Career years aren’t what they used to be

Harris becomes a free agent |

The Braves nontendered him because he’s not very good and they have other, cheaper, options to hit .240 and run around. They might sign him to a minor league deal. Everyone else (Teixeira, Soriano, Kali, Diaz, Infante) was tendered an offer, to nobody’s surprise.

156 thoughts on “Career years aren’t what they used to be”

  1. this sounds promising, oh wait, no it doesnt

    “The Braves have been traditionally successful with their attempt to avoid arbitration hearings. But they know it might be difficult to negotiate Teixeira’s salary before the 27-year-old first baseman’s agent, Scott Boras, has a chance to plead his client’s case before an assigned arbiter.

    Teixeira is entering his final arbitration-eligible season with credentials that will likely provide a sizeable increase to the $9 million salary that he earned last season, when he hit .306 with 30 homers and 105 RBIs in 132 combined games with the Braves and Rangers.

    In the 52 games he played after being acquired by the Braves at the trade deadline, Teixeira collected 56 RBIs and hit 17 homers.

    While the Braves will explore the possibility of keeping Teixeira in Atlanta past the 2008 season, they know they are facing tough odds. The veteran first baseman’s hometown Orioles will likely have the financial resources to make a serious bid for his services. In addition, it looks like the Yankees will have a desire to provide him a mega contract that might lure him to become their first baseman for a better part of the next decade.

    “We will have negotiations with Mark this winter, and we’ll just see where they lead,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said recently. “

  2. We knew this was going to happen going in, though. There was virtually no chance the Braves would be able to sign Teixeira. Mise well enjoy him while we’ve got him, and hope they can turn the draft picks into something nice.

  3. Don’t get depressed. Enjoy him now that we have him. After all, the Braves are a Triple-A farmhand to the Yankees and Dodgers. Everyone knows that. ;)

  4. what do you guys think about the tejada trade? looks like the O’s may have some cash for tex after all,

    finally saw No Country…Wow. absolutely stunning

  5. I have 6 finals from Tuesday to Friday, but thankfully only one tomorrow. When I’m done after I start taking it at 8AM, the day is my own. I won’t know what to do with myself…

    Fare thee well, Mr. Harris. May we never know ye again…

  6. beedee, I’m surprised Angelos actually didnt stop the deal from happening. Thats just what he does, but its a good move for the team. If Im an Astros fan I’m pissed. Roy Oswalt cant carry this team by himself. They trade away every potential useful starter that they have in their farm every offseason. Tejada is an expensive/old SS that is declining and they just gave away 5 players for him. Not a good move in my opinion

  7. Mike,
    IMO, you’re no supposed to have closure.

    To me, we’re supposed to feel resignation that the worst instincts in humanity have won this battle & Tommy Lee Jones can’t put up the fight anymore.

    The bad guys win & it’s not supposed to feel good.

  8. Read my assault on Harris’ character and reputation July 20 (the day before he went 6-6).

    One of the problems with a guy who gets off to an unexpectedly good start is that when he starts to return to his own level, it takes a lot of time to realize that he’s not playing well. Take Willie Harris — please. Harris is still hitting .317, but he hit .391 in May, .355 in June. In July, he has turned into Willie Harris, hitting .143 with no extra-base hits. It’s a problem, especially since Bobby keeps hitting him leadoff. Harris, more than anyone, lost this game.

  9. Over at my other blog, I have a category called Things That Are Never Ever Going To Happen. One of these would be to sign Prior, then give Leo (who is just hanging around Atlanta) a one year deal as a “consultant” and tell him that his job is to work with Prior and see if he can fix him. I mean, even if the chance of success is five or ten percent, wouldn’t it be worth it?

  10. Mike,
    i guess that for me the movie was more about the “demons” of this world and man dealing with the fact that we don’t pick when it’s our time to go, no matter how prepared we are to accept it. the resolution is that fate decides if life continues.
    ii was surprised that the Astros gave up all those guys for him, but i sure there was some method to the madness.

  11. I guess I understand the movie’s meaning and all. I’m just talking in terms of build up. I was waiting for this big finale, which obviously took place, but we didn’t even get to see it. And then the movie just…ended.

  12. Angelos wasn’t gonna stop this deal and won’t stop the soon-to-be Bedard/Roberts deals either. Believe it or not, the O’s are blowing it up. This immediately makes them smarter and more interesting than the Giants, Astros, and White Sox.

  13. #22

    The starting lineup for the 2003 Braves might be named the Juiciest Bunch Of Juicers Who Ever Juiced….

  14. I am disgusted by the whole thing. I am most digusted by ESPN, which IMHO, is the biggest culprit in snowballing this HGH/steroids story the last few years.

    I am in my car on the way to work and put on my XM Radio. On Fox Sports Radio, Czaban is talking about Petrino and previewing NFL week 15.

    On ESPN Radio, mr. butt kissing panderer himself, Mike Greenberg, was gearing the day up on this Mitchell report like he was a Duke student camping outside Cameron Indoor for season tickets.

    The bottomline is Bud Selig should suspend himself before he suspends another player. I am sick of the witch hunt and every player on that list took a LEGAL SUBSTANCE. It’s banned NOW, fine – if someone is using it tomorrow, suspend them. If they use it next June – suspend them.

    But this going backwards thing of naming and humiliating players who used a substance that was legal as Bud the Impaler turned a blind eye is downright sickening. I have nothing but sympathy for the players and hope that Selig gets his comeuppance.

    As for Mitchell, I guess when you’re a retired senator, you are trying to stay relevant. I wish he’d go away too. As for the U.S. Congress, why don’t all of you focus on the Economy, the war, healthcare and more pressing concerns. Americans are worried more about the price of gas and don’t give a rat’s a– that Paul Byrd took some HGH a fewq years ago.

    I had a vent yesterday about this & needed to vent today. I am only digusted today with Major League Baseball – and the continued lost ratings and revenue this sport will suffer from suspending a bunch of all stars – good. bud deserves every bad thing he’s heaping upon himself by continuing this witch hunt.

    As for ESPN, considering the way they do business on everything these days – from allowing biased people like Mark may and Lou Holtz to fcontinue to pretend to be analysts, or allowing blowhard fools like Woody Paige, Chris Berman and Skip Bayless to continue to have any airtime, I have nothing but disdain for the 4 letter, as they have spurred this entire investigation.

    ESPN wants to be seen one day as CNN and the next day as E! with those stupid ESPY’s. I am sick of this entire thing and if one current, star Braves player is lost due to this sham investigation, I will be even more livid.

  15. #29

    Not all Blank’s fault but I do think Rich McKay should lose his job.

    Between the Vick-Schaub decisions and now the Petrino hire, which anyone w/ any common sense could see would be a disaster a mile away, McKay needs to go.

    I like Arthur Blank. he;s made mistakes but he’s the owner and he’s a good man and really wants to do things with the franchise that will please the fans and build a winner.

    IMHO, Rich McKay, the once vauned Tampa Bay GM, has come in and made this mess. Blank trusted McKay when McKay supported turning this franchise over to people like Michael Vick and Bobby Petrino, neither of whom has a smidgeon of class.

  16. I agree wholeheartedly with Alex R. As fun as PED usage speculation is, it’s easy to lose sight of the basic rights issues involved. I am disheartened when any union capitulates on something like worker drug testing without extracting some concession from management.

    If MLB starts penalizing people for taking prescribed or OTC substances before they were banned, using some one sentence loophole in the CBA as justification, then that’s a far larger shame of MLB than the players victimized.

  17. So, Atu, you’re saying you prefer Chris Redman, Joey Harrington or Byron Sandwich to Schaub????

  18. No, I’m saying it’s worth the one-year QB crap-shoot for what the Falcons got in return (two second-rounders and a two-slot upward move in Round 1 last year), including a bad enough team to draft an elite QB prospect next year.

    Also, Schaub is apparently made of glass, so these guys would have gotten significant playing time even if he were here.

  19. You have a point about Schaub’s injuries, but even a halfway healthy Schaub is better than the collective group of stinkers the Falcons currently have.

    Plus, with Schaub, the Falcons could have competed for this cruddy division/

  20. Plus, I am not at all excited by any QB’s available in the next draft – Brtian Brohm? Colt Brennan? Matt Ryan?

    Maybe I am missing something but none of these guys look like NFL starters.

  21. Woodson and Ryan look pretty good to me.

    And again, they also got additional picks.

    FWIW, Schaub’s QB Rating has been 87.2, compared to Harrington’s 77.2. It’s not clear to me that Schaub could have done a whole lot better with this team.

  22. MLB has already shown they won’t suspend players for HGH use prior to the ban. That’s why Jay Ginnons and Jose Guillen got it and Schoenweiss and Ankiel didn’t.

    As far as steroids.. Steroids have been illegal for for several decades and have been on baseballs band substance list since at least 1985. There was just no testing. And no intent to actually enforce that rule… But the rule was there.

  23. Woodson’s delivery is too long. Ryan could be good, but they will both probably be mediocre NFL QBs.

  24. I notice Ryan’s footwork needs a little bit of work as well. His plant on his 5 step drop isn’t as strong and his plant on his 7 step. His cadence is also easy to read and and anticipate.

  25. Re: Center Field

    The more I think about it, Blanco seems to be the least bad of our options in CF. He hit pretty well last year, and he’s hitting well in winter ball and added a tad of power.

  26. Alex R. –

    A major flaw in your argument is that the substances were NOT legal. They were not banned by the CBA, or part of the very lame drug testing agreed to, but their unprescribed use is a federal felony, which is why Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, etc. all were granted immunity for their testimony.

  27. How do you propose cleaning up his delivery?

    Learning the QB position in the NFL is difficult enough. I would not draft a kid that needed work on his throwing motion; it is just one more thing for the kid to worry about, and potentially screw up.

  28. Well, it’s not my job to propose a new delivery, but it is the job of NFL QB coaches.

    Even if he doesn’t clean it up, he’s Kerry Collins, which isn’t bad if you surround him with talent.

  29. As far as I know, steroids, not HGH was banned; not to mention the cases talked about earlier where HGH and Steroids have been prescribed to people like my mom with medical issues.

    But even if your argument was correct, that still doesn’t excuse the fact that Bud the Impaler turned a blind eye when it suited him during the 98 home run chase, and now is willing to hang about 80 players out to dry to forge a phony legacy.

    If he suspends any players for substances that were not illegal to use in Major League Baseball, he should resign as commissioner, effective immediately.

  30. And if you aren’t satisfied with any QBs in this year’s class, draft a lineman and keep going with Joey Harrington in order to secure a top pick in 2009. It’s not like all that’s missing here is a QB, anyway.

  31. Stu,

    Your suggestion at #56 makes more sense to me. I just really don’t like the Brennan/Ryan/Woodson group to see a big time NFL starter there, and the Falcons should fill other holes.

    That being said, a far smarter idea would be to go hard after Derek Anderson this offseason; he’s going to be a restricted Free Agent in Cleveland and as good as he’s been, the Browns organization feels enormous pressure to give hometown boy Brady Quinn a shot.

    As someone who has Anderson on his fantasy team, this guy is very much for real and is a stud. He’d make an average receiver like Roddy White look very good.

    Beyond the offensive line, the Falcons need a ton of help everywhere, which is why going after a good veteran QB makes the most sense – especially considering the low quality I see in this year’s QB draft class.

  32. I don’t think this is posted by another case for why the Dodgers like our crap:

    From MLB Trade Rumors
    The Dodgers have signed 11 players to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training: RHP Tanyon Sturtze, RHP Mike Koplove, RHP Brian Falkenborg, RHP Rick Asadoorian, RHP Fernando Desgue, RHP Greg Jones, LHP Brian Shackelford, OF John-Ford Griffin, 1B John Lindsey, IF Angel Chavez and C Danny Ardoin. The addition of Sturtze, coupled with the presence of Scott Proctor, gives Joe Torre two of his favorite abuse cases over the past few years.

  33. Stu-

    You have something in common now with Woody Paige. The only 2 people not buying Derek Anderson yet/still as a top flight NFL Quarterback.

    Personally, having watched some of his play this year, I think I would easily slot him into the top 10 of current 32 NFL starting Quarterbacks and his stats put him in the top 5 or 6 overall.

    If it was a 2-4 game sample size, I would agree; but he’s now been doing this since game 2. Even his “off” weeks, he still produces some solid stats.

  34. The Browns have had a ridiculously easy schedule thus far. I don’t see them making the playoffs next year, but I do remember Anderson receiving praise prior to the draft.

    I always endorse drafting top lineman. The Browns took Joe Thomas last year. I’m sure Derek Anderson enjoyed that pick.

  35. Hate King-

    Here’s the Browns reg. season schedule:

    Regular Season
    Sun 9/9 Pittsburgh L 7-34
    Sun 9/16 Cincinnati W 51-45
    Sun 9/23 at Oakland L 24-26
    Sun 9/30 Baltimore W 27-13
    Sun 10/7 at New England L 17-34
    Sun 10/14 Miami W 41-31
    Sun 10/28 at St. Louis W 27-20
    Sun 11/4 Seattle W 33-30
    Sun 11/11 at Pittsburgh L 28-31
    Sun 11/18 at Baltimore W 33-30
    Sun 11/25 Houston W 27-17
    Sun 12/2 at Arizona L 21-27
    Sun 12/9 at NY Jets W 24-18
    Sun 12/16 Buffalo 1:00 pm
    Sun 12/23 at Cincinnati 1:00 pm
    Sun 12/30 San Francisco 1:00 pm

    Pittsburgh twice, New England, Arizona, Seattle, plus they played Baltimore and Cincy back early when both were still good and contending.

    It’s not the most difficult schedule or everyone, but it’s not easy.

  36. Anderson’s Numbers:

    Pass Yds TD Yds/Game QB Rating
    3247 26 249.8 87.4

    If he was in the NFC, he’d be a surefire Pro Bowl pick; though in the AFC alongside Brady, Manning and Roethlisburger, he likely won’t make it. (though considering Brady will likely skip the game, he would get added).

    Plus, he’s only 24 years old and he’s 6’6 in height.

    Yeah, I’d take him in a second with the Falcons.

  37. Alex, come on, that’s a pretty easy NFL schedule.

    And I guarantee you that there are more than 2 of us who would like to see another year of this from Derek Anderson before annointing him a star. This is the same guy that couldn’t beat out Charlie Frye before the season.

  38. Can’t vouch for it’s authenticity, but I’ve seen a list of the supposed names in the Mitchell Report. Lots of big, big names, many whom won’t come as a surprise, and a few names that make you wonder “THEY were doing this?”

    Very few Braves on the list and none currently with the team, fwiw.

  39. Great – is Bravesjournal going to be a day long vigil of the Mitchell Report?

    If so, I can turn off Bravesjournal and get more work done.

  40. Mac-

    Any chance of a separate Mitchell Report thread and keeping this thread for people that don’t want to discuss it? Just a thought…

  41. Alex, you’ve spilled more ink than anyone else on the board about this, so don’t whine when others want to talk about it. Didn’t you say you have work to do?

  42. sansho1,

    You don’t have to snap at me about it – you’re absolutely right, I have discussed it and it merits some discussion, but I see this being a an all day and all night long vigil of name after name so it makes more sense to have a separate thread.

    But it’s Mac’s choice. I apologize if my stance was too harsh – honestly, the whole thing just really gripes me.

  43. from what Ive seen these are the current players already mentioned

    Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts, Jay Gibbons, and David Segui

  44. Alex,
    Whether we like it or not, The Mitchell Report is the biggest baseball story in years.

    It’s may be a culmination of the nastiest stain the game has endured in a generation and, at the very least, it may call into question Hall of Fame credentials of many players.

    IMO, there’s a lot to talk about…

  45. ububba,

    Then that just brings up a question that we can never answer: how much did PEDs help these Hall of Fame locks? No one will ever know.

  46. No worries – the whole thing just bugs me and I was ‘venting’ – definitely my bad.

    Truth be told, I am also really stressed out that Chipper maybe on there which will really grump me out; and not over any anger at Chipper, but just at this sham of an investigation.

  47. Can I laugh at this now?

    Andruw Jones said he identified what caused him to hit .222 last season for the Atlanta Braves. He hit 26 home runs, down from 51 in 2005 and 41 in 2006. Upon examining video of his at-bats at the end of the season, Jones discovered that his balance was poor because his stance was too wide by about four inches, according to Scott Boras. “That his elbow was hurt didn’t help,”

  48. It seems like the majority of names so far have already been discussed at some point or another. That’s why I’m not worried about Chipper at this second. Besides, if he was on the list, I’m sure that he’d be mentioned by now.

  49. will players such as McGwire, Clemens, Sosa be facing the same type charges that Bonds is facing

    I want Schilling to be on there, just for calling out all these other players for taking roids

  50. Sam,
    You got that right.

    I’m afraid I haven’t fully formed my opinion yet. I’m just in “sponge mode” right now.

    How does one evaluate Clemens’ “two careers,” for example? I’m not sure. Do we know that he was juicing after his Boston years? I suspect he was, the insane numbers indicate that he was, but we don’t know for sure.

    And if he definitely was and it can be proven, what does it mean? How much of his legacy is tarnished?

    I’m not convinced that a “BTW, he did steroids” sentence on his HOF plaque is going to be enough.

  51. I bet Andruw is on there, the kid just put on too much weight too quick after all this. I bet he was on something to help keep the weight off

  52. Regarding the HOF, I’ll bet the Veterans Committee will be awfully busy in about 25 years. I can see the writers keeping out otherwise worthy candidates, but the ex-players, even the clean ones, might be more sympathetic. Just a guess.

  53. Which would mean Schilling in front of a camera in 25 years, of course. And the radio, and blogging. Probably some skywriting.

  54. At this point, I think the biggest news will be the great players who didn’t do steroids. Hopefully Chipper is on that list.

  55. List of ex-Braves:

    Bret Boone
    Paul Byrd
    Ken Caminiti
    Kyle Farnsworth
    Wally Joyner
    Damian Moss
    John Rocker

    We got off easy. Whew!

  56. Smitty,
    The report is going to sully the reputations of a lotta ballplayers & perhaps keep some of them out of the Hall of Fame.

    I think that’s significant.

  57. The Browns schedule is pretty bad. 88-118 (I think). They have only played 4 games against teams with winning records.

  58. Crap! As long as the list of Braves stays where it is, I’m okay with it. The only guy to contribute to the team success over an extended period (Rocker) has already been vilified anyway.

  59. I’d be stunned if Boone and Rocker weren’t on the official list.

    I’m looking for Klesko. He looks like a skeleton now compared to his heyday.

    That’s the way this is going to go I guess. I pretty much assumed anybody good was doing them so I’ll be more surprised by the names not on the list. But of course Ron is absolutely correct in #116.

  60. Not surprised whatsoever about Pujols. Finally people can stop putting a halo on his head.

    But all I care about is that our guy, Chipper isn’t on the list. This is a good day for the Braves.

  61. Not surprised whatsoever about Pujols. Finally people can stop putting a halo on his head.

    Not surprised either. Now all we need is to find out that he’s actually 32 and reality will line up with my perception of him.

  62. The list thats floating around has been debunked as incorrect, which could also mean that it is just incomplete. But the misspellings, and names appearing more than once should have been a clue.

  63. You would think outfits like WNBC and CNBC would have looked at that list and though something was awry.

  64. I would think that Justice’s use was also after he left Atlanta, but who can say with a man who screwed up being married to Halle Berry.

  65. OK which would be worse for the braves? If Chipper was on the list, or if Dale Murphy was?

  66. Dale Murphy definitely. I don’t have any real fear of that happening, but that would make him one of the greatest frauds in history of baseball. Murphy has been outspoken in his stance on steroids and players using them, and rightfully so.

    It would obviously be interesting if someone who was really outspoken on steroids was on the list. Again, let me say again that I do not believe that Murphy would be on this list. This list has a very McCarthy feel to it. I feel like we are getting the names of traitors. My worry about this list would be if there is one innocent person on it. Can anyone imagine the impossibility of anyone ever believing anything that was said if someone is on this list, innocent or not?

  67. A partial list I heard on WFAN:

    Jack Cust
    Todd Hundley
    Matt Franco
    Mo Vaughn
    Ron Vallone
    Todd Pratt
    Kent Mercker
    Paul LoDuca

  68. Well of course Matt Franco. Got stay ready for those 5 ABs a week.

    Did we really win 101 games in ’02 with a Franco/Franco platoon at first, Lockhart at second, Castilla at third, and Javy giving us a .233/.299/.372 stinkbomb behind the plate? That seems like a magic trick.

  69. #136

    Kenny – yes on both your comments. I love Chipper but his dalliances with Hooters girls past show he’s not ‘perfect’. Dale Murphy on the other hand is pure as a snowflake and as long as I live, I don’t ever want my perception of him to change. Being a Murphy fan is one of my single happiest childhood memories.

    That being said, I love Chipper the ballplayer to death so again, I am relieved he’s not on here.

    I also agree about this whole McCarthy feel to it. I still can’t believe our inpet, useless, do nothing congress ever made this a priority.

    We have 50 million people without health insurance & we’re fighting a war on terror (whatever your views are on Iraq, I am an independent so I have mixed views) and yet Congress thought it was important enough to have hearings on this sh–.

    It really doesn’t matter to me who’s on this list. Bottomline – it happened in the past when this stuff was legal. Ban the substances now, move on, and play ball for goodness sake.

  70. This is just my opinon, but I wish MLB would have come out and said that they would give amnesty to all players who would admit to their prior use by a certain date. I know that there may be other issues that I am unaware of, but if the stated goal was to find out who was using and who was not I think that would have been the most effective thing to do. If players did not admit to doing, and later were traced to the drugs they should have been permantly banned from MLB.

  71. There are a ton of names; guys you wouldn’t even expect. Everybody should go to and grab the pdf.

  72. Also, so everyone can rest a little, the PDF is searchable, and the only times any “Jones” is mentioned is in reference to an excerpt from one of Todd Jones’ articles. No Jones seems to be in the report from an initial search. No Chipper. No Andruw.

  73. Cuddly Kevin Brown is on there.

    I love that 1) there is a Chad Allen section and 2) that it goes on for nine paragraphs. That’s more than was written about him in his whole career.

  74. Here’s a list I copied from a post at primer from poster dfan:

    Lenny Dykstra, David Segui, Larry Bigbie, Brian Roberts, Jack Cust, Tim Laker, Josias Manzanillo, Todd Hundley, Mark Carreon, Hal Morris, Matt Franco, Rondell White, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch, Jason Grimsley, Gregg Zaun, David Justice, F. P. Santangelo, Glenallen Hill, Mo Vaughn, Denny Neagle, Ron Villone, Ryan Franklin, Chris Donnels, Todd Williams, Phil Hiatt, Todd Pratt, Kevin Young, Mike Lansing, Cody McKay, Kent Mercker, Adam Piatt, Miguel Tejada, Jason Christiansen, Mike Stanton, Stephen Randolph, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Paul Lo Duca, Adam Riggs, Bart Miadich, Fernando Vina, Kevin Brown, Eric Gagne, Mike Bell, Matt Herges, Gary Bennett, Jr., Jim Parque, Brendan Donnelly, Chad Allen, Jeff Williams, Howie Clark, Nook Logan

  75. And the “other player” to grant an interview… Frank Thomas. Ha.

    It figures. He’s probably the one guy the most Hall worthy who won’t get in due to all this mess changing the offensive context of his numbers.

  76. It seems to me there are two issues here. First, steroids were illegal as a matter of federal law, so anyone using them was committing a felony. That’s bad and they were stupid to take risks with their health. But, second, it’s not clear to me how much effect steroids have on performance. Assuming the names we are hearing are accurate, there are some pretty mediocre players. And, I am unwilling to say that guys like Pujols and Bonds are great hitters just because they used steroids. I’m sort of with Alex here–this is increasingly becoming a witch hunt, especially with the way people keep speculating about who did or did not use steroids and whether or not their stats are inflated by steroids. The fact is, we don’t know and probably never will know what effect steroids has on performance and on these records. How many homers did it add to Bonds’ total–10? 50? 200? I really don’t see much point in releasing the names–it might be worth it if they could definitively say, these were the guys that did it and no others. But, obviously, it isn’t going to be that definitive. And there are so many things we don’t know–how long each player took them, what kinds they took,etc, etc. Does this list include guys that may have taken steoids for a couple of weeks as well as guys that took them for two years? It’s gotten ridiculous; right now, anyone that plays well is under suspicion for using steroids.

    As for McGuire, someone asked if he would be punished like Bonds. He didn’t commit perjury in front of a grand jury; he refused to answer a congressional inquiry. There is nothing to punish him for since he is retired.

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