8:18 am March 27, 2012, by David O'Brien
Tire Treader Extroidinaire
March 27th, 201210:46 am
Diaz is like Keith Lockhart was, only the Braves want him. The Pirates didn’t even want sorryazz Diaz.
March 27th, 201210:47 am
So what is this I am hearing that Jurrjens is back on track and Hanson had a good outing and now people have started beliving in those two.
Jurrjens beat a split squad Astros team. To begin with Astros will probably lose 110 games this year. They are the worst team in the MLB and yet Jurrjens beat a split squad team. Guys nothing to get excited about.
Oh Hanson had a good outing? aganist Astros Minor league. Again guys don’t get too optimistic.
Having a good outing aganist Astros Minor league and split squad teams mean nothing.
Oh ironically our offense put on a show aganist the HOUSTON ASTROS. Aganist Duke, who isn’t even an MLB worthy pitcher.
March 27th, 201210:48 am
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
Doesn’t appear to be a fit between the Indians and Vladimir Guerrero; it’d be too tough for CLE to carry second DH-only player.
March 27th, 201210:49 am
Mike Lum=Brian Asselstine=Keith Lockhart=Brooks Conrad=Matt Diaz. Sorry players only the Braves like.
MLBN today for the BRAVES-METS? I’m hopeful because it’s a N.Y. market opponant. Anyone?
March 27th, 201210:50 am
richbrave – just the replay at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning…
ESPN tomorrow, however…
I really don’t think Wren can or will tolerate Heyward significantly under-performing for a long stretch this season (injuries or not).
And then do what? They aren’t going to give up on this guy, nor should they.
I’ll say this: if Heyward “significantly under-performs” or otherwise goes bust, I’ll have been as wrong about a player as I have ever been. I mean, since-I-was-six-years-old wrong.
And we all know THAT ain’t gonna happen.
March 27th, 201210:53 am
Our head to head W-L record against the Nats isn’t “likely” to get any better this year. And if it doesn’t, then I think they will finish ahead of the Braves. Definitely think the Braves will have to have a winning record against them to finish ahead of them. Don’t think we will have the luxury of beating up on the Marlins and Mets.
March 27th, 201210:54 am
Mantle was an all-time great. With modern knee surgery, his career may have made him the greatest of all time, in spite of the beer.
March 27th, 201210:55 am
ncscoots, well, I certainly don’t hope that Heyward goes bust. I am referencing what Wren said for attribution to DOB last autumn. I’ve got to take Wren at his word.
IF Heyward’s not producing, I can’t imagine Wren not trying to find an alternative. Can’t imagine Wren’ll just say, “Oh, well, we’re stuck with the kid!”
March 27th, 201210:56 am
Jeff, I keep thinking back to Wren’s post-season comments too… I hope you’re right and he sticks to his guns about Heyward.
How long do you let Jason twist in the wind before a move is made, though? Is he given April? May? At some point I’d imagine a conversation has to be had with him so he knows what to expect.
I’d rather see Parraz in RF with Heyward getting his stroke back in AAA than see Heyward go through another season like he did last year. So far I don’t see much improvement… we’re a week away from opening day and Heyward looks to be picking up right where he left off.
If it’s mental get John Smoltz’s psychiatrist on the phone. If he’s hurting, put him on the DL to start the season. I want so badly to be able to cheer for the guy, to call him JHey again, but right now he’s just Heyward, the guy they keep throwing out in RF who can’t hit the ball to save his life.
And I’m agreeing wiith DAVE about the PHILLIES. I think their spending spree has run it’s course……and that is ……..everybody gets old at the same time.
NATS aren’t GNATS anymore, but I don’t put them at the wild-card level or above ’till they prove it. This could be their year however if our bats fail to come around.
March 27th, 201210:58 am
Coach – You’re right- I don’t drink coffee, but I DO know how to read and research actual performances – YOU? Not so sure.
Mantles’ age 32 season was .303, .423, .571 with 35 HR and 111 RBI – so much for falling apart at age 32.
Even after his 32 year old season, Mantle still never finished with lower than a .782 OPS or less than 18 HR.
However- Andruw At Age 31 – .158, .256, .249 and at age 32 – .214, 323, 459.
Yeah, I’m talking out of my butt. Your head is up yours. Go check out some facts before you pronounce yourself knowledgeable – it might save you from looking like a complete idiot.
March 27th, 201210:59 am
“the end of the Bobby Cox/Chipper Jones era”
That was the most uplifting thing you have written in a long time.
March 27th, 201211:00 am
Jeff R -”I’ve got to take Wren at his word.”
I keep thinking about the infamous letter last year. Or did JS send that out?
March 27th, 201211:02 am
Agree, the key to our success this season lies within the division. If we have a losing record against just one member, I can’t see the playoff’s in our future. And that ain’t gonna’ be easy if the bats don’t carry the starting pitching for the first half of the season.
March 27th, 201211:04 am
SSIgator, maybe we should just forget 14 straight division titles and a World Series. That was a horrible era. Geeze, you are trolling hard today aren’t you?
Medlen to the Cubs for Alfonso Soriano and $40mil in cash…. the guy is hitting over .350 so far this spring and he’s always good for 20-25+ HR. Can’t be much worse defensively than a Hinske/Diaz combo… right?
March 27th, 201211:05 am
Murph, I hope that Heyward fins his groove and really produces. But if he doesn’t, I see Wren shipping him down to Gwinnett for remedial work.
I think Wren gives Heyward through May. Hitters tend to start slowly. IF Heyward can’t up his game, he’s a liability, whatever his potential. Again, hoping that Heyward finds his stroke and puts the questions to rest.
You can’t just put players on the DL because they aren’t playing well. They have to be injured. Heyward is healthy. They will give him a longer leash than Frenchy because he has more potential. Parraz is nothing compared to Heyward. All sorts of scrubs that we’ve never heard from since have had great springs. Heyward’s swing looks better, and he has the maturity to adjust. Last year was a learning experience.
My 5 starters..
In that order. Medlen has been just too good not to have him starting, on opening day at that. I also think Simmons has outplayed Pastornicky at SS.
March 27th, 201211:06 am
Jimmy, I think it was Wren, but could have been JS. A little fuzzy on that.
March 27th, 201211:07 am
Soriano… really?!? Medlen is far more valuable to this team. Crappy defense, inconsistent hitting. Decreased speed. Bad attitude. No way!
Way to leave off Andruw Jones, he is a deserving HOFer…………………
Maybe the first few years of his career he was on HoF track. But since then I would put him in the Hall of Really Good Defensive Players Who Lacked the Plate Discipline to Be a Consistent Enough Slugger for HoF Consideration.
March 27th, 201211:08 am
DOB, thanks for the new blog, some good info there.
alex: Good HOF info, too. For those who don’t know, there is a huge Farm Museum in Cooperstown that is well worth your time.
Tire Treader Extroidinaire: Mike Lum does not belong on your list…he had a good 15 year career as an OF-1B-PH and was the kind of utility player all good teams need…we could really use someone just like him right now.
I have a relative having serious surgery today, so I will see you good folks later tonight. I will miss todays game, but have my DVR set to record it later. Go Braves!
BTW, Mad Men was awesome, just as I expected. For anyone fascinated with the 1960’s, there is nothing better than this show…it captures those times perfectly.
March 27th, 201211:09 am
bill I agree with your starters, however the SS is still a toss up in my mind. Rev has picked it up as of late.
Coach ( 2012 Fredi's beisbol fandango)
March 27th, 201211:10 am
Lew, stop lying to yourself and calm down before your head explodes.
March 27th, 201211:11 am
I totally agree with Jeff R. Captain Eddie Mathews was a great player. Tremendous power and excellent defensively. He was a real leader on the field and an ex-Marine. Proud to say I saw him and The Hammer in Milwaukee’s glory days. He ordained the cover of the very first Sports Illustrated edition. In other words, with Chipper and Eddie, the Braves have had two of the greatest 3bmen of ALL TIME! Go Braves!
Murph – The past three years Soriano has hit between .241 -.258, OBPs between .289-.322, has walked between 27-45 times per season while striking out between 113-123 times per season.
At what price those 20+ (at Wind blown Wrigley) HR? He is NOT worth Medlen no matter how much cash they send with him.
I actually think the Marlins will be better than the Nats – its a tough division no doubt, a lot of pitching.
Looking up at the Phils, you realize how lucky the Braves were all those years, 3 top of the line starters who will put in 200+ innings every year, with little health issues. It almost doesn’t matter who you put out on the field each day, you will almost always have a chance to win.
where have all the pitchers gone
Braves: mediocre leadership; mediocre payroll; mediocre player; mediocre finish
March 27th, 201211:13 am
Thanks for the work DOB.
Caoch – Ever the complete ignoramus. If only your intelligence and reasoning capabilities were anywhere vaguely close to what you think they are, you might qualify for a short bus to take you to school.
DOB, what is the timetable for Moylan to return?
March 27th, 201211:14 am
A good spring doesn’t make someone an opening day starter.
I’d be interested in knowing what factors sway O’Brien to the Nats. Or away from the Braves, I guess. Or both.
I’d venture the injury concerns in the Braves rotation and the same offense returning to this year… But I need to find my rose colored glasses before the season starts. They’re somewhere around here. In the mean time, if we are aiming for just “normal” seasons from all players, the fish could have a powerful offense and the Nats could have a strong rotation coupled with a steady offense.
Pretty sure the FO is with you on that, and felt the same way for the entire offseason.
Well, most of the off-season. I recall a moment there at the beginning where Wren expressed a different emotion.
Heisenberg – Careful, Coach might be wanted to explode your head too if you keep “lying to yourself” about Andruw.
March 27th, 201211:16 am
March 27th, 201211:17 am
What does a really really bad spring make them?
March 27th, 201211:18 am
Murph – The recipient of vitriol, curses and overall feelings of hatred?
Danga and Owl if you are referring to Medlen, it is not just the spring stats that make him worthy of the line up or opening day. Please see his career stats. When it comes down to it, how do you want the season to start? A ‘W’ right? Well Medlen just plain wins ball games.
March 27th, 201211:19 am
“What does a really really bad spring make them?”
That depends on how proven the player is. Jordan Schafer had a pretty good spring a few years ago. There are many established major leaguers who traditionally have bad ones.
I actually think the Marlins will be better than the Nats
I dunno…The Fish lost 90 games last season. I know they have had some nice additions, but I’m not seeing them finishing higher than the Nats.
Source: Braves Eyeing Marlon Byrd
March 27th, 201211:20 am
I think Medlen is a fine pitcher and flat-billed cap bias aside I think he belongs in the rotation to start the season. The back end of the rotation.
I like Medlen as much as the next guy, but Opening Day? His career stats are too small of a sample size. If we’re going by that logic, I’d give it to Beachy before Medlen.
March 27th, 201211:21 am
“Caoch – Ever the complete ignoramus. If only your intelligence and reasoning capabilities were anywhere vaguely close to what you think they are, you might qualify for a short bus to take you to school.”
This Debate is Funny as hell, and Shaun hasn’t even joined the Party
Feb. 1-21 Salary arbitration hearings — St. Petersburg, Fla
Feb. 19 Voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players
Feb. 24 Voluntary reporting date for other players
March 2 Mandatory reporting date/Spring training begins
March 2-11 Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players
March 19 Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days
March 28-29 Japan Opening Series, Mariners vs. Athletics (Tokyo Dome)
April 2 Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2012 salary
April 4 (Wednesday) St. Louis at Miami (New Ballpark) | Active rosters reduced to 25 players
April 5 (Thursday) Opening Day (Full Schedule)
June 4 Amateur Draft
July 9 Home Run Derby — Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo. (History)
July 10 All-Star Game — Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo. (History)
July 22 Hall of Fame inductions — Cooperstown, N.Y.
July 31 Trade Deadline: Last day to trade a player without securing waivers
Sept. 1 Active rosters expand to 40 players
Dec. 3-6 Winter Meetings — Nashville
April 2nd is a very key date
March 27th, 201211:22 am
I agree about the Marlins. They have legitimate injury concerns with their best pitcher, and Reyes. Middle relief is a big question mark too. Nats are better as a whole.
March 27th, 201211:23 am
Heyward’s swing looks better, and he has the maturity to adjust.
Having the maturity to adjust and actually adjusting, though… two different things.
We’ll see how the first few months of the regular season play out. I’m not anti-Heyward, don’t get me wrong. I’m just anti-sub .200 BA in the everyday lineup when there are other options.
Yes, Uggla started off last season horribly and yes, he turned it around because he was given the opportunity to do so. But he’d also shown through his history in the league that he starts slow and picks it up. Heyward has yet to show that he knows how to make adjustments and doesn’t have the history to have earned the right to fix himself at the expense of the major league ballclub in my opinion.
David O’Brien @ajcbraves
#Braves LH Robert Fish will see Dr. Andrews on Monday for 2nd opinion on sore elbow. 1st opinion was no tear. Hasn’t pitched in 2 wks.
March 27th, 201211:24 am
Marlon Byrd Drawing Interest
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [March 27, 2012 at 8:51am CST]
Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd is drawing interest from two National League teams, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Cubs offered Byrd to the Nationals for pitching and the Braves are also discussing the 34-year-old.
GM Jed Hoyer has said he won’t be surprised if the Cubs make a move leading up to Opening Day. The team currently appears to be listening to offers for Byrd rather than shopping him, according to Wittenmyer.
Byrd posted a .276/.324/.395 line in 482 plate appearances in 2011, his second season in Chicago. He earns $6.5MM in 2012 and hits free agency next winter. The Fielding Bible Volume III describes Byrd as a reliable if unspectacular center fielder who makes up for an ordinary throwing arm with good reads and a quick release.
If the Cubs traded Byrd, Reed Johnson and Joe Mather could get more playing time in the short-term. Top prospect Brett Jackson is “ready to play here for sure,” in the opinion of manager Dale Sveum. Jackson figures to be an option for the Cubs at some point in 2012, even if he needs some more minor league seasoning.
THawkin – Comparing Andruw to Mantle – even at the end of their respective careers is idiocy personified. Andruw had ONE season where he MIGHT have equaled Matle’s performance.
At the end of their careers, Mantle’s WORST season eceeded Andruw’s best. And Andruw fell off a couple years earlier than Mantle.
A case MIGHT be made for Andruw making the HOF- MIGHT, MAYBE, PERHAPS. But to compare him to Mantle? Sheesh. Just plain stupid.
Count, AJ broke down at 30 because he was several years older than he stated he was. Funny how he set records at age 19 and was pretty much washed up in his early thirties. Yes, he got Elvis fat but my guess is that he was 3-4 years older than reported. Remember Furcal breaking in as a 19 year old? He wasn’t 19 either
March 27th, 201211:25 am
Lew, I used to be a Andruw Jones fan. But I think he did not get all out of his talent he could have, He put on too much weight and struck out too many times trying to hit the ball 1000 feet with every swing. He should have been a 300 average with 30-35 HR and > 120 RBI every year along with the Gold Gloves. He was a good player who I think could have been one of the all time greats. I believe he squandered his God given talent in what would have been his prime years. But yeah all the pollen is about to make my head explode.
March 27th, 201211:26 am
I see what you’re saying. I just think the Braves should let him play through it now that he’s healthy. Frenchy got a long leash after a couple of bad seasons, and they waited til June (or July?) to send him down. We really don’t have better options right now. Constanza was hot for one month, and that’s all he’ll ever be. Parraz, who I like, has a lot to prove.
March 27th, 201211:27 am
I’m with you on Andruw. He could have done so much more. Nice name, by the way.
March 27th, 201211:28 am
If the Cubs traded Byrd, Reed Johnson and Joe Mather could get more playing time in the short-term.
Man, are the Cubs just throwing in the towel on 2012 or what? Mather???
I guess they are taking the “start from scratch” approach to rebuilding. Going to be a long long summer for the Cubs faithful. Having lived up there for 4 years I know that they aren’t the most patient of baseball fans.
March 27th, 201211:30 am
It is gonna be a long summer for the Cubs. Theo has quite the mess to clean up. They might be scary in three years or so.
Maybe it’s that the Nats always play good against us!! The one thing they don’t have that always seemed to kill us was Livan. Glad we don’t have to face him every time we see the Nats anymore!!
March 27th, 201211:31 am
I’d almost rather have Reed Johnson than Byrd.
March 27th, 201211:32 am
Nats will be good, but they still have alot to prove. I’m not as high on Gio as most. Too may walks, and played in a pitcher’s park.
March 27th, 201211:34 am
My 50 Cents is That you can’t compare A. Jones and Mantle played in 2 very different eras
…Put Mantale in the Roid era with smaller ballparks and watered down pitching and he hits 700 career homers easily…
March 27th, 201211:35 am
Owl, the Frenchy situation wasn’t all that different than the Heyward one in that they didn’t (and don’t) have a viable replacement in the system. Raul Mondesi was crappy, and Ward (Daryl, not the blog Ward) was pretty horrible too.
I’ll tell you this… if someone told me Heyward was going to hit .260/.293/.449/.742 w/ 29 HR this year (Frenchy’s 2006 numbers) I’d jump for joy. I’d sing from the mountain tops. I’d change the 4 year old’s name to Heyward.
I don’t see it happening, but that’s just pessimistic Murph talking. I’m hopeful that he’ll figure things out, but right now I don’t see many signs that he’s close to doing so.
Byrd makes alot of sense! Could see the Braves optioning Heyward down after Chipper comes back if Heyward gets off to a slow start.
March 27th, 201211:37 am
Does Greg Maddux go in as a Cub?
No matter what, his OBP will be higher than that. He’s got more discipline than Frenchy. It’s too early to tell what he will do. Keep in mind that he’s 22 years old. Last year, he was hurt, and gtting bad advice from LP. I’m excited to see what Walker and Fletcher can do for him. His swing is cleaned up compared to last year, and this hits will fall.
March 27th, 201211:38 am
As others have said on this blog, the division is up for grabs this year. Even with the injuries to Howard and Utley, I’d be a little surprised if the Phillies didn’t finish at the top yet again. But it’s not a given due to the upgrades by the Marlins and Nationals and the return of a good Braves team. It’ll really come down to depth (to fill in for injuries) and a team’s ability to mesh and perform at a level higher than the rest of the division. Should be an exciting season – still counting on the Braves making the playoffs – let ‘em play and we’ll find out in a few months…..
March 27th, 201211:41 am
As it stands right now, I like the Braves lineup better than the Phils.
March 27th, 201211:43 am
I don’t see it happening, but that’s just pessimistic Murph talking.
You’re not alone, Murph. Plenty of folks have the same view, all peeking down the same tunnel of last year’s stats.
March 27th, 201211:45 am
On paper, I’d agree.
March 27th, 201211:47 am
Interesting…DOB picking the Braves to finish 3rd. Would that mean he considers the Braves off-season moves…or lack there of…a failure?
Certainly seems that his team isn’t supposed to be built to be a 3rd place finisher in the division. Especially not according to how the front office did nothing during the off-season, and never had any intentions on seriously doing so.
March 27th, 201211:48 am
I think that Haywood will hit this year.
It will be a much better season for him in 2012.
If he doesn’t get injured.
March 27th, 201211:49 am
I couldn’t see that…
11 years in ATL 194 wins 3 cy youngs 10 gold gloves 1 world series
10 years in Chi 133 wins 1 cy young 5 gold gloves only played in 1 post season game.
I think nationally he’s seen as a Brave.
Coach (2012 Fredi's beisbol fandango)
Andruw Jones ..HALL OF FAME
but, I don’t believe that he will be hurt.
March 27th, 201211:50 am
When the Braves INJURY MILL for Pitchers is allowed to grind on and on and on; Don’t be so sure that the Braves will not have pitching problems this year. After all FOUR of their FIVE Starters (counting Medlin as the Starter he was when he was injured) are coming off injuries. And the plain truth is that many (perhaps most) PITCHERS do not return to their former greatness after serious injury (unlike position players). And even though the Braves have a wealth of ADDITIONAL young pitching talent, how long will this last if the situation continues of almost every Starting Pitcher becomming injured?????
Andruw Jones…HALL OF FAME
Gil in Mechanicsville
March 27th, 201211:51 am
I never cease to be amazed by the lack of real baseball knowledge that so often is displayed by many in the bloggersphere. Always thinking you can pick the other guy’s pocket. Trading away damaged goods for star players and thinking the other guy will pay outlandish amounts of a player’s contract just so they can be taken off their hands. It would be like me walking into my local Lexus dealership and thinking the owner/GM will let me have one of their GS 450’s for $50 a month because it is taking up space in their showroom.
Get real folks, In order to get what you need/want, you are going to have to pay the price. It may be negotiable but it is not going to be cheap. My experience is you can buy just about anything you want, the rub comes in when you realize you might not be able to afford to own it. Same is true with ball players, most appear to be high maintenance.
Andruw Jones was perhaps the best center field the Braves have ever had for 9 of the 10 years he played for them. Unfortunately for all concerned, Druw did not seem to realize that as you get older, you have to work harder just to stave off the wear and tear father time inflicts upon all of us. It is a great shame for a player to squander God given talent.
Now the Nats… I have been telling folks for a long time to watch out for these guys. They were only a solid pitcher or two away from being a force. Speaking of pitching, it is why the Phillies will still be a tough team to dethrone from the NL East. Anyone remember all those 1-0 and 3-2 games the Braves won with their big three in harness. The Braves play to have just enough offense. The idea you could simply win by bashing the other guy was expose to be bogus when the Braves traded for Texiera but still lacked the bullpen to shut down the opposition.
I think the depth of Atlanta’s pitching might have been over rated this spring but then again, Teheran and Delgado might yet prove valuable by August or September. Maybe they are trying a little too hard and overthrowing the ball and thus have less movement on their fastball. You all might note the difference it has made for Cory Gerrin.
And I am with you Owl Hunter on the Braves everyday lineup. However, what once was an area of strength in the rotation is a giant ???? All of the 3 top veterans have injury concerns. Of the 3 top prospects, one is out for the year and the other 2 have not had a good March. The best starter so far this spring has already been sent to the bullpen. So we are left with Mike Minor to carry the load. I think Minor can be very good but not sure about ace good.
Don’t get me wrong, by starting Medlen I am not saying he is our ace. Our ace is Hudson. JJ would be the next in line, but his inconsistency and his comments about him “thinking” too much about his knee and the brace has me thinking he is still feeling discomfort or the brace is distracting him from pitching to his potential. Beachy is either on or he is not. I would feel more comfortable giving Hanson some more time to build up arm strength after sitting early in spring. Minor has been dealing so I would strongly consider him as well. My whole arguement comes down to W-L. Medlen finished 6-2 with 14 games started in 2010. His spring has been good. He is consistent. That is what I want out of a starter.
March 27th, 201211:52 am
ANDRUW JONES …HALL OF FAME
March 27th, 201211:53 am
ANDRUW JONES …..HALL OF FAME
Forget the HOF does Andruw deserve to have his number retired??
“maybe we should just forget 14 straight division titles and a World Series. That was a horrible era”
No, it wasn’t horrible, but what other organization can you think of would have had only one WS ring after a run like that? The Atlanta Braves – Do Less With More
March 27th, 201211:55 am
ANDRUW JONES….HALL OF FAME
Why are people forgetting about Brandon Beachy?
I find it odd that some of A. Jones most Dismal seasons at the plate would be considered “Great Years” in Last years Lineup, especially coming from the OF
Geebus, now you guys got another bee buzzing in Coach’s bonnet. Mercy.
March 27th, 201211:56 am
Didn’t mean to repost that. Ooops!
Unfortunately, Heyward is standing at the front of the tunnel, slapping all who stop to take a peek with the dead fish that has been his 2012 spring stats thus far.
I get it, it’s spring, it’s when guys tinker and toil to get ready for the season… the same season that’s a week away now.
April 5th is going to be here before we know it. If Heyward doesn’t start doing something soon all of those O’fers are going to carry over into April, and we all know that April games count just as much as September games.
Hell, even JJ has had a good outing.
March 27th, 201211:57 am
Not sure if Coach is in favor of A. Jones in the HOF or not.
My biggest concern with the rotation is I do not see anyone capable of consistently going into the 7th inning and beyond to give the bullpen guys some rest. And we all know how that plays out in Aug/Sept.
March 27th, 201211:58 am
I CAN DO THIS ALL DAY LONG……
March 27th, 201211:59 am
If Heyward doesn’t start doing something soon
How soon? Today? Thursday? Opening Day? April 7? When?
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