to let them now why. It may sound funny, but they even wrote me back.

Same now with Sir Pizza, Badia Spices, Pepsi. No more Clevelander.

That's the only way we can play the game this FO plays and speak their language: Money.

I am only one person, but it makes me feel good.

no longer a fan

how arrogant this samson guy. what crap.
the guys that got traded are much better off than being stuck with the current marlins owners.

Camera Mike

I posted a message earlier that seems to have been deleted which I do not understand as I didn't use any foul or offensive language in it, but I will try again and hope it stays up.

Flav, I was responding to your post on the Marlins payroll even reaching $20 million next year. I agree that it will be low and if they do trade Nolasco and Lomo the payroll may very well be in the 20 to 30 million dollar range. That will be considerably below this years lowest payroll which I believe was Oakland at $58 million, though if someone else does know for sure what is the lowest payroll please feel to correct me. Also remember that a few years ago the league reprimanded Loria for not spending the revenue sharing funds he was collecting on the payroll. If the payroll is as low as we are expecting I would find it hard to believe Loria would not again be collecting revenue sharing from the larger market clubs and considering his history I do not believe that both the league and the union would let Loria slide by with such a low payroll. This could lead to a truly embarrassing situation for Loria because right now I don't see any free agent wanted to come here even if there is a large paycheck included. Could you imagine the league telling Loria to spend his revenue sharing funds but him being unable to find any players willing to accept his cash? I know there is only a remote chance of this occurring but I do wish that embarrassment upon Loria.

Well that was the deleted post. Manny if there is something in there violating the blog rules that requires it being deleted then I do apologize as that is not my intention, and if it is the case could you please inform me of the rule so I do not unintentionally break it again in the future?


Samson keeps saying he gets it, but he really doesn't get it. The team did not get a whole lot better in one fell swoop. Heck, it's still doubtful that this team is even on the road to getting better. This team will still lose 90+ games next season, then what will be their excuse? Do another firesale on $16M payroll? Then what, have only $8M payroll? Pay the UM baseball team to play home games at Marlins Park? Cheap out on fans like always?

This is ridiculous.


The Sun Sentinel website has been full of criticism for the Marlins over the past two days. The closest the Miami Herald blog has gotten to criticism is publishing a transcript of Dan Lebatard trying to get straight answers from Samson.

Miami Herald is Loria's lap dog.

el guru

that 03 team had very little to do with Samson/Beinfest! Samson and Loria are a rats! the hell with them!!!


69-93,69-93; 93 losses, 93 losses.

Samson, since you love making Win Loss predictions what's your Over/Under for next year? Let the bidding start at 67 - 95.

Yeah that sounds about right. Lets be honest here, this team is going to lose 100 games. There starters will rarely make it through 6 innings and right now there is no lineup whatsoever. Stanton is likely to have 100 walks to go with his 200 strikeouts.

Ugh, I'm burned.

Camera Mike

Rbleigh, I'd start the bidding at 62-100 and I think it's quite possible the Marlins could lose over 110 games next year. I also think Stanton could set Barry Bond's single season walk record because he will have some of the worst protection in baseball history giving teams no reason to pitch to him.


Trust our scouts and upper management??? Who gutted the farm system and filled it with bums we can't call up because they stink or aren't ready??
Lying sacks.

Stan M

With all of the comments posted recently, I would vote for a one line post by someone named Seth. He said, "I will still go to Marlin games. I like to have a section all to myself." Seth, that's beautiful. It sounds like something Laurel Bowie, would say, and that's a compliment.

Marlin Fan

A shame Bud " is in bed" with these crooks . Scott Passan of Yahoo wrote a great article explaining their previous exploits . He obviously cares nothing about the game .
To all the morons who actually feel this is a " good baseball move " really ??? Were going to lose 100 next yr with no line up and a rotation of who ??? Leblanc , Turner , Evoladi , the 14 game loser from the Jays and who else ???? I can understand not wanting to lose , but don't insult the fans intelligence with your BS. When does a 41-44 team get ripped apart at mid season , and sell off the entire rest of the team in the off season????? All for cheap prospects , with minimal talent , save Brantly , Turner , and possibly Eovaldi ??? Normal baseball people ADD to what they have not completely dismantle . A poor and pathetic excuse for greed and lack of caring . There are plenty of ways to make money in this world , why use baseball as a way to HUSTLE and SWINDLE people into making a profit for yourself .


Sampson is a tool that Loria throws out to do his dirty work. I'm sure he is paid very well, the guy is the single most annoying mouthpiece in all of sports. I hope people who purchased tickets for multiple years can get their how much did we sell back.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

It is unbelievable the way this gang of thieves continuously take credit for 2003, when its clear that almost all the players on that team were obtained by previous management. It is exactly like Jerry Jones over in Dallas taking credit for the third Super Bowl win, which was achieved with the team put together by Jimmy Johnson. And in the same manner that the proof about Jones can be found in his complete lack of success since, the proof about Jeffrey Lurid and his lackeys is found in THEIR complete lack of success since 2003.

"Figure it out"??? What arrogance! A total arrogance that has chased away quality managers like Fredi Gonzalez and Joe Girardi, and an arrogance that almost certainly will result in a 100-loss season next year, the next sacrificial lamb will be Larry Beinfest. The only winner? Jeffrey Lurid's pockets. The biggest loser? The fans and citizens of Miami.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Manny and Spencer, here's a suggestion ... Instead of continually posting Jeffrey Lurid's talking points ("figure it out!" ... 69-93 ... we're gonna win ... blah blah blah), why don't you inform us, the FANS, about the status of the SEC investigation? Or inform us about whether any questions are being raised by the same fools in office who were duped into a new stadium WITH OUR MONEY by Jeffrey Lurid. It's clear from Lurid's quote, "Figure it out", that he doesn't care what the fans think. So why keep defending him by bombarding us with his talking points???

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Kudos to Lynn Zinser of the NY Times (Jeffrey Lurid's home turf!) for labeling him "the most deplorable person in sports" and a "reprobate."

And from Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel, we get... "The Marlins way? Cheap, vindictive, and uncompetitive."


Nice piece by LeBatard on the front page. Today at 5pm when he has Samson on again taking calls,hope he reminds Samson that he has been quoted saying "If we listened to the fans,we'd end up sitting in the stands with them" and Miami people are "stupid". Samson using the phony excuse for this move that Marlins fans wanting anything is BS. Reality has proven that they dont care what anybody else wants or thinks. Also, Lebatard should pin down Samson on what other moves to upgrade the roster for next season will be made to avoid a last-place threepeat. Right now,with the current roster,they're looking at a 100 loss season ,and everybody knows it.

Flav C.

An NL scout on new Marlins shortstop Yunel Escobar:
"This guy makes Hanley Ramirez look like Teammate of the Year.''


Boycott opening day!

Thomas Jenkins

How, after 13 years of desecrating two franchises, Loria and Samson
continue to exist as owners rests squarely on Selig. He is supposed to
be the gatekeeper, the protector, the guardian. And instead, he chooses
to be the co-conspirator in the biggest fraud baseball knows.

This conspiracy is real. It's very real. And it's embarrassing that it's happening all over.

Thomas Jenkins

Same thing e did to the Expos they are all in bed together


read about it


93 games could have easily be blamed on pitching last year. If they wanted to blame it on performance, why did they trade Jose Reyes who had a decent season? What a joke.


The same as the dolphins owner all he cares about is the money,as long as you have them owners thier always going to SUCK!Sports in miami stinks except for the heat.


i would like the old Marlins teal back
the name of the Florida Marlins back
i would like the cruddy sculpture removed
i would like Loria to sell the team already. no playoffs cause of his cheapness since 2003.
i hope Selig makes him sell but he probably won't do it. cause he is as corrupt as Loria is.

Eric Fay

Loria has to sell the team for me to support them again in any way. Worst owners in Miami sports history! I would also like them to remove the structure in center field and put in some palm trees instead. The lighting needs to be adjusted when the roof is closed as well. It looks terrible and dim on television.

Bottom line is, this management doesn't know how to put a team together. Everyone is playing out of their natural position, we've lost our scouting prominence, and we could use a hitting coach.

I'd like our team to build around a solid, young catcher who has strong leadership qualities... ground ball pitchers with a solid defensive infield with a team of hitters who can move runners over and work a count. Greg Dobbs type players...


The Sociopathic front man for the carpetbagger will just say the same BS over and over...cxl the radio show and just play repeats. MLB exposed the scam and they are still running it...to pay for ML players for 3 months does not buy any trust. Time to start transfering money from the city of Miami and the other Owners back into Loria's pockets. AGAIN.

Jose D. Manzanares

So the bottom line we are to believe that they could not win with good players for 75% of a season, since they did not ha ve all the players for a full season, and now they want us to believe that they can win with a AA team because I doubt very seriuosly that they are going to keep Nolasco and the cuban shortstop that makes 5 million per year. I hope everyone is smart enough not to go the games, and force Loria to sell the team, because even at 10 million salaries range, if only 1000 people show up he wont be able to pay the loan. The funny thing is that with a 90 million payroll and a new stadium even if they do not win more than 90 games, the team is worth maybe 200 million. But with the team they ahve now, I doubt if anyone will pay him more than 150 million and assume the loans. These guys think we are stupid, they play us for a song, and now we must make them pay for it.


samson says they wont trade the rest of their payroll (Nolasco)...maybe , but they already tried to..they shopped him to Boston...I guess what he means to say is they can't trade him...no one wants him.


This is shameful. Loria is laughing all the way to the bank. It's all about the value of the franchise was increased dramatically because of the $400 million that the taxpayers of the city of Miami and Miami-Dade county put into that ballpark. I would have NEVER agreed to build this guy a stadium unless he committed in writing to minimum payroll levels. Don't want to do it? Fine. No stadium.

And the nerve of this guy to talk about Loria's financial commitment to the stadium. The taxpayers funded 80% of the cost and are on the hook for the annual maintenance. He's got a sweetheart lease, and they'll be pulling out the tarp to cover the upper deck in that brand new stadium that will ensure that baseball remains in Miami for generations.

It's s shameful. He's going to collect more in revenue sharing than he'll spend in payroll, and the excess, plus their share of the TV revenue, plus every nickel that's spent at that stadium will go to line Loria's pockets.

Selig and the other owners are to blame here as well. This scum destroyed baseball in Montreal (albeit not much of a market), and now he's doing the same thing in south FL. Yet they thought it was a good idea to approve the sale of another team to him. He must have pics of Bud in some very unflattering positions.

Jeffrey Sodusta

I think Samson just don't get it and stupid enough just to say. To trade all stars away doesn't solve the problem. I read through this carefully. yes we may blame it on the loss, At the end of the day, Loria and Samson doesn't care about what the fans and neither should we. If we could keep flooding the airwaves like we're doing now, we could save South Floria sports. I mean come on, Dolphins suck, and the trade made the Marlins suck. Samson just don't get it. Why rely on scouts. Go with ur gut feeling because it doesn't seem they don't know what the hell their doing.

Expo diehard

One of Loria's partners in Montreal had the perfect description for him; a gunnif which is Hebrew for thief. Its hard to believe that Loria is more hated in Florida than in Montreal. What an accomplishment!!! If he ever sells the Marlins he could become commissioner of the NHL if the current commissioner ever steps down as he has the same moral integrity as Gary Bettman. Nobody can lie better than Bettman and Loria (except of course Bud Selig).What a hall of fame lying trio; first ballot lying hall of famers. A close fourth would be mini me (David Samson).

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