Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR.org.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Tue March 3, 2015

David Petraeus Enters Into Plea Deal With Justice Department

Former CIA Director and retired four-star Gen. David Petraeus speaks at the University of Southern California on March 26, 2013, his first public speech after resigning as CIA director.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 11:17 am

Former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus, whose military career has been overshadowed by charges that he provided classified data to his mistress, has made a deal with the Justice Department in which he will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

The deal will allow Petraeus, who rose to the rank of a four-star general before becoming director of the CIA, to avoid a trial and plead guilty to a misdemeanor. He'll also avoid a prison sentence, if a federal court agrees with the plea deal's terms.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Use Of Personal Email At State Department Raises Questions

Hillary Clinton, seen here in 2011 during her tenure as secretary of state, used a personal email account instead of an official government account.
POOL Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 11:33 am

During her four years as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton did not use a State Department email account, opting instead to conduct official business through a personal email account that wasn't then and is not now under the government's control.

The arrangement circumvented a federal process that could have automatically preserved Clinton's email communications in government archives.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Tue March 3, 2015

With Iran's Help, Iraqi Force Pushes Toward ISIS-Held Tikrit

Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters fire artillery during clashes with ISIS militants in Salahuddin province. The push to retake Tikrit is being aided by Iran, which is providing rockets and other support to Iraq.
THAIER AL-SUDANI Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 4:31 pm

The new Iraqi effort to retake Tikrit from the self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS, brought fierce fighting to areas around the city Tuesday. A local source says that Iran, which has already been aiding Iraq with artillery and intelligence support, has sent fighters to help seize Tikrit.

NPR's Alice Fordham reports:

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Tue March 3, 2015

LAPD Shooting Update: Two Body Cameras And A Gun Malfunction

People view a memorial to a man killed by police on Skid Row in Los Angeles. The police say two officers who were at the scene were wearing body cameras.
LUCY NICHOLSON Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:00 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck are calling for calm and patience as three investigations are underway into the police killing of a homeless man Sunday. Police say the man "forcibly grabbed" an officer's gun before he was shot to death.

Beck called the incident a tragedy that followed a "brutal, brutal fight."

The police confrontation with a man known as Afrika was filmed by at least two eyewitnesses. A dramatic video sparked criticism of the police, as it showed several officers attempting to hold him down before shots rang out.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Cuteness Break: The Genial Quokka Steals Scenes And Hearts

A photo from the Taronga Zoo shows a 6-month-old quokka, a marsupial that's a hit on social media.
Taronga Zoo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:33 pm

We'll get back to the day's serious news soon — but for now, we wanted to be sure you're aware of the insanely cute quokka, a small furry animal that in recent months has become a favorite photo partner in Australia.

The quokka had a flurry of fame in 2013, when it was called "the happiest animal in the world" due to the natural (and photogenic) curl of its mouth and what seems to be a friendly nature. Now people are taking photos with the marsupial that lives in southwestern Australia.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Nasdaq Index Hits 5,000 For First Time Since 2000

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 5:23 pm

Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET

The Nasdaq composite index returned to territory it hasn't seen since the heyday of the dot-com boom, closing above the 5,000 mark Monday. The index hit the mark nearly 15 years to the day since it surpassed the 5,000 mark on March 9, 2000.

We'll note that the index didn't have far to rise from Friday's close of 4,963.53.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Video Shows LA Police Shot And Killed Man On Sidewalk

A cellphone video captured the deadly struggle between Los Angeles police officers and a man on a city sidewalk (in background). Seconds after this image appears in the video, shots were fired that killed the man, a robbery suspect.
Anthony Blackburn Facebook

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 11:46 am

An altercation Sunday in Los Angeles in which police killed a man in the Skid Row area is putting new scrutiny on law enforcement's use of deadly force. Police say the man tried to grab an officer's weapon. A dramatic video posted online shows the man was on the ground struggling with officers when he was shot.

The LAPD says two officers sustained minor injuries and were treated and released. Police say three officers fired their weapons.

Here's a summary of what happened:

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Netanyahu In Washington For Controversial Speech To Congress

A handout image provided by the Israeli Government Press Office shows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sarah, leaving Tel Aviv on their way to Washington Sunday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 10:38 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington, D.C., where he'll deliver a speech to Congress Tuesday — an event that's causing debate both in the U.S. and Israel. The leader's plans were made without consulting the White House; he will not meet with President Obama during the visit.

Netanyahu will appear Monday morning at the annual conference of AIPAC, a powerful pro-Israeli lobby, where he's expected to urge the U.S. to impose sanctions on Iran instead of making a deal over the country's nuclear ambitions.

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Iraq Launches Effort To Retake Tikrit From ISIS Fighters

Members of Iraqi security forces drive toward an area south of Tikrit, Iraq, over the weekend. An Iraqi force has launched a military offensive, hoping to push ISIS out of Tikrit.
AHMAD AL-RUBAYE AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 2:43 pm

An Iraqi force has begun a large-scale operation to recapture Tikrit, according to state TV. Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, lies between Baghdad and Mosul, a city in northern Iraq that's in the heart of territory claimed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

The push is relying on artillery and airstrikes, as well as militia that reportedly include both Shiite and Sunni fighters.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

5 Quotes From Earl Lloyd, The First Black Player In The NBA

Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player to play in the NBA in 1950, died Thursday at 86. He's seen here (center) being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame's Honors Ring in 2003.
Jim Bourg Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 5:31 pm

Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player in the NBA nearly 65 years ago, died Thursday at age 86.

Lloyd had a long career that stretched from West Virginia State to basketball's Hall of Fame. He once told a young man who thanked him for being a pioneer, "Man, you owe me absolutely nothing."

As a player, the 6-foot-5-inch Lloyd was nicknamed The Big Cat. He was drafted in the same year as other black players, but he was the first to play in the regular season, for the then-Washington Capitols.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Fri February 27, 2015

9 People Found Dead In Southern Missouri

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 9:20 am

Police say a gunman is among nine people found dead in south-central Missouri, following a series of shootings in multiple locations Thursday night. The man was 36; police say he died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The attacks happened in Texas County, Mo., and the gunman's body was found in nearby Shannon County. Police say an elderly woman whose body was found in a residence seems to have died from natural causes. Seven other people died of gunshot wounds; one person who was wounded is in the hospital.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Congress Agrees To Maintain Homeland Security Funding — For A Week

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Friday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 8:44 pm

(This post was last updated at 9:55 p.m. ET.)

With just hours before the Department of Homeland Security would have run out of funding, the GOP-controlled House voted to approve a week-long funding extension that both sides hope will provide time needed to find a full solution through the end of the fiscal year.

The House immediately adjourned following the 357-60 vote.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Fri February 27, 2015

More Details On 'Jihadi John': Early Run-Ins And Radicalization

A playground can be seen outside an address in London where Kuwaiti-born London computer programmer Mohammed Emwazi is believed to have lived. Emwazi has been identified as masked ISIS militant "Jihadi John."
Niklas Halle'n AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 1:58 pm

More details are emerging about Mohammed Emwazi, the man identified as the militant seen in beheading videos released by the self-styled Islamic State. His name came out Thursday.

Emwazi is a British citizen who was born in Kuwait and grew up in West London. He reportedly graduated from the University of Westminster with a degree in computer programming.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Thu February 26, 2015

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules For 'Open Internet'

At the start of a meeting to decide the issue of net neutrality, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler (center) holds hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn (left) and Jessica Rosenworcel at the FCC headquarters Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:27 pm

The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet."

The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs.

"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said Thursday.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Thu February 26, 2015

NASA Sees 'Bright Spots' On Dwarf Planet In Our Solar System

An image of Ceres taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows that the brightest spot on the dwarf planet has a dimmer companion.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 2:50 pm

Scientists are puzzled by a new image taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which found two bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. The spots are noticeably brighter than other parts of the surface, which looks to be rocky and pockmarked.

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Ukraine Starts Withdrawing Heavy Weapons From Front Lines

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:13 pm

A cease-fire that seemed on the verge of collapse is showing signs of taking hold in Ukraine, where the government says it's withdrawing artillery weapons from the front lines of battle with Russian-backed separatists and their allies. The news comes as combat deaths have fallen to zero.

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Thu February 26, 2015

ISIS Extremist Who Beheaded Prisoners Is Identified As Man From London

A central figure in videos released by the self-declared Islamic State has been identified as a man from West London. He's seen here dressed in black, threatening Japanese captives Haruna Yukawa (right) and Kenji Goto.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 11:44 am

The man who has been recorded in videos threatening and killing several Western hostages in the name of the self-proclaimed Islamic State is Mohammed Emwazi. He is from London and is a British citizen of Kuwaiti descent.

British security services have been aware of the identity of the militant many have dubbed "Jihadi John," the BBC says, adding that "they chose not to disclose his name earlier for operational reasons."

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Workers Sue Daimler Trucks In Oregon, Alleging Racial Discrimination

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 11:05 am

Saying they were threatened with violence and harassed by white co-workers, several current and former employees of a Daimler Trucks plant in Portland, Ore., have filed a lawsuit seeking some $9.5 million. The plaintiffs are African-American.

The lawsuit comes a month after Daimler Trucks settled civil rights complaints with other minority workers at its Portland plant for $2.4 million.

From Portland, NBC TV station KGW reports:

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Inglewood Approves Plan For NFL Stadium, In Deal Involving Rams Owner

Fans hold a "Los Angeles Rams" sign during a San Diego Chargers game against the St. Louis Rams last year. Both teams are part of proposals to build new NFL stadiums in the LA area.
Donald Miralle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 11:04 am

The Los Angeles area is another step closer to hosting an NFL team, after the Inglewood, Calif., City Council approved a proposal for an 80,000-seat NFL stadium. The development plan includes St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

The unanimous vote Tuesday night came after "a consultant compared stadium noise in surrounding neighborhoods to that of bird calls," member station KPCC's Ben Bergman reports.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Wed February 25, 2015

'2014 Was A Catastrophic Year,' Amnesty International Says

Citing violence and a refugee crisis in Syria and elsewhere, Amnesty International says international groups haven't done enough to help. Earlier this month, an injured Syrian girl was treated at a makeshift clinic, after government air strikes on a rebel-held area northeast of Damascus.
Abd Doumany AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 9:46 am

Governments "must stop pretending the protection of civilians is beyond their power," Amnesty International says in its human rights report for 2014. The group faults the U.S. on a range of issues, from the use of excessive force by police to rights abuses in the name of fighting terrorism.

"Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians," Amnesty says. "And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need."

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Commuter Train Derails After Hitting Vehicle In Southern California

An overturned Metrolink passenger car sits on the side of the road after the commuter train crashed into a truck and derailed early Tuesday near Oxnard, Calif.
Johnny Corona AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:43 pm

Dozens of people were reportedly injured in a commuter train crash near Oxnard, Calif., during Tuesday morning's rush hour. Emergency crews swarmed the area, where several Metrolink train cars were thrown onto their sides by the powerful collision.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Tue February 24, 2015

VA Secretary Apologizes For Making Special Forces Claim

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, seen here last November, has acknowledged that he was wrong when he said he had been in the special forces.
Chuck Myers Landov

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:08 pm

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET.

The head of Veterans Affairs has apologized for misrepresenting his military record, after telling a man that he had served in the U.S. Special Forces. Secretary Robert McDonald says he made a mistake.

The story drew attention late Monday, weeks after McDonald, an Army veteran and West Point graduate, made the claim during a conversation with a homeless man he met during a community outreach effort.

NPR's Quil Lawrence reports:

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Separatists In Ukraine Say They're Pulling Heavy Weapons Back

A child plays near Russia-backed separatists in Donetsk, Ukraine, Monday. Separatists say they've begun to withdraw heavy weapons from the front line — a claim that monitors say they can't verify.
Vadim Ghirda AP

In a claim that's meeting with skepticism in Kiev, Russian-backed separatists say they've started to withdraw heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine, as required by a recent cease-fire. Ukraine's military says separatist attacks are ongoing.

The development comes after Russia's President Vladimir Putin said he thinks a war with Ukraine would be "apocalyptic" — but that the area is now on a path to stability, after the recent Minsk agreement.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Tue February 24, 2015

ISIS Reportedly Abducts Dozens Of Christians In Syria

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 9:57 am

Extremist fighters from the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, have kidnapped "at least" 90 Assyrian Christians in northeastern Syria, according to a monitoring group. The claim emerges from an area recently targeted by coalition attacks.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Marijuana Is Now Legal In Alaska, The 3rd U.S. State With Legal Pot

Leaders of the Alaska Cannabis Club share a joint at their medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage. On Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use.
Mark Thiessen AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:33 am

Alaska's voter initiative making marijuana legal takes effect Tuesday, placing Alaska alongside Colorado and Washington as the three U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal. The new law means people over age 21 can consume small amounts of pot — if they can find it. It's still illegal to sell marijuana.

"You can still give people marijuana, but you can't buy it — or even barter for it," Alaska Public Media's Alexandra Gutierrez reports. "So, it's a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won't stop people from acquiring it, though."

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Mon February 23, 2015

12 Feet: A Soaring New Broad Jump Record Is Set At NFL Combine

University of Connecticut defensive back Byron Jones takes off for the broad jump at the NFL combine Monday. Jones recorded an NFL record of 12 feet 3 inches.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:10 pm

If you're ever standing near Byron Jones when he jumps, you might want to stand well back. At Monday's NFL scouting combine, the cornerback from the University of Connecticut nearly flew off the grid that measures the standing broad jump. He landed more than 12 feet away.

Jones recorded 12 feet 3 inches in the broad jump, a discipline that was once in the Olympics. No other player came close to Jones' mark at the combine, the scouting event for players who want to be considered in pro football's draft.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Honda's President Resigns, After A Troubled Year For Carmaker

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 9:32 am

Honda Motor Co., which has struggled with an air bag safety recall and a sales slump, will get a new chief executive this year. Takanobu Ito, who has led Honda since 2009, will leave in June, giving way to Takahiro Hachigo, an executive who began his career as an engineer.

Ito, who has worked at Honda since the late 1970s, will reportedly remain with the company both as an advisor and as a board member. Announcing the move Monday, Honda did not connect Ito's move to the carmaker's recent problems, which range from safety issues to lackluster sales.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Mon February 23, 2015

The Oscars: What People Are Saying The Day After

Oscar winners J.K. Simmons (best supporting actor), Patricia Arquette (best supporting actress), Julianne Moore (best actress), and Eddie Redmayne (best actor) pose with their trophies, after an awards show that was heavy on advocacy messages.
Jordan Strauss Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:16 am

Along with learning who won an Oscar at last night's Academy Awards, we learned a lot more: Who to call (your parents), and what women should be paid (the same as men). From civil rights to immigration and health issues such as Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's diseases, advocacy was a big part of last night's show. Here's a quick rundown of what people are saying Monday.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Ukraine Says It Can't Withdraw Weapons, Citing Attacks During Truce

Ukrainian troops ride on self-propelled artillery near Artemivsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday. A Ukrainian military spokesman says that separatist attacks are delaying Ukrainian forces' pullback of heavy weapons from the front line.
Evgeniy Maloletka AP

Noting deadly attacks by Russian-backed separatists who have renewed a push near the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine says it can't withdraw heavy weapons from the front lines, as required by a week-old cease-fire.

"Ukraine's military says two government soldiers were killed and about 10 wounded in the past 24 hours," NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow. "A government spokesman say its positions were hit by shelling 27 times in the past day. Meanwhile, of course, the separatists are claiming that the government initiates the attacks."

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Batter Up, Already: MLB Tries To Speed Up The 2015 Season

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:36 pm

Concerned by game times that have bloated beyond three hours, Major League Baseball is putting baseball on a diet for the 2015 season. In upcoming games, timers will regulate the pause between innings, and hitters must now keep one foot in the batter's box nearly all the time.

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