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Lineups From PNC Park

Lineups first. Below, I included some comments from interim skipper Jim Riggleman, who was talking about Josh Willingham. Crazy to think that this is a guy who started eight of Washington's first 24 games this year and broke camp as the fifth outfielder.

Washington

Morgan - 8
Guzman - 6
Zimmerman - 5
Dunn - 3
Willingham - 7
Dukes - 9
Bard - 2
Gonzalez - 4
Mock - 1

Pittsburgh

McCutchen - 8
Milledge - 7
Jones - 9
Doumit - 2
Pearce - 3
Young - 4
LaRoche - 5
Cedeno - 6
Morton - 1

---

Q: You've talked a lot about Willingham's play this year, but I'm wondering if anything you've seen this year has really surprised you? Anything you didn't expect from that him that you're seeing?

RIGGLEMAN: You know, I didn't really know Josh [before the season]. Didn't have any history with him. Just knew him by name. So when I became a National and saw him in spring training, it really was all new in terms of what he showed. He just showed what he does. Professional guy. Good worker. Didn't appear to have what you'd call an outstanding tool, like tremendous power, tremendous speed, tremendous arm, but he was solid in every area. Just a professional. But as you say, since May, it just seems like he's at that point in his career where a lot of guys get to where they do take that next step and they become a really good hitter -- like they've kind of figured it out. I see his strikeouts are a little down from his past years, his walks are up, his on-base percentage is way up. He's in the prime of his career, and maybe that's when it's supposed to happen. But hopefully it's for the long term.

Q: Do you have a history with any other hitters who've done this, taking off later in their careers?

I think Raul Ibanez has done that, late in his career. Josh is in the prime of his career, but Ibanez, who's about 36 now, got real hot in his career at about 31 years old. He was somewhat of his regular, but then really became a regular at about 31 years old and started driving in about 90 to 105 runs a year, sometimes more than that. And it seems like his career took off then.

Q: Is it even more surprising because, when you guys broke camp, Josh was the odd man out? He was like the fifth outfielder.

Yeah. Well, that's where it is a lesson to be learned for a lot of people. A lot of people would have went in the tank, and pouted and not handled it very well, not be prepared for when the opportunity did arise. And that didn't happen. He just kept pushing, kept working with Rick Eckstein and was ready for when the opportunity did present itself. He had some great pinch hitting at bats for us, and even though his average was low he was hitting the ball out of the ballpark, and just kind of forced himself into the lineup. But again, that's what you're supposed to do if you're a pro. You sign up to give your best effort, and he did that, and it worked out for him.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 3, 2009; 6:06 PM ET
 
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Next: The Turning Point

Comments

"The curly W looks like the Walgreen's logo. Worst look ever. And the name Nationals (or even Senators) is our jinx, in my opinion. Twice a losing franchise. Of course, if we picked a new name it might be something like Wizards (ugh) or Mystics (ugh ugh!) Ha!"

We could be the Grays. That's a baseball history worth celebrating in DC, at least.

Posted by: Section506 | August 3, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Josh "The Interim Hammer" Willingham!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The last Q&A is a lesson for all ballplayers at any level: not just the majors, but from youth to HS to college to the minors. Perhaps also applicable to business careers.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 3, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

@506 - That would have been a great call. In fact, didn't Wilbon actually suggest that back before the team was named, or am I making that up?

Posted by: Section220 | August 3, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we're coming at this name thing from the wrong end. Baseball history here has been pretty patchy, to say the least, and this franchise doesn't really want to keep a connection to its own past. Maybe we should make a clean break, go with something different, like ... lemme think for a few years.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

220, I'm sure he did, as did several thousand others.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm not crazy (not for this reason, anyway). Whew.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60835-2004Sep29.html

Posted by: Section220 | August 3, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

... should have something with "River" in it...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

NO NO NO I GOT IT!! The Washington Strasburgs!! Then he'd HAVE to sign!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

If I owned a minor league team, I think I'd call them the Tuxedo Cats. I can imagine a very cool Top Cat as James Bond logo -- pitching a ball in imitation of the classic opening credits handgun shot pose...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Mock has been pitching as if he still belongs in Syracuse ... I hope that changes tonight.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"NO NO NO I GOT IT!! The Washington Strasburgs!! Then he'd HAVE to sign!"

Post of the Day!

Posted by: souldrummer | August 3, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

the dry cleaning bills for the unis would be massive... best re-think that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I know a sports blog had a contest back when we got the Expos, and I suggested Homestead Grays, but maybe it's time for N's for Washington and O's for Baltimore, so together we're the NOs. ha!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 3, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

well, the NOs would always be in the running!!


arrr arrr -- get it? Nose? In the running...?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

McCutcheon sure has our number...

Posted by: BGinVA | August 3, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

How long before we accept that Garrett Mock is NOT a major league pitcher, at least at this point in his career?

Posted by: smill411 | August 3, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I think that the Nats have McCutchen scouted differently (and incorrectly) than any other team does. He's good, but this is ridiculous. Mock for AAA!

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | August 3, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Mock and Matt Chico for Livan: We wuz robbed. This is belaboring the obvious, but Mock shows me absolutely nothing. No fire, no command, no stuff, no clue. Bring back Martis; he's paid the time for his crime. If Dukes can come back...

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 3, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Mike Rizzo ought to consider bringing about a reunion of Morgan and McCutheon? Dukes and 2 of the young prospect starting pitchers plus Mock for McCutheon.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

McCutheon is the real deal. He was ranked as one of the top prospects at the beginning of the year. He's why Atlanta got a centerfielder.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"and Ron Villone pitched an inning with his front uni numbers peeling off his jersey. Maybe they were simply trying to escape?"

No, that's where he keeps the Vaseline.


Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 5:39 PM
************************************

sec3mysofa - you are on a roll! And that was a very delicious beer that just sprayed everywhere when I read this.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

And looking at this game, may I recommend that we all raise glass after glass in the direction of Landmark Mall and sing a chorus of the Lerner theme song, "What's That Smell?" If we can't be the Nationals, then how about the Scrooge McDucks?

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

@periculum

The Bucs would never move "McClutchen" now. The FO says no one is untouchable but he's been the face of hope for the franchise for years -now that he's finally made it to the show they would lose all credibility by trading him. Especially since there are still a few torch-n-pitchfork toting mobs roaming the north side after they traded away all those future hall of famers (Bay,Nady,Marte,Nyjer,etc.). The bobblehead set would burn PNC park to the ground.

Plus their m.o. now is to sell high buy low if they can (Nyjer for Milledge Vanilli) - which means if you want McCutchen check back when he's on the brink of free agency and has a couple all-star games under his belt. He won't be cheap but he'll probably be available.

Posted by: MannySanguine | August 3, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The Blue Planes Drifters?

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"The Bucs would never move "McClutchen" now. The FO says no one is untouchable but he's been the face of hope for the franchise for years -now that he's finally made it to the show they would lose all credibility by trading him."

For Dukes plus 3 good pitching prospects? They might ... Dukes has the same potential McCutheon has. He could rejoin Milledge, and McCutheon could rejoin Morgan. ~smiles~ Works for me.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Again, Mock unable to get past the fifth inning.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Blue Plains Drifters. Or, with that last grounder pinballing past Dunn and Gonzalez, the Washington Monuments.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Staunch relief by Clippard and Bard - what a warrior!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Clippard looks like he doesn't want to be shopping at Wegman's anytime soon.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if the Gonzalez at 2nd experiment is over? They could try Desmond at short and Guzman at second?

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

When Znn gets back, one could easily guess who is going back to Syracuse...

Posted by: TimDz | August 3, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

AndHanz has our bi-inning hit!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

@periculum

There's lots of things I like about Andrew McC. Number one on the list is that the Pirates don't have to hire a guy to follow him around to keep him out of jail.

What's scary to me is that if the Nats called with that deal the Bucs would seriously consider it. I do think they've strained the relationship with the fan base to the breaking point. It would be absolute chaos if they traded him...

Plus since Dukes has the same potential of McCutchen why would you give up 3 prospects just to break even? Ride it out - hire a second guy to follow him around - he'll crush for you guys someday. :-)


Posted by: MannySanguine | August 3, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

As an outside observer could I suggest that you just have Dunn take a bat out onto the field with him instead of a glove? It might work out better.

Posted by: MannySanguine | August 3, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Listach! AndHanz! Guuuuuuuuuzzzzmannnnn! Please, please keep it going FOTF!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Ouch! In a good cause. Take your base FotF.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

"Plus since Dukes has the same potential of McCutchen why would you give up 3 prospects just to break even? Ride it out - hire a second guy to follow him around - he'll crush for you guys someday. :-)


Posted by: MannySanguine | August 3, 2009"


The Pirates like Milledge, so they should really like Dukes. He likely will be a lot cheaper than McCutheon even when he breaks out just because of his "legal" issues.

If I'm Rizzo I try to work that deal. McCutheon looks to be worth 3 pitching prospects. And for the Nats, more are on the way.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

DUNNKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | August 3, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Adam, they are going to throw you breaking balls. YEEESSSSSSSSSS! WE HAVE COME BACK!!!!! 4-3!!! THANK YOU ADAM!!!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Me thinks the Nats must read this blog? Guzman actually walks and Dunn homers with 2 on down by 2 runs in the sixth?

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

With his strength, Dunn can hit that pitch over many a left field fence. His batting eye and swing need to have a talk and come to some kind of an arrangement.

Posted by: TimDz | August 3, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

If Andy LaRoche doesn't do his Brooks Robinson imitation robbing the Player of the Week of his double, Nats would now be up 5-3.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Please, please, this Monday has been tough enough - please hold this lead and win this one!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

@flynnie2: I'm rooting with ya, pal. In fact, I'm breaking out the bourbon and Maalox right now to get through our bullpen's next four innings. Drinks are on me, everyone! We're going to need it...

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 3, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Either way everyone should be happy. Clippard at least appears to have made a giant leap forward. He completely shutdown a bases loaded no outs situation. Celebration is in order just for that!

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Clippard has been money.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

And JD, I'll spend that money - make mine a double!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

That makes TWO relievers: Clippard and Burnett.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Very nice inning by TC! (Clippard, that is, not Magnum PI's sidekick)

And jd, thx for the bourbon offer, but I'm already on the Sam Adams front, so I gotta hold off, beer before liquor and all that.

I do have a bunch in the fridge, if anyone wants a round...

Posted by: HotNats | August 3, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Geez....can Morgan fly...

Posted by: TimDz | August 3, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Win or lose, I love Riggo's move letting Clippard bat and keeping him in for another frame or two. He's throwing lights out, keep him in. This is exactly what Manny "a pitcher an inning" Acta would not do, burning out his pen in the process. I'm actually pulling for Riggo to keep the job now for 2010.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 3, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Guuuuuuuuuzzzzmannnnn! RBI TRIPLE!! 5-3!!! Monday's looking better!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

ZIMMERMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | August 3, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

YESSSS! FotF!!! 7-3 NATS!!!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

JD - I agree. And Clippard had a good at-bat - worked the count to 3-2 and fouled one off before fouling it into the catcher's mitt - AndHands didn't do any better. And then the explosion - Double Dunn!!!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman!!!

What a great last few innings after a rough start!

Posted by: curz | August 3, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see the Nats being the one staking the other team to a lead and then teeing off to overtake them...

Pass the Maalox and bourbon JD...

Posted by: TimDz | August 3, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

WOW!!!! I swear, they must read this blog ... Chico's post on "clutch hitting". What a display of fireworks! A triple, home run, a double.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I love two-out rallies :) Keep it going, guys!

Posted by: BGinVA | August 3, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

DUUUUKES! 8-3!!! This is so refreshing after watching them score in the first three innings and then go dormant, it seems like all of June and July.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Come on Bucco's...throw in the towel...Put in Hanrahan...

Posted by: TimDz | August 3, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Will Clippard bat twice in an inning?

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, so I picked the wrong night to go up to Pittsburgh to see our Nats. This is a lot better than Saturday's game...

Posted by: BGinVA | August 3, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

2 singles, a walk, a double, a triple and a home run in one inning ... that is incredible!?

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

HotNats, gimme one of those Boston Lagers! Bourbon and Maalox boilermakers from here on out!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Charlie: That pitch was just a bit inside, Dave.

Dave: It was behind him, and Bard bats left-handed!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

(on phone calling courier for Sam Adams delivery to flynnie)

Posted by: HotNats | August 3, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Nice DP! We are showing flashes of looking like a major league team.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 3, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh bring up Morse already ... haven't you seen enough of Belliard Riggleman?

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

What a sweet dp! AndHanz to Guuuzz! Nice inning by Clippard!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I toast you, HotNats! And you JD, and Tyler Clippard et al!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Time for Sosa and Kensing ... the 2 worst ...

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse


If I owned a minor league team, I think I'd call them the Tuxedo Cats. I can imagine a very cool Top Cat as James Bond logo -- pitching a ball in imitation of the classic opening credits handgun shot pose...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:40 PM

------

the dry cleaning bills for the unis would be massive... best re-think that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 6:43 PM

------

Sec3, I'm confident you would never turn your Tuxedo Cats into Copy Cats and I'm afraid the tuxedo uniform has already been done by the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Here's photographic proof courtesy of the New York Daily News.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2009/07/21/2009-07-21_tuxedo.html

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 3, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

@Tim

We have several options available in addition to Hanrahan when we throw in the towel.

Posted by: MannySanguine | August 3, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

2 or 3 runs then Kensing ...

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

@MannySanguillen,

No one ever "throws it in" with the Nats bullpen.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

First and third, one out: Time to feed him the DP pill...

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 3, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Kensing or Villone.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

If they bring in Donnie Veal it's over - rule 5 pick - they never put him in if they hold any hope of losing. Plus you have Burnett now - he's been great so far - that should give you hope.

Posted by: MannySanguine | August 3, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Burnett? Wow ... I think Riggleman wants to put this one away.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

...meant "hope of winning" - can't get used to thinking in those terms

Posted by: MannySanguine | August 3, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

SEAN BURNETT! Icy! I don't understand the Bucs fans booing him. He wept when he heard that he was leaving them.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

oooo, this Veal guy--would fit right in our bullpen.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 3, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Why Burnett got boos-- he said over the weekend publicly that he was glad to be out of that Pittsburgh "circus".

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 3, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Someone explain pitchFX to Dibble.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

UH OH ... I knew it ...

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Here we go ... Pittsburgh rally thanks to Logan Kensing.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I HAVE GOT to get me one of those!!
In fact, everybody go vote for those as cool uniforms. Even tho they are really ugly, that's not the point.

***************
Sec3, I'm confident you would never turn your Tuxedo Cats into Copy Cats and I'm afraid the tuxedo uniform has already been done by the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Here's photographic proof courtesy of the New York Daily News.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2009/07/21/2009-07-21_tuxedo.html

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 3, 2009 9:36 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 3, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Kensing - what did JD call him? Our designated arsonist, in the tradition of Gas Canrahan and Gasoline Ayala.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Is there such a thing as a blown hold--ha ha. Sheesh.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 3, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

McDougal, the interim closer.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Four-game split and a 4-and-4 roadtrip.
Mediocrity, I love it. Come home and stick it to Bonifacio and those darned Marlins. But, let Nick get a hit or two.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 3, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

A curly W in the books! I've seen all 34 of them. 34. On August 3rd.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile the **real** closer is shutting down the Frederick Keys in the ninth.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

The Marlins ... and then Arizona. I sure hope they never have to use Kensing or Sosa in those games.

Posted by: periculum | August 3, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone think we would win this game when the bases were loaded with no outs?

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Nice game by all, Zimm,Dunn,Da Bama Hama,Flash Morgan, not a bad road trip considering..... don't wana see Nick in a Marlins uniform and we need to kick their collective azz three straight,and how bout my boy Hernandez why he was/is buried on the pine is beyond me, Macdougal scares the hell out of me,flashes of Gas Can Hanrahan Yikes!.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 3, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

We are left, to quote Positively Half Street, (God bless him!), with "that improbable, giddy feeling," that happiness, that lightness of heart which lasts all day after a Nats victory.

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Vin Scully is calling the Brewers @ Dodgers game. Felipe Lopez at the plate. "You may have heard the story of this heavily tatooed young man. Breaking ball inside, and strike three. His father was his coach in Little League. Every time little Felipe would make an error, his father would physically abuse him. It got so bad that he had to be raised by an uncle - a lesson for all of you parents who tend to get carried away."

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

A 4 and 4 road trip. I'll take that. Now, for a nice well deserved fish fry.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 3, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

@Flynnie2: Given the number of errors FLop makes, that had to be a terrible childhood.
Still can't stand the sight of him, and that .306 average of his. I just remember him rolling over, hitting into DPs and generally jaking it here.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 3, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Good one, JD! It's home made peach pie for me, cokedispatch!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 3, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Chico's gramer is GREAT. I think he's got the hang of this baseball gig.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 3, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Er, Chico's gamer. I love, stats and stats and then, play the stats vs. the stats. What a win!

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 3, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh! The Nats lead in the Bryce Harper Derby has slipped to only eight games in the loss column. Time to do some scoreboard watching.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 4, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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