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Link Report for Wed. 5/14 -- Stars Sweep Behind Narron's Complete Game Gem

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Wednesday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: Idle


Huntsville: LHP Sam Narron at Tennessee (Cubs), 10:15 AM pre-game; 10:30 gametime


Audio link via WUMP (game will also archive at this link):



Brevard County: RHP Mike Jones at home vs. Daytona (Cubs), 6:00 PM gametime


Audio link, Daytona's broadcast (game will also archive at this link):



West Virginia: LHP Dan Merklinger at home vs. Lake County (Indians), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime


Audio link via WSWW, be sure to select the proper date (game will also archive at this link):


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Follow Wednesday's action as it happens:
Here's what you do, right click on each of the links below and choose "Open in New Window". Choose "Log" or "Recap". While you're listening to your minor league game of choice (or watching/listening to the big league Crew when they are playing), simply refresh your game log browsers every so often.



Brevard County:


West Virginia:


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 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Iowa 20 18 .526 - 13-9 7-9 W7 Memphis 19 21 .475 2.0 6-10 13-11 W1 Omaha 17 20 .459 2.5 11-11 6-9 L4 Nashville 15 23 .395 5.0 7-8 8-15 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 28 11 .718 - 17-3 11-8 W5 West Tenn 23 16 .590 5.0 11-4 12-12 L4 Carolina 22 17 .564 6.0 11-8 11-9 L1 Chattanooga 20 19 .513 8.0 11-9 9-10 W1 Tennessee 15 24 .385 13.0 6-13 9-11 L4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Palm Beach 23 15 .605 - 15-7 8-8 W1 Brevard County 19 19 .500 4.0 10-8 9-11 W1 Jupiter 19 19 .500 4.0 12-4 7-15 L1 Daytona 18 20 .474 5.0 7-9 11-11 L1 Vero Beach 18 20 .474 5.0 13-7 5-13 W2 St. Lucie 8 30 .211 15.0 5-17 3-13 L6 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lake County 24 14 .632 - 9-8 15-6 W2 Greensboro 21 17 .553 3.0 8-12 13-5 W3 Delmarva 20 17 .541 3.5 12-8 8-9 L3 Lakewood 19 19 .500 5.0 10-10 9-9 L2 Hagerstown 17 20 .459 6.5 6-10 11-10 W1 Hickory 17 22 .436 7.5 7-12 10-10 W1 West Virginia 14 23 .378 9.5 7-12 7-11 L2 Lexington 12 25 .324 11.5 5-14 7-11 L1 

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These arson wildfires in the Palm Bay / Brevard area have had an impact on the Manatees' staff:


Manatees Fans,


The wildfires in the Palm Bay area have directly affected our staff. Our Director of Group Sales, Dan Covey, and his wife Olivia's home is one of the 71 destroyed by the fires. Everything inside their walls is gone.


If anyone in the area has any extra furniture that they would like to donate to the Covey's to furnish their new home, please feel free to send a reply email or call the stadium at 321-633-9200. We will store the items at the park until they have moved into their new home. Any items that the Covey's wish not to use will be donated to other families that also have lost everything they own.


Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this tragedy and those brave firefighters that are protecting all of us.


Stay safe everyone and have a good day.


Kyle J. Smith

General Manager

Brevard County Manatees

High-A, Milwaukee Brewers

321-633-9200 x3007 office

321-633-4418 fax




Here's some additional info from Kyle Smith -- if folks don't mind there will be a post regarding this in Wednesday and Thursday's Link Reports as well.


Thank you for your support of Dan and his family. If people would like to send donations to the Covey's they can send them directly to the team w/"Covey Fire Donation" in the memo line. I'll list the address below.


The outpouring of support for the Covey's and the people of Palm Bay has been tremendous. Teams from across the Florida State League are donating household items and are holding fundraisers in their stadiums over the next week. Truly a time in which we as organization feel blessed to have great friends.


The atmosphere in Palm Bay is teetering on chaos. With an arsonist running around town, people have to decide whether to go to work and risk losing their home while providing for their families or to standby with garden hoses in hand and take a day off from their jobs. I myself worked from home this afternoon checking outside every 15 minutes. Recently, we've heard of a couple outbreaks in the area, so we're packing up what we can in case an evacuation is needed.


Thanks again to all.


Brevard County Manatees

5800 Stadium Parkway

Viera, FL 32940

Attn: Dan Covey

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That Brantley kid is pretty good... If he developes anything close to a little bit of power, he is gonna fly up not only the Power 50, but every top prospect list out there. A 19-9 BB/K ratio to go with a .350 BA is downright sick for a 20 year old in AA.


edit: Make that a 21 year old. Mike's birthday is tomorrow

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Huntsville Press Release:

Narron Stars on Mound and at Plate in Huntsville Victory



Sam Narron tossed his second complete game of the season and knocked in the go-ahead run to lead Huntsville to a 3-2 victory over Tennessee and a five-game series sweep at Smokies Park. The Stars won a season-best sixth straight on the road to improve to 29-11 and maintain their five game lead over West Tenn in the North Division, while the Smokies fell to 15-25 and lost for an 12th time in their last 14 home games.


Don Money became the Stars' all-time winningest manager with his 231st victory since the start of the 2005 season.


Robinson Chirinos doubled with one out in the home second, moved to third base on an errant pick off attempt by Narron and came in on a scoring fly ball off the bat of Matt Matulia to give the Smokies a 1-0 lead. Narron picked up the Stars' first hit of the game with a two-out single in the third but was thrown out at the plate to end the frame on a Michael Brantley double. Carlos Corporan walked with two outs in the top half of the fifth, advanced to third on a fielding error by Doug Deeds and scored to tie the game on a single by Brantley, who reached base in four of his five at-bats.


Ryan Crew led off the seventh with a single, advanced on a Corporan sacrifice bunt, his first of the season, and scored when Narron bounced a ground ball base hit into center field to drive in his fourth run of the season. Brantley followed with a single before Freddy Parejo tapped a ground ball toward the mound that was fielded by Mitch Atkins, who threw wildly past first base allowing Narron to score to make it 3-1, Brantley to reach third and Parejo to get to second base. Atkins worked out of further damage by getting Alcides Escobar on a ground out against a drawn-in infield and Matt LaPorta on a grounder to third. Atkins suffered the loss to fall to 2-4 after allowing three runs, one earned, on eight hits over seven innings. He struck out four and walked four.


Narron stranded Matt Camp at third base in the third inning, got Matulia to bounce into a force out with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning and took a two-run lead into the ninth, having thrown only 92 pitches. Doug Deeds led off with a double, advanced on a Robinson Chirinos sacrifice bunt and scored on Matulia's second sacrifice fly of the day after a diving catch by Cole Gillespie in right field. Chris Robinson singled before pinch-hitter Steve Clevenger grounded out to first base to end the game and finish off the Stars' third series sweep of the season. Narron allowed eight hits, walked one and fanned one to earn his league-best sixth win of the year.


The Stars return home Thursday night to open a five-game series with Carolina. Huntsville will send left-hander Steve Hammond to the hill against Mudcats' right-hander Ryan Tucker. Coverage of the game begins at 6:50 pm central time and can be heard locally on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com and www.730ump.com.


Huntsville Box Score

Michael Brantley also now 13-for-16 on the basepaths...


Huntsville Game Log

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I haven't seen him either, but it may have to do with his range. He just gets to a lot more balls, so he's bound to have more errors.

errors are a rather over-rated stat in the minors. last I saw, he was getting to quite a few more balls than any SS in his league.


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Why isnt Braddock starting games? Are they trying to limit his innings?

He started 2 in WV and 1 in BC, I'm not sure what's going on, unless the pen was worn down. I usually only check the starters and the position players in the box score, I honestly rarely pay attention to the relievers, that's Mass' job for me... hehe.

Jones pitched his usual 3 innings? The game log didn't say did he get hurt or just the 2 runs?

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Thank you, tbbrewers!


Pretty impressive when the opponent's press takes notice --


Link while active, text follows:


Huntsville could become legendary AA team

By Nick Gates

Knoxville News Sentinel

SEVIERVILLE - The Huntsville Stars are special.


The Milwaukee Brewers Class AA farmhands have a 29-11 record and have a five-game lead in the Southern League's North Division.


Manager Don Money's team leads the league in runs scored and home runs. The Stars' .303 batting average is No. 1 - 32 points higher than what the Tennessee Smokies batted last year when they were the league's best.


"You take our 6-7-8 guys. They could be 1-2-3 for a lot of other clubs," Milwaukee roving minor league instructor Garth Iorg said Wednesday before the Stars defeated the Tennessee Smokies 3-2 before a season-high crowd of 6,571 at Smokies Park to sweep the five-game series.


Huntsville catcher Angel Salome, for example, is hitting .390 and bats eighth.


"I'm looking at other clubs and saying, 'Who's better on that club position by position?'" Iorg said.


Usually the answer is no one.


"They're just that good," Iorg said. "They are so much better than the teams they are playing."


Others are equally impressed. A major league scout said all of Huntsville's regular position players have major league potential and No. 2 catcher Carlos Corporan is a prospect as well.


The Stars might be the best Southern League team since the Chipper Jones-led Greenville (S.C.) Braves won a league- record 100 games en route to the 1992 championship.


Huntsville should remain mostly intact. Milwaukee's top farm team in Nashville is stocked with experienced veterans like former major leaguers Derrick Turnbow, Jeff Weaver, Russell Branyan, Eric Munson and Abraham Nunez.


There is no place for the young Stars to advance.


"We're like a lot of Triple-A teams, we've got some older players," Iorg said. "This team (Stars) could stay together for a long time."


Huntsville's slick-fielding 22-year-old shortstop Alcides Escobar is good enough to play in the majors right now.


"If something happens to (Milwaukee shortstop) J.J. Hardy, Escobar's the guy," Iorg said.


As good as the top and bottom of Huntsville's lumber company is, it's the middle that is frightening.


Mat Gamel (.367) is on his way to a batting title. The third baseman has nine home runs and 35 RBIs, and that's second to teammate Matt LaPorta.


Left fielder and cleanup hitter LaPorta, the former Florida Gator and Brewers' No. 1 draft pick last June, leads the league with 10 homers and 38 RBIs while batting .317.


The SL hasn't had a Triple Crown winner since Mike Reinbach in 1972 and the Stars have two candidates.


Center fielder Michael Brantley is hitting .342 with 21 RBIs out of the leadoff spot and has a league best 13 stolen bases. The 21-year-old (as of today, Thursday) might have the biggest upside.


Huntsville's pitching staff ranks fourth with a 3.73 earned-run average and features an all left-handed rotation.


Huntsville's 3-2 win in 13 innings Tuesday proves the Stars don't have to pound their foes into submission.


Sam Narron eight-hit the Smokies (15-25) Wednesday to become the league's first six-game winner. He was 2-for-4 with a run-scoring single off Mitch Atkins (2-4) in the seventh and right fielder Cole Gillespie's diving catch in the ninth prevented the Smokies from tying the game.

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Final: Brevard County 6, Daytona (Cubs) 3


Brevard County Site Game Summary:

Manatees Open Homestand with a Win
By Tyler Stover / Brevard County Manatees

The Brevard County Manatees used timely hitting and strong pitching to defeat the Daytona Cubs, 6-3, on Wednesday night. With the win, the Manatees took two of three from the Cubs in a series that featured two games in Daytona and one game in Viera. Lorenzo Cain led the offensive attack for the Manatees with two hits and three runs batted in. Jimmy Mojica and Darren Ford, who each had two hits as well, helped the cause. The seven walks issued by Daytona starter Adam Harben also helped the Manatees, although they were only able to score two runs against Harben.

Shawn Ferguson was the winning pitcher in relief, improving to 3-1. He pitched two hitless innings, allowing just one walk. Zach Braddock was effective in his three innings of relief, and Omar Aguilar pitched a perfect ninth for his FSL-leading 12th save. Jayson Ruhlman (2-3) took the loss for the Cubs, allowing two runs (one earned) in two innings of work.

The win pushed Brevard County back over .500 to 20-19. They are now in sole possession of second place in the FSL East, four games behind the Palm Beach Cardinals. The Manatees open a three-game set with the Jupiter Hammerheads on Thursday, with Jeremy Jeffress making his first start of the season for Brevard County, taking on Jeff Allison (1-4, 2.33) of Jupiter. It will be Ladies' Night at Space Coast Stadium, with several giveaways for the women in attendance, including the chance to win a ½-karat diamond valued at $1500 for the first 500 ladies to arrive.

Brevard County Box Score

Darren Ford and Jimmy Mojica on base four times each; Lorenzo Cain three times; Jeffress and Allison Thursday evening -- that's a fascinating pairing, isn't it?


Brevard County Game Log

Manatees strand 13; probably pretty smart to ease Zach Braddock into high-A action as the Brewers are...


Jimmy Mojica greets Martin Maldonado at home plate after both scored in the second inning of the Manatees' 6-3 win. (MiLB.com Photo by Dennis Greenblatt)



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Final: Lake County (Indians) 5, West Virginia 0


West Virginia Site Game Summary:



The Lake County Captains recorded their sixth shutout of the season on Wednesday night at Appalachian Power Park, holding the Power to just six hits in a 5-0 victory.


Adam White ripped a one-out triple in the third inning and scored on Lucas Montero's single. With two outs and two on in the fifth inning, Dustin Realini singled to center and brought in White. During the play, Caleb Gindl's errant throw to third allowed Karexon Sanchez to score.


Realini began the eighth inning reaching on Zelous Wheeler's throwing error and scored later in the frame on Michael Valadez's sacrifice fly. Mark Thompson hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to bring in Lake County's final run.


Kelvin De La Cruz, Dallas Cawiezell and Jonathan Holt combined to toss the six hit shutout. De La Cruz (3-2) tossed six scoreless innings of five hit ball and fanned five to get the win. Dan Merklinger (0-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing a run on two hits while fanning four in three innings.


The Power fell to 14-24 with the loss and the Captains improved to 25-14 with the win. Steffan Wilson went 2-for-3 and was the only Power player to record a multi-hit game. The Power hit into three double plays and have been shut out five times this season.


The Power will finish their four game series against Lake County Thursday night. Right-hander Evan Anundsen (3-3, 3.96) will get the start for the Power and the Captains will counter with left hander Ryan Morris (5-0, 2.45). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (6:05 Central).


West Virginia Box Score

Other than the middle of the order taking some walks, a very uninspired game, to be sure...


West Virginia Game Log

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Captains shut out Power 5-0

By Nick Scala

Charleston Gazette Staff writer


Remember last spring, when the class of the South Atlantic League could be seen regularly at Appalachian Power Park?


Well, the Sally League's best team this year - from the Northern Division, at least - has put on a clinic the last three nights at The App, but it's not the local nine. It's the Lake County Captains, who shut out the West Virginia Power 5-0 Wednesday night.


Lake County, now 25-14 and securely in first place in the Northern Division, got a stellar pitching performance from starter Kelvin De La Cruz to win its third in a row from the Power (14-24), which was limited to six hits.


"We've seen some pretty good teams, but [Lake County] is definitely right up there at the top," said Power manager Jeff Isom. "They've got a real good pitching staff, they go about their business on the defensive side, and offensively they've got a few guys at the top of the lineup that get on base and give them an opportunity to score some runs."


The win by the Captains, a Cleveland Indians affiliate, followed victories over the Power Monday (4-2) and Tuesday (7-4) night, and Wednesday's game was never in doubt - sort of like last year's first-half Northern Division race, which the Power won by an 11-game margin with a 48-20 record.


De La Cruz, a lanky 6-foot-5, 187-pound left-hander, allowed five hits and three walks in six innings to improve to 3-2 and lower his ERA to 1.77. Dallas Cawiezell and Jonathan Holt finished up with three shutout innings of relief, combining to allow just one more hit and one walk.


"What I like about [Lake County's] staff is they go out there, they command the strike zone with the fastball, then once they get ahead they throw off-speed pitches for strikes," Isom said. "It's just a very polished pitching staff."


It was the fifth time the Power has been shut out this season, but it's not like West Virginia didn't have its chances against De La Cruz, who was backed by three double plays and one game-turning defensive effort.


Down 3-0 in the fifth, the Power had two runners on and two out when leadoff man Brent Brewer lined a single to right. Running on contact from second base, Caleb Gindl was given the green light by Isom but was cut down at the plate for the final out of the inning on a perfect throw from Lake County right fielder Matthew Brown to catcher Michael Valdez.


"Right now, the way we're playing, every run's important for us," Isom said. "We hadn't seen their outfield arms yet, we haven't challenged any of them, and we had two outs in that situation - we're going to force something on the defense.


"The guy made a great throw and got him out."


While Lake County's defense was shining, the Power's was leaky, leading to two unearned runs.


Lake County got on the scoreboard in the top of the third when Lucas Montero followed Adam White's one-out triple with an RBI single off Power starter Dan Merklinger (0-3), who lasted just three innings.


The Captains added two runs in the top of the fifth off reliever Reed Dickert. Dustin Realini's two-out single scored White from second and Karexon Sanchez, who reached on an infield roller, scored from first when Gindl's throw from center to third sailed into the visitors' dugout.


Another unearned run came in the eighth, set up by a throwing error by Power third baseman Zelous Wheeler, and No. 9 Lake County hitter Mark Thompson's second home run of the season, leading off the top of the ninth off Wes Etheridge, set the final score.


"When you have a pitching staff like that going against you, you've got to limit the number of mistakes, and we made two errors that cost a couple runs," Isom said.


Cleanup hitter Steffan Wilson had two of the Power's six hits, including a fourth-inning double, and also reached on a walk. But Wilson, Wheeler and Brewer all bounced into rally-stunting double plays.


Sanchez and Thompson had two hits apiece for the Captains, who try for the four-game series sweep Thursday night as the Power wraps up its eight-game home stand.


Scheduled starters are right-hander Evan Anundsen (3-3, 3.96 ERA) for the Power and lefty Ryan Morris (5-0, 2.45) for the Captains.


POWER POINTS: Lake County's 16-6 road record is the SAL's best. The Captains are just 9-8 at home. ... The Power fell to 7-13 at Appalachian Power Park, where Wednesday's attendance was announced as 1,123. The actual number of the fans in the ballpark seemed more like around 200. ... Etheridge was struck on the foot by a sharply hit single by Sanchez in the top of the ninth, with the ball caroming from the mound past the third-base line. After taking a few precautionary tosses, Etheridge stayed in the game and struck out Realini to end the inning. ... After tonight, the Power heads out on an eight-game road trip, with four games at Lakewood and four at Lake County. Lakewood then comes to Charleston for a four-game series May 24-27.

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Lake County pitching silences Power

by Jacob Messer

Charleston Daily Mail sportswriter


The Lake County Captains did what they do best Wednesday night: Play solid, fundamental baseball in all aspects of the game.


The result was a 5-0 victory over the host West Virginia Power in a South Atlantic League game between Northern Division teams.


Here are some of the ways the visitors impressed West Virginia Manager Jeff Isom:


* The Captains manufactured five runs on eight hits, six walks, three stolen bases, two errors and one sacrifice fly.

* Lake County turned three double plays and committed no errors.

* Three Lake County pitchers -- starter Kelvin De La Cruz and relievers Dallas Cawiezell and Jonathan Holt -- combined for a six-hit shutout (the Captains' sixth this season).


"From what we have seen so far, we have seen some pretty good teams, but this team definitely is right up there at the top," Isom said at the end of a chilly night in which the threat of inclement weather kept fans away from Appalachian Power Park.


"What I like about the team is, they have a real good pitching staff. The guys they have thrown at us the last three nights have been very quality guys. They go about their business on the defensive side. They make all of the plays. I think they have made one error in the last three games.


"Offensively, they have a few guys at the top of their lineup who are pretty good hitters and get on base and they give themselves an opportunity to score some runs. Anytime you can get as many guys as they get on base up at the top of the lineup, you are going to score some runs and give yourself a chance to win."


Seventh-place West Virginia dropped to 14-24, which is the club's worst start since it switched to the Power nickname three years ago. The team was 28-12 after 38 games in 2007, 19-19 in 2006 and 19-19 in 2005.


The only Sally League teams with worse records this year are the cellar dwellers -- Lexington (12-26) in the Northern Division and Rome (13-26) in the Southern Division.


First-place Lake County improved to 25-14.


Second baseman Karexon Sanchez (2-for-5) and shortstop Mark Thompson (2-for-4) were the only Lake County players with multiple hits.


Right fielder Steffan Wilson (2-for-3) was the only one for West Virginia, which was shut out for the fifth time this season.


"I'm disappointed we couldn't get anything going with the bats," said Isom, who attributed that to the Captains' pitchers.


"What I like about their staff is, they go out there and command the strike zone with their fastball. Once they get ahead, they throw a lot of off-speed pitches for strikes. Not only strikes, but they have us chasing them out of the zone as well. It's a very polished pitching staff, if you will."


The Captains scored their first run in the third inning on a triple by center fielder Adam White and a single by left fielder Lucas Montero.


Lake County added two more in the fifth, when White walked and Sanchez singled. First baseman Dustin Realini delivered a two-out single to knock in White. Sanchez also scored after center fielder Caleb Gindl's errant throw to third base sailed out of play.


The Captains struck again in the eighth, when Realini reached on a two-base error by third baseman Zelous Wheeler. Realini advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Michael Valadez.


Lake County scored its final run in the ninth on an unlikely hit from an unlikely hitter -- a solo shot by Thompson, who bats at the bottom of the lineup.


"We gave up a couple of runs early," Isom said. "Right now, the way we are playing, every run is important. If we are giving up runs, it's tough. We were swinging the bats OK, but a few double plays tonight against us and we just didn't give ourselves a real good opportunity."


De La Cruz (3-2) got the win. He allowed five hits in six innings. He fanned five and walked three.


West Virginia starter Dan Merklinger (0-3) took the loss. He surrendered one run on two hits in three innings. He finished with four strikeouts and three walks.


POWER POINTS: The paid attendance for "Latina Noche" -- or "Latin Night" -- was 1,123, although the actual attendance was closer to 123. ... The teams will wrap up their four-game series Thursday evening. Right-hander Evan Anundsen (3-3, 3.96) will take the mound for the Power. Left-hander Ryan Morris (5-0, 2.45) will toe the rubber for the Captains.

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