Tag: Ryan Doumit

Pittsburgh Pirates: Clint Hurdle Pulls Switch on Order, Spares Team

(For complete Pirates coverage, see Piratesreport.com)

MILWAUKEE — Another day, another Pirates lineup.

This afternoon Neil Walker will move from fourth to third in the batting order, while Ryan Doumit will occupy the clean-up position. Doumit made four starts there last season.

Matt Diaz will bat fifth against Milwaukee Brewers starter Chris Narveson, a left-hander.

“I might not be done,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ve had more success on the road than at home, but our offense has not been offensive.”

At that point, I recalled a statement made by John McKay, the late Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach. Asked what he what thought of his team’s execution, McKay deadpanned famously, “I’m in favor of it.’”

Hurdle grew up in Florida and was a fan of McKay’s back in the day.

So I kidded, Does he feel that way about his own team?

“I’ll plead the fifth!” Hurdle laughed, a wide smile on his face. “I’m behind my boys 100 percent!”

The Pirates batting order: Andrew McCutchen, center field; Jose Tabata, left field; Walker, second base; Doumit, catcher; Diaz, right field; Lyle Overbay, first base; Pedro Alvarez, third base; Ronny Cedeno, shortstop; Jeff Karstens, pitcher.

The Brewers batting order: Rickie Weeks, second base; Craig Counsell, shortstop; Ryan Braun, left field; Prince Fielder, first base; Casey McGehee, third base; Mark Kotsay, right field; Brandon Boggs, center field; Jonathan Lucroy, catcher; Narveson, pitcher,

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2011 Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training: A Look at the Catchers

Today is the first installment of a position-by-position look at the Pittsburgh Pirates camp battles in spring training.

We begin behind the plate, which was a sore spot both offensively and defensively during the 2010 campaign. Teams stole bases on the Pirates pitchers and catchers at an alarming rate a season ago. It was so alarming that it prompted Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington into making some midseason changes.

Ryan Doumit started the season as the Pirates’ primary backstop, but his defensive struggles prompted Huntington to acquire Chris Snyder at the trade deadline.

However the catching situation plays out, the production must increase both offensively and defensively.

Let’s take a look at who’s in camp.


Chris Snyder

2010 Stats: .207 AVG, 15 HR, 48 RBI

2011 Salary: $5,250,000

Snyder does a better job handling the pitching staff and will likely open the season as the starter. He has the best arm of the current Pirates catchers ready for the big leagues, and the Pirates pitchers should respond to having Snyder behind the plate for an entire season.

Offensively, Snyder offers up a little pop with the bat, but don’t get too excited about it, since he’s never hit more than 16 home runs in a season. He also puts up decent numbers against left-handers.

Fantasy Value: Very little. You can take a chance on his modest power and chance at regular playing time. He may reward you with a 20-homer season, but that career lifetime .229 average should drive fantasy owners away.

Overview: Snyder will be the Pirates’ primary catcher. Any offense they get from him will be a bonus. His job is to help turn this pitching staff around. Given the choices, he’s the right guy for the job.


Ryan Doumit

2010 Stats: .251 AVG, 13 HR, 45 RBI

2011 Salary: $5,100,000

Calling Doumit a huge disappointment throughout his Pirates career would be being kind. Entering his seventh season in the majors, we are still waiting for any glimpse of what the Pirates felt Doumit would become.

Defensively, Doumit is way below average as a catcher. He can’t handle a staff. He’s inadequate calling a game and he has a subpar throwing arm. Passed balls have also become commonplace with Doumit, as he’s not off to a good start this spring catching the ball either.

With the bat, Doumit has underachieved as well. The Pirates always were excited about what he could do with the bat, but the facts are that Doumit has only hit above .275 once (.318 in 2008), only hit 15 homers once (15 in 2008) and only driven in more then 46 runs once (65 in 2008) in his entire career.

Granted there have been some injuries, but it’s more likely the Pirates face the fact that Doumit isn’t an everyday major league player.

Fantasy Value: A trade would likely help Doumit’s fantasy value. When he gets going, which hasn’t been often enough for the Pirates, he can hit. A change of scenery could be good for a guy like Doumit. He has eligibility at catcher even if he’s dealt and winds up playing another position.

Overview: It looks more likely that Doumit will open the season with the Pirates. His versatility is a bonus, though he doesn’t play any one position really well. Within time though, Doumit will certainly be traded. It makes sense to move his salary and finally just part ways with him. 

To start the season though, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle will likely find some at-bats for Doumit, so he will be given an opportunity to produce.


Jason Jaramillo

2010 Stats: .149 AVG, 1 HR, 6 RBI

2011: Salary $97,500

If the Pirates elect to keep three catchers, Jaramillo will likely find himself with a bench role. If they only elect to keep two, then it may be down to AAA for a bit for Jaramillo.

Jaramillo is an average backup catcher. He will do an average job defensively and offer up nothing with the bat.

Fantasy Value: None.

Overview: Jaramillo is well liked in the Pirates clubhouse, but it’s no big deal if he doesn’t make the club. Even if he doesn’t and Doumit is dealt, the Pirates could still look for a No. 2 catcher that offers up a little more value.


Other Catchers In Camp

There are three others in camp, but they have little chance to make the club. That includes Wyatt Toregas, who caught 19 games with the Cleveland Indians in 2009; and Dusty Brown, who caught 13 combined games in 2009 and 2010 for the Boston Red Sox.


Key Stat

This is looking at the pitchers as well, but the Pirates were last in the majors in throwing runners out a season ago. Pirates catchers allowed 116 stolen bases a season ago and threw out runners only 22 percent of the time. That’s one area that they must make drastic improvements.


Keep an Eye on

Tony Sanchez: Sanchez is the Pirates catcher of the future and could arrive sooner, rather than later. An injury slowed him down a bit last season, but keep an eye on his progression. If everything goes well, Sanchez could arrive and be the Pirates’ primary catcher sometime in 2012.

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Pittsburgh Pirates: 10 Gifts on the Buccos’ Wish List

On a day where the Pirates made some minor moves by signing Garrett Atkins to a minor league deal, acquiring minor league shortstop Corey Wimberly from Oakland, claimed left-hander Aaron Thompson of waivers from Washington, and designated reliever Wil Ledezma for assignment, it’s time to take a different look at some of the Pirates needs.

It’s the holiday season, so just like everyone else, the Pirates have their wish list for Christmas.

Only time will tell if the Buccos have been naughty or nice.  Maybe some of their wishes can be granted.

So without any delay, lets look at the Top 10 items on the Pittsburgh Pirates Christmas list.

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Pittsburgh Pirates: Year-End Awards Edition

I know everyone has been on the edge of their seats anxiously awaiting to see who would be so lucky to be honored by achieving my year-end Pirates awards.

On a team that lost 105 games, awards aren’t likely for many of these guys. Or deserved for that matter. What fun would that be though?

Let’s dive right in and see who receives the dubious honors to conclude the 2010 season.

Feel free to comment and add your own opinions on each award.

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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Worthy: Could Brad Davis Be A Usable Option?

Are you in a two-catcher league, and looking for an under the radar option to potentially carry you over the final week of the season?  Surprisingly, there are probably many of you out there, with players like Geovany Soto and Yadier Molina being lost for the year.

We all know that filling out your catcher spots are difficult the deeper your league is, but Brad Davis of the Florida Marlins could be an interesting option to turn to.

First, let’s look at what he has done through Friday:

86 At-Bats
.233 Batting Average (20 Hits)
3 Home Runs
15 RBI
7 Runs
1 Stolen Base
.281 On Base Percentage
.419 Slugging Percentage
.293 Batting Average on Balls in Play


The average jumps out at you but before we get to that, let’s first discuss the power.  Let’s be honest, catchers generally don’t hit for the best average, but if they can give you a little boost in power and RBI, owners will happily take it.

He had never had more than 11 HR in a season in the minor leagues, though he did have nine in 247 at-bats at Triple-A prior to his recall (that was in the PCL).  At 27 years old, it’s hard to imagine him suddenly discovering himself and generating more power.

Over his minor-league career he had a fly ball rate of 36.0 percent, and was at just 32.1 percent at Triple-A this year.  Clearly, his presence in the Pacific Coast League helps to explain his increase in 2010.

In the major leagues he’s posted a 34.4 percent fly ball rate with a 14.3 percent HR/FB rate.  Those aren’t unrealistic numbers, so I would say we’ve seen what we are going to get, with maybe a slight regression possible.

Is he going to carry your squad in home runs?  Not likely, but he certainly could give you one or two over the final week, especially with four games against the Pirates to finish the year.

Now, the average, which is a big concern.  While the BABIP is realistic, he has posted a strikeout rate of 32.6 percent.  That’s not even close to his minor-league rate of 21.7 percent (over 1,727 AB).  While it’s easy to expect an increase with the jump, this is a bit too large of a jump, especially when he was at 21.7 percent at Triple-A this year.

If he can get that under control, the average will follow suit.  Still, like I said earlier, if he can hit .250, he’s going to have value.

Just look at some other catchers averages this year:

  • Mike Napoli—.246
  • Jorge Posada—.257
  • Kurt Suzuki—.247
  • Ryan Doumit—.255
  • Matt Wieters—.234

In two-catcher formats, they all have value.  Plus, for just one week, you never really know.  Maybe he catches fire…Maybe you catch lightning in a bottle…

At a shallow position, he’s well worth the risk.  If you are desperate for a replacement, roll the dice and hope for the best.

What are your thoughts on Davis?  Is he usable down the stretch?  Why or why not?

Make sure to check out some of our other recent waiver wire articles:


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MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago Cubs May Have Interest In Ryan Doumit

It has been a quick and decisive fall from grace for Pittsburgh Pirates catcher/outfielder Ryan Doumit. In 2008, Doumit looked like a future superstar. He hit .318/.357/.501, and was worth 3.6 WAR despite poor defense behind home plate. That winter, the Pirates signed Doumit to a three-year contract with club options for 2012-13. The future looked bright.

It has not been so. Doumit struggled to stay healthy in 2009, playing in only 75 games. He has also run into injury problems this season, and the Pirates moved decisively in another direction when they traded for Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder in July. Snyder has displaced Doumit to the outfield.

Doumit has played mostly right field since, and has been somewhat better there with the glove. His bat, which faltered badly as he tried to play through pain in 2009, has also come around. Doumit’s power has deserted him somewhat, but but his nine percent walk rate is a career-high.

Unfortunately for Doumit, Snyder is now locked in as the team’s starting backstop—his $5.75-million salary makes him the most expensive prospective 2011 Pirate. Garrett Jones seems ticketed for a return to right field, leaving Doumit as the odd man out.

Not wanting to fork over the $5.2 million they owe Doumit for next season, Pittsburgh long ago began shopping its switch-hitting catcher. Given the lean years Doumit has had since 2008, though, there will be relatively few suitors.

One team that might have interest, however, is the Chicago Cubs. Like Pittsburgh, the Cubs will pursue a rebuilding model in 2011 (whether they like it or not). Unlike Pittsburgh, however, Chicago has money to spend as GM Jim Hendry tries to shore up an offensive squad that lacks depth. Doumit could solve some of that.

As a switch-hitter, Doumit could act as the right-handed half of a right-field platoon with Kosuke Fukudome and/or Tyler Colvin. Because he bats substantially better as a left-handed hitter, he could also help out with occasional spot starts for catcher Geovany Soto against tough right-handed hurlers, and even play some first base if Hendry is unable to acquire an impact player at one of the two corner infield positions.

To build a worthwhile deal for Pittsburgh, Hendry could send one mid-level pitching prospect (a major league-ready arm like Justin Berg would most appeal to the Pirates), and either Jeff Baker or Darwin Barney to the Bucs.

Baker is a likely non-tender candidate this winter, and is therefore expendable to the Cubs. As a Pirate, he could platoon with Jones in right field or back-up both Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez on the infield. Baker rakes against left-handed pitching, and is a better fielder at second and third base than the Pirates’ incumbents.

For Hendry to part with Barney, who would pose a real challenge to former Cub Ronny Cedeno at shortstop in Pittsburgh, the Cubs would need to evaluate their farm system and determine that one of their more advanced infield prospects (Tony Thomas, Marquez Smith, and Josh Vitters are the sensible candidates) are ready for big-league time off the bench. Otherwise, Barney will be needed to play second base, and back-up Starlin Castro at shortstop.

Doumit would not be cheap, given his prospective role on the Cubs, but could make a positive contribution and keep the team in games with impact batting off the bench. Only time will tell whether Hendry has any room in his budget for such an addition, but it would probably benefit the Cubs to look into it.

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Ryan Doumit Should Catch for the Pittsburgh Pirates or Be in the Dugout


Ryan Doumit is not the X-factor that the Pirates want him to be. It is that plain and simple.

Doumit is serviceable with his bat when he is a catcher. He is a defensive nightmare this year at catcher though.

They decided he should try the field and put him at first base. His .257 average, eight home runs, and 34 RBI are very average for a first baseman.

Then we saw his defense and it was a total 100 percent nightmare there. So now they have decided to put him back into the field and currently have him playing the outfield.

The problem with putting him there means that Lastings Milledge or Jose Tabata are going to be sitting out.

Milledge was the one who got the hook last night. For all the flack Milledge has been getting this year he is having a very good year.

His .273 batting average is currently good enough for ninth in the National League, his .332 OBP is good enough for tenth, his .377 slugging is good enough for 16, and his .709 OPS is good enough for 15.

Doumit does sport similar or even better numbers with a .257 average, .326 OBP, .413 slugging, and a .739 OPS.

So you are thinking why am I making a fuss over playing a guy that has better numbers than Milledge. My problem is what is the advantage?

Doumit is god awful in the field and looks like a kid on prom night. He has no idea what he is doing in the outfield.

He lets routine balls drop in front of him and generally just looks lost. You add in the fact that Doumit only has eight home runs to Milledge’s three and there is no real power spike by making this move.

He won’t put the ball in play more as his batting average is 16 points lower than Milledge’s. Doumit only has two more RBI, 34 to Milledge’s 32, but he hits far worse with runners in scoring position.

Milledge is one of the best hitters with RISP. His stat line is a very healthy average of

Doumit only bests him in one category. His stat line reads .266 average, .377 OBP, .516 slugging percentage, and a .892 OPS.

Milledge has had six more at bats with runners in scoring position and still posts better numbers.

Then you add in the fact that Milledge is four years younger and this move is just maddening to fans. I know baseball is a game of numbers.

Most of their numbers are comparable and Doumit is even better in some areas but he does not pass the eye test when he is in the field.

He was catching tonight and hit the ball well. Hopefully the Pirates staff realize that he should be behind the plate or sitting comfortably in the dugout.

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Pittsburgh Pirates Acquire Chris Snyder; What’s Ryan Doumit’s Future?

The Pirates had another busy trade deadline, but unlike years past, this year there were no salary dumps or accumulation of prospects. The Pirates made three trades today and all appear to be good baseball moves.

The Pirates acquired catcher Chris Snyder and minor league shortstop Pedro Ciriaco from the Arizona Diamondbacks, in exchange for Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby and D.J. Carrasco.

They also sent closer Octavio Dotel to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-hander James McDonald and minor league outfielder Andrew Lambo.

In addition, Pittsburgh sent Javier Lopez to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for right hander Joe Martinez and outfielder John Bowker.

Give the Pirates some credit for being able to sign some veteran relievers in the off-season that they were able to turn into young arms.

The biggest move of the day though was acquiring Snyder. It also now leaves a big question on what to do with Ryan Doumit. Snyder has the reputation of being one of the game’s better defensive catchers, something the Pirates desperately need.

He should be able to help the pitching staff out as well, as Snyder is know for being able to handle a staff, something Doumit wasn’t capable of doing.

The Pirates did well with this move. While Snyder doesn’t do much as an average hitter, his offensive numbers are comparable to Doumit’s, who doesn’t offer much of anything.

Snyder is hitting .231 on the year, while Doumit is only hitting .258. Snyder’s hit ten homers and driven in 32 runs, while Doumit has hit eight homers and driven in 32. The improvement though is defensively.

Snyder is known for being a glove man and has a good arm behind the dish, while Doumit is the worst catcher in the game today. Doumit won’t be behind the plate very often (Thank God) anymore and the Pirates young pitchers will benefit from it.

What do you do now with Doumit, though? It’s a shame that his fragile self got hurt again right before the deadline or there is a good chance he would have got dealt.

The immediate plan is to make him the everyday right fielder and that is just an awful idea.

In six seasons as a pro, Doumit has done absolutely nothing to warrant regular playing time, yet the Pirates keep finding ways to get his “bat” into the lineup. What bat?

Doumit has had one decent year offensively as a pro, in 2008 when he hit .318. That same season, he also set career highs in homers (15) and RBI (69). Still very below average numbers, though.

Yet, the Pirates continue to run him out there and bat him in the middle of the order often when his track record clearly shows he’s not a talented offensive player.

He’s hit over .260 only one other time (.274 in 2007), reached double digits in homers only one other time (10 in 2009) and other than his 69-RBI season of 2008 has never driven in more than 40 runs in a season.

Not to mention he is a huge liability no matter where you put him on the field defensively.

It’s a shame the Pirates are thinking about putting him in right field. You have to feel bad for Lastings Milledge.

First he has to platoon with Ryan Church, who was hitting .180 on the season and now he will lose at-bats to Doumit. Once he started playing everyday again, all Milledge has done is hit.

When guys are on base, Milledge drrives in runs, hitting over .380 with runners in scoring position, something Doumit would know nothing about.

It’s a disgrace to keep giving Doumit at bats. Now that the Pirates have better talent, they should run their best eight guys out there on a nightly basis.

There is nothing wrong with having Doumit as a bench player, getting a spot start every now and then, but he shouldn’t be getting regular playing time.

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Who Woke up the Pirates Bats?

Who woke up the Pirates offense after the all-star break? Whoever it was, what took you so long? The Pirates entered the break with pretty much the worse offense in baseball. It looked like it would be another long and dreadful summer, but the Bucs have come out swinging the sticks to begin the second half of the season.

So far, in six games after the all-star break, the Pirates have scored 50 runs on 77 hits, going 4-2 in that span. That averages out to a major league best 8.3 runs per game and 12.8 hits per game. Looking just at the wins after the break, the Pirates are averaging 11.75 runs and 16.25 hits. While I’m not suggesting we are looking at the 1927 Yankees, it has been a nice change of pace from what we’ve been used to seeing from the Pirates bats of late.

What’s the reason for the hot streak? I don’t want to hear that they have been playing bad teams. They have, but those same two bad teams (Houston and Milwaukee) have owned the Pirates up to this point of the season.

The main reason for the success is the approach. We haven’t seen hitters chasing many balls out of the zone. They’ve been waiting for good pitches and when they get them, they are putting good swings on the ball. Another thing I like is that the Pirates have been more aggressive early in the count. They haven’t been digging themselves into an 0-2 hole every at bat. They’ve been jumping on fastballs early, which is a good approach to have for a young team.

Even more impressive is the fact that the Pirates have been hitting well, without the services of Andrew McCutchen, who has missed the last three games nursing a shoulder injury.

Let’s take a look at some numbers through the six games after the all-star break.

McCutchen- 4-12 (.333), 3 RBI’s before he got hurt.

Jose Tabata- 10-27 (.370), 6 RBI’s.

Neil Walker- 14-26 (.538), 7 RBI’s.

Garrett Jones- 6-24 (.250), 1 HR, 5 RBI’s.

Pedro Alvarez- 10-24 (.417), 4 HR’s, 10 RBI’s.

Lastings Milledge- 9-24 (.375), 4 RBI’s.

Ronny Cedeno- 10-24 (.417), 2 RBI’s.

Delwyn Young- 5-7 (.714), 1 HR, 6 RBI’s.

As you can see, everyone other than the catcher platoon of Eric Kratz and Ryan Doumit (combined .192) are hitting well coming out of the break. Not only that, but they are driving in runs and hitting for power. The Bucs have combined for 29 extra base hits in the six games, something that has bee a huge problem all season.

I’m not suggesting that this torrid streak will continue, but it gives you a glimpse at what the Pirates could be capable of. Two things stick out at me. One is the fact that Lastings Milledge is playing everyday. Having a guy hitting a respectable .285 in the middle of the lineup is a major upgrade over a platoon with Ryan Church (currently hitting .190).

The other thing is that the rookies are starting to become legit major league ball players. They’ve made the lineup deeper and more effective. It was just 14 games ago that Alvarez was hitting .065. He has quietly got the average up to .259 with seven HR’s and 20 RBI’s in just 29 games.

Tabata looks like he is becoming a guy that will be a fixture in left field. He’s hitting .266 and has a great approach and a knack for getting on base.

Walker’s bat has been the biggest surprise for me, hitting .319. If the youngsters can keep getting on base and coming up with big hits, the rest of the lineup will prosper. All three of the rookies should see their numbers go up during the final few months of the season.

They still have a few holes, but at least for a few game stretch, we may have seen a glimpse of what could be a productive Pirates offense in the future. If they’ve done anything this last week, they saved John Russell’s job for the near future.


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One Man’s Trash…Week Four

In this week’s edition of One Man’s Trash, we look at ESPN’s most dropped list to find some very interesting names that owners have disposed to the waiver wire.
Carlos Zambrano leads the list in week four. 
Can he help your fantasy team? 
Who else is bound to rebound?
Let’s take a look…
Carlos Zambrano -17.4 percent
Big-Z moves to the B-Pen in a surprising move by manager Lou Pinella. 
Zambrano was off to a rough start, but he was a bit unlucky with a BABIP over .400. He was also striking out batters at an above average clip and missing plenty of bats. 
Just about everyone in the sabermetric world thinks Carlos Silva will fade at some point. When he does, Zambrano should be ready to step back in and provide low-end fantasy numbers. Only deep rosters should look at stashing him, but as soon as Sliva starts to struggle, be ready to add Big-Z.
Gavin Floyd -11.9 percent
Floyd’s ERA and WHIP numbers are not pretty to look at, but there are plenty of reasons to think he’ll turn things around soon. 
Heck, I just traded for him.
You can find the full breakdown on Floyd’s future in this article.
Frank Francisco -8.8 percent
Last season Francisco posted a 10.4 K/9 and a 2.74 BB/9, very good numbers for a reliever. 
However, things didn’t get off to a great start this season and he lost his job to Neftali feliz early on. Injuries have played a significant role in Francisco’s career and his velocity is down a bit this season, but there is still a chance he can get a few saves when Feliz can’t go. 
There is also a chance that Feliz falls victim to the long ball a few more times and Francisco gets his job back. Ron Washington has a bit of loyalty to Francisco, so roster him if you need a chance of some saves.
Jason Kubel -8 percent
Last season, about this time, Jason Kubel was one of the hottest free agent adds around. Now, apparently, 68 at-bats is enough to give up on him for a bounce back. 
Consider that Kubel has a BABIP of .255 despite a 22.4 percent line drive rate.
Kubel is stiking out a bit too much, but he is also walking a lot, so his plate discipline is not the issue. Before his breakout 2009 season, Kubel hit .272 with 20 home runs in 2008. That seems like a decent goal for the rest of this season, which could make him a useful thrird or fourth outfielder the rest of the way.
Ryan Doumit -7.8 percent
Small sample size means two things here:
One, we can’t get a true guage on whether or not a player’s season-to-date is for real or not.
Two, things can change drastically, almost overnight.On April 26th Doumit was hitting .259. Four days later he is sporting a .300 AVG. 
If someone dropped Doumit based on his early struggles, be the team that snags him now.  


Charlie Saponara is the owner/author of fantasybaseball365.com and can be contacted at cs.fb365@gmail.com.  Follow FB365 on Twitter

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