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January 3rd Hot Stove Show

Jan 3, 2013|

The first Hot Stove Show of 2013, this week Kirk, Rob and Alex talk with former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and former Red Sox player Alex Cora.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

But still show on a Thursday night I guess as usual. WEEI radio network Berkman and rob Bradford Alex -- Theo Epstein the president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs will join us shortly and Alex Cora. Who is managing Javier Vasquez -- general manager. Of the team yes Javier Vasquez who's obviously -- -- news source novel I was not around the other guy and only got a name. He's he's he's guiding a tight ship. There they were they were far and away the regular season winners in Puerto Rico and I was there when an island and I will have no have a mob because he asks us. He -- down and reporter Javier. Quick couple mention before we get to feel. And we'll talk to I'm sure about this video of the -- talked about last year which I think you know Luther NASA and the payroll and ownership and all that I guess and ask this question. -- do you guys real fast let's just say for argument sake. The Napoli thing falls through. Can't and they -- Simon -- let's say Sheraton. Really want to sign LaRoche for arguments -- really bad in the Keno city doesn't want to do is dead set against where they right now organization with. Are you are the first -- argues that and kind of in reversal. Probably say for arguments about the same group aren't you out as. I -- they would achieve organizational consensus you have arguments there it's not as simple as just. Literally has voice of the organization it doesn't work that way like in terms of one person has finally I don't with a lead voice doing the final say the final say is the only -- just looked like any business. The ownership have the final set right they're the one who's gonna sign off on any checks any acquisitions. But would you guess that Theo Epstein has final say term he's the president. He's the president of baseball president of baseball operations there -- -- the -- are so I would look at why would the only thing probably. Less organized but the question has to be asked him how has it changed. Right. Bomb in terms of how much Larry Lucchino leading you to that -- say two years writers or a year ago I mean we go back to spring training last year and in bench Harrington. Admits that there was is gonna ease into this. Lucchino was could take the same kind attacked they think he took early on Theo Epstein drain -- ask -- did you get the feeling that that has changed or the but I guess we talk about six months into the -- and -- may not have. As much -- tolerance he did eighteen months ago toilets I don't know about that I feel like his organizational perspective has evolved over the course of those eighteen months as much as anyone else's you know the idea. Of embracing this notion I found it really telling after this season. That he was on the -- was on board with the party line. Date he didn't wanna say that the Red Sox were going to contend in 23 team. To me. And to make that concession. And based on my committee you know that they might hurt -- and but saying look we can't say that with any certainty was a pretty significant shift of his. Of his outlook on the team I still a -- if I want is the that this dynamic in and war in the works. I would love to see whether Josh Fields in conversation and it. Because to me that was a good example classic example of what well -- well because here you are you would judge him -- looks like he might be slipping toward. What they wanna -- form of baseball operations clearly saying hey we value -- three years but nothing more than that yet. You also have to sell things you have to do you have to sell tickets this is the big name if you do sign him the perception of the organizations can be different just like it was. And they didn't mean -- -- on three when Malcolm -- -- sure seems like you know from any public relations standpoint we're never. Which he has been really quiet I think this summer or rather this winter -- and John and has been really got all brought disrupt -- -- get it out of -- or are yet you'd. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- To a degree that's different although. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And we ticket John Henry after go to cubs president the ellipse and he's gonna join us next -- Theo Epstein president of the Chicago Cubs up next and that's. Back now on the hot stove showed 937 WV hired yes right now in the AT&T hotline is he president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs Theo Epstein the of the evening or you. They get that extra mile and yes. How is -- -- -- -- second offseason but the cubs now obviously been there for awhile how's it differed from from that first when it seems you know the first which it has been more active in this offseason. They feel that it's totally different the second winner new organization the first winner. Is that most of your time getting to know. In announced the organization the person now and you don't have as much firsthand knowledge of the players certainly not having him play day in day out for yourself and especially true minor league players. Say is that more comfort level. It's time we had a full calendar year. In new organization -- It -- slightly different point we're certainly still. That are building process and if it moves that we made -- is that more of an -- towards the future. But were hopefully you know you're further along we have a few more core assets that we did. Year ago we can start to feel the more aggressive trying to continue to build the core. -- you dislike them Edwin Jackson. To two pretty good contract and I'm just curious about what you saw in him. And also what you saw in Ryan Dempster when he was with view that maybe Red Sox fans can expect. Look at -- Jackson park first. Well first and foremost you know Jackson. Is derided so players that and -- prime years last news. To it and there's only been around awhile is broken and so young but still 49 in all the while the free agency and the healthiest knock on wood one of the most consistent most terrible. Never really had no problem. And -- has been because he's bounced around so much intensity as -- all -- underrated for his for his consistency in this solid middle rotation. It's here for many years and on top that is mixed in if you outstanding seasons so although all the best and in created -- which is not. You know bucket you wanna be diving into you off and he's really one of the most one of the safest route to speak to union. Somebody would totally stopped. In some ways that we that we think can be in the middle or irritation there for years to come. You're. But our organization is that there's an imbalance we. We have a lot more depth there position player prospects and reduce their pitching prospects and as we look forward to future years in the desire to be competitive we understand it. Really next to impossible to build -- entire rotation over the course of one winners to winners so. We really had to start the process of picking their spots. To bring in starting pitchers. When they were available if they were. Healthy talented and in the right page such -- checked a lot of those boxes Forrest was available. For you know a fair value relative to to the creation market. On Dempster. Think Red Sox fans are a lot of these. And other other pitchers been extraordinarily. Consistent and and and healthy takes the ball. Thirty plus starts citizenry here. Very very competitive. It is really. Evolved as a pitcher in the earlier investors got great stuff and and then -- terrific in this break involved. But not you know not know is known for his -- command. More empowered just. He's. The -- he's he's he's a different got married. He came up with a split which is huge it's formed last year and now he's really more of its maker. His spot consistently. Along really executed. With a split finger. Keep hitters off balance you know you've when he didn't throw a good split is is that type of pitch that hitters don't get it's going that -- center. So you know he's Smart you know there is doing is still got. -- average stuff and and and and that difference maker and split. And that competitive. Guys you want out there really -- great team in a great person off the field so. You know as well -- on things and keep things positive for everybody I think he's. It was Smart enough to kind of pick your -- -- of the candy knows that he can't do and that should be very effective consistent pitcher regrets. -- whatever the reasons why it's been kind of interesting to watch your offseason and the reds and out of the Red Sox because. I think that in some respects they've taken very similar courses and you know just the idea that the cubs in the Red Sox entered the offseason and similar places. Mode with regards to team building was interesting. I guess it kind of stems back to the Red Sox making that blockbuster deal with the Dodgers. You know obviously respecting the fact that you don't wanna get too much into what the Red Sox have been doing since you left it still worth asking like just on the on the broad level when when you saw the Red Sox make that deal with the Dodgers trading Adrian Gonzales Carl Crawford Josh -- to LA. Viscerally how stunning was that for you to see that they had done that and what to you what does that say about where the Red Sox -- You know I think everyone in the industry surprises -- the scope of the deal as it became clear just how many players were involved but. You know I I really like that trade dispute could have a on the big fan of the young talent they got back. That we. Getting the Dodgers system we have some possible it's there -- in dumpsters. I think it's it's hard to make. Any trade these days you can required to your experience pitchers the caliber of Webster dollar rose and so. And it just so much was made of the players going and from Boston to LA and the vast amounts of -- That suddenly became. Available that are outside I think I'm not enough was made. Of the young talent that came back in and answer and decided to play -- -- never used a couple of other players and in you know whatever you know -- Indicated -- that deal of those two. Development. -- Of course started pitches that they can be it's going to be a transformative deal. You know that The Herald that freed up. Is was remarkable in its own right -- you know it's interesting dynamic game and we game and we are experiencing the same thing to a certain extent but. You know having available dollars. Today you know at this moment in time with this marketplace dynamic. Is not what it it was ten years ago -- and five years ago if there is a time when. When you really had to -- the payroll flexibility. Because there's there's so much you can do that you he's sort of the market to get. The catbird -- the market can really pick and choose what you want to do it is player out there you Dmitry you've got them if you had the most -- flexibility it. If you had the good farm system that limits the actor and payroll flexibility to do just about anything you want it to -- in trade it with these days with with the TV money and things going on in the game they're paralyzed in the line in the sand and and there's only so many ways to spend it in the CPA limiting. Clubs flexibility to allocate those resources amateur market and national markets. It is the last -- -- stand and and fewer and fewer quality creating becoming available so. Having you know just having money to spend does not necessarily make. -- put a freshness and a great position anymore so I think the the underrated part of that deal the red boxes. Was that the young pitching coming back and I think they'll serve them rather well for a long time. Theo Epstein joins us on the hot stove show on WEI Theo last summer you talked about. The monster that the front office had to deal with the times I guess two parts one the elements of that. Said monster you feel they still exist and if they do you feel it. Charge and is doing dealing. Well I'm not. Positions. And no matter comment. -- disaster about the deal and I think. You know if if that trade was an indication. That the entire organization and -- On the same page. Going forward as a really united front there. Prepared to. Invest in the future together and take a long view together I think that's a great -- for the franchise it sure seems that way so. I think that's terrific for everyone involved and there's always someone who has been the moment great perspective and and and it was -- ability to look at the big picture and seems like of those in the trade and and I think I think I think the outlook of princesses evolve based on what they've been through it we were we -- in a position. You know we're having tremendous success here in your Bowden. Averaging 95 when there's and when you're doing that it can be hard for everybody to agree on looking at that. The big picture in the long -- but after a -- go to some adversity. Yes some deals that don't work out you missed. You missed the policies -- especially if you go through what their assessment last year. Which -- -- -- so dramatic picture for everybody. I think there can be a silver lining their words it is it can make. Priorities more players can unite. People behind and a common strategies so. You know from afar looks like everyone's expecting her and united and things are going great direction. They're in presentations involved. The U or run these parts were still waiting Mike Napoli situation could result -- To talk to J. D. Drew a couple weeks ago he was very complimentary in the way it. His 52 day ordeal kind of went and how he had a lot of -- that that was gonna get worked out if you've got to kind of go through what. In general terms and watch it goes beyond the the behind the scenes in regards to something like that. You know I shouldn't get in -- -- it's about citizen in real general terms you know if if if if things come up. As part of is it that conditions being met -- -- on the new information and usually decides tested this. You know sit down together and hammer something out in light of that new information and so you know obviously did the -- I can talk about themselves. That contract over now but you know there was somethings can fly in the course the physical limits its descent that we had to work on some language in the field that was fair to both sides protect the club but wasn't. Overly onerous and it it go that awkward you know academic review is that that period of negotiation went through the holidays and but you know it could have been unsettling for her for JD this remember reasons. Sent some flowers to -- and apologized and and real or something -- that that really did protect the club. -- the same time was fairness in the in the and that's coming into play. The other -- felt better violence. One ulcers or something on this forgotten that they can they can get awkward situations. In general have no idea. All going specific case we usually it's just a matter of the club and the representatives sitting down. Clearly that was your first indication of him not him I met him not -- terms of it is even took nature. I think that the industry is aware of that prize from the time is an amateur for a statement certainly responded drafted. Doesn't get bothered by much. Sudden -- one thing that's been interesting to see from afar is as I as I alluded to it does seem as if you guys are moving in. In kind of you with similar priorities to the Red Sox namely signing a lot of guys who require relatively short term commitments. Into haven't cost you a draft -- at this point. I'm just curious you know since you do have that. Protected number one overall pick how valuable is a second round pick in the new baseball landscape and you know how how important is that. When you do have a protected takes still to protect that second round pick. It's really -- now. -- more important these are several reasons one is that you don't have the amount of compensation -- had in the past so. That second round pick for us is really where. Hi -- -- equipment in the past so it doesn't really matter what rounder pick it matters what what numbered as and so. You know we're protecting. More than a second paper that protesting and in -- That the cancer -- for most delicate that way everything is on the other two earlier you just don't as though. As it is is no. There are multiple pass into the into the amateur marketplace anymore you know in the past you -- Give up I'd pick and realize you're gonna overpay someone later on to give up. Couple drastic to realize that you just can't try to dominated national free agency that year. He just don't you just don't have the ability as do those things anymore so when he's surrendered drastic. And the captain in the pool spit that goes over the years you're really admitting that you're not. -- draft. That years you would otherwise not so that's really hard to do. Given. Given the price of creating these days and just how meaningful this. To develop your own talent and that player under control for six years it's. It's really hard to say they were trying to build out the organization but repeated do it. While many draft it is not going to be quite as apple here so I think here. You're seeing a real premium placed them on the drastic than in the in the polls missed that goes with it for good reason but I think it. It's a little bit unfortunate in the affected certain created such -- -- -- -- -- you the single best thing that can happen -- Perspective creating this platform Mears getting traded users to lose the burden of the nation's. -- go forward. Having said that could you see yourself allocating that picked any remaining free agents this this offseason. I'm I'm not -- -- I don't talk about their main entry and there are plans in general say yeah there's no. He can't be dogmatic about it clearly there are. Clearly there there immediately creations are. To justify surrounding you know first round and it's certainly effective effective. Here here acquiring. The assets of this thing if if that. If the contract makes sense in your your getting more in the player's services and potential trade value I don't play -- the player. On this more valuable and employers surroundings. In terms of dollars in the drastic certainly makes sense at all of them. Not just the player that the contract -- and essentially what you get out of the players terms contribution on the field of potential trade on the road. You obviously Anthony Rizzo has been highly regarded around these parts for for awhile if he wasn't you wouldn't be involved such a big trade value lies. But has hit his progress and how quickly he's kind of evolved. Over the last year surprised arisen about this -- that you thought you might take. He really by and large he's he's he's on the path that that we projected four. From the time established himself. In our system I think they're remarkable thing about what is accomplished is this just how quickly. He made a significant. It just it was this morning you know when he went out to San Diego. And and and crush strip away and they got promoted in June in 2011. He came up and gotten some bad habits really quickly. With the -- is part of it was. Try to do too much a part of it was playing in a park that to death -- -- -- -- power hitters so. -- -- -- Started over swing and and really got enough help plane. Dramatic up they'll play going in this way so is battles never in the zone. It really finish in. News is it is hard for him to impact the baseball and yes to the point where you know there are some respected areas around the game. But he was not -- -- make it made them slaves -- fundamental. The adjustment was that was needed in and Anthony's parents that we traded form of the bylaw on them. Last winner. Because he'd come up and failed and you know under fifty so it appears we follow on them and if we voted these. If we take a little -- time for a -- make that adjustment and set plan to send them back to triple at all you know Anthony be in the first it's -- -- To make that make that just as quickly as possible -- and worked his tail off over the winner and and you know really leveled swing -- to finish. Upon himself down in the box and from the moment shows up in spring training they completely different way you really. As a 21. Euro to a two year old. We worked this way you know in real fundamental way to get right into the vaguely and it is not something you see governments that a lot of success to off and so I think that that instant transformation. Who has it was really rare that the general path that he's gone you know he's still showing. The same pluses and minuses to his game that that we projected four with a Red -- this. Yeah I use someone connect work hard not to continue to improve over time shift to be elite player. Talking to Theo Epstein cubs president of baseball operations the failure you're coming back next week for for the hot -- cool music event the round table this year. Is about changing a baseball culture. It seems like that's been a driving force for the Red Sox certainly this offseason. That was obviously something that you place agree priority on with the cubs. Over the last you know whatever fourteen months or so. How important is it to change a baseball culture where you've been through kind of a dramatic run up losses. And how much was -- of the forefront of what you tried to accomplish. In your first offseason as the Red Sox GM. Back ten years ago. I think it's it's fundamentally important but it. It's really hard to define and it's it's it's it's -- missiles and amorphous thing so. You know you can. You can set out to change the culture and and and -- and see certain changes -- certain people. Identified some priorities and values that is sisterhood I think to accomplish does any one thing you can do this. To do it but but certainly it takes an organizational commitment yet to -- -- that are consisting get away from -- I think. Yeah element to the minute the two experiences trying to kind of set out in. -- knowledge that there is need for changes yet back back with the Red -- implement -- -- their assessment after that 2001 season. Were clearly clearly there are some things wrong in their culture change needed in. -- -- -- to him after the 2000 Tutsis and and so it did become a priority to periods of personalities like Ortiz. An alarm players like that who has servant in Britain and praised the role in about threats it wouldn't let. Wouldn't that -- outside influences bother them literally. Create significant bonds and his teammates and establish. -- way of doing things in the about -- of the team well through to the grind of the season on the spotlight. I think I think. That really -- and became well established and and sort of morphed into a little bit more. Professional culture as things capital -- -- control after there's some success in the and certainly. At the end -- something's got away from us and said the abouts about is an agency that evolved and hopefully they give them those lessons in and Chinese and here at the houses these. The culture that really need it to be transformed into a winning culture you know we lost under one games last year. On the club out that that. They'll swim in the coaching staff and the better itself -- selling really well the winning culture it's. Ridiculous to -- a winning culture seasonally under one losses but there wasn't a single players complained. -- players that each other's backs. Nothing -- -- -- -- leaked out and did they prepared -- they played hard. Certainly covered for each other. We got rid of a couple players to her cause some issues and that's important they're really ultimately -- -- so much the front office can do it falls to the manager. It's some of the veterans do to establish. What what's called the culture club. The hot stove cool music events roundtable Friday January 11 the concert is the next night to go to the website foundation to be named later. Dot org and take a look and see what's going on there and -- we appreciate your time thanks a lot. Yes thanks -- -- you know there are spots though Joseph earlier 937 all across action WE -- radio network Turkmen and rob Bradford Alex beer and joining us now in the AT&T hotline. Is out score out good evening Howard you. Not too bad not too bad out you are you were general manager of how bosque real close down in. What. -- -- -- in case you don't know -- expert he only wanted to take an actress and I can say that well as you noted. Very successful season down there and Javier Vasquez is on your pitchers now. With reports of the Red Sox will be looking and I guess we're hoping for a a scout report how we looked out for you. Well I actually. -- You can score -- -- and nodded and make a couple of Elton rodeo -- -- -- After the regular seat and -- a quick efficient -- is -- has been an abrupt and obviously you know. At least confront -- law and even if you are important to. I would pick and -- actually -- I -- it up you know integration you know our. Is it out like a regiment. Retirement. You are you are playing tennis and putting it. These are doing out here and you could just took our help he does to do it you know lineup. While he wanted to pitch or or eagle at WDs people is our -- And -- -- and you know he's -- Yeah you know. Every every competitor now and -- -- -- Betty LP and. How do I continue to call eight when he pitches and -- -- -- -- restarts dispute as well welcome and. -- -- was gonna ask you obviously you know this been well reported that. The Red Sox have shown interest there you scout tomorrow's start but have you noticed a lot of teams a lot of -- especially yes he's. Has success going through this year. Yeah you know. -- -- -- you know the Washington national -- -- -- that he let out. DJ's Google or tomorrow. What a bit and it grows you know. Obviously and what are we got with the help repeat the competition is a lot better now you know more intense. So it could be good. Or -- -- the actual people -- is great it's. -- -- -- -- Him. And all that you know a leg up on people you know he's a blog page you know money -- did contract and you'll get hundreds equation. A right to pitch or people WBZ. -- -- -- Alex when you say that he's looking good that he's looking healthy what kind of stuff for you seeing from him at this juncture how close is it to what he was working with and -- in the major leagues. Well you know -- it doesn't actually a good thing he outdoors and out -- blah. 2011. And ally in the -- You know a lot of people would doubt you know what you -- start -- -- -- know how you incredible art and obviously. I'll -- a pitcher that he repeats his -- You know these seem like you repeat every every continent are not. Like. -- -- -- you aren't college scouting out sharpened our current -- and clean. Got old rock. But he's good man we needed to strike could that's quite broad but when he's bobbled -- ball. -- -- might like dues right now you know he's great at -- because you can't strike. The guy you had on your team earlier years in zero interview Renato a Red Sox prospects. What are your impressions of him before he got hurt. You know a reporter before but you know. Uttered by a sword in that he wants page you know he. These people and -- -- I'll -- -- you are not yet you know actually the personal practiced. And you went great reward you know and I'm so worried about why not thought it would look very well into dual what are we need to do. Subplot is an -- you can see. Why do you look I dropped -- they get them come out of him LP you know I think. I don't know what I -- -- what is presented -- a lawyer could play. He's probably gonna come into it matter or am I like that as they held the ball couples is -- -- every quarter and important. She appreciated governments of your time in good luck with the -- assume luck with a playoff first front quo could pick. Aspects of affinity for the Red Sox. -- products. It's outscored guys jump out from we'll start that and yeah I didn't know that -- -- particularly those rules that you could I don't quite believe it I'd ask -- -- -- that -- he had -- he would -- he's just pitching for them and yet this season but yet more -- and a net interest thing. When you have that kind of talent available as. You know maybe a march addition. You know after the WB's the I will encounter a lot of interest for. So some some contender -- contender is going to lose one of their star ball and also opens up the conversation of the -- WBZ topic obviously Vasquez guy. Who's gonna take it looks like he's gonna take advantage of witches. The Red Sox could potentially have four guys in their starting rotation provisional rosters but. City gonna pitch but for guys who are in the conversation for pitching. And we remember what happened Dice-K. A few years ago and how horrific that allies in terms of going into the it was 2009 as -- 2009 season was basically ruined by WBZ preparations and was never the same -- granderson is terrific -- WB's -- what he really you know I applaud -- for -- -- -- -- it was 89 miles an -- the as we get him real -- -- I heard it from an overall Albion and of the offseason types and National League team. Yeah maybe -- -- San Diego while some people are saying maybe Japan to that's ethnic back to back to theory before you know that -- -- jump vote. For you when you guys that -- I thought that it was very interesting to hear him say that he thought before the trade with the Dodgers showed that the Red Sox organization. Was kind of moving in the right direction a unified direction. In perhaps was moving on from the hole. Monstrous culture that he would die that he felt he was a part of at the end of his tenure in Austin making some bad signings by the that was interesting new century -- white flowers during the fifty cute -- I'm sure. Well well well who would know it was in -- Hoyer peaking everywhere after eating out Thanksgiving dinner -- with the shelling yes while he would BO goes down and Red -- or by. I agree with -- Alex waited to hear Theo talked about. The perspective. The trade first of law and and the approach going into this year and and so that we talked about the in the show the dynamic between sharing in the ownership it's. It is something that I think he has the unique perspective. If I find it hard to believe which is sixty back last year Nancy opportunity presented itself that was made. It's like they would need to deal because the deal was there. Yeah that's the kind of deal anybody. It was it was. Given where the franchise was it was a deal they had to me again that that was obvious to everyone I think. But it was a time for the franchise to kind of take stock of where was and figure out what kind of operating principles needed going. Laws also another interesting thing was he said about the money every once -- -- you get all this money you have more money now than any team in baseball. Mr. Payroll can go higher but as he points out the dynamics have changed so much that doesn't mean as much as it did even a couple years ago -- -- -- -- Every week we asked this question and what -- we are now in this ordeal but we get back here again next Thursday. Is Mike Napoli going well etc. its secrets it's actually a month from today. A month from today it was. That December 3 are a few days there's a 32 day right and an agreement are you a third to a third. Yeah but you know it's like I think is gonna happen yes you know I think by the -- is. Just total gas but I think by the time we reconvene next week it will something happen -- in the first base position short or does that mean. Them I'm saying apple. While kids. Can I couch and I can't tell I was wired this year means. It's what I -- -- is -- -- information it is Floyd like final line Mike Napoli situation. At some point on the some conclusion I gestured took awhile as long -- and sent this post. There is that we should thank Theo Epstein -- next Friday and Saturday is the hot stove cool music foundation to be named later dot org the website I'm more information. Out score we thank him rob Bradford out spear we thank you gentlemen are quick thank you you're awesome -- -- history. We're back return tonight hot stove show and play like. Coming up here -- --

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