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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biff Mayhem View Post
    What about those of us in the middle? I like a lot of the sabermetrics because of what they add to the conversation but the side of me that likes the traditionalist side of the game cannot stand things like WAR and is variants.
    I think every smart fan including traditionalists uses the WAR concept in their thinking. When a fan evaluates a player, he looks at everything he does - batting, running, fielding and position and anything else he chooses, weighs it all accordingly in his mind and then tries to determine whether player A contributes more than player B. WAR just tries to formalize that process and the inventors of WAR encourage people to develop their own system if they don't like something about the current one. Certainly there are people who accept FanGraphs WAR or BR WAR blindly and make stubborn conclusions. It's those people that are the problem, not the WAR process.
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    "They can use both (old- and new-school statistics)," Cabrera said. "In 2012, we've got to take advantage of all that.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigersSlappy View Post
    My problem with WAR is who/how the replacement level player is determined.

    Beyond that, there's no adjustment for reality. On some teams the loss of a catcher would be devastating if they had no adequate back up. On another team with a very similar back up to the starter it wouldn't make much of a difference. To me there should be some sort of duality of the hypothetical replacement vs the actual replacement. This would more specifically show the value of the player to his team.

    A good example would be the '68 Tigers - if they lost Jim Northrup they replace him with Mickey Stanley - If they lose Bill Freehan they replace him with Jim Price. A huge difference in how much it affects the team going forward.
    That is a valid point which has been brought up frequently. However, I prefer that every player be evaluated against the same replacement level. It was not Northrup's fault that he had a better replacement than Freehan. I don't think Freehan should get extra credit for having a crappy backup. It's not something that he made happen. That was the doing of the GM.

    Ultimately, the replacement level is just giving a player credit for his playing time. I wish they would get rid of the term "replacement" because it's unnecessary and just causes confusion.
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    "They can use both (old- and new-school statistics)," Cabrera said. "In 2012, we've got to take advantage of all that.

  3. #123
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    Just get rid of replacement level and do wins above average- an average player isn't as hypothetical as a replacement player and is easier for people to understand.
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    Cabrera said he didn't mind all factors being taken into account by voters.

    "They can use both (old- and new-school statistics)," Cabrera said. "In 2012, we've got to take advantage of all that. At the end of the day, it's going to be the same. You've got to play baseball. You've got to put up some numbers in the field, you've got to win some games."
    Clearly, Miguel Cabrera respects and appreciates sabermetric stats
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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottwood View Post
    Just get rid of replacement level and do wins above average- an average player isn't as hypothetical as a replacement player and is easier for people to understand.
    Most of the hardcore sabers don't like that because they think it doesn't give players proper credit for playing time. I don't think it's a bad thing when you are looking at awards or hall of fame though. Of course, WAA would make Trout look even better which would piss off people even more.
    Last edited by tiger337; 11-18-2012 at 07:00 PM.
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    "They can use both (old- and new-school statistics)," Cabrera said. "In 2012, we've got to take advantage of all that.

  6. #126
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    And let's just face it, in addition to WAR, I just don't like Lee. He can't see this, right?
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  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biff Mayhem View Post
    And let's just face it, in addition to WAR, I just don't like Lee.
    I can accept that.
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    "They can use both (old- and new-school statistics)," Cabrera said. "In 2012, we've got to take advantage of all that.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottwood View Post
    Just get rid of replacement level and do wins above average- an average player isn't as hypothetical as a replacement player and is easier for people to understand.
    I do agree that above "average" has the benefit of being more real than hypothetical.

    To me "average" would also have the benefit of adjusting on the fly. I would assume the average player would be calculated on an ongoing basis, thus adjusting for differences in balls, bats, pitching quality, etc. in any given year.
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  9. #129
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    I have issues with stats that cannot easily be explained to a guy at a bar or someone you'd see at a game. Something like BABIP is very easy to perceive and doesn't take many leaps or steps. Simple ratios are fine with me. I have trouble with WAR because it seems like somewhere along the way, somebody had to offer an opinion as to how to calculate it. To me the usefulness comes into play if you see a big disparity or something that forces you to give a 2nd look. Someone who is 5.4 compared to another who is 4.1 means nothing to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    Charles, WAR doesn't work well for players who play multiple positions because you are summing together the results of small sample sizes. This is why not many people insisted that Zobrist should win the award.
    Never knew that. Thanks.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblong View Post
    I have issues with stats that cannot easily be explained to a guy at a bar or someone you'd see at a game. Something like BABIP is very easy to perceive and doesn't take many leaps or steps. Simple ratios are fine with me. I have trouble with WAR because it seems like somewhere along the way, somebody had to offer an opinion as to how to calculate it. To me the usefulness comes into play if you see a big disparity or something that forces you to give a 2nd look. Someone who is 5.4 compared to another who is 4.1 means nothing to me.
    Batting average and Runs Batted In are also based on opinion such as making the decision to not allow an RBI on an error or DP. Even hits involves the opinion of official scorers. The complexity of advanced stats is a valid issue. It doesn't make them wrong, but it makes them difficult to communicate.
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    "They can use both (old- and new-school statistics)," Cabrera said. "In 2012, we've got to take advantage of all that.

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    I didn't see this mentioned previously, so forgive me if I've missed it, but,.....

    Does anyone else find it odd that David Price beat out Justin Verlander in the Cy Young but Verlander finished higher than Price in the MVP by a larger margin than the Cy Young margin? It probably shouldn't surprise me much that it happened, but it strikes me as baffling.

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casimir View Post
    I didn't see this mentioned previously, so forgive me if I've missed it, but,.....

    Does anyone else find it odd that David Price beat out Justin Verlander in the Cy Young but Verlander finished higher than Price in the MVP by a larger margin than the Cy Young margin? It probably shouldn't surprise me much that it happened, but it strikes me as baffling.
    Maybe Verlander had a higher batting average, RBI, and home run totals.
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  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casimir View Post
    I didn't see this mentioned previously, so forgive me if I've missed it, but,.....

    Does anyone else find it odd that David Price beat out Justin Verlander in the Cy Young but Verlander finished higher than Price in the MVP by a larger margin than the Cy Young margin? It probably shouldn't surprise me much that it happened, but it strikes me as baffling.
    Probably because the Tigers made the playoffs. Traditionally, the Cy Young Award hasn't put a lot of weight on playing for a playoff team.
    Last edited by tiger337; 11-18-2012 at 10:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigersSlappy View Post
    A good example would be the '68 Tigers - if they lost Jim Northrup they replace him with Mickey Stanley - If they lose Bill Freehan they replace him with Jim Price. A huge difference in how much it affects the team going forward.
    Value is independent of the rest of the roster. It shouldn't be based on the value of your backup.

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
    Value is independent of the rest of the roster. It shouldn't be based on the value of your backup.
    That itself is a value judgement. :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
    Value is independent of the rest of the roster. It shouldn't be based on the value of your backup.
    In the hypothetical world this is true. In the real world it's not. If I've got 3 equally productive catchers then each 1 of them is less valuable to me than if I only had 1 productive catcher. Scarcity and all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigersSlappy View Post
    In the hypothetical world this is true. In the real world it's not. If I've got 3 equally productive catchers then each 1 of them is less valuable to me than if I only had 1 productive catcher. Scarcity and all.
    But this has nothing to do with WAR.
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  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    But this has nothing to do with WAR.
    I really don't understand why people have so much trouble with the replacement player concept.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    Batting average and Runs Batted In are also based on opinion such as making the decision to not allow an RBI on an error or DP. Even hits involves the opinion of official scorers. The complexity of advanced stats is a valid issue. It doesn't make them wrong, but it makes them difficult to communicate.
    I understand. But I also think in the grand scheme of things those things even out and won't make much of a difference. For every hit allowed that shouldn't, they'll be one the other way. Again, I'm not going to make a judgement on a guy who hit .313 against another guy who hit .316. To me that's the same thing. I also think there's no reason anymore to use BA over OBP because roughly speaking, OBP is BA plus their ability to draw a walk. I also think which version of WAR to use needs to be settled before it gets into mainstream use. When very smart people can't agree then come back to me when you figure it out. I'm content to let the experts do that. It's not a criticism by me just an unwillingness to accept it yet. But that doesn't mean I think it's impossible that Trout was more valuable than Cabrera because if all the versions of WAR say pretty much the same thing then obviously there's a trend.
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  21. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblong View Post
    I also think which version of WAR to use needs to be settled before it gets into mainstream use. When very smart people can't agree then come back to me when you figure it out. I'm content to let the experts do that. It's not a criticism by me just an unwillingness to accept it yet. But that doesn't mean I think it's impossible that Trout was more valuable than Cabrera because if all the versions of WAR say pretty much the same thing then obviously there's a trend.
    I personally like having different versions of WAR, so that I can see different perspectives. The fact that multiple versions of WAR support Trout so strongly just reinforces the idea that he is a better all around player. That being said, I agree that WAR is not ready for the mainstream.
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  22. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    I really don't understand why people have so much trouble with the replacement player concept.
    I think I understand. Traditionalists are looking at things from from the team perspective whereas the purpose of WAR is to isolate the player's performance from the team environment in which he plays. The sabers are asking the question: "What would Cabrera add to the average team?" The traditionalists are asking: "What does Cabrera add to the Tigers specifically?"
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    "They can use both (old- and new-school statistics)," Cabrera said. "In 2012, we've got to take advantage of all that.

  23. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigersSlappy View Post
    In the hypothetical world this is true. In the real world it's not. If I've got 3 equally productive catchers then each 1 of them is less valuable to me than if I only had 1 productive catcher. Scarcity and all.
    But if you have three equally productive catchers and only one of them is playing, the only one that is providing value to the team on the field is the one who is playing. What the other two could potentially provide is hypothetical. You think they might do better than some other team's AAAA backup, but you don't know that.
    Last edited by tiger337; 11-19-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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  24. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotigers View Post
    Clearly, Miguel Cabrera respects and appreciates sabermetric stats
    it cracks me up when I see quotes by Cabrera because when I see him talk on TV I have no idea what he's saying. Sometimes I wonder if the writers just make it up.

    Did you see him on the MLB announcement show when they told him to speak in Spanish. He talked for like 2 minutes straight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblong View Post
    I understand. But I also think in the grand scheme of things those things even out and won't make much of a difference. For every hit allowed that shouldn't, they'll be one the other way. Again, I'm not going to make a judgement on a guy who hit .313 against another guy who hit .316. To me that's the same thing. I also think there's no reason anymore to use BA over OBP because roughly speaking, OBP is BA plus their ability to draw a walk. I also think which version of WAR to use needs to be settled before it gets into mainstream use. When very smart people can't agree then come back to me when you figure it out. I'm content to let the experts do that. It's not a criticism by me just an unwillingness to accept it yet. But that doesn't mean I think it's impossible that Trout was more valuable than Cabrera because if all the versions of WAR say pretty much the same thing then obviously there's a trend.
    I would not mind them replacing AVG with OBP at all TBH. The problem is the casual fan wants to see how many hits a player will get...which leads to AVG being used. I LOVE a BB, but the average fan does not care about BB's. They want hits and HRs!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblong View Post
    it cracks me up when I see quotes by Cabrera because when I see him talk on TV I have no idea what he's saying. Sometimes I wonder if the writers just make it up.

    Did you see him on the MLB announcement show when they told him to speak in Spanish. He talked for like 2 minutes straight.
    I did not see ANY of the coverage for the MVP and I am very sad about that, really. I did not see Cabby give any kind of speech. I heard a 10 second sound bite on the radio and that was it.

    Does the MLB do some kind of MVP compilation DVD or something you can buy that has some high lights from the season as well as all the post award shows etc?
    "And that is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise, that it is desirable to have influence concentrated in a bottleneck that can channel the collective with the most verity and force."

  27. #147
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    I'd like to know what percentage of people who claim they can tell who the most valuable player is by watching the games actually watched both Trout and Cabrera play a large number of games.

    My guess is the percentage is pretty low.

  28. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    But this has nothing to do with WAR.
    I understand that it has nothing to do with the WAR theory. As I stated earlier it has everything to do with replacing the player in reality. I'm probably muddying the waters up here by mixing the two since they really aren't related.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Brian_K View Post
    I would not mind them replacing AVG with OBP at all TBH. The problem is the casual fan wants to see how many hits a player will get...which leads to AVG being used. I LOVE a BB, but the average fan does not care about BB's. They want hits and HRs!
    Because the fans you're speaking of aren't educated. The average person used to want to hear about how far you could travel before falling off the edge of the earth, not this "the earth is round" nonsense.

    It's ok to learn new things. It won't hurt you.

    Also, the average fan is smarter than you think. I don't think the networks should be catering to the group that don't understand that a walk is important. Most of the people watching DO know the difference.
    Last edited by Yoda; 11-19-2012 at 11:00 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Brian_K View Post
    I did not see ANY of the coverage for the MVP and I am very sad about that, really. I did not see Cabby give any kind of speech. I heard a 10 second sound bite on the radio and that was it.

    Does the MLB do some kind of MVP compilation DVD or something you can buy that has some high lights from the season as well as all the post award shows etc?
    Have you tried a simple google search or looking on the Tigers website? I don't believe they release DVD's for this sort of thing.
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    I wish all the sports leagues would change their award names to player of the year.

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    I really don't get why people still insist that the average fan is some bumbling idiot that doesn't understand how runs are scored.
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    I read somewhere where Trout supporters were saying that Cabrera padded his stats against weaker teams in the AL Central vs. Trout in the tougher AL West, so I thought I'd take a look.

    These are the stats for Cabrera and Trout vs. team with Win Pct > .500:

    Trout:

    Split ▾ G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
    WP of .500+ 82 82 377 328 78 103 15 6 21 51 30 0 42 88 .314 .393 .588 .981 193 2 3 0 4 2 5 .368 103 176


    Cabrera:

    Split ▾ G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
    WP of .500+ 73 73 318 278 51 98 18 0 20 59 2 0 37 47 .353 .431 .633 1.064 176 13 2 0 1 9 2 .368 114 199


    Batting still favors Cabrera (except those infamous SB's). Interesting coincidence on the BABIP #.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    Because the fans you're speaking of aren't educated. The average person used to want to hear about how far you could travel before falling off the edge of the earth, not this "the earth is round" nonsense.

    It's ok to learn new things. It won't hurt you.

    Also, the average fan is smarter than you think. I don't think the networks should be catering to the group that don't understand that a walk is important. Most of the people watching DO know the difference.
    I think the networks cater to those who don't know the game because they want them to keep watching. Those who do know the game will watch regardless.
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    "They can use both (old- and new-school statistics)," Cabrera said. "In 2012, we've got to take advantage of all that.

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    Tigers scouts try to win WAR on player evaluations | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com

    straight from the horses mouth....

    Dombrowski remains a GM committed to trusted scouts and to their nuanced appraisals of players. It is his first rule in deciding on acquiring a player: the valued scout's eye is sacred.

    "Some of these things are so obvious," Dombrowski said, suggesting numbers rarely tell a story different from his staff's scouting reports. "Who has better hands? Range? Arm? Guys who are solid in evaluating those things don't really need all that (statistical) info."

    Dombrowski won't discuss the particular sabermetrics he believes are imperative. He won't even mention categories he believes fans could find helpful as they attempt to be sharper baseball students.

    He also concedes the Tigers probably don't rely on numbers as much as clubs like the A's or Red Sox, for whom James is a senior adviser on baseball operations.

    "That's what makes the world go round," Dombrowski said of two spheres. "That's what makes the game fun."
    It's a good article overall. He's no rube by any means, he knows what he's talking about. I also think he's playing coy a little bit. He won't admit publicly that he doesn't trust his scouts and their work. I think earlier in the article when they point out his first job with the White Sox we see how they use stats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblong View Post
    It's a good article overall. He's no rube by any means, he knows what he's talking about. I also think he's playing coy a little bit. He won't admit publicly that he doesn't trust his scouts and their work. I think earlier in the article when they point out his first job with the White Sox we see how they use stats.
    FWIW, I went to a dinner some 5 years ago where DD was the keynote speaker. This was just after he acquired Cabrera and extended Granderson.

    I was fortunate enough to have him sit at my table, and had a pretty in depth conversation with him on the topic. My takes were:

    a. I was surprised how open he was about some topics. He is really approachable and will discuss things in depth in general.

    b. I think the Tigers do more statistical / sabermetric analyses than is often suggested here. I would guess they go 60% / 40% favoring scouting (i.e. if scouting says one thing and sabermetrics another, I think they will favor scouting opinion, but it isn't as heavy a preference as I often see suggested here).

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    I remember you sharing that before. Must have been cool. Was it the annual dinner at the Ritz? (Which I tink has since moved).

    Perhaps a good scout ends up having an opinion in line with what the #'s will show, or if not, then the scout was right, or his experience is when there is a conflict, then the scout in question is right more than beign wrong.

    I think we're making too much of it. It's not about sides, it's about info and data.
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    I think the WAR that the public has access to is really not a good stat and needs to be tweaked a lot and that sounds like what DD was hinting at. I'm sure the Tigers have their own proprietary data where they weigh hitting, defense, baserunning and a player's position to come up with their own WAR. They don't have a stats guy in a major position in their front office, and probably a number of people working below him, only to sit around and read Fangraphs all day.
    Dreaming about a repeat of 1984, 1968, 1945 and 1935

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottwood View Post
    I think the WAR that the public has access to is really not a good stat and needs to be tweaked a lot and that sounds like what DD was hinting at. I'm sure the Tigers have their own proprietary data where they weigh hitting, defense, baserunning and a player's position to come up with their own WAR. They don't have a stats guy in a major position in their front office, and probably a number of people working below him, only to sit around and read Fangraphs all day.
    I'm not sure they have great defensive data yet (which is really the biggest problem with WAR), but they probably can come up with an estimate based on scouts and what data they do have.
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    "They can use both (old- and new-school statistics)," Cabrera said. "In 2012, we've got to take advantage of all that.

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