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[11/23/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Takashi Toritani, Eiichi Koyano, Ryoji Aikawa

by on Nov.24, 2014 @ 5:51 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • Orix Buffaloes' official Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters on Sunday that he spoke to Kaneko's agent on the 21st.
  • The Buffaloes were told Kaneko still felt strongly about the team and wanted to win a championship with them, but was also curious about his options. There was no mention of posting.
  • The Yokohama Bay Stars are interested in Kaneko and could be open to posting him after a year.

Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Sanspo 11/23/2014, Daily Sports 11/23/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014

Takashi Toritani

  • The Hanshin Tigers are planning to give Toritani some space to consider their offer. If they meet with him again, it will most likely be after he hears from MLB teams.
  • Sponichi asked 100 Hanshin fans if they wanted Toritani to stay or leave. Ninety-one wanted him to remain. Six wanted him to go to the Majors. Three did not care either way.

Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Sponichi 11/23/2014

Eiichi Koyano

  • Koyano could hold a press conference to announce his decision on the 26th.
  • Koyano has reportedly contacted the Seibu Lions to turn down their offer.
  • Part of the reason why Koyano turned Seibu down may have had to do with not wanting to play at Seibu Dome, where temperatures can fluctuate.
  • Koyano may have also been offered a three-year deal worth over 300 million yen by the Orix Buffaloes. Seibu's offer may have been two years at about 200 million yen.

Sources: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014, Sponichi 11/23/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • The Yakult Swallows could try to snag a veteran outfielder from the Yomiuri Giants as compensation for losing Aikawa. Yakult could have their eye on players like Yoshinobu Takahashi, Yano Kenji, or Tetsuya Matsumoto.

Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Sponichi 11/23/2014

[11/21/2014] Ryoji Aikawa formally turns down Yakult, to sign with Yomiuri

by on Nov.21, 2014 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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Ryoji Aikawa (38) met with the Yakult Swallows on Friday to formally turn down their offer and to let them know that he was planning to sign with the Yomiuri Giants.

Aikawa first met the Yomiuri Giants on the 13th. He did not receive an offer, but was told he would have a chance to compete for the everyday job at catcher. He met the Giants again on the 16th and was most likely offered a one-year contract worth an estimated sixty million yen and the uniform number 23.

The Giants are also said to have reached a deal with Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38). The Yokohama Bay Stars announced that Kinjo will not be participating in fan appreciation day and posted the following statement from the veteran:

To the fans,

I was able to play for the Yokohama Bay Stars for sixteen years because you supported me by cheering for me while I was on the field. There were good times and bad times. Regardless of how things were going, your cheering never changed. Your warm cheering gave me strength.

I am very sorry, but I will not be able to properly say goodbye to you as I leave this team. I will never forget the appreciation I have for you and will pursue my baseball career to the fullest.

Thank you very much for the sixteen years.

Yomiuri is expected to hold a press conference for both players in early December.

Sources: Sponichi 11/21/2014, Daily Sports 11/21/2014, Daily Sports 11/21/2014, Daily Sports 11/21/2014, official announcement (Kinjo)

[11/20/2014] Free Agents and Rumors: Chihiro Kaneko, Ryoji Aikawa, Hiroyuki Nakajima

by on Nov.21, 2014 @ 1:56 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Hanshin Tigers met Kaneko's agent in Tokyo on Wednesday.
  • The Tigers did not submit an offer during the meeting. They were more curious about Kaneko's itentions and plans.
  • Hanshin is still not planning to get involved until they know for certain what Kaneko wants.
  • Hanshin is interested in sitting down with Kaneko, but only if the Orix Buffaloes decide not to post him.
  • Kaneko has hired Arn Tellem.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/20/2014, Sports Hochi 11/20/2014, Liz Mullen Tweet 11/18/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • Aikawa is planning to announce his decision on Friday. He is expected to sign with the Yomiuri Giants.
  • The Giants will most likely offer Aikawa the number 23.
  • Yomiuri's offer will most likely be a one-year deal worth around sixty million yen.

Sources: Nikkan Sports 11/20/2014, Daily Sports 11/20/2014, Sanspo 11/20/2014

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Five NPB teams, including the Hanshin Tigers, are interested in Hiroyuki Nakajima (32). The Tigers may have offered 1.2 billion yen over four years. The other four teams could be Seibu, Chunichi, Yokohama, and Orix. A Tigers' official told reporters they feel their offer needs to be the best. Source: Daily Sports 11/20/2014 ... Nakajima is currently training in the United States. According to Sanspo, Nakajima's family left for the United States on the 19th for a "family meeting." A decision could be made soon. A person close to Nakajima told reporters there was a seventy to eighty percent chance he would sign with the Tigers. Hanshin could send someone to the US in early-December to finalize negotiations. Source: Sanspo 11/20/2014

[11/16/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Takashi Toritani, Eiichi Koyano, Keiji Obiki, Ryoji Aikawa, Tatsuhiko Kinjo

by on Nov.17, 2014 @ 11:02 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • Orix Buffaloes president Hiroaki Nishina is prepared to get involved in negotiations if the front offices feels his presence will help.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/16/2014

Takashi Toritani

  • The Hanshin Tigers could resume talks with Toritani on Monday. They will most likely meet over a meal.
  • Negotiations with domestic teams will most likely not involve Scott Boras.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014, Sanspo 11/17/2014

Eiichi Koyano

  • Koyano is planning to meet multiple teams.
  • Seibu and Orix are said to be interested.
  • The Lions could be willing to give Koyano the everyday job at third.
  • Orix could offer Koyano a two-year deal worth 200 million yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014, Sponichi 11/17/2014, Sponichi 11/17/2014

Keiji Obiki

  • The Rakuten Eagles met Obiki on Sunday at a hotel in Tokyo.
  • The meeting took place over dinner. It started around 6:00pm and ended over two hours later.
  • Rakuten may have offered Obiki a four-year deal worth 400 million yen.
  • Obiki met the Orix Buffaloes in Tokyo on Saturday.
  • Orix may have offered Obiki a three-year deal worth 300 million yen (same as the Yakult Swallows). They could have also offered a three-year deal at 400 million yen.
  • "I appreciate all the offers and wish I had three bodies so I could agree to each. I need a little more time to think and will try to reach a decision in two to three days," said Obiki.
  • The Swallows are not expected to make a follow-up offer.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/17/2014, Sports Hochi 11/16/2014, Sports Hochi 11/16/2014, Sports Hochi 11/16/2014, Sponichi 11/16/2014, Sponichi 11/17/2014, Sponichi 11/17/2014, Daily Sports 11/17/2014, Daily Sports 11/17/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • Aikawa could finalize his decision after his next meeting with the Giants.

Source: Sponichi 11/17/2014

Tatsuhiko Kinjo

  • Kinjo's meeting with the Yomiuri Giants on Saturday lasted about forty-five minutes.
  • Kinjo agreed in principal to a one-year deal with the Giants. Details will be worked out during their next meeting.
  • The Giants could give Kinjo the number thirty-three.

Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014

[11/16/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Yoshihisa Naruse, Tatsuhiko Kinjo, Ryoji Aikawa

by on Nov.16, 2014 @ 3:52 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Phillies are interested in Kaneko.
  • An unnamed person with connections to an AL West team: He's probably a fourth starter. ... Fewer teams will be involved if the posting fee reaches twenty million. Around ten million would be reasonable. ... Considering Kaneko's age, a three-year deal seems appropriate. But at three years, a twenty million posting fee is too high.
  • The Hanshin Tigers will only move on Kaneko if he wants to stay in Japan.
  • The Chunichi Dragons will likely hold off on reaching out to Kaneko until after team rep Kazuo Nishiyama returns from his trip to the Dominican Republic.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/15/2014, Sponichi 11/15/2014, Sponichi 11/15/2014, Sanspo 11/15/2014, Sanspo 11/15/2014

Yoshihisa Naruse

  • Naruse is planning to wait to make his decision until after Lotte's fan appreciation day on the 22nd. He feels it would be in poor taste to attend the event as a member of another team.

Sources: Sponichi 11/15/2014

Tatsuhiko Kinjo

  • Kinjo met with Yomiuri for about an hour on Saturday.
  • The two sides have reportedly agreed to basic terms on a one-year deal.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/15/2014, Sponichi 11/15/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • Tatsunori Hara told reporters on Friday he heard talks with Aikawa went well and that his addition would help both the team and upcoming catcher Seiji Kobyashi.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/15/2014

[11/14/2014] Free Agents: Toritani, Kaneko, Obiki, Naruse, Koyano, Aikawa

by on Nov.15, 2014 @ 2:36 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani

  • The Tigers are planning to improve upon their last offer.
  • The Tigers thinking about including future plans for naming him manager.
  • Tigers' team president Nobuo Minami and Yutaka Wada could be included in the next round of negotiations.
  • The Tigers realize discussions with MLB teams will take some time and are prepared to wait on Toritani's reply into the new year.
  • The Tigers are expected to resume negotiations some time next early next week.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Chunichi Dragons will wait to contact Kaneko until after the Suzuki Japan All-Star Series.
  • Motonobu Tanishige is willing to get involved in negotiations.
  • The Hanshin Tigers would like to make an offer if the opportunity presents itself. Their biggest concern is what Kaneko is trying to accomplish by exercising his option. They may decide to approach him after they see how Orix handles the situation.
  • Softbank and Rakuten are also interested.
  • The Orix Buffaloes are also planning to resume negotiations after the Suzuki Japan All-Star Series.
  • Buffaloes' team official Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters on Friday that Kaneko has not contacted them and they have not contacted him. He also said they have yet to talk about posting him.

Source: Daily Sports 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2014, ZakZak 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014

Keiji Obiki

  • Negotiations with the Yakult Swallows started at 11:00am.
  • Yakult most likely offered Obiki a three-year deal worth 300 million yen. They may have offered him the uniform numbers 1 and 13.
  • Yakult manager Mitsuru Manaka wore an orange and purple striped tie to negotiations, in reference to Hosei University.
  • Obiki felt passion behind Yakult's request to join them and was pleased that they valued his leadership and personality; he did not notice the colors of Manaka's tie at first, but was happy when he did.
  • Obiki is expected to meet Orix this week and Rakuten next week on the 16th.
  • Obiki is not planning to meet each team more than once.
  • There is a good chance the Rakuten Eagles will offer a larger package (years and yen).
  • The Orix Buffaloes could also offer Obiki the uniform number 1.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/14/2014, Sports Hochi 11/14/2014, Sports Hochi 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2014

Yoshihisa Naruse

  • Negotiations with the Yakult Swallows started at 5:00pm.
  • Yakult most likely offered Naruse a three-year deal worth 600 million yen and the uniform number 17.
  • Yakult manager Manaka wore a dark blue tie with red and white stripes to negotiations, in reference to Yokohama High School.
  • Naruse was glad Yakult did not have to juggle uniform numbers to give him 17; he did not notice the colors of Manaka's tie; he felt needed with Manaka's presence.
  • Naruse currently has no plans to meet other teams.
  • Staying close to Tokyo was Naruse's top priority.
  • Naruse is planning to thank fans for their support during Lotte's fan appreciation day on the 22nd.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/14/2014, Sports Hochi 11/14/2014, Sports Hochi 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014

Eiichi Koyano

  • The Seibu Lions are planning to reach out to Koyano sometime around the 18th.
  • The Lions could offer a multi-year deal and the uniform number 5.
  • The Orix Buffaloes are also interested.

Source: Sponichi 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • Aikawa wants to play for a team that will give him a shot at winning the everyday catching job.
  • The Yakult Swallows are planning to go with Yuhei Nakamura at catcher next season.
  • The Yomiuri Giants are willing to give Aikawa a chance to win the everyday job. He will most likely be competing against Seiji Kobayashi.
  • Aikawa is not planning to return to the negotiating table with Yakult.
  • There are no other teams currently interested in Aikawa.
  • Aikawa could finalize his decision some time next week.
  • The Giants could offer a one-year deal worth around seventy million yen plus incentives. Aikawa earned 110 million yen with the Swallows this year. Their last offer may have been an estimated eighty million yen.

Source: Sponichi 11/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014

[11/13/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Takashi Toritani

by on Nov.14, 2014 @ 2:38 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani

  • Toritani has signed with Scott Boras. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014
  • A number of MLB teams could be interested, including the Nationals, Red Sox, Astros, Royals, and Blue Jays. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • Team official Ryuzo Setoyama is expected to meet team owner Yoshihiko Miyauchi on the 18thi to talk about Kaneko. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014
  • The Red Sox had five scouts, including international scouting director Eddie Romero, check on Kaneko during the season. Other teams that could also be interested: Rangers, Cubs, and Diamondbacks. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/13/2014
  • The Chunichi Dragons could be mulling over the idea of offering Kaneko a one-year deal that would be worth an estimated 200 million yen (no change from this season) plus a signing bonus and the chance to be posted any time after the 2015 season. Source: Sports Hochi 11/13/2014

The Yomiuri Giants are scheduled to meet Yakult's Ryoji Aikawa (38) on Thursday (11/13) and Yokohama's Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38) on Saturday (11/15). Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014 ... The Giants are expected to offer Aikawa a one-year deal. Source: Sanspo 11/13/2014 ... Yomiuri met Aikawa at a hotel in Tokyo on Thursday. There are currently no plans for Aikawa to return to the negotiating table with Yakult. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014 ... Aikawa's meeting with the Giants lasted about an hour. No specific contract terms were discussed. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014

The Yakult Swallows will most likely offer Yoshihisa Naruse (29) a three-year deal worth about 600 million yen, along with the number seventeen, and Keiji Obiki (30) a three-year deal around 300 million yen. Naruse is expected to sign with the Swallows. Obiki will most likely talk to other teams, like Rakuten and Orix, before making a decision. Source: Sanspo 11/13/2014 ... Yakult met Obiki in the AM and Naruse in the PM. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014 ... Negotiations with Obiki lasted about forty minutes. He was most likely offered a multi-year deal worth more than seventy million yen a year. He may have also been offered the uniform number one. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014 ... Negotiations with Naruse lasted about thirty minutes. He was offered a three-year deal and the number seventeen. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014... Naruse and Obiki were both offered three-year deals. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014 ... Obiki is expected to meet with Rakuten and Orix. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014

The Seibu Lions could inform Eiichi Koyano (34) of their interest in him on the 17th. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014

[11/1/2014] Rumors: Yomiuri, Hanshin, Chunichi, Yokohama, Yakult

by on Nov.02, 2014 @ 3:52 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Kentaro Nishimura (29) is avoiding FA option discussions with the media. Yoshiyuki Kamei (32) told reporters on Friday he felt strongly about remaining with the Giants. Source: Daily Sports 11/1/2014 ... Both players may have been offered multi-year deals. Source: Sponichi 11/1/2014
  • The Giants are expected to re-sign Takahiko Nomaguchi, Kosuke Naruse, Chikara Yoshikawa, and Ko Takahashi to an Ikusei contracts. Source: Sponichi 11/1/2014

Hanshin Tigers

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai (36) is planning to stay with the Dragons. He may have agreed to a three-year deal worth a total of about 400 million yen. The contract will be finalized on the 5th. Source: Daily Sports 11/1/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • The Bay Stars are interested in Daisuke Matsuzaka. Source: Sponichi 11/1/2014
  • There is a good chance Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38) will exercise his FA option. The Bay Stars are not planning to leave their offer on the table if Kinjo exercises his option. Source: Sports Hochi 11/1/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Ryoji Aikawa (38) wants to test the FA waters and is planning to exercise his option. He has already informed the Swallows and could file the necessary paperwork on Tuesday. Yakult is open to negotiating after he becomes a free agent. The Yomiuri Giants could be interested. Source: Daily Sports 11/1/2014 ... Aikawa is looking for a shot at winning the everyday catching job. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/1/2014

[10/20/2014] Free Agents and Rumors: Masanori Hayashi (Yokohama), Yulieski Gourriel

by on Oct.21, 2014 @ 10:03 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • The Tigers are interested in Motohiro Shima and Naoki Miyanishi. Source: Sanspo 10/20/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Eishin Soyogi and Shogo Kimura each met team official Kiyoaki Suzuki on Monday. It was their first meeting regarding the 2015 season. The two will likely be given offers during their second meeting some time next week. Source: Daily Sports 10/20/2014, Sports Hochi 10/21/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Veterans Daisuke Miura and Hitoshi Tamura met with team officials in Yokohama on Monday. Tatsuhiko Kinjo is also expected to meet team officials shortly. All three players have FA options. Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014
  • The Bay Stars are planning to offer, or have already offered, Masanori Hayashi a three-year contract with a large bump in salary. They met the thirty-one-year-old pitcher for their first round of negotiations on Monday. Yokohama is not planning to keep their offer on the table if Hayasahi exercises his FA option. Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014, Sponichi 10/21/2014
  • Yulieski Gourriel held a press conference in Cuba and said. "There are other goods teams like Yomiuri, but if I could pick, I would choose to return to DeNA. The manager, players, interpreter, and fans treated me well. The fans in Japan are the best." Source: Nikkan Sports 10/21/2014

Yakult Swallows

[10/19/2013] Rumors: Yomiuri Giants, Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows, Hiroshima Carp, Hanshin Tigers

by on Oct.20, 2013 @ 6:17 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Tatsunori Hara could end up signing another two-year extension.

Source: Sponichi 10/19/2013

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A gossip magazine apparently snapped a photo of Hayato Sakamoto taking two women home.

Source: Tokyo Sports 10/19/2013

Chunichi Dragons

Hirokazu Ibata is fully prepared to see his 2014 salary drop and is not planning to say anything against it.  Ibata struggled at the start of the season and never recovered.  He also ended up having surgery on his right ankle and elbow.

Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2013

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Tokyo Sports has heard that Hiromitsu Ochiai's contract with Chunichi is fairly low-priced without any incentives or bonuses.  And while his title is GM, it seems his role may be more along the lines of adviser.

Source: Tokyo Sports 10/19/2013

Yakult Swallows

Ryoji Aikawa told reporters on Friday that he is not planning to exercise his FA option after having a talk with Junji Ogawa.

Source: Sanspo 10/19/2013

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The media learned on Friday that Hajime Miki will be named Ni-gun INF/base-running coach.

Source: Sanspo 10/19/2013

Hiroshima Carp

Kan OtakeKatsuhiro Nagakawa, and Yoshiyuki Ishihara can all become free agents this winter.  The team is planning to ask all three to return next year.

Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2013

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Kenta Kurihara will likely see a drop in salary.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/19/2013

===

The Carp are planning to go with five foreign players on their roster next year.  Bryan Bullington and Kila Ka'aihue are expected to return. Hiroshima is also most likely ask Brad Eldred and Kam Mickolio back for the 2014 season.  In addition to these four, the Carp would like to find a pitcher that can strike hitters out.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/19/2013

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Hiroshima is not planning to sign Fred Lewis and Miguel Socolovich to contracts for the 2014 season.

Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2013

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Hitting coach Hiromasa Arai will likely return in 2014.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/19/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Teams have until the end of November to submit their list of players they want to reserve.  The Tigers are planning to keep the lines of communication open with Randy Messenger as close to the deadline as possible.

Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2013

There may be some in the organization that are worried how things might change for Fujinami if Messenger ends up leaving -- the two were apparently somewhat close and Messenger may have provided Fujinami with a steady presence to look up to during the season.

Source: Tokyo Sports 10/19/2013

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The Tigers are interested in Brian Falkenborg.  If talks Seung Hwan Oh falls through, they could shift their attention to Falkenborg.

Source: Sanspo 10/19/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/19/2013

===

The Tigers are expected to announce the addition of Nobuhiro Takashiro as an INF/base-running coach (third base coach).

Source: Sanspo 10/20/2013

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Hanshin is thinking about offering Hideo Furuya a job as Ni-gun head coach.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/19/2013