Marlins 6, Braves 3

Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 03, 2012 – ESPN

So, the Hawks should definitely be pushing Dwight Howard to sign with Houston.

If that happened, Omer Asik would become expendable, and we know that both Dwight and the Rockets like Josh Smith — that’s the perfect setup for a sign-and-trade by which Houston gets another piece (with Howard and James Harden) for a championship core and the Hawks get a few valuable assets (Asik plus, say, Terrence Jones and a future, lottery-protected #1?) in their attempt to rebuild the franchise.

Atlanta would, in this scenario, be looking at a roster of Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Al Horford, Asik, John Jenkins, Jones, Mike Scott, Shelvin Mack, and whatever ~$15 million in remaining cap space could buy. They could re-sign ZaZa Pachulia and add Beno Udrih and Corey Brewer or some other credible veteran combination. Whatever they do, as long as they’re not wasting that cap space on a long-term overpay — I’m looking at you, Andre Iguodala — they could set themselves up to be solid for a while, and possibly very good in a couple of years, when the young players have had a chance to mature and they’ve gone through that loaded 2014 free-agency period with some money to spend. For the first time in a long time, at least they’d be interesting

Leave LA, Dwight; the Rockets and Hawks need you in Houston.

Author: Stu

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I've been married since July 17, 2004 to my beautiful wife, who also doubles as my best friend. We have an almost-three-years-old Boston Terrier named Lucy who's also pretty awesome. My wife and I both graduated from Vanderbilt University in May of 2004. I graduated from Law School at the University of Georgia in May of 2007 and am now practicing in Nashville, Tennessee. I really, really love the Atlanta Braves.

146 thoughts on “Marlins 6, Braves 3”

  1. Of course, I missed the Korver news. Doesn’t change the basic point, just maybe the details of how the roster gets filled out with vets.

    Goes a long way toward eliminating the possibility of a terrible Iguodala contract, though!

  2. Cap space buys you *nothing* in the NBA. Cap space is the sucker’s chase. Cap space gets you the right to overpay Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva when no one else will volunteer for duty in your second-tier market.

    Might as well bottom out and hope for Andrew Wiggins; it’s the only real hope a team of the Hawks’ free-agent stature has.

    But yeah you have to avoid those Iguodala contracts. The problem is that the max is artificially low, and so close to what the second-tier guys’ market value is. Teams will inevitably miss out on a “20MM guy” who would actually be worth 30-40 on the open market (and is thus one of the best bargains in the league), then console themselves by spending 17MM on a second-tier player.

  3. The problem with bottoming out is that the Hawks are too close to the top to do it. To have a realistic shot at Wiggins, they’d have to, like…not do a sign-and-trade with Smith, let Teague go for nothing, and deal Horford for young guys and picks.

    And the Mavs’ entire pitch to Howard is basically 2014 cap space, so come on!

  4. A perennial 5-6 seed is not too close to the top. It’s purgatory. The NBA playoffs are less random than baseball’s, which is more fair from a procedural-justice standpoint, but at the same time really negates the strategy of putting together a .580 team and hoping you get hot at the right time.

    You have to get a superstar, and if you’re Atlanta your only hopes of acquiring one are hitting the lottery in the right year.

  5. I’m not saying they’re actually close to championship-caliber; I’m saying they have too many teams to drop below to get into Wiggins territory.

    Seems to me that the Hawks are much better off banking on one of their teenage draft-picks from last week turning into one of those elusive superstars. The odds don’t seem any longer, and at least they’re somewhat competitive and entertaining in the meantime.

  6. Love it Stu. Asik is a good 5 and moving Horford to the 4 works perfectly.

    As long as we’re spitballing, I would love for Jordan to dangle MKG again for 20 cents on the dollar. Trade our ’15 first round pick for him and call it a day.

  7. Is Teague coming back? I guess it’s reasonable to assume Atlanta will match any offers he gets. But I haven’t heard anything about him.

  8. I voted for JUp, Freeman, CJ and McCann 25 times today. You should too. Let’s keep Harper from starting.

  9. I would rather our guys just get some days off. I loathe everything about the All star game.

  10. In order for any NBA market outside of LA, NY/BRK or MIA to compete for a championship, they must build through the draft. Major free agents in the NBA simply do not sign outside of those markets unless you already have every other piece in place for a championship run, and even then it’s iffy.

    Take the “Big 3” era Celtics. They drafted Paul Pierce, traded for Ray Allen, and then went all in to get Kevin Garnett to complete the power trio via free agency.

    For Atlanta to pull free agents above the Kyle Korver class, they have to build a core team through the draft that can legitimately say “we’re going to Finals if you sign with us, Mr. Star Free Agent.”

    You can do that by crashing and hoping desperately to stumble upon the next LeBron James (the “go for Wiggins” scenario) – and that’s still a crapshoot, quite literally. You have to *win a lottery* first, and even then, Cleveland is still waiting for King James to bring them a championship.

    The better way to go about it is to be smarter than everyone else. That is to say, be the San Antonio Spurs. Find players who are valuable from places other people aren’t looking (overseas.) Make tripartite trades with multiple moving parts on draft day to turn two first rounders into a higher first rounder and a better second rounder. Let other teams throw cash at Dwight Howard and then flip a resource to get the guy who was pretty close to Dwight Howard anyway that is suddenly redundant.

    The single best thing that has happened to the Atlanta Hawks franchise in 25 years is having people start referring to Danny Ferry’s front office in Phillips Arena as “San Antonio East.”

  11. @20

    I would add Boston to that list and maybe Chicago. The Laker and Boston and now Miami are the teams that get the most attention.

  12. @mlbbowman: The #Braves have called Terdoslavich up to Atlanta. No word yet on the corresponding roster move.

  13. Yeah. Schafer is hobbled, and Pastornicky hasn’t been used, and Gearrin just has to go away now. Any of those makes sense.

  14. As long as they don’t send out Janish to make room, I’m okay. Of those three potential players to demote (assuming Schafer doesn’t go to the DL) only Janish brings an actual major league caliber skill to the game. No, he can’t hit, but he can play D. Pastornicky can neither hit nor play D. Cory Gearrin can neither hit, play D, nor pitch.

  15. @20, even the original Spurs kicked their modern era off by tanking the ’96-97 season when they knew a franchise center from Wake Forest was entering the ’97 draft.

    You really have to pull an inside straight to win a title, or even a conference championship, in the NBA outside one of the power markets.

    I also get Stu’s reasoning @11, although I’d say the strategy there isn’t necessarily to turn one of those guys into a superstar (long odds there) but to put together enough attractive assets that when a superstar comes available for cap reasons, you’re the Rockets picking up James Harden.

    Lucky for me, as a Mavs fan I can just watch my video files of the 2011 NBA Finals when I’m feeling down about how they (like the Hawks) are botching the cap space game by waiting for a Dwight who will never come. Hi-def game rips you can keep forever on your hard drive are a really great aspect of winning a title in the digital era. Hoping to add some Braves videos to that collection soon.


    They haven’t said who got sent down/DLed. Might be Schafer.

    EDIT sorry, I’m way late to the party.

  17. I’m not as down on Pastornicky’s defense as some, because I think every player on the roster save Janish and Simmons would have looked even worse than he did at shortstop.

    Which is to say, I think he’d be a better 2B than Uggla, and a better 3B than Johnson if 2B or 3B became his assignment. So if you believe in his bat, he’s worth keeping over Janish, as he can also play 3 innings at SS if needbe. And since both have options, if Simmons hits the DL, Janish is 40 minutes away.

    All that being said, neither would bother me. As you said, Janish has displayed that his primary skill will play at the big league level. Pnicky has certainly not. I just don’t think hes failed enough to be classified a 4A just yet. Plenty of guys don’t hit the ground running in the bigs, and require a couple callups before they succeed.

  18. @32 – I’ll walk it back a little and say that Pastonicky might prove himself to be a sort of Brooks Conrad type spare part, but that a team in the thick of a pennant chase is not the proper grounds for him to be proving that case.

    I’d rather go with Terdo/Janish than Pastornicky/Janish at least until Gattis gets back. When the Bear returns you probably have to go with Gattis/Janish to keep a backup 3B/MI on the roster.

  19. Just voted 35 times for Freddie, JUp and Simmons…if you’re registered at and logged in, you get an extra 10 votes.

  20. Nats and Brewers with the 11am start? Hopefully FatJuan will continue to do the Lord’s work.

  21. The bummer of it is, Fredi’s going to (and sure, with reason) make Joey Terds prove himself/get acclimated in only low leverage spots, as an “extra bat” rather than “THE” bat off the bench like Gattis was.

    They should have called him up the day Gattis went down, and then by now we’d already know what we had. As it is, the big, high leverage ABs will keep going to Rohnson and Schafer, because Terds’ feet will be sufficiently wet right around the time Gattis is ready to come back.

  22. While Googling Terdoslavich, I found out that Christian Bethancourt was invited to the Futures Game (along with Joey Terds).

    Bethancourt is hitting .253/.284/.368 at AA this year. He’s 21 years old. I’m not really a big prospector, but I feel like I know a few things and Bethancourt just looks (from raw data and scouting reports) like a toolsy guy who can’t hit. Am I missing something? Anyone watched him play in person? I hear he has a cannon arm, but I’d rather have the Evan Gattis/Brian McCann type (passable defense, power bat) behind the plate than the power arm/minus bat type.

  23. @37 Schafer is on the DL and I guarantee Terds gets quite a bit of ABs whether it be high or low leverage. They would have brought up Constanza if they needed a pinch runner.

    @39 As anemic as his bat has been, there’s probably enough evidence to conclude that Bethancourt won’t be an everyday catcher.

  24. @42 Oh god, the poor girl. I wonder what they are doing to the female on air talent down at Fox, because I’ve never seen a more nervous bunch in my life.

  25. Bethancourt has a cannon for an arm and is, in general, a polished catcher. But he hasn’t hit. He doesn’t strike out much, and scouts think he can still develop some power while maybe hitting for average, but so far the plate approach and results have both been atrocious. That said, he’s still young and will get every opportunity to turn it around. He remains a real prospect. Sometimes the bat comes late.

  26. @46 Yeah, Jordan is terrible and Bryd just makes me cringe every time he’s on camera. Doesn’t have a good look, fumbles over his words, and the voice ain’t great either.

  27. Success isn’t happy about how he found out about being put on the DL, despite the fact that he can barely walk.

    Happy 4th Of July twit fam, It’s amazing how you find everything out first on twitter………

  28. @45
    I disagree that he remains a real prospect and I’ll bet he drops off of everyone’s top 100 prospects list next year. He’s 21 at AA and has shown absolutely no growth as a hitter. Also, I wouldn’t say k’ing once every 5 PAs isn’t striking out much (what he’s doing this year), especially for someone with only 14XBH in 190 at-bats. Sure, he’ll get every chance to prove himself as his defense won’t fade for awhile, but OPS’ing .650 at AA won’t help him get to the bigs anytime soon.

  29. Disagree all you want. But he has value, and there remains a chance that he’ll hit at some point down the line. He’ll have a career as a backup at the least because of his defensive skills.

  30. @51 He is Henry Blanco with less pop. That’s not the worst thing you can be, but it isn’t top 150 prospect stuff.

  31. Well that’s a shame. Our little flat brim juggalo looked like he had really turned the corner.

  32. 50- He’s got precedent this year, when Freddie went on the DL. Of course, Success is hobbling more and hasn’t been hitting .400 the way Freddie was.

  33. @ajcbraves
    Saw Evan Gattis with a bat in his hand heading to indoor cages. The start of a little baseball activity?


  34. It looks like Atlanta is getting a little break in the weather. They should’ve moved the game time up.

  35. Catchers are weird. For various reasons, sometimes the bat comes a lot later for them than it does for everyone else. One reason may be that catchers are always a scarce commodity, so the guys who can catch the ball will get thousands of chances to prove they can’t hit. Occasionally they figure it out in their late 20s, like Carlos Ruiz. Occasionally they never figure it out and still have a multidecade career, like Jeff Mathis, who killed us last night, and who literally has a .196/.255/.316 triple slash in 1664 career PA.

    Bethancourt could probably match that.

  36. Borderline roster guy who was making himself a little more money in the future by seeming to have put it together doesn’t want to lose his spot to another borderline prospect type. Not shocking, really.

  37. @Alex
    Carlos Ruiz figured it out right around the time he started juicing and forgot it right after. He has 0 HR this year in 106 plate appearances. There’ll have to be more evidence than a busted user before I buy into that theory. He’ll probably have a multi-decade career, but that still doesn’t mean he’s worthy of the title “prospect”. Jeff Mathis, on the contrary, was worthy of the title as he posted an .872 OPS as a 20 year old in the Minors.

    I never said he doesn’t have value. I said I don’t think he’ll be considered a real prospect anymore according to those outside the Braves circle. Players on the backup catcher path don’t carry prospect weight at 22 years old, of which he’ll be next time prospect rankings come out. As long as he has well above average defense for a catcher, he’ll be special in the Braves eyes due to the potential of his bat coming around.

  38. @60 Well then maybe he shouldn’t be acting like his leg is falling off every time he gets sent out to play. The “It’s only a flesh wound!” thing isn’t going to work for very long.

  39. Well, he was barely a top 100 prospect coming into this season, but leaving aside the context of the ranking system – of which I’m wary – it’s easy to argue that he could still have a bright future. He is, after all, playing in the futures game. He also actually had a decent June. I’d bet other GMs also would have some interest, though not a ton.

  40. 22 pitches, and he strikes out the side. Hope he can get more efficient, but it’s fun watching Teheran become an ace.

  41. Too close to take, Justin.

    EDIT so, he took what should have been strike three, fouled off a pitch that was literally bounced to the plate, then popped on on the infield. Interesting AB.

  42. Teheran leaves another hanging curve up. Guys, these are major leaguers even if they play for the Fish.

  43. Remember two days ago, when the Marlins, one of the two worst teams in baseball, had a bad game, even for their standards, and couldn’t catch or throw, let alone hit and pitch? And remember how we were all excited about how awesome our elite team was?

    Yeah, well.

  44. The Pastor needed divine intervention for that not to be a DP.

    Edit: Which left it unavailable for Simmons.

  45. That soft, seedy underbelly of the roster is going to cost us and keep costing us.

  46. Have we even had a baserunner since the first inning?

    Edit: Yes, but he was erased on a DP.

  47. I was impressed the way he clawed back. But I still think he’s not awl he’s cracked up to be; it’s just an ingrained belief.

  48. @125 That’s not how things work around here. Just a couple days ago this was an unbeatable team, but one more loss in a row and I imagine folks here will start pronouncing the end is nigh. Irrational exuberance at every upswing, panic at every downswing, and then rinse and repeat.

  49. 127: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are some holes in this team, and they get exposed at inopportune times. I’d almost rather them not make the playoffs than do what we all have come to expect, and that’s lose in some remarkable way to a team they should have beaten (this series, for example). Someone mentioned having that Bama swagger in a previous thread. That type of confidence Bama fans have in the team and Saban. The opposite is the feeling of doubt that some Braves fans have. Maybe I live too much in the doubt, but I don’t understand this team at all this year. I certainly won’t be surprised if the Braves don’t make the playoffs. The Nats are starting to play for blood, and they can make up six games in a very short time.

  50. @127, There is a middle ground between panic and exuberance, and that is the eschatological certainty of DOOOOOM! On a slightly more serious note, my feelings of cautious concern are greatly informed by the tragedy of 2011, when it was a notion of ridicule that our team didn’t have the Wild Card sewn up. That and last year’s play-in disaster have me taking nothing for granted. I still feel both those events every time I look at the current day’s standings.

  51. @128 I’d almost rather them not make the playoffs than do what we all have come to expect, and that’s lose in some remarkable way to a team they should have beaten (this series, for example).

    That’s just incomprehensible to me. I mean, I get being realistic about any team’s prospects (and every one has some hole), and I’m not advocating unjustified certainty or confidence, but I don’t get the point of watching if you’d rather your team lose than not be perfect. C’mon guys, it’s baseball. It’s supposed to be fun. I can’t be the only one that actually enjoys watching the Braves play even when they don’t win. This is a fun young team that is getting better. Let’s enjoy it while we can…before we become the Phillies.

    Just offering some perspective, folks will obvious do what they like.

  52. This loss annoyed me more than most. The sky isn’t falling, but it’s impossible to avoid the fact that this season, to date, has been a massive disappointment for the outfielders. I can’t see the Braves going deep into October without at least two of them clicking, so let’s hope that comes to pass. I’d especially like to see Justin Upton, I dunno, hit a home run again. Or something.

  53. Yes, I’m being a little melodramatic, but would you seriously want to relive another infield fly rule game? Part of me would rather not.

  54. @127/130 –

    Respectfully (and you know I respect you; we’ve had several agreeable debates about stuff), I think it’s unfair of you to keep berating people who take a less rosy view of the Braves’ situation at any given moment than you do.

    Your recurring point about needing to find pleasure in simply watching a young team filled with potential is well taken, and I don’t think most here would disagree with it. At the same time, to suggest it’s “incomprehensible” for others to have a different emotional reaction to the team’s play over the last two months from yours strikes me as somewhat consciously disingenuous.

    That two of the Braves’ starters (B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla) have the lowest batting averages of any ML starting position player is a fact.

    That two of the three starters expected to form one of the most dynamic outfields in baseball have wildly underperformed (Upton again and Jason Heyward, although the latter has shown welcome if fitful signs of life recently) is a fact.

    That the team’s three most effective bench players are injured, one of them for the season (Evan Gattis and Jordan Schafer, with Ramiro Pena playing the unfortunate Timmy Lupus, left behind as the California “Bad News” Bears depart for an Astrodome series against the Texas Toros), is a fact.

    That two of the Braves’ three best relievers (Jonny Venters and Ed O’Flaherty) are out for the season, at least, is a fact. (Although their replacements have performed admirably.)

    That the Braves lack a true ace is a fact. That their two best pitchers, statistically, have failed to muster a quality start in each of their last two outings is a fact.

    That the team’s new offensive approach based on walks and power with a concomitant rise in strikeouts and, again until recently, a seeming inability to comprehend the basics of situational hitting has resulted in an offense with huge highs and lows and little consistency is a fact.

    That such offenses tend to be undependable in short playoff series, especially when facing top-flight pitching, is a matter of statistical fact. That since 1996 the Braves have repeatedly underperformed in the playoffs, often against demonstrably inferior squads, is likewise a fact.

    That you are not bothered by these facts is fine. Laudable, even. Your buoyancy can be helpful, perhaps, to those who have more difficulty focusing on the positives (which, though I will not list them here, are equally numerous). That you choose instead to simply deride those people is ungenerous and, given how many times you’ve done it, getting a bit tiresome.

    Again, I mean no offense. Instead, I mean to suggest that you might consider framing your comments more toward uplifting the spirits of those tending to see the bases more as half-empty. To adapt such a different tone, IMHO, would be a mitzvah.

    Or not. But in that event, I feel obliged to point out your derision has yet to get anyone expressing concern at the current state of affairs to significantly change his or her mind. So at best it seems kind of wasted. People’s emotions swing wildly sometimes with the fortunes of things they care deeply about. This is not “incomprehensible”; it’s human.

  55. @134 I think it’s unfair of you to keep berating people who take a less rosy view of the Braves’ situation at any given moment than you do.

    Fair enough. The lack of perspective implied by excessive pessimism over extremely small sample events does grate me, but I’ve also committed the similar sin of being overly pessimistic about the perspective of my fellow commenters based on a bit of complaining. For what it’s worth it was not my intention to single out or berate any individual, so much as gripe about all the griping. Not the most helpful of responses, I’m sure, but there you have it. It’s probably best if I just avoid the comments while the Braves are not playing well. It doesn’t help my mood, that’s for sure.

  56. @134 As for your “facts” about the team, I find them incredibly cherry picked. What qualifies as a true ace is extremely subjective, whereas the high performance of our pitching as a whole is objectively testable. And the evidence shows we have a very good staff, as it is second only to the Pirates in preventing runs.

    Our offense could be better, but it’s above average, which is usually good enough when your pitching is that good.

    Neither do I consider my view of the team to be particularly rosy, but simply based on the totality of its performance to date instead of heavily influenced by the last few games. It’s the latter tendency that seems so common that perplexes me.

  57. @135 – A fair response, which evinces clearly that you’ve taken the comments in the spirit in which they were offered. Thanks for that.

    @136 – What you call “cherry-picking,” I would instead call “making the case for why Braves fans who are worried feel the way they do.” I specifically made reference in my post to the fact that one could most likely make a similar list of positives that would support your position. Thus, while I grant that I didn’t do that job for you, I think it’s pretty clear I acknowledged there were other sides one could consider.

    What I think mitigates against the persuasiveness of your “view of the team” being “based on the totality of its performance to date” is the intuitive recognition that how the team was playing in April is less relevant than how they’re playing now. Yes, the playoffs are still three months away, but that’s a lot closer to July than it is to April. To suggest, for example, that the play of the Dodgers pre-Puig is equally (or more) germane to their post-season chances than their play since Puig was called up is, I hope we can agree, simply silly. They’re not the same team they were in April. Neither are we.

    Is it a pitfall to be avoided, assuming a few most recent games say all there is to say about our team’s ability? Of course; that should go without saying. Is it ridiculous to suggest that our team’s more recent roster and performance (i.e. in late May and June) are most likely better predictors than those in April? Obviously not, and I’m a little surprised you would imply otherwise.

    You’re railing against fans overreacting. Fair enough. But don’t confuse that for the evidence being overwhelming, on either side, that the Braves are not as good a team right now as they were in April. The evidence there is irrefutable. We are as close to the post-season as to the last spring training, and closer every day.

  58. Wow Grst & Hotspur, that was a logical, lucid and well thought-out discussion in the wee hours of the morning.

    I lean towards Grst’s views in that, since April, I have had the dreadful feeling that if the playoffs began at any moment, the Braves roster as it is currently constructed would not fair well.

    Very worried about all the strikeouts against playoff pitching staffs. Does anybody feel confident with Uggla, Upton and company going up against Latos/Cueto, Wainwright/Miller or Strasburg/Zimmerman?

    Now the bright side is that October is a long way from early July and there is plenty of time for Braves hitters to turn some things around. But a few trades wouldn’t hurt. Trade I wish for but don’t think would ever happen – the Dark Lord himself at 2B.

  59. I don’t expect this place to be more than a realtime season-long Fangraphs win expectancy chart in action. It works both ways. I saw someone coming up with playoff homefield advantage scenarios after sweeping the Diamondbacks. In early July.

    The thing is, I don’t see all that much difference between the team now and the team in April. We’re still pitching well. Our bullpen is still quite good. Some of our hitters are hitting, and some aren’t.

    What exactly is the difference, that makes it seem as though “Electric Funeral” should be playing when you click on this site after any given loss? Jupton and Gattis went on HR binges that I would hope no one expected to be remotely sustainable over the course of a season. Our bench as a whole was a little more impactful — apologies to the ‘next folk hero’ fan club, but also likely unsustainable. They had a big long road trip — by definition, unlikely to continue! Anything else that would lead you to think this is really a different team? It’s basically the same mix of players, and most injury fill-ins have performed reasonably well.

    Team batting March/April: .247/.324/.428
    Team batting May: .244/.315/.409
    Team batting June: .245/.333./.338
    Team batting July: .308/.324/.439 – hey, look, it’s basically the same as April so far, huh? In fact, BABIP illusions should be helping people sugarcoat our performance now vs April

    Flip it around for our pitchers:
    March/April: .243/.300/.364
    May: .247/.311/.404
    June: .234/.291/.350
    July: .275/.352/.431

    Which pitchers have stunk it up for the past five days? Medlen? Kimbrel? Any reason to think they’re as bad as they were in their last appearances? Gearrin? OK, you got me there :)

  60. This may be a stretch but I feel the rain played a role in the losses. For the series, the Braves only walked 3 times, something we normally excel at while the Marlins walked 12 times. Seemed to me that the Braves got the lead early in the last two games and then tried to be aggressive and get the game official and just never really broke out of that mindset.

    Might be way off but just a thought, the Marlins hitters seemed to have a much better approach. It’s harder to throw strikes in the rain and the Braves hitters didn’t seem to take advantage of that while the Marlins did.

  61. The reason frustration is high right now is because we’ve lost series to some sub-par teams. During May when we were “struggling”, the refrain was “well we’ve had a tough schedule, zillions of road games, etc” and now we’ve had home games against cupcakes and have crapped the bed.

    I think this team is going to be fine but I’d be lying if I said I felt like they could win more than one playoff series with how up and down they are.

  62. My frustration is high because our outfield can’t hit and can’t be benched.

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