The Jays, after a thrilling victory last night, look to walk out of Cleveland as series winners today, and have a pretty decent shot of doing so if the good R.A. Dickey shows up. It doesn’t hurt that Cleveland will send Danny Salazar to the hill to make his big league debut, either.

At least, I think it doesn’t hurt. Carson Cistuli wrote about him in The Fringe Five yesterday at FanGraphs, acknowledging him as a fringe prospect, but also noting that he has the highest strikeout rate of any qualified starter in Double- or Triple-A, and a 49:13 K/BB rate. Maybe that spells trouble for the Jays, but… fuck that, amiright! Let’s do this!


Cue pointless crying over someone nobody knows a damn thing about: Mike Wilner tweets that he had a long chat with Alex Anthopoulos today, and the GM says that the club does not expect to sign first round pick Phil Bickford. Not because of money, he says, which… really? Something medical could be it, I guess. But my first thought was that maybe they held firm on their number because they didn’t want to dip into the pool of extra dollars they created in order to snag Brentz, Tellez, et. al. And that this was maybe the plan all along, either getting him cheap or getting a comp pick for a reportedly strong 2014 draft (11th overall), while still signing a bunch of high end talent regardless.

On the other hand, Jim Callis tweets that he’s still not convinced the Jays definitely won’t sign Bickford. So… perhaps AA was just using Wilner, and whatever other local media he’s speaking to, as an instrument of posturing towards Bickford’s advisors? Intrigue!


TV: Sportsnet

And now the lineups, by way of the live box score at theScore.comAnd for those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app

Toronto Blue Jays

SS Jose Reyes (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
1B Adam Lind (L)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
3B Maicer Izturis (S)
LF Rajai Davis (R)
C Josh Thole (L)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)

RHP R.A. Dickey

The Clevelands

CF Michael Bourn (L)
2B Mike Aviles (R)
SS Asdrubal Cabrera (S)
LF Michael Brantley (L)
RF Ryan Rayburn (R)
DH Carlos Santana (S)
1B Mark Reynolds (R)
3B Lonnie Chisenhall (L)
C Yan Gomes (R)

RHP Danny Salazar


Image via

Comments (305)

  1. Kind of shocked to read that a Bickford non-signing perhaps isn’t about money.

  2. Tellez really intrigues me but the reported MOUNTAIN of ego that comes with him at just 17-18 years old worries me. As for the 1st round pick not signing, in all honesty, who gives a flying fuck.

    • Yeah, so weird that a 17-year-old about to get a million dollars for hitting home runs would have an ego.

      • This happens all the time in the baseball draft. MLB draft is a different game than the NFL and NBA draft. The kid might not like what the Jays are offering.

    • I will never understand why people worry so much about the supposed personalities of people you will never meet.

      • Because personalities can, in some instances, impact performance on the field.

        Sure, I’d rather have a team full of assholes hitting .300 than DeRosa/Kawasaki character guys, but a pissy attitude can sometimes have a way of impacting performance.

        Isn’t that why everybody is getting on JP? It’s not just that he’s not very good, but it’s that he has such a big ego that he doesn’t even think he NEEDS to improve his walk rate, etc. (We don’t know that that’s the case, obviously, but that’s the impression he gives, and it’s why people are dumping on him recently).

        • So you think you know the personality of people you’ve never met?

          • I would invite you to actually read the entirety of my comment, especially this part:

            “We don’t know that that’s the case, obviously, but that’s the impression he gives…”

            Whether or not that’s actually his mindset (and recent evidence is starting to indicate that it actually is) the point I was making is that lots of jays fans have recently been dumping on him because they PERCEIVE that to be his attitude. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether or not we will ever meet Arencibia, but a lot of people suspect that his attitude (if it’s really as negative as he lets on) is preventing him from getting better.

            • “In other words, it doesn’t matter whether or not we will ever meet Arencibia, but a lot of people suspect that his attitude (if it’s really as negative as he lets on) is preventing him from getting better.”

              This is the point though, this is speculation on how his attitude effects him as an athlete. In other words, speculation built on speculation. It’s all just people trying to find a narrative that can explain performance, rather than just accepting that we can’t reasonably expect to know the truth.

  3. Maybe Bickford had a change of heart and decided to go to college. Or perhaps not signing him was the plan all along. It doesn’t have to be a physical issue.

    I’m pretty happy about it, much prefer next year’s pick.

  4. I can’t get worked up either way about Bickford. I’d generally prefer to take the position player over the pitcher with your top pick unless it’s a can’t miss guy.

  5. Too bad they’re not signing Bickford, but it did seem like he rose a bit too fast in the rankings just before the draft. If they didn’t really like him enough to sign him, I wonder why they drafted him? Seems like it could be unfair to Bickford if he wanted to sign but the Jays just want to save the pick or sign him below slot.

    • Kids know the rules before they declare. Jays have to offer a minimum of 40% of slot to get a comp pick next year.

      So as a 17 year old Bickford turned down a minimum of $1.2 million.

      Still feel bad?

      • I don’t feel bad, but you have to recognize the difference between getting 40% of slot and getting slot, right? I mean, we’re talking a 250% raise (going from 40% of slot to 100% of slot) that would be expected just for signing a deal that’s been declared “fair” by MLB and the players union. Plus, the Jays are known to go over slot.

        I was just wondering if the Jays ever expected to sign this pick, or if they were picking with eyes to next year’s draft anyways. Not that we’ll ever actually find out.

  6. i’m always floored when teenagers choose not to become millionaires so they can go to school….most people go to school in hopes of getting a good career so they can make goodmoney.

    • You want to pay me lots of money to play a children’s game? I’m in!

    • There is some weird concept in this world that you have to go to higher learning right away after high school. At 18 you have already spent all your life in school and have amassed very little life experience. The average draft pick probably only has about 10 years of baseball ahead of them (on average). Go for the ride and at 28 you can go to school and you’ll probably be a good deal more mature and learn a lot more. That’s my opinion…

      • I agree,
        people telling him otherwise are maybe putting their own needs ahead of his.
        what if he goes to school gets drunk and breaks his arm.

      • I blew off my 20s in a go-nowhere punk fucking rock band and got rich on life experience. Got my education in my early 30s and now work for the govt. All my friends who went to university right out of highschool and laughed at me for “wasting my life” are now obese slobs going through divorces.

      • Might be hard to study full time with wife and kids getting in the way…plus the human brain is optimal at learning at 18 than 28.

    • Part of the difference between Canadian and American society is the cost of going to school. A good school runs you 25-40k per year. $160k is still not the millions he could have signed for, but he could potentially gain that back by being drafted again (maybe higher, maybe not), but he also gets a chance to be a kid with other kids instead of going pro. Professional baseball is not a kids game. It’s hard.

      You’re only a kid once… no point rushing to grow up if you’d like to experience going to college.

  7. That pic above may be the most stereo typical one I’ve seen of the Indians logo.

  8. Pretty awesome that they used to have 8:30 start times back in the day.

  9. Clearly they had no intentions of signing this guy from the moment the drafted him. Wanted a high draft pick in next years draft, so they will have a shot at taking Beede.

    • That’s not clear at all.

      We have no idea what they offered him or what he wanted. Some reports said he wanted $4.25 million for fuck sakes.

      Great strategy by the Jays to take flyers in the protected round and offer them below slot deals.

      MLB made the rules. Jays are just following them.

  10. Jays are handling the draft right. Go for super high risk high reward kids in the protected round. Offer them below slot deals and stick to your price.

    If they take it you get lots of slot money for other picks. If they don’t you get a pick next year.

    Win win

  11. How does the Jays not signing their first round pick effect their allotment money? Does anyone know? Can they now use the first round slot money and spread it out between those three thought to be tough signs from later in the rounds?

    If so, that could be a huge win, plus next year they would get the compensatory extra pick for not signing their first round guy right?

  12. Honestly, I could careless right now about the Jays picks. They have shown no ability in the last 15 years to get any of these guys to pan out and contribute for extended periods of time at the major league level.

    Considering that the current roster’s best Jays drafted players are Cecil, McGowan, Janssen, Lind, and Arencibia, I’m not optimistic about the Jays chances of developing anyone. Beneath all the hype surrounding their scouting departments, lays serious drafting and player development issues. Even Baltimore is better at it than the Jays.

    • Log off

    • True story. Anybody the Jays develop will be a fringe major-leaguer at best. This guy Tellez sounds like Travis Snider v2.0 and we all know how that turned out.

      I think AA knows that the organization can’t develop talent, which is why you’re seeing the strategy of hoping the prospects do well in the low levels and then trading them for established big leaguers. Probably should have done the same with Gose a year or so ago before it became obvious that he can’t hit. Probably should do the same with Sanchez before he inevitably gets exposed as well.

      At the same time, trading guys on the way out (Johnson, Janssen, etc.) for near-MLB-ready prospects that other organizations have developed may also be a good strategy. That will probably happen more too and should be the focus of any “rebuild” that happens, vs. actually relying on draft picks or getting guys at very low levels of the minors, who we’ll just ruin anyway.

      • How fucking stupid can someone be? Draft picks are such a crap shoot, to believe that there’s some sort of organizational failure when they don’t all pan out is beyond idiotic. No organization can wave a magic wand to turn draft picks into elite MLB players. Get a clue. Jesus…

        • Nobody’s saying they all have to pan out … obviously. If you had read my post or the one above you would have seen that we were talking about a consistent failure, over years/decades, to develop ANY top picks into superstar or even above-average players.

          If you could rank order every player in MLB from best to worst, how far could you get down the list before you found one that was drafted and developed by Toronto? #50? #100? #250? Who’s the best active major leaguer today that was developed by Toronto?

          Of the current team — which is not even a good team — who was drafted and developed in-house? Janssen (decent), McGowan (questionable), Lind (questionable), JPA (shit), Romero (shit) … EVERYONE ELSE had to be brought in from other orgs, because the Jays couldn’t develop enough talent to fill those positions.

          FACT: Jays cannot develop top-tier talent. Compare the record over the last 10 years to pretty much any other team. It’s not even close.

          • The thing is, the organization has changed management a bunch of times in that time frame. The “Blue Jays” are not a person, they’re an organization made up of people and those people haven’t been the same the entire time.

            I don’t take issue with your statement that the Blue Jays don’t have any spectacular in house draft picks on the team (although I’m sure the same can be said of a lot of teams), but that’s not the only way to build a team. I take issue with you pretending that the Blue Jays organization has consisted of the same people doing the same jobs for 15-20 years.

            I’m just going to quote Sharkey from further down the thread because he said it nicely and I can’t be bothered to expend any more energy on your negative bullshit.

            “for every first overall pick that’s going to Cooperstown — Ken Griffey, Chipper Jones — there’s a Brien Taylor or Todd Van Poppel. Albert Pujols was a 13th round pick. Mike Piazza was a 62nd round pick.”

            Go watch some more hockey, because that seems to be what you expect.

  13. 90 Games in the books.
    72 left to go.
    Is it still early?

  14. Yikes, Asdrubal hit that thing back to Toronto.

  15. Marc Hulet ‏@marchulet 16h
    Huge misstep by org weakened by trades MT

    • The thing is, though, is that the guy they draft next year might be better and closer to the big leagues than Bickford.

      • Prospects always pan out right?

      • The baseball draft is a crapshoot anyway. In the other sports the top picks show up almost immediately and usually contribute. In baseball it might be 4 years before a guy from that draft even reaches triple A, let alone the big club. It takes so long that anything can happen to these guys along the way…for every first overall pick that’s going to Cooperstown — Ken Griffey, Chipper Jones — there’s a Brien Taylor or Todd Van Poppel. Albert Pujols was a 13th round pick. Mike Piazza was a 62nd round pick.

  16. @LottOnBaseball: AA says #BlueJays unlikely to deal for a rental (i.e. Utley) at trade deadline. Looking for players who can help beyond this year.

  17. Remember when everyone was so happy Deck M signed at the last minute, I bet we would like that one back.

  18. Fuck, this is just like that Johnson start in Boston. Fucking umpire is giving the young kid the benefit of an expanded strikeszone. Two of the called strikes on Lindy were balls.

    We need roboumps!

  19. Bro its early

  20. dickey’s given up 20 hr’s this year… just fucking pitiful…

  21. I’m pretty sure Rasmus is going to hit a 400 ft no doubter off this guy to right.
    he’s thrown 90 % fastballs… I dont know if the game plan is to get them thinking fast ball early in the game to mix it up later, or if he just doesn’t have much else.

  22. Prediction after one and half innings:

    CLE 9 TOR 1 (solo shot by EE)

    Dickey 3 2/3 IP 7ER 10H etc. etc. etc.

    How can this team suck so much at hitting, jesus christ . . .

    • If you don’t like the team fuck off and stop watching

      • aFUCKINGmen brother.

        Fucking sick of this negativity

        • oh, suck it up. they can be my favourite team AND I can be realistic . . . Dickey is dreadful, it’s a miracle it isn’t 5 or 6 nothing right now.

          50 pitches though, yank this fool after 4!

          • were it not for Lind’s error, he’d have been out of the inning sooner.

            Most ptiches have come from two ABs, both of which he got the guy out.

        • This fucking losers post doesn’t even make sense.

          You predict the score will be 9 to 1, and say hitting is the problem. Brother, if the score is 9 to 1 Jays have bigger, WAY BIGGER, worries than hitting!

          The only way you aren’t a total loser is if you’re superstitious and believe that putting up negative predictions will help your cause. I’ve tried it, only works when its unententional.

          Now fuck off and let us enjoyr our thread. Go hide under your bridge TROLL

    • Are you saying you can hit better than these guys that apparently suck at hitting despite their getting paid millions to do this?

      • I love comments like this . . . NO, you have to compare them to other pro ball players . . . the Jays have a bunch of guys having overall solid seasons, but they’re not clicking right now . . .

        I agree the starting pitching is the main reason this team is in dead last, but it just seems like the lineup takes a lot of days off, and then crushes people the next day. (yesterday being a notable exception)

  23. If this kid is a “fringe” prospect I have a hard time believing so called experts.

    high 90′s fastball, wipeout slider, decent change.

    making us look like shit.

    fringe my ass.

  24. I agree with putting Melk @ DH and then hopefully the Jays shipping Lind’s ass out while he’s still hovering around the .300/.350 mark – any half decent player can DH if they have a good avg, good OBP or above avg power – even better when your DH can move to a position too and play it ok

  25. / Cue pointless crying over someone nobody knows a damn thing about /

    i’d be the first to admit that I don’t know a damn thing about bickford other than scouting reports video etc. readily available on the net… but i’d suggest that the value of a 1st round pick today is greater than the value of a first round pick a year from today, otherwise you’d see a lot fewer 1st round picks actually sign.

    all of that is to say that i’m not convinced the crying is pointless.

    maybe it is the right decision… maybe he is hurt or had a change of heart about college…. but make no mistake, the jays lose value here.

    • Isn’t the crop of talent next year said to be more talented overall than this year’s was? That was the whole thinking behind them going for a high-risk draftee like Bickford, how do they lose out? I don’t follow.

      • a few points;

        - the relative strength of a draft is really hard to predict a year out.
        - they take high risk guys because the reward is also high… they don’t take high risk guys so they can kick the pick a year down the road.
        - they lose value on the same principal that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar a year from now.

    • Your logic is flawed ryan.I understand why you’d think that but it’s wrong.

      • do tell, radar.

        are you really trying to suggest that next years question mark is of equal or greater value than this years question mark?

        • Yes,people keep track of this.

          • wtf are you talking about?

          • radar, if the 11th pick next year is more valuable than the 10th pick this year then please explain to me why almost every team signs their first round pick?

            wouldn’t everyone be pushing out their first round pick as far as possible?

            are you suggesting to me that you are on to some sort of completely irrational market inefficiency that 29 mlb teams don’t have access to?

  26. Hey, Dickey only has 50 pitches through two innings. Looks like he’s going the distance.

  27. Kindly fuck off with your negativity Aaron yes we know this team is and still stop trolling you troll

  28. How does NOT signing your 1st round pick end up good? Who cares about next years draft THIS year! Sign everybody you can sign, at any cost. The more you sign, the better chances some of them will develop. Young players are the future of this franchise, not these old retreads that AA picks up on the waiver wires. Not signing your #1 pick is just plain irresponsible. Rogers has LOTS of money to sign these kids. Give ‘em what they want. Pay now….. or pay later,…. for $100m free agents. Bickford may end up as a superstar and we’re quibbling about a few bucks?

  29. Man, why don’t have have Thole bunt? Best player on the team!

    • Best bunter I meant to say

      My only guess is with pticher’s wildness they don’t want to give away an dout followed by walk

      • or perhaps you dont bunt when rajai is going to just swipe the bag anyway


        you dont give up an out with freaking Kawasaki up next.

        or perhaps you could argue that bunting other than for a hit is always a mistake

  30. Should have kept Blanco

  31. So unless you love the jays being in last spot sucking piles of shit don’t put your 2 cents of negativity on this site? wow we’re all fans just some want to be mid pack and not last all the time.

  32. No words can explain the empty abyss that is the 2013 Toronto Bluejays

  33. We are going to get no-hit by a damn rookie.

  34. What has AA done that makes him a good gm? He failed in this offseason we have a depleted system and no future

    • Is there some kind of weird internet game I don’t know about, where people actively TRY to make the stupidest comments possible?

      • Pretty sure Adam or some other asshole has just hijacked the Average Fan handle. He’s running contrary to everything he said earlier.

        WHAT A DICK


    • I’ve listed the reasons many times.

      Wrap your mind around this one.

      They changed the rules of baseball because of AA.He took so much advantage of the system,MLB considered it unfair and made changes.

      BTW. How’d you like it if today’s starting CF was Wells?

    • Way to pretend that every expert in baseball didn’t also think that AA had won the offseason in a huge way. Pretty much every other GM in baseball would have fallen all over themselves to make the Marlins deal. If you’ve got a crystal ball, quit hogging it.

      • Yup Dillon.
        And that deal was held up by Selig for a week because it was considered so lopsided,in the Jays favour.

        • That’s only part of the story. They had to get physicals done. Reyes was in Dubai. The extra time helped Selig.

  35. This guy is simply overmatching us. He looks like fucking Verlander on one of his good days.

  36. Okay Blue Jays, stop making this guy look like Cy Young. Please.

  37. Fire mottola

  38. My want is to replace AA i don’t believe he has what it takes to find the talent to put us over the top. Still waiting for a high ceiling superstar to jump out and win us a game or 2

  39. Dickey’s a different animal when the 80 mph knuckler is there. That looks nasty.

  40. ok, fine, I admit: Dickey in the 3rd and 4th is seriously dealing . . .

    perhaps can we get a single in the 5th here???

  41. Can we stop acting like the sky is falling?

    It’s fucking 1-0 with 5 innings to go.

    Yes we’re getting no hit but it’s a rookie and we’ve got 5 innings to go.

  42. Can someone confirm… if the Jays do not sign Bickford, they lose the bonus money? If say they offered 2.7m and if he doesn’t sign, they lose that money from their total, right?

  43. can we maybe not get no-hit by a non-prospect making their major league debut?

  44. Rajai Davis with the 11-pitch at bat that changes the course of this game.

  45. man,
    gibbons should try a new strategy instead of the ol’ gettin no hit through 5 every game.
    also, davis has seen 20 of this guy’s 80 pitches.

  46. How did this guy have an ERA in the mid 3′s in the fucking minors?

  47. FUCK OFF!

    2013 is like hell every single game. no hit by a bullshit rookie. our only hope is that he’s on a pitch count so he only goes 7 . . . but by then it’ll be 4-0 and our batters will be fully asleep.

  48. Honestly, don’t get tied in knots about Bickford. There are a lot of potential warts anyways outside of his fastball.

  49. I feel like its been two months since i saw a jays catcher throw someone out

  50. get a hhhhhhiiiiiiittttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He we go Reyes: 2 out single, you can do it!!!

  51. Let’s get this party started boys.Let’s hit this piece of turd.

  52. sweet, no no-hitter!

  53. Joshua!

  54. Fuck! I came home to watch this shit?

  55. REYES is coming through.Feel it

  56. Would ge a good time of a Jose Bomb!

    • I’ll take a 2 bagger!

      Gawd, now I have to nerviously watch Dickey pitch the top of the inning

  57. this team is cursed

  58. I meant JOY BATS coming throug

  59. yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  60. there you go, not even i could screw that up

  61. Fuck yea

  62. Fuck yeah! This shit I came home to watch doesn’t smell so bad with the RBI double.

  63. Clutchtista does it again

  64. Fuck, Dickey is getting squeezed right now

  65. There’s something comforting about a dugout shot and seeing Gibbers there looking out with a toothpick in his mouth.

  66. Holy full counts, Dickey!

  67. Another great day for the franchise! RA Dickless collapses immediately after they fight back to tie it. And for the second time in two years a first round draft pick says ‘No’ to Toronto.

  68. Dickey got a ton of help there…

  69. I’d probably take Dickey out here. He’s lost it now

  70. Maybe Braindead on the bench could take Dickless out?

  71. Time to go to the pen Gibby

  72. Leaving Dickey in here is a huge mistake. He\s lost it, and if he goes 1-0 or 2-0 he’s going to come across the plate with the “fastball” and get crushed.

  73. Clusterfuck

  74. Fuck Gibby, you lost us this game. cecil would’ve mowed that clown down.

  75. fuck!!

  76. That is bullshit!

  77. Walking probably wasn’t a bad idea there, force out at every base now.

  78. Let’s charge these runs to the cretin Gibbons. Why Dickless was left in to face a lefty with Loup ready can only be answered by Braindead. Congratulations on blowing another game Gibbons.

  79. Good job Gibby..Dickey looks real sharp this inning…is the fucking phone broken??

  80. Not trolling, just upset. This must be the worst fielding team in the majors.

  81. Hard to score runs at the rate that bad decisions by Gibbons costs them.

  82. Change should have been done since Dickey hit the second batter and that’s it.

  83. They havent hit one ball well and they have two runs.

    HIt batter, walk , walk, bloop, error.

  84. Pitching change? What the hell is a “pitching change?”

  85. I’ve got the game ticker on at work.
    I was just told that my “Oh, for FUCK’S SAKE” was quite audible from across the room.

    My bad.
    Now blow me, OK?

  86. It’s sad that we basically have to be really happy with this kind of outing from Dickey.

  87. If you’re going to bash Gibbons based entirely on the hindsight 20/20 outcome why not at least acknowledge that Dickey ended the inning with 2 strikeouts? Gibbythebest

    • You’re a fucking moron, there were about 8 posts to pull Dickey before he even gave up a run that inning.

  88. Not everything is lost hopefully.Let’s hit this turd boys

  89. Yea Jays are one of the worst fielding teams, in the AL at least. In the top 3-5 for errors committed and lowest fielding % There’s a reason San Fran won 2 of the last 3 years – defense and pitching.

    • The Giants were 27th out of 30 major league teams last year in fielding percentage….. so……. no.

  90. That inning is why the have Thole, and why he should take over from JPA as starting (or at least 1/2 starting) catcher. Saved a couple of passed balls, and did not commit a passed ball during the base running scenarios…also a nice foul tip catch.

  91. Dickey’s now at 116 pitches. I’m noticing that Gibbons tends to pull starters based on what inning it is instead of by pitch count. Hence why he pulled a starter who only had 70 pitches a month back because he had finished the seventh inning already; and possibly why he left Dickey in today, because even though he was at 116 pitches, he’d only pitched 5 1/3 innings.

  92. These games wouldn’t be such sphincter-tighteners if the guys would average more than 2.5 runs a game.

  93. At what point should I mention Cleveland’s reliever in right now has a 6.48 ERA?

  94. Yeah guys quit bashing me. It’s not like we’ve been in the cellar all year or anything. Remember that half game we were up on Tampa for a day. Good times right? It’s still early anyhow, just ask my good buddy Mike Wilner. That thirty game win streak is right around the corner I tell y’ what.

  95. This QPC BLT commercial can just STFU now…

    • …and somebody better tell that TD change collecting girl that when you “find” change in somebody’s suit jacket, that is called “being a P-I-C-K-P-O-C-K-E-T”.

  96. Talking bout girls, talking bout trucks
    Running them red dirt roads out kicking up dust
    The boys round here, sending up a prayer to the man upstairs
    Backwoods legit, don’t care no shit
    Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit


  98. Aviles picked off twice in the same day?

  99. Man o man this play by play guy. Ten seconds after you see what happened, he describes it. Perhaps he is living ten seconds in the past.

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