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DrNeau

 

Twins' Byron Buxton carrying more bulk, moxie this season

March 11, 2019 - Jim Souhan - Star Tribune

 

The soft-spoken small-town kid is this spring displaying confidence bordering on the kind of competitive defiance that defines so many great athletes.

 

“I’m 100 times more confident. Nobody fazes me anymore. I’m ready. This is me. My father told me, ‘Time to start being you.’ He knows me better than anybody else. I’ve looked up to him my entire life. If he tells me that, then obviously it was time to change. Torii went through the same thing I went through. I’m not necessarily independent. I just know what I need to do to get myself ready to play this game. I’m not uncoachable. I want to be coached, but it’s got to fit me. No more, ‘Maybe you should try this, or do this.’ I’m not doing any of that. I’m being myself.

 

--

 

More comments from Buxton came out today, and are sort of ambiguous. On one hand he is saying he wants to be coached, but at the same time be basically said he will not try things at the advice of coaches - that he is "being himself". 

 

Seems like he has a bit more self-awareness in these comments by addressing whether or not he is coachable. Maybe he was called out for having an uncoachable attitude? Still, he doubled down on not changing anything at their advice.

 

Souhan praised Buxton in this article for having "competitive defiance". 

 

It seems to me that the only defiance he has had this off-season has been aimed at the Twins and their coaches. Surprisingly to me, the media (now Souhan) and the comment board in the article are praising him for this. I've got to say, comments like these are not typical of players, and I see it as sort of problematic for the organization. Not going to sugarcoat anything... if he wants to be Mr. "I hit by myself and that's the way it's going to stay", he'd better darn well hit. 

I'll say this much...I hope Buxton is as dogged in relentless singleminded pursuit of his agenda as you are.

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Twins' Byron Buxton carrying more bulk, moxie this season

March 11, 2019 - Jim Souhan - Star Tribune

 

The soft-spoken small-town kid is this spring displaying confidence bordering on the kind of competitive defiance that defines so many great athletes.

 

“I’m 100 times more confident. Nobody fazes me anymore. I’m ready. This is me. My father told me, ‘Time to start being you.’ He knows me better than anybody else. I’ve looked up to him my entire life. If he tells me that, then obviously it was time to change. Torii went through the same thing I went through. I’m not necessarily independent. I just know what I need to do to get myself ready to play this game. I’m not uncoachable. I want to be coached, but it’s got to fit me. No more, ‘Maybe you should try this, or do this.’ I’m not doing any of that. I’m being myself.

 

--

 

More comments from Buxton came out today, and are sort of ambiguous. On one hand he is saying he wants to be coached, but at the same time be basically said he will not try things at the advice of coaches - that he is "being himself". 

 

Seems like he has a bit more self-awareness in these comments by addressing whether or not he is coachable. Maybe he was called out for having an uncoachable attitude? Still, he doubled down on not changing anything at their advice.

 

Souhan praised Buxton in this article for having "competitive defiance". 

 

It seems to me that the only defiance he has had this off-season has been aimed at the Twins and their coaches. Surprisingly to me, the media (now Souhan) and the comment board in the article are praising him for this. I've got to say, comments like these are not typical of players, and I see it as sort of problematic for the organization. Not going to sugarcoat anything... if he wants to be Mr. "I hit by myself and that's the way it's going to stay", he'd better darn well hit. 

 

100% support Buxton on this, and it seems the coaches and front office do too. I haven't heard a single iota of criticism from anyone in the organization aimed at him, and so far he's looked great in spring training. I don't understand why people want to attack a guy who was jerked around in multiple ways (both service time and constant tinkering with his swing) for finally taking control and responsibility for himself.

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I'll say this much...I hope Buxton is as dogged in relentless singleminded pursuit of his agenda as you are.

Me too. Can i be uncouchable too, right? First class... I mean business. Either'll get me there.

 

(Not to get distracted, but dog is a verb, isn't it. Are there any other animals that are also verbs? Catted? Ottered? Oh yeah, ratted! Alright, done here...)

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If he is saying he will not take advice of coaching anymore, one would hardly be “taking liberty” with his quotes to view him as uncoachable. Also, how did the Twins “drop the ball”? Buxton is just out there running his mouth to the media about how he’s done taking advice from coaches, but now suddenly stating he is coachable.

 

Please stop lobbing bombs.

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The biggest problem here is that when folks shove a microphone in your face, you have to say something. And since the elephant in the room is his failure to hit, a ton of what comes out of his mouth will be easy to interpret as overly defensive (excuses) or overly offensive/aggressive (blaming others). So, you start from there...and then you mix in the fact that many (most) in the media need a story/angle...any story/angle. It's no-win. I just try to ignore as many words regarding Buxton (and Sano) as I possibly can...his words and the words of others....and pray to the gods of baseball that it will come to him.

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If he is saying he will not take advice of coaching anymore, one would hardly be “taking liberty” with his quotes to view him as uncoachable. Also, how did the Twins “drop the ball”? Buxton is just out there running his mouth to the media about how he’s done taking advice from coaches, but now suddenly stating he is coachable.

It's that "anymore," part that's the problem here. There's a massive difference between Buxton wanting to add more of his own input into his offensive approach after much of what the Twins have done has failed, and him flat out refusing any coaching. He's said nothing to indicate that the latter is the case.

 

There are multiple threads from last September that hashed out how Buxton was handled over the season, and the Twins decision to leave him off the expanded roster. 

 

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If he is saying he will not take advice of coaching anymore, one would hardly be “taking liberty” with his quotes to view him as uncoachable. Also, how did the Twins “drop the ball”? Buxton is just out there running his mouth to the media about how he’s done taking advice from coaches, but now suddenly stating he is coachable.

Your words are misunderstood by the members of Twinsdaily. You have spent a lot of time trying to explain yourself and have made little progress.

 

It would be unfair for me to characterize your sensibilities based on my disagreements that are derived from my interpretations of your words.

 

It would be unfair to you.

 

So... you should have a decent grasp of how Byron feels.

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Not sure I care how Buxton feels, or what he says about the Twins. Buxton hasn't produced at all, and the Twins were dinks last year to keep him stranded in the minors. Both deserve to be chided for the situation they are in. 

 

If Buxton wants to do it himself, it's fine to me as long as he produces. Who cares if it works, right?

 

If he does more flopping, well then, he will need to own up to it. Let him sink or swim. Put up or shut up dude. Time to show everyone how good you can be.

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Here's my translation of his comments:

 

"I've been trying to please everyone - listening to their advice, trying to incorporate what they're trying to tell me, and I lost what I was doing. In the end, I realize that I'm the one who has to make it work, and I need to listen to myself as the final voice. I'll still listen to what others have to offer, but I've got the final say."

 

I think that it's like many of us - yes, we'll take input. If you're a "pleaser", or if you lack confidence, you'll try it their way. Sometimes, you get better. Sometimes, you get in your own head too much, or you end up trying to do things that are inauthentic. Hopefully, you realize that, and you listen to the feedback, but you only incorporate what is authentic to you - what works for you. And in the end, you're the one who is the best judge of what makes that cut, and what doesn't.

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Comments from the 3 dates in question - verbatim. 

 

12/11/2018

Reporter: "Did you fly in just to make the appearance?"
Buxton: "I did. That's it. Then I'm going back home."
Reporter: "That's a long day for a good cause."
Buxton: "It is, but for the kids, and for the fans, it's worth it."
Reporter: "Can I ask about the whole hub-bub at the end of the year?"
Buxton: "I mean, you probably won't get nuttin' out of me. I mean, it's business... they did what they did, I do what I do, at the end of the day, I'm still gonna keep playing hard, still wanna play in Minnesota, still wanna play beside my teammates, that's all that matters."
Reporter: "Were you, um..."
Buxton: "Pissed? Yes. I ain’t sugarcoating nuttin'".

Reporter: "It appears you might need to win your job back?"

Buxton: “Apparently so. That’s how I looked at it. I didn’t finish the year here. I have no idea what they want from me now.

Falvey’s response: “We don’t view it that way. He’s our starting center fielder. That’s who Byron Buxton is. That’s clear to us moving forward.”

 

2/26/2019

Buxton spoke about changes he has made to his hitting approach.

Buxton: "It’s my swing, my thought process, my thinking. Everything with my swing now is me. I didn’t go to no hitting coach. I didn’t go work out with nobody. I worked out by myself, I hit by myself and that’s where it’s going to stay."

Reporter: Can you elaborate on the changes you made over the off-season?

Buxton: "It took last year to happen for me to figure this out. I take last year as a positive sign for me. It allowed me to free my mind, and it allowed me to go [through] this off-season clearly, to get me where I am today. Everything is out of my head. I’m clearer now than I ever was."

 

3/11/2019

“I’m 100 times more confident. Nobody fazes me anymore. I’m ready. This is me. My father told me, ‘Time to start being you.’ He knows me better than anybody else. I’ve looked up to him my entire life. If he tells me that, then obviously it was time to change. Torii went through the same thing I went through. I’m not necessarily independent. I just know what I need to do to get myself ready to play this game. I’m not uncoachable. I want to be coached, but it’s got to fit me. No more, ‘Maybe you should try this, or do this.’ I’m not doing any of that. I’m being myself.

 

---

 

This is a growing theme this spring, and he has 100% autonomy and control over what comes out of his mouth. No one is making him say these things. 

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I'll say this much...I hope Buxton is as dogged in relentless singleminded pursuit of his agenda as you are.

 

Do you consider the coaching staff as authority figures on the team? Just curious. 

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Your words are misunderstood by the members of Twinsdaily. You have spent a lot of time trying to explain yourself and have made little progress.

It would be unfair for me to characterize your sensibilities based on my disagreements that are derived from my interpretations of your words.

It would be unfair to you.

So... you should have a decent grasp of how Byron feels.

 

I understand you. At the same time, in Buxton's comments from yesterday, he asserted he is "coachable". If the organization is so supportive of his actions ("ain't hitting with no hitting coaches and that's the way it's going to stay"), I'm curious why he feels the need to convince anyone that he is coachable.

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I was trying to be nice....

 

Like that time you said your friend's wagon wheel coffee table was nice?

 

http://onthesetofnewyork.com/locations/whenharrymetsally/Whenharrymetsally39.jpg

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Buxton has alluded to his displeasure with the Twins several times this winter. It's spring next week. When is he going to get over it??

I'm tired of hearing about potential, speed, athleticism, how mad he is in every other quote this winter.

 

Enough. Shut up and hit in April just once..

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I understand you. At the same time, in Buxton's comments from yesterday, he asserted he is "coachable". If the organization is so supportive of his actions ("ain't hitting with no hitting coaches and that's the way it's going to stay"), I'm curious why he feels the need to convince anyone that he is coachable.

 

I've been interviewed multiple times and it is hard... real hard... extremely hard... basically impossible to speak freely while condensing your entire body of thoughts and feelings into a couple of sentences and do so... off the top of your head... off the cuff, in the un-prepared moment because you can't say... Excuse me... I'll get back to you next week after I consider all the possible implications and ways that I might be misunderstood.  

 

The mistake that Byron Buxton made was not using those PR approved cliches/idioms that every player uses to avoid upsetting anyone or being torn apart afterwards

 

"I'm just happy to be here", "Twins Fans are the best fans in baseball", "I've got to look at the big picture and keep my head up",  "Take it one game at a time", "Gotta Rise to the Occasion", My teammates are an incredible group of guys", "our goal is to win", "I'll put my best foot forward". Blah Blah Blah. 

 

We here these meaningless sugar coated comments over and over again.

 

I'd like to hear a true representation of what a player really thinks but I know I can't because if they say what they really think... they are torn apart and not long after... the book of approved sugar coated common phrases and idioms come out. Which shuts down honest discussion, realism, and true understanding of what it's like to navigate the world of professional baseball or what it's like to navigate the world each normal Joe individual walking each mile in their own shoes. 

 

So... fans basically remain in the dark... and deservedly so. We don't deserve to hear what players think because we are simply inclined to beat them into a pulp afterwards. We treat athletes like crap, we treat actors and actresses like crap, politicians (OK... maybe they deserve it). We treat each other like crap. We love to read about which celebrity gained 30 pounds, we love to talk about Madge's drinking problem when Madge isn't around. We love to make little crappy comments about the hair growing out of Tom's ears when Tom walks away. The high school bully doesn't just exist in high school... they are simply not contained by any demographic range. It's gotten to the point where no one can safely answer the question... What did you do today? Without Judgement passed on what you did today?

 

You choose to focus on the bolded parts below.in your quote of his quotes. You could have chosen to focus on the parts I highlighted in red.. but you didn't. 

 

Comments from the 3 dates in question - verbatim. 

 

12/11/2018

Reporter: "Did you fly in just to make the appearance?"
Buxton: "I did. That's it. Then I'm going back home."
Reporter: "That's a long day for a good cause."
Buxton: "
It is, but for the kids, and for the fans, it's worth it."
Reporter: "Can I ask about the whole hub-bub at the end of the year?"
Buxton: "I mean, you probably won't get nuttin' out of me. I mean, it's business... they did what they did, I do what I do,
at the end of the day, I'm still gonna keep playing hard, still wanna play in Minnesota, still wanna play beside my teammates, that's all that matters."
Reporter: "Were you, um..."
Buxton: "Pissed? Yes. I ain’t sugarcoating nuttin'".

Reporter: "It appears you might need to win your job back?"

Buxton: “Apparently so. That’s how I looked at it. I didn’t finish the year here. I have no idea what they want from me now.

Falvey’s response: “We don’t view it that way. He’s our starting center fielder. That’s who Byron Buxton is. That’s clear to us moving forward.”

 

2/26/2019

Buxton spoke about changes he has made to his hitting approach.

Buxton: "It’s my swing, my thought process, my thinking. Everything with my swing now is me. I didn’t go to no hitting coach. I didn’t go work out with nobody. I worked out by myself, I hit by myself and that’s where it’s going to stay."

Reporter: Can you elaborate on the changes you made over the off-season?

Buxton: "It took last year to happen for me to figure this out. I take last year as a positive sign for me. It allowed me to free my mind, and it allowed me to go [through] this off-season clearly, to get me where I am today. Everything is out of my head. I’m clearer now than I ever was."

 

3/11/2019

I’m 100 times more confident. Nobody fazes me anymore. I’m ready. This is me. My father told me, ‘Time to start being you.’ He knows me better than anybody else. I’ve looked up to him my entire life. If he tells me that, then obviously it was time to change. Torii went through the same thing I went through. I’m not necessarily independent. I just know what I need to do to get myself ready to play this game. I’m not uncoachable. I want to be coached, but it’s got to fit me. No more, ‘Maybe you should try this, or do this.’ I’m not doing any of that. I’m being myself.

 

---

 

This is a growing theme this spring, and he has 100% autonomy and control over what comes out of his mouth. No one is making him say these things. 

 

You ignored a lot of positive to focus on what you perceived as negative. You have 100% Autonomy and Control over that. 

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I've been interviewed multiple times and it is hard... real hard... extremely hard... basically impossible to speak freely while condensing your entire body of thoughts and feelings into a couple of sentences and do so... off the top of your head... off the cuff, in the un-prepared moment because you can't say... Excuse me... I'll get back to you next week after I consider all the possible implications and ways that I might be misunderstood.

 

The mistake that Byron Buxton made was not using those PR approved cliches/idioms that every player uses to avoid upsetting anyone or being torn apart afterwards

 

"I'm just happy to be here", "Twins Fans are the best fans in baseball", "I've got to look at the big picture and keep my head up", "Take it one game at a time", "Gotta Rise to the Occasion", My teammates are an incredible group of guys", "our goal is to win", "I'll put my best foot forward". Blah Blah Blah.

 

We here these meaningless sugar coated comments over and over again.

 

I'd like to hear a true representation of what a player really thinks but I know I can't because if they say what they really think... they are torn apart and not long after... the book of approved sugar coated common phrases and idioms come out. Which shuts down honest discussion, realism, and true understanding of what it's like to navigate the world of professional baseball or what it's like to navigate the world each normal Joe individual walking each mile in their own shoes.

 

So... fans basically remain in the dark... and deservedly so. We don't deserve to hear what players think because we are simply inclined to beat them into a pulp afterwards. We treat athletes like crap, we treat actors and actresses like crap, politicians (OK... maybe they deserve it). We treat each other like crap. We love to read about which celebrity gained 30 pounds, we love to talk about Madge's drinking problem when Madge isn't around. We love to make little crappy comments about the hair growing out of Tom's ears when Tom walks away. The high school bully doesn't just exist in high school... they are simply not contained by any demographic range. It's gotten to the point where no one can safely answer the question... What did you do today? Without Judgement passed on what you did today?

 

You choose to focus on the bolded parts below.in your quote of his quotes. You could have chosen to focus on the parts I highlighted in red.. but you didn't.

 

 

You ignored a lot of positive to focus on what you perceived as negative. You have 100% Autonomy and Control over that.

I credited him earlier for having positive things in these quotes. Positive quotes are to be expected. The multiple negative quotes are what is a bit shocking.

 

Can you imagine a middle infielder disregarding instruction from a coach on throwing mechanics when turning a dp during an infield drill? No, they would be corrected on the spot. Can you imagine Baldelli coming out and saying to the Falvey Twins “no more telling me this and that - this is going to be all me - my way”? No. You are crediting Buxton for being candid, and while I agree it is refreshing from a fan’s perspective, you do not say these things to the media as a player. If he hits, that is great, but I guarantee you that the Twins do not want him being openly defiant to what the coaching staff has to offer. It’s not a good messsage all around.

 

Accountability can be lost (and clubhouses divided) over such things which could plausibly snowball. Again, I like the Type-A mindset, and at at some level there are some things I agree with you on. Informing the media about being openly defiant to the organization, however, is what I think has some potential for danger.

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Can you imagine a middle infielder disregarding instruction from a coach on throwing mechanics when turning a dp during an infield drill?

...

Can you imagine Baldelli coming out and saying to the Falvey Twins “no more telling me this and that - this is going to be all me - my way”?

I don't think those examples are analogous to Buxton right now. Just because he said he doesn't want anyone to mess with his swing at the moment doesn't imply that any defiance has taken place. It seems quite likely that Byron and the team/coaches have come to an amicable agreement not to tinker with his swing right now, in large part because the constant tinkering the last few years wasn't proving effective.

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Can you imagine a middle infielder disregarding instruction from a coach on throwing mechanics when turning a dp during an infield drill?

...

Can you imagine Baldelli coming out and saying to the Falvey Twins “no more telling me this and that - this is going to be all me - my way”?

 

These being Major Leaguers, yes I can imagine both of those scenarios. If a player has reached that point, they've earned the privilege of taking information as they see fit and living with the consequences, positive or negative.

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I don't think those examples are analogous to Buxton right now. Just because he said he doesn't want anyone to mess with his swing at the moment doesn't imply that any defiance has taken place. It seems quite likely that Byron and the team/coaches have come to an amicable agreement not to tinker with his swing right now, in large part because the constant tinkering the last few years wasn't proving effective.

 

“I didn’t go to no hitting coach. I didn’t go work out with nobody. I worked out by myself, I hit by myself and that’s where it’s going to stay."

 

“No more, ‘Maybe you should try this, or do this.’ I’m not doing any of that. I’m being myself.”

 

————

 

1. The above quotes do not indicate there is an amicable agreement.

2. The middle infielder example is absolutely analogous.

3. Buxton has not “earned” the right to be on his own program.

4. Players do not make the rules, no matter how good or entitled they think they are.

 

Moderator's comment: The above YouTube link contains Not Safe For Work language

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“I didn’t go to no hitting coach. I didn’t go work out with nobody. I worked out by myself, I hit by myself and that’s where it’s going to stay."

“No more, ‘Maybe you should try this, or do this.’ I’m not doing any of that. I’m being myself.”

————

1. The above quotes do not indicate there is an amicable agreement.

Those quotes are referring to the past. We all know his swing has been tinkered with, in the past. And we all know it's not being tinkered with, in the present.

 

There's no evidence that he has refused efforts to tinker with his swing, against the team's wishes. Thus, no evidence of defiance.

 

I'm bowing out of this thread permanently now, as I am not really interested in this hyper-micro-parsing of athlete quotes. So if you reply to this post, don't expect a response.

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“I didn’t go to no hitting coach. I didn’t go work out with nobody. I worked out by myself, I hit by myself and that’s where it’s going to stay."

“No more, ‘Maybe you should try this, or do this.’ I’m not doing any of that. I’m being myself.”

————

1. The above quotes do not indicate there is an amicable agreement.
2. The middle infielder example is absolutely analogous.
3. Buxton has not “earned” the right to be on his own program.
4. Players do not make the rules, no matter how good or entitled they think they are.

 

By virtue of his being in the major leagues, he has earned the privilege of trusting himself and his talents (note my use of the word "privilege, not the word "right" as you used). He's a grown man, and he gets to live with the consequences of his choices, for better or worse, as did Barry Bonds in that anecdote you provide.

 

Just curious, do you think that every player should adhere 100% to every bit of advice they receive from a coach? Is the coach always correct, just by virtue of being a coach?

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Buxton has alluded to his displeasure with the Twins several times this winter. It's spring next week. When is he going to get over it??
I'm tired of hearing about potential, speed, athleticism, how mad he is in every other quote this winter.

Enough. Shut up and hit in April just once..

I don't think he's lived up to expectations for anybody on this board, but that disappointment/frustration shouldn't taint the view of everything he does. Buxton was, and continues to be one of the 40 best players in the organization. The idea that there wasn't room for him when rosters expanded, and any other rationale offered up by the organization was complete nonsense. They grabbed an extra year of team control and it came at the expense of Buxton's financial future. They screwed him. Period. 

 

Buxton has given quotes where he's talked about being focused on the upcoming season, improving, being part of the team, ect. IMO he is moving forward. The only individuals who aren't "getting over it," are those trying to dredge hidden meaning from select quotes. 

 

There's way too much misplaced anger in this thread....

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The excuses are flying. He said dumb stuff, and quite frankly, even dumber stuff in his last Star Tribune interview. What the heck is with him and running into walls? He's saying the gained weight is for padding. Even if it's tongue-in-cheek it's moronic. He has hurt himself in the outfield more than a few times. With his speed and athletic skills you would think he'd run into walls LESS. You would think he'd make it look effortless. He just loves crashing into walls and that to me is terminal dumbness.

 

Such talk and ideas should not be encouraged. Again, I don't care too much about what he says but I'm not really liking what he has said this winter. I'm glad someone is calling him out rather than making excuses for him. He needs tough love, not more coddling

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Could sub and you stop talking about "hidden meaning"?

 

He was speaking in very clear terms. There is an any hidden meaning to uncover with some of these comments.

 

Just hit in April. If he's a dog in April again, then what?

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