Devils Pride 26

Lets go Mets!!!

143 posts in this topic

I know you're trying to take a radical approach to building a lineup, and I can appreciate the fact that you're trying to think outside the box, but most fans and baseball minds would laugh that lineup out of the building.

That's where you're wrong. The trend in baseball is to go towards a more analytical approach towards who plays and who doesn't and eventually that will start changing lineups as well. I was over-emphasizing the point to show what I was talking about, in reality the difference between a guy like Reyes adjusted OPS and Wrights adjusted OPS isn't that great so you can really do waht you want between the 2 of them. At the end of the day using out most efficiently is what you want do with your lineup so the only really bad part of the Mets lineup is batting Lo Duca or Castillo in the 2 hole because both are just very unproductive hitters so getting them extra at bats isn't a good idea.

On the topic of lineups not mattering, the difference between a 300 hitter and a 276 hitter is 1 base hit ever 2 weeks. So arranging your lineup when there is such little difference between that 300 and 276 hitter, in terms of base hits, makes the lineups formation have little affect. A badly arranged lineup may cost you 20 runs a season compared to an optimal lineup but an almost optimal lineup like the Mets have used most of the year probably only costs like 3 or 4 runs, which is such little difference that it really doesn't matter at the end of the day.

For years the accepted way to measure a players ability was batting average, HRs, and RBIs and now we know it's much better to look at a players OBP and SLG. Just because something has been accepted for many years doesn't make it correct. Convential wisdom says teams should use their best closer in the 9th inning when up by 3 runs but not in the 7th when up 1 and the bases loaded. That makes no sense either but because the closer has always been used exclusively in save situations it will continue to be done that way.

As far as RISP players, over their career, tend to all get about the same increase in their BA when runners in scoring position. It only gets funky year to year because the number of plate appearances isn't that vast in each season. RISP batting average isn't a great thing to base anything on. Get the play with the best OBP and SLG up to the plate is much more productive than a guy who just got luckier than normal within a season with RISP.

I don't have all the research at hand but you guys should really check out some thing by Bill James, Rob Neyer, and some other Sabermatricians. You'd be surprised what you can learn by studying the statistics of baseball(the only sport that statistics tell almost the entire story). A lot of "accepted" practices don't hold up so well when they're examined.

Actually a great read for Mets fans, in regards to Reyes, has to do with SBs. To be adding value to a team you need to steal, I believe, 78% of the time succesfully or more. Anything else and the extra outs you are making is hurting the team more than the extra bases you're stealing. Anyway, they went back and examined decades worth of baseball and the league average for stolen base success is always around 78%. One of the weird instances where baseball managers, without knowing it, were ending up at the exact same spot statistics said they should end up.

Edited by Devils731

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As we know, with so many "major league" bullpens being weak spots, and teams being more hung up on pitch counts than they've ever been, the objective of today's lineups is to drive up the SP's pitch count, get him out of the game by the 5th or 6th inning, and then go to work on the bullpen.

The best way to do that would be to put your most effective hitters up as often as possible. Not arrange your lineup for situations that may or may not arrive. I can guarentee that my best hitter is my best hitter, I can't guarentee that Castillo comes up with an opportunity to sacrifice Reyes over.

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Baseball Between The Numbers, put out by Baseball Prospectus, is a good primer to all these ideas.

They prove, among other things:

Rickey Henderson's 130 SB in 1982 (?) was not much more valuable than Pete Incaviglia's 3 SB in 1986

Joe Carter was one of the worst regulars in any lineup throughout the 1980s

Lineup order matters very little. 731 has failed to mention (I think) that on average, your #1 hitter gets 30 more PA a year than your #2 hitter, and so on down the lineup. Thus, you should put your best hitter #1, second best #2, etc. Major league managers do not do this, but their organization of the lineup is the next best thing (aside from foolishness like Castillo/Lo Duca in the 2 hole, Damon/Cabrera leading off for the Yankees, etc.)

Unfortunately, reading about these things just makes you shout at the TV more when your manager brings in Guillermo Mota in a high-leverage situation, sacrifice bunts with very good hitters, a player 'gets the job done' by grounding to the right side, etc. But it's all very interesting nonetheless. I really wish something similar would be done for hockey, but it would be much more difficult. There's good work being done with football, and hockey's even less quantifiable than that IMO.

Edited by Triumph

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There's a reason why 'best hitters' don't automatically bat first and second. Because often the team's best hitter has power and power pretty much goes to waste if you're hitting with nobody on (or with the #8 and 9 hitters batting before you, who are always going to be the worst hitters). Just like stolen bases would go to waste if you had Jose Reyes batting eighth.

And I personally like Castillo at two, both because of his bunting ability and because he works the count. Often you like your top two guys to have speed, see pitches so that the guys batting behind them know the pitcher's velocity and stuff that day, there's a reason they're called table-setters. Plus he's a good enough hitter on his own that he doesn't need Reyes on base to be effective.

I do think SB are valuable, they're a big reason the Mets have scored runs some days when they haven't hit particularly well. But SB's are only as valuable as the lineup makes them, you can get all the SB's you want if you don't have the players to drive in those players they're useless...but if you do have a good lineup, SB's can often score a run with one hit instead of two. Plus just the threat of the SB means more fastballs to hitters at the plate.

Say you're the Cardinals and you batted Pujols first he'd A - get a lot of solo HR's and B - get a lot of walks because you can pitch around him with worse hitters batting behind him. You can't always pitch around the slugger if there are say runners on first and second and you're trying to get a DP.

Ideally you want good hitters and runners at 1-2, your great hitters at 3-4 where they can drive in more runs, good hitters at 5-6 backing them up and of course your weaker hitters in the back of the order.

Edited by Hasan4978

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4-3 Marlins.. Glavine blew a 3-0 lead.. I really hate getting these early leads now, seriously.. Top 8 now, Wright on first (0 out) with Beltran up.. Lets see if he can do SOME-thing..

edit: NOPE! Guess what? He struck out on a breaking pitch, what else is new.. All it takes is a few pitches breaking down into the dirt to easily strikeout Carlos B..

edit 2: okay gotta hope for a good 9th now.. yeaaa Lo Duca lead-off double!! and Carlos Gomez is coming in to pinch-run for him.. so far so good, 0 out with a runner in scoring position (2nd base).. LETS GO METS!

edit 3: Phillies lead Nats 7-6 in top 8th wow.. way to blow a 6-2 lead stupid Nats.. and gomez just beat the run to 3rd!!! Runners at the corners with 0 out!! gotta love Gomez's speed!!

edit 4: bases loaded, 0 out.. Reyes up.. COME ON JOSE!!!

edit 5: and reyes is retired for the 1st out on a strikeout.. ick.. now they are a play away from winning.. come on..

edit 6: YES!!! ANDERSON BABYYYYY .. MARLOONNNN BABYYY

edit 7: okay so end of the top 9th, excellent rally boys!! 7-4 mets.. but wagner isn't warming up.. ehh..? anyways damn man Marlon Anderson is a beast!! Also FINALLY beltran did something, he got an RBI single lol to make it 7-4!

edit 8: i give up.. talky talky wagner isn't available to close a game and sosa blows it.. 7-7 now but the BP has been drained (we only have humber/collazo and sele left.. )

Edited by nmigliore

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Right now I hate both managers with a passion.

Willie is an even bigger choking dog than this pen. Why he removed Feliciano after one lousy batter in a THREE-run game is beyond me. Feliciano does pitch almost as well to righties as lefties. I realize it was Cabrera at the plate but he was not even the tying run!!! And the next batter was a light-hitting switch hitter to boot. If it was Willie's son Mota or even Sele he would have gotten like five batters :rolleyes:

Then of course he has no choice but to leave Sosa (who pitched two innings the night before) for another two innings tonight because GOD FORBID HE EVER USE HUMBER IN ANY KIND OF CRUCIAL SITUATION!!!

And Freddy Gonzalez is a pos. That team has laid down for most of the season, they made a point of laying down for the Braves (remember, Gonzalez worked under Cox) getting swept easily and even holding Dontrelle back so he could pitch against the Mets. But boy were they ready to play tonight! :rant:

Edited by Hasan4978

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You comeback like that in the ninth and can't put that team away, that's kinda sad.

Wagner would've saved it easy. Wonder if he got sick?

I definitely agree Has that Randolph's managing that inning was for the birds. If there are any suicidal Mets fans still up at this hour feel free to call into my show that's starting in 10 minutes:

http://blogtalkradio.com/profile.aspx?userid=2402

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I think back spasms, I wasn't listening closely to the press conference now. Figured that Wagner has to get back spasms now, makes you wonder if this is payback to the Phillies for 1964.

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airplane.jpg

I just want to say good luck, we're all counting on you!

Edited by Hasan4978

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Only blunder Willie made was taking out Felciano too early.. other than that he couldn't do anything else.. its not his fault the bullpen has been terrible; that would be GM Omar Minaya's problem that he needs to fix in the off-season.. People criticize Willie way too much; ever since he came in as manager hes turned this team around from a 3rd/4th place team to a division titleist team, and the run the Mets put up last year was sooo close to a World Series it wasn't even funny. Yes Willie is making some errors with when to leave pitchers in/or take them out but hes still a good manager. Plus putting in Sosa, who just came off pitching 2 excellent innings in the previous game, wasn't a bad idea at all since he worked his way out of a jam on wednesday night. Collazo/Humber = no way in such a pressure situation, Collazo looks ALRIGHT (mediocre) when there is no pressure..

Mets just need to get good BP pitching.. Glavine struggled last night and he tends to have those kind of games.. But now Pedro will be on the mound, and hes doing excellent, coming off a 6-inning pitched game (racked up 9 K's), 2-0 record and an excellent 1.69 ERA.. Obviously the BP is gonna beed to pull us through even after Pedro finishes (6 innings again i would think), so that leaves 7, 8, and 9th inning to relieve.. Fortunately, BP pitchers such as Mota, Schwoenweis and Heilman pitched good relief last night so we'll see how the BP is tonight; because I can tell you - they are gonna NEED to pitch well considering Pedro only goes 6 innings (and thats saying if Pedro has things going smoothly).. LETS GO METS!!

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If there ever was a big moment for Pedro, it's tonight. Too bad he'll have to hand it off to the bullpen at some point.

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Only blunder Willie made was taking out Felciano too early.. other than that he couldn't do anything else.. its not his fault the bullpen has been terrible; that would be GM Omar Minaya's problem that he needs to fix in the off-season.. People criticize Willie way too much; ever since he came in as manager hes turned this team around from a 3rd/4th place team to a division titleist team, and the run the Mets put up last year was sooo close to a World Series it wasn't even funny. Yes Willie is making some errors with when to leave pitchers in/or take them out but hes still a good manager. Plus putting in Sosa, who just came off pitching 2 excellent innings in the previous game, wasn't a bad idea at all since he worked his way out of a jam on wednesday night. Collazo/Humber = no way in such a pressure situation, Collazo looks ALRIGHT (mediocre) when there is no pressure..

Willie has NOT turned the team around, Omar turned the team around with some help from Fred's money. Pedro, Beltran, Delgado, Wagner, etc; they're the reason Willie's had such a good record. He's proven nothing as a manager except he makes bizarre decisions on an increasing basis and his team gets tight and underachieves in big games. Now they're losing their heads on the field with mental mistakes and three seperate players going ape-hit and getting thrown out of games because they KNOW the manager's not going to protect them with umpires.

Plus Willie's strength as a manager was supposed to be 'the guys respect and play for him'. Well their uneven play for much of this season - 51-51 in their last 102 games - and some of the comments made (LoDuca, etc) indicate that they don't do either.

I don't give Omar as much blame for the pen as most others do. They were counting on Sanchez coming back, and the fact he came to camp out of shape and got hurt again was beyond the Mets' control. The whole Bannister-Burgos trade blew up but honestly the Mets' strength even without Pedro for much of the year was starting pitching anyway. They could have used Burgos in the pen as well. Yes Omar gets some blame for the Bradford-Blowenweis tradeoff as well as Sele-Oliver. But there isn't much you can do to improve the pen once the season started.

Edited by Hasan4978

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And those 3 trades hurt badly.. its not like its some blame, its alot of blame for making such stupid trades.

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Great game finally.. Pedro did fair and the BP finally pulled through! Mota with 2 innings, yes folks 2 innings!! And he allowed no runs!! And Feliciano almost screwed us by walking a pair of guys but Schowenweis got the final out of the 8th and closed out the 9th pretty easily (struck out first 2 batters, got 3rd to ground out to 1st base).. Also congrats to ALOUUU for setting a Mets single-season hit-streak record (25).. LETS GO METS!!!!

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I don't know if it was a great win by the Mets, although I guess at this point they all are. But if the Mets can't beat a team that gives them an extra two innings' worth of outs that leads to eight unearned runs, they really don't deserve to go anywhere except home after the regular season. On a side note, I'm not sure if anyone remembers this, but at a Mets-Marlins game at Shea (I think it was last year), Scott Olsen and Miguel Cabrera got into an altercaton in the dugout because Cabrera felt shown up by Olsen after making an error. Call me crazy, but it didn't look like Cabrera was exactly killing himself in the field out there trying to make plays. And the passed ball was a little weak too...I've heard that Olsen's teammates pretty much can't stand him. I'm not saying that plays were tanked on purpose, but it does make you wonder a bit.

Devils731...you bring up some good points, but I still prefer a more conventional approach to building a lineup. I agree (and have felt this way for quite a while) that OB% and SLG% are extremely important factors in determining a player's worth and skill. I much rather have a guy hitting .280 who draws close to 100 walks than the .300 guy who never gets on base unless he hits his way on. And for all of Wade Boggs' high BAs, he was basically a singles hitter (helped greatly by the Green Monster) who couldn't run to save his life.

You alluded to this point before, but managers have really turned into robots when it comes to how they handle their bullpens in late inning situations. With the bases loaded for the opposition in the seventh with a 2-run lead, Willie will bring a guy like Heilman (who has a penchant for giving up home runs in big situations), or Feliciano if he's available...almost anyone except the guy who's making the most money to put the fire out in the toughest scenarios: Billy Wagner. Why is it an unwritten rule that 90% of a closer's appearances must come in the ninth inning with the bases empty and his team up by 1, 2, or 3 runs? Billy Martin was known for bringing in Gossage whenever he thought the situation called for it, regardless of how many runners were on base or what inning it was. Sorry, but I'd much rather take my chances with Wagner in the toughest spots, and use Feliciano or Heilman to get the ninth inning, three-run save. Unfortunately, with saves (kind of a bogus stat anyway) dictating things like contracts and player value, the closer will continue to pitch in ninth inning, bases empty, up by 1, 2, or 3 runs situations. The best year by a reliever I ever saw was Mariano Rivera...when he was setting up for John Wetteland.

Let's hope the Mets can win a game where the other team doesn't commit 6 errors...GO METS!

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Biggest example of a team that didn't deserve to get by the 1st round: st louis cards.. so i dont think complaining about the Mets "barely" beating lower division teams can be used..

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Biggest example of a team that didn't deserve to get by the 1st round: st louis cards.. so i dont think complaining about the Mets "barely" beating lower division teams can be used..

That's not even been a problem for much of the season, the Mets' 45-22 record against sub-.500 teams attest to that. It's when they play +.500 teams that they have problems (41-45...with a 32-41 record if you take out games against the Brewers and Cubs who are barely above .500 because of their lousy division)

But still I agree, like you said I'm not looking any gift horses in the mouth. We gave away games earlier this week in a similar fashion so why can't we have one given to us? At least today Ollie was dominant and took the middle relief completely out of the equation, and all of our starters in the lineup are back.

7-1 wins the division no matter what the Phillies do. Hopefully the Braves compete next week though, I can picture Cox tanking to screw the Mets once they fall completely out of it.

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We almost blew another.. well technically Wagner did blow the save, but I have to say my blame is towards Heilman.. Fortunately the offense prevailed and got the win.. Smith had a great 1,2,3 inning then Sele did a nice job with his semi-close by getting the huge pair of outs on first pitches.. Then of course Schowenweis came on for the left hander and got him out.. good game but Heilman is just too shaky on the mound.. Maine had a great game (9 Ks!), Mota pitched a good relief inning, and as did Smith.. Wagner seemed to bounce back easily after blowing the save and fortunately didn't fvck up and let the Marlins win.

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Wow :o

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/col/madden/index.html

Willie Randolph catching too much heat for Mets' slump

Wllie Randolph's slumping Mets are still on track to make the playoffs, but ...

... he is still on somewhat of a hot seat.

Is Randolph to blame?

Over the past two seasons, the Mets have been in first place 322 days under Willie Randolph's watch, more than any team in baseball. Yet, as they limp back home today, their postseason status (let alone their World Series destiny) suddenly no longer assured and their legions of fans are lining up in full jump mode along the Triborough Bridge, Randolph is starting to feel the sharp edges of the long knives around him.

Rumor has it there is growing disenchantment from above with Randolph, and while no one reporting this has specified the source of this disenchantment, a pretty good guess is COO Jeff Wilpon, who engaged in a contentious, sometimes rancorous contract negotiation with the Mets manager last winter. Those familiar with the mind-set of the team's hierarchy contend the Met bosses believe any manager could have achieved what Randolph did last year, given the talent he had. For that reason, Wilpon strongly resisted giving Randolph the three-year, $5.65 commitment he sought. That Randolph, despite his Brooklyn roots, community involvement and popularity in New York, has never been held in the same esteem as other successful managers is evidenced by the fact that Wilpon and GM Omar Minaya would allow him to name only one coach - and they unceremoniously fired that one, Rick Down, at midseason this year and replaced him with, of all people, Rickey Henderson.

Henderson was one of the game's greatest players and he combined that with an engaging personality. But as a coach, his contributions have been minimal. Around the clubhouse, he is jokingly referred to as the card-playing coach, and those close to the situation say Randolph has had to bite his tongue every day when he arrives at the clubhouse only to see Henderson playing cards with the players. It should also not be forgotten that Minaya said the hiring of Henderson, former leadoff man/base-stealer extraordinaire, would especially be beneficial to Jose Reyes. Has there been anyone more disappointing (to use Wilpon's word) than Reyes these past six weeks?

We also hear that Mets brass is regretting not giving Manny Acta the manager's job three years ago. That chatter grew louder last week when Acta's Washington Nationals were pounding the Mets 12-4 and 9-8 in the first two games of their series in D.C. One can only imagine what Randolph must have thought seeing Mets assistant GM Tony Bernazard openly fraternizing with Acta for nearly an hour before the Mets' games in D.C. in August and then again last Wednesday. As it is, Bernazard spends way too much time in the Met clubhouse, which is supposed to be the manager's domain. But as former Mets manager Bobby Valentine - who complained bitterly to ownership about then-GM Steve Phillips constantly holding court in his clubhouse - can attest, around the Mets that's just not the case.

(For what it's worth, Acta has another year on his contract with Washington and then two more club options, so any thought of the Mets luring him back from D.C. has no merit.)

But while the onus of a team's failing inevitably falls on the manager, the Mets' recent failings seem to be more a reflection of the team as a whole - which doesn't appear to be nearly as good as management thought it was. After all, who didn't have serious reservations about the starting rotation back in April? Is it Randolph's fault he never had a top-line No. 1 starter a la Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy, John Smoltz or Roy Oswalt? Or that his starters hardly ever pitch into the seventh inning - which in turn leads to an overreliance on overpriced relievers Guillermo Mota and Scott Schoeneweis, who more often than not don't get the job done? And yet, even with all that and the fact that Moises Alou, Minaya's most significant offseason acquisition, has played 25 fewer games than the departed Cliff Floyd, Randolph has kept the Mets in first place with the best record in the National League for most of the season.

And was it Randolph's fault Thursday night in Miami that his closer, Billy Wagner, was unavailable because of back spasms? Is it Randolph's fault his best pitcher, Orlando Hernandez, has come up hurt yet again at the most critical time of the season? So, yes, the Mets have been in first place every day since May 16, but when you take all of this into consideration - the injuries, Reyes' mystifying meltdown, the pitching deficiencies coming to the fore - it's a wonder Randolph has been able to hold this thing together as long as he has (thanks to the Phillies being beset with far worse pitching problems).

Making it even harder for Randolph is the innuendo that his superiors don't think he is doing a good job.

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If the Mets go out early in the post-season, he'll be gone next year.

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I saw the article a few days ago, it's actually a fair piece by Bill Madden, although I do have issues with Willie detailed throughout this thread :P I'm sure there are some problems between Jeff and Willie especially after Jeff's ill-timed quote in SI a few days ago about how he was dissapointed in Omar, Willie and the organization.

For the problems I have with Willie myself it is odd that we're talking about a team that's been in first place every day for the last few months. It's almost like the Mets already have a Lou Lam-like expectations without Devils-like results to back that up.

Yes anything short of the World Series is a disaster for this team given the overall parity of the NL and the Mets' talent. But I don't think anything other than a full collapse to miss the playoffs should cause a manager with his record to lose his job either, at least not after this year.

And the whole Rickey thing is a bit alarming, the whispers have been getting louder over the last couple of weeks about there being a correlation between his arrival and Reyes's slump. I never saw the first base coach as having that much affect either way, and Reyes had been showing signs of declining effort (if not results) in the first half but certainly I can see where Rickey could be a bad influence.

Maybe the actual hitting coach HoJo hasn't found the right note with Reyes, he's helped the rest of the lineup though in doing the things they weren't doing in the first half like taking pitches, working counts and stepping in and out of the box to disrupt pitchers' rhythms so he doesn't really deserve a finger pointed in his direction.

Edited by Hasan4978

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7-1 Nats, 6th inning.. luckily Phils aren't playing, but still this is not good.. No comment with Willie starting Pelfrey tonight (who wasn't too bad but doesn't last very long) and then Humber is pitching Wednesday.. Now why would he do that? Why not wait until the division title is actually LOCKED up before putting in Humber for Wednesday's start! If things go bad tomorrow the lead will only be a game with Humber taking the mound for a huge game.. makes no sense, clearly the better move is to start him when the division is decided..

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They're starting Humber for the same reason they started Lawrence last Monday, to give Pedro five full days between starts which they feel he needs. He busted his butt to get back from rotator cuff surgery when he didn't have to and has pitched better than anyone thought, if he needs the extra day so be it. With the playoff schedule the way it is this year they can keep giving him five days the rest of the year, provided they don't blow it anyway :P

And the only reason Pelfrey's pitching is because Duque can't stay @#%@ing healthy in the Fall. He had improved somewhat since coming back but took a step back today.

You just know this is going to come down to the last weekend with the way things have gone this year. But hopefully the Mets win two out of three and the Braves beat the Phillies with Hudson and Smoltz so the Mets'll have a three-game lead with three left.

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