December 18, 2003

Three words: Not Gonna Happen: The 5 pm deadline has passed. Looks like the union put the kibosh on A-rod in Beantown.

posted by dzot to baseball at 04:17 PM - 58 comments

First of all, the deadline is 5pm eastern. Second, did you not read the article? "Once the deadline passes, the sides cannot discuss a restructuring of Rodriguez's contract. Beyond today, the Rangers and Red Sox can still discuss a trade and financial considerations, but Rodriguez's deal cannot be restructured."

posted by rocketman at 04:30 PM on December 18, 2003

Shoot. 5pm Eastern is 4pm Central. My bad.

posted by rocketman at 04:33 PM on December 18, 2003

Gammons is saying (and mind you, Gammons has been wrong or way behind on every piece of news he's reported regarding this) it's dead "... for now" I don't have a link yet, but Hicks blinked. That is, he backed off his original desire of "$5m a year for 5 years" subsidy on Manny's contract. Apparently, he is willing to do it for 3 years now. (15m) The MLBPA said (in their suggested that they could negotiatate something like 13-15m but not the 30m the Red Sox proposed. Also, the teams are on a radio silence. So speculation that it is entirely dead is wrong... especially minutes after the deadline.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:36 PM on December 18, 2003

Trade talks stretch past deadline| |By RONALD BLUM| |AP Sports Writer| NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez’s agent and the Boston Red Sox negotiated Thursday in an attempt to restructure his $252 million contract so it would gain approval from the players’ union. Talks were ongoing at 5 p.m., the deadline set by commissioner Bud Selig for an agreement on reworking the shortstop’s record deal, a step necessary before Texas could trade him to Boston for Manny Ramirez. ‘‘I’m still in the middle of it,’’ Scott Boras, the AL MVP’s agent, said just after 5 p.m. Rodriguez and the Red Sox reached a deal Wednesday, but that was rejected by the union, which said it reduced the value of the contract. While management’s top labor lawyer hinted Wednesday that commissioner Bud Selig might approve the rejected deal, Rodriguez made clear Thursday morning that he would go to Boston only with an agreement that met the union’s approval. Because Rodriguez has a no-trade clause, a trade can’t happen without his approval. ‘‘In the spirit of cooperation, I advised the Red Sox I am willing to restructure my contract, but only within the guidelines prescribed by union officials,’’ Rodriguez said in a statement he read to The Associated Press. ‘‘I recognize the principle involved, and fully support the need to protect the interests of my fellow players. ‘‘If my transfer to the Red Sox is to occur, it must be done with consideration of the interests of all major league players, not just one. Any statements by club officials suggesting my position is different than stated is inaccurate and unfortunate.’’ His agent said it was up to the Red Sox to find a way to restructure Rodriguez’s contract without reducing its value. ‘‘It’s in the teams’ hands,’’ Boras said Thursday morning. ‘‘Unless Boston comes back with a proposal that meets the union’s criteria, then the deal will not get done.’’ Wednesday’s talks were held in New York, but Thursday’s negotiations were done by telephone. Union official Gene Orza and management lawyer Rob Manfred traveled to Florida for Bubba Trammell’s grievance hearing Thursday. If the blockbuster deal does go through, Boston probably would trade longtime shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, possibly to the Chicago White Sox.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:41 PM on December 18, 2003

and this off just now SPORTS UPDATE: Baseball commissioner Bud Selig ended talks between Alex Rodriguez and Boston to restructure the shortstop's $252 million contract, dealing another setback to the proposed trade between the Red Sox and Texas. -- Developing It may have ended it between ARod and Boston, but I don't think the issue was between ARod and Boston. I thought it was Boston, Texas and the MLBPA.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:43 PM on December 18, 2003

Why is the union blocking this? Because suddenly every player will want to have the amount of his contract reduced? Yeah, uh huh, right. If this is what ARod wants, they need to back the f*** off.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:44 PM on December 18, 2003

The union would look weak if they allowed it to go through for a small amount. They represent a group of players, not just one. I agree they should just let him do it, but its probably not a can of worms they want to open. If they do, teams will start asking more players to take less money. As of right now, it hasnt happened so there is no precedent. But if one is set, the union looks weak.

posted by Fluxcore at 05:16 PM on December 18, 2003

Here's the sequence, more or less: Boston and Texas agree to a deal which involves Boston sending some cash to Texas and A-Rod restructuring his contract. If A-Rod doesn't restructure his contract, Boston doesn't want to make the deal. A-Rod agrees to the restructuring. The MLBPA says "You can't restructure it like that." Sooooo... Texas and Boston can keep talking, and could perhaps find another decent deal, but the chances are fairly slim. John Henry can't safely make a deal that relies on restructuring at this point. It sucks. The union sucks. This isn't a precedent; this is the highest paid player in baseball trying to get off a last place team.

posted by Bryant at 05:40 PM on December 18, 2003

gene orza is on espn. god i hate this man right now. Gammons is saying its not over. He's also saying that the Red Sox people are telling him the Ordonez/Nomar trade is still on. "Everyone is still geared to getting this thing done" and "the deadline means nothing" Take it with a grain of Gammons salt. Selig said Boston can't talk to ARod. Period. Boston, Texas, MLB, MLBPA, Gene Orza, Boras can all still talk. the rangers are supposed to have a press conference at 7:15, supposedly, according to royal rooters. theo is going to have to block off at least 2 hours for his press conference. I have to say this is a bad PR event for all involved if they F this up. ARod's teammates in TX have expressed some issues about playing next season with this guy who wants to be in Boston. Kevin Millar went on with Dan Patrick and said he'd pick ARod over Nomar and Manny. Nomar kind of looks deceptive and apparently (and rightfully) is pissed. Manny is fine with everything, which is expected because he knows that eventually, Steinbrenner will trade for him. I imagine he's too busy waiting for the Easter Bunny next week anyway. It leaves the MLBPA looking too controlling, especially when a player wants to make a change in his quality of life. He wants to do this, he agrees to do this and they won't let him.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:08 PM on December 18, 2003

Lucchino issued a statement. Its dead. again, kicked in the balls.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:18 PM on December 18, 2003

It's all posturing and it could go on for weeks. Chances are it will happen, but probably not tonight. It's too bad the union can't see the forest for the trees on this one (this is a unique contract as no one is going to get close to $25 million any time soon), but I understand them wanting to avoid an NFL-type contract system.

posted by yerfatma at 06:43 PM on December 18, 2003

again, kicked in the balls. posted by jerseygirl at 6:18 PM CST on December 18 Oh, I hope that's not true. That would really mess up those fantasies the SpoFi boys have built up in their minds. :)

posted by grum@work at 07:49 PM on December 18, 2003

It was a reference to the post game 7 reaction. :) figuratively kicked in the berries. not literally.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:46 PM on December 18, 2003

Ted Sarandis was his usual bundle of joy tonight. "Well, I just don't want to talk about these minutae of contracts." No real info there. If Boston can talk to Boras, there's hope.

posted by Bryant at 09:24 PM on December 18, 2003

Gammons is saying (and mind you, Gammons has been wrong or way behind on every piece of news he's reported regarding this) it's dead "... for now" Gammons has been wrong or way behind on every report he has ever made for ESPN. I swear people tell him stuff just to actually see if he'll say it on the air or in his articles...and he will.

posted by pivo at 09:39 PM on December 18, 2003

Why did Selig set this deadline and forbid communication between the Sox & Guerrero? It seems like an artificial deadline, like something he just came up with.

posted by dusted at 10:43 PM on December 18, 2003


posted by jerseygirl at 11:13 PM on December 18, 2003

shit! dusted IS peter gammons!

posted by djacobs at 11:30 PM on December 18, 2003

Goddamn offseason baseball... I'm too busy watching basketball to keep it straight. Let's try again: Vlad Rodriguez.

posted by dusted at 11:33 PM on December 18, 2003

According to Boswell in the Post, "The union let the Red Sox know that they'd give the deal their blessing as long as that pay reduction was small enough so that the union could save face with its members. The union had to be able to say, with a straight face, that the contract had been "restructured," not "reduced." Orza, a close friend of Rodriguez, freely acknowledged that the union, as long as it wasn't stabbing its members in the back, owed it to an individual player such as Rodriguez to let him pursue his bliss as well as a buck. Orza claims he explained all this to Lucchino and stressed, "Just do not abuse the principle" of restructuring vs. reducing. The Red Sox just couldn't resist sticking it to the union...[and] presented [a deal] to the union, at least according to Orza, "sought in excess of $30 million in reductions." Things may not always be exactly as they seem.

posted by spira at 01:24 AM on December 19, 2003

On espn tonight they had writers from a texas paper, boston paper, and new york paper. All three thought the deal would go down for sure; that its just a matter of time. With A-Rod openly lobbying for the trade, the red sox clearly hoping for the trade, and players even getting into the act, it almost seems like the sox have painted themselves into a corner. I still think it will get done, though I thought it would be sooner.

posted by justgary at 02:25 AM on December 19, 2003

I agree with justgary. This will happen. After this circus, there's no way the Sox can negotiate with Nomar; there's no way A-Rod's teammates on the Rangers can take playing with him seriously. If Manny is as nonchalant about it as we are led to believe, he's a total non-issue. What I don't understand is this: Texas seems to want cash from Boston to help bear the weight of Manny's contract. But they could just as easily trade him off for players - pitching, defense, whatever. So I think it will happen. This is just round 2 of "declaring the deal dead so the media will back off."

posted by rocketman at 07:48 AM on December 19, 2003

But they could just as easily trade him off for players - pitching, defense, whatever. That's the problem. Few teams could carry that contract and none of them will now that the market has turned around.

posted by yerfatma at 09:09 AM on December 19, 2003

But they could just as easily trade him off for players - pitching, defense, whatever. We couldn't give him away when he was put on irrevoka-- irrivoka-- waivers you can't take back on October 30. They were basically saying, "here take manny. We don't want anything in return from you, just take him and his salary"

posted by jerseygirl at 09:47 AM on December 19, 2003

There is no way A-rod is going to be a Ranger next year after this. It's not possible, right? Union be damned, A-rod could just straight cancel his contract if he wanted.

posted by djacobs at 02:07 PM on December 19, 2003

A-rod could just straight cancel his contract if he wanted. doesn't sound likely. And A-Rod himself will not agree to the deal without the union's blessing.

posted by goddam at 02:19 PM on December 19, 2003

The Dirt Dogs are reporting that it's still on; Gammons seems to think it's still on. Brain exploding in slow motion.

posted by Bryant at 02:34 PM on December 19, 2003

A-rod is saying that because he has to. Like I said, Boras is using the Union as the "bad guy" and the press is lapping it up. And it's going to work. But if Henry doesn't blink, A-rod will go to war.

posted by djacobs at 02:37 PM on December 19, 2003

Look, I'm right, and it's going to happen.

posted by djacobs at 03:18 PM on December 19, 2003

Let me qualify this - either A-rod will be on a new team, or Boras will be fired. People are blaming Bill Hicks, this is ridiculous. This is supposed to be what Boras gets paid for.

posted by djacobs at 03:38 PM on December 19, 2003

People are blaming Bill Hicks They are? That seems cruel.

posted by yerfatma at 04:01 PM on December 19, 2003

If Gammons says its still on, given the earlier comments, then it is definitely not ever going to happen. Neener.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:41 PM on December 19, 2003

...figuratively kicked in the berries... tee-hee:) berries.

posted by lilnemo at 05:18 PM on December 19, 2003

If Gammons says its still on, given the earlier comments, then it is definitely not ever going to happen. You have much to learn, my child. When you first start to catch on you think, "The opposite of what Gammons says must be true." The truth is far more insidious: his insights are a drunken walk and correllate to reality in no sensible fashion.

posted by yerfatma at 05:30 PM on December 19, 2003

drunken walk, like Wall Street?

posted by billsaysthis at 08:29 PM on December 19, 2003

Well, Bill Hicks went a long way towards corrupting the moral fabric of America. So I don't think that's way out of line.

posted by Bryant at 10:30 PM on December 19, 2003

People are blaming Bill Hicks Hee hee! Oh, that's just fantastic! :) In related news, Billy Ray Cyrus has been named the new GM of the Texas Rangers.... :)

posted by hincandenza at 11:57 PM on December 19, 2003

Rodriguez’s agent says Red Sox, Rangers still talking By RONALD BLUM AP Sports Writer NEW YORK (AP) — A day after the Red Sox proclaimed their trade for Alex Rodriguez was “dead,” the agent for the AL MVP said Boston still was talking with Texas. Scott Boras said he would remain in New York until at least Saturday, trying to ascertain if the proposed swap of baseball’s only $20 million-a-year players still had a chance. “I don’t really have an indication,” Boras said. “I just know they’re talking.” Red Sox president Larry Lucchino, who said Thursday the proposed trade of Manny Ramirez for A-Rod had collapsed, insisted his team had stopped its efforts to acquire the shortstop. “There really is nothing going on that I’m aware of. None of us have had any conversations with Texas,” Lucchino said before leaving Boston for the holidays. “I’m on my way to visit family and hope to put this behind me.”

posted by jerseygirl at 12:08 AM on December 20, 2003

As someone astutely put it on the royal rooters board: Gammons has more flipflops than Cape Cod in July. He can't commit to an opinion at all. Lucchino is out of the negotiations. He's sort of royally pissed off and John Henry has asked him to sit out the negotiations to let cooler heads prevail. Basically. I don't know if Lucchino's many quotes in the press or his press release yesterday actually mean anything. If at all, it's likely to be media posturing to relieve the media scrutiny. I certainly feel that some of the intense media (and obviously deadline) pressure has been removed from this topic since yesterday, which naturally helps negotiations. Speaking of royally pissed, let's talk Nomar for a sec. He's apparently irritated that he's going to be traded, but especially irritated that he may be going to the ChiSox, who have made indications that they may keep him instead of flipping him to the Dodgers for pitching prospects. Sorry Nomar, love ya but you should have signed the 4yrs @ 15m each deal last spring... or the other deal (4yrs @ 13-14m each) post Game 7. There's a certain aspect of "you can't turn back now" to this whole thing and I am not sure if Texas can come back with ARod next year as he's made his pining for Boston pretty clear and Nomar, who will definitely putting up his best effort on field as always, is likely to be very extra PMS-y all year long. Texas, financially, may need to do this as this could be their last chance to unload ARod and gain some financial flexibility. To be clear, Selig said that Boston couldn't talk with Alex Rodriguez. That's all he said. And that's fine because Boston and ARod had their issues worked out days ago. The only sticking points have been between Texas and Boston in regards to how much money Boston sends to Texas to cushion Manny's contract. This amount would come out of ARod's restructure. The MLBPA will allow 13-15m in "restructure" and Texas wanted 30m from Boston. Somehow that Texas demand for cash on Manny has to come down to 13-15m to make this work. I still say Texas blinks. Where the hell has Steinbrenner been during all of this? They signed Sheffield the other day, but unfortunately it was relegated to 2nd tier news because of this ARod Watch. I just feel it's highly unusual that he's this quiet. Somehow I get an image he's got Cashman tied up in a warehouse, chopping off his ear slowly and dancing around a la Reservoir Dogs. Back to ARod. Some say this will get done before Christmas. I think there's a possibility it may get done this weekend before the non-tender date. I think there's a lot of talk going on between Texas and Boston.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:36 AM on December 20, 2003 December 20, 2003 Not Dead Yet: Rodriguez Trade Shows Signs of Life By JACK CURRY And on the day after the Boston Red Sox said the proposed deal to acquire Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers was dead, both sides rested. They rested from discussing the talks publicly, that is. A baseball official and Scott Boras, Rodriguez's agent, said the conversations between the teams were continuing, and the expectation among several major league executives is that the trade will eventually happen. The Red Sox would love to acquire Rodriguez, but they have repeatedly told the Rangers that they should not have to pick up all of the $179 million remaining from the record 10-year, $252 million contract he signed three years ago, when he left Seattle for Texas. Larry Lucchino, the president of the Red Sox, said the deal "was dead" on Thursday, but one lawyer who has been briefed on the negotiations and the baseball official said that the pronouncement was hard to fathom because the sides might be as little as $6 million apart. "As long as they've been talking about this, it's hard to imagine this would end because of a few million dollars," the official said. When the Red Sox initially restructured Rodriguez's contract with deferrals on Wednesday, it would have netted them savings of about $28 million. The Red Sox would have presumably sent to Texas outfielder Manny Ramirez, a pitcher and the $25 million the Rangers had requested to defray some of the cost of the $97.5 million left on Ramirez's deal. The union rejected the proposal and offered a plan in which Rodriguez would give up $12 million in exchange for earlier and more frequent chances to become a free agent. Lucchino criticized the union for rejecting the proposal, which Gene Orza, the union's associate general counsel, characterized as more of a reduction than a restructuring. According to the collective bargaining agreement, a player must receive benefits in exchange for restructuring his contract. After Boston's plan was denied, Tom Hicks, the Texas owner, agreed to reduce his demand for money in the trade to $15 million from $25 million. The Red Sox would also gain the $12 million in deferrals from Rodriguez in exchange for other provisions — ranging from merchandising and marketing rights to hotel suites on the road and box seats at Fenway Park — that were not in his contract. If the Red Sox took the $12 million in savings and gave it to Hicks, they would owe him only $3 million to presumably complete the trade. The Red Sox would have made $3 million if they were allowed the $28 million from their restructuring proposal and sent the previous request of $25 million to Hicks as part of the deal. But that difference of $6 million is a minor figure in a possible deal that includes two contracts with an original combined value of more than $400 million. "The parties are still talking," Boras said in a telephone interview. "We have exhausted the amount of cooperation, which amounts to $12 million, that Alex has agreed to include in this deal to try and get it done." As might be expected, after more than a month of intense negotiations, the Rangers and the Red Sox are frustrated with each other. The Red Sox realize the Rangers will probably not find another suitor for Rodriguez, the 2003 American League most valuable player, because of his huge contract, so they are willing to try to force Hicks to buckle. If Hicks were to trade Rodriguez straight up for Ramirez, the Red Sox argue, he would still save $81.5 million for his franchise. But if the trade collapses over lingering financial obstacles, the Rangers would not save any money. Still, the Rangers feel the Red Sox are just as hungry to have Rodriguez as Texas is to move him. Boston has clearly alienated Nomar Garciaparra, the current shortstop, and Ramirez with these prolonged talks, and Boston's passionate fan base is eager to welcome Rodriguez, who is considered the premier player in baseball. Even though Lucchino said the deal was dead, the Red Sox did not contact Arn Tellem, Garciaparra's agent, to rekindle discussions on a long-term deal yesterday. If the Red Sox fail to acquire Rodriguez, they will not be able to trade Garciaparra to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Magglio Ordóñez, as planned. Ordóñez would be a quality replacement for Ramirez, and the tandem of Rodriguez and Ordóñez is a better all-round pairing than that of Garciaparra and Ramirez, who helped the Red Sox set a major league record for total bases last season. The White Sox are eager bystanders until the Rodriguez deal is completed. Boras said Rodriguez, who has been on vacation in Manhattan, would spend the weekend in New York as he waits for a resolution. That keeps Rodriguez within a brief flight of Boston if he needs to attend a news conference there.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:42 AM on December 20, 2003

From the Globe this morning: According to industry sources, Hicks, who has insisted he would not trade Rodriguez to Boston for outfielder Manny Ramirez and a pitching prospect (Jon Lester) unless the Sox also sent piles of cash as well to defray the cost of Ramirez's contract, came down in dollars from what he'd been asking. Some reports had Hicks seeking as much as $25 million, $5 million for each of the last five years of Ramirez's contract. One industry source directly involved in the negotiations insisted yesterday that Hicks initially wanted $20 million. Whatever the number, Hicks is down to $13 million, according to two sources directly involved in the talks. In the meantime, Hicks and Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, have worked out a restructuring of the player's contract that would reduce the remaining $179.5 million owed him over the next seven years by $13 million, most of it in deferred money. The players' union, which had proposed a $12 million reduction as a counterproposal to the $28 million reduction the Sox had sought in a restructuring that was rejected by Orza, is signing off on the $13 million reduction, according to an industry source. Hicks and the union see this as a wash, according to industry sources. The $13 million savings the Sox will realize in Rodriguez's contract is money they can then send to Hicks, everyone is happy, and the best player in baseball will be wearing a Red Sox uniform next spring. "This deal can get done from Texas's standpoint," an industry source said last night. "Texas will take Manny, the pitcher, and $13 million and the deal is done." But that's not how the Red Sox see it, according to industry sources, which is why Werner rejected that proposal yesterday. The Sox have told Rodriguez, his agent, and the union that without the $28 million reduction, Rodriguez's contract was untenable. "Theo [Epstein] told them that given the total resources he had, he couldn't put a competitive product on the field if he committed too high a percentage to one player, and the Red Sox would be in the same position as the Rangers are," one management source said last night. The Red Sox were asking Rodriguez to reduce his salary by $28 million, an average of $4 million for each of the last seven years of his contract, according to a management source. No deferred monies were involved; this was an actual reduction. In exchange, the source said, the Sox were prepared to give Rodriguez a signing bonus, plus the right to become a free agent after each of the remaining seven years of his contract. In his current contract, Rodriguez had the right after the 2007 season to void the last three years of his contract, which called for him to be paid $27 million a year, and become a free agent.

posted by Bryant at 08:02 AM on December 20, 2003

the best player in baseball will be wearing a Red Sox uniform next spring Since when is Barry Bonds leaving San Francisco?

posted by billsaysthis at 01:38 PM on December 20, 2003

Gammons says A-Rod has cooled to the trade. My take - more Boras string pulling, and this one is going to work.

posted by djacobs at 05:55 PM on December 20, 2003

As we discussed above, part of our long-term strategy involves keeping the great players that we already have. Of course, our goal is to retain all of these players. That said, negotiations do not take place in a vacuum, and a lot can change over a year or two.
Dirt Dogs chat with Epstein, Feb 2003.

posted by djacobs at 05:58 PM on December 20, 2003

Great link! "There's no doubt that management of our confidential information and management of our PR are issues. It's always better to play your cards close to the vest. This off-season, for whatever reason, our intentions have been too public. We are taking steps to ensure that we improve in this area." -- Theo Epstein, 2002 off-season

posted by Bryant at 06:40 PM on December 20, 2003

Yeah, that one caught me too!

posted by djacobs at 07:17 PM on December 20, 2003

Put me down for "ARod deal announced on Sunday"

posted by jerseygirl at 11:29 PM on December 20, 2003

I'll put a sawbuck on that one too.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:49 PM on December 20, 2003

*reloads* Not today, they're all resting.

posted by djacobs at 11:06 AM on December 21, 2003

who said?

posted by jerseygirl at 12:56 PM on December 21, 2003

I said. But the dirt dogs are saying it's done.

posted by djacobs at 01:45 PM on December 21, 2003

So does this make the deal totally, finally, absolutely dead?

posted by dusted at 05:23 PM on December 23, 2003

god i hope so at this point.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:48 PM on December 23, 2003

How in the hell will all the players involved go back to their teams after the past month? Every one of them has been caught trying to mess around... Worst losers (in my drunken opinion): 1. Manny. Nobody wants him or his contract, least of all Sox fans after his pining for New York. 2. Player's Union. Willing to sacrifice the wishes of its best player and ambassador to protect every Mo Vaughn. 3. Nomar. Open desire for ARod from Boston teammates and fans is understandable, but it has to hurt.

posted by dusted at 06:40 PM on December 23, 2003

So this means that John Henry and Theo can kiss their investments in Schilling et al goodbye as the Orioles challenge the Yankees for division dominance, right?

posted by billsaysthis at 06:56 PM on December 23, 2003

bill, step away from the keg.

posted by lilnemo at 07:20 PM on December 23, 2003

You know... can't say I feel bad for Manny. He's delightfully oblivious, I promise. He kind of made his bed with the Yankee comment... I'm not turning on him, I just can't muster up a "poor Manny!" right now. I am still in the "what the fuck just happened?" frame of mind. So this means that John Henry and Theo can kiss their investments in Schilling et al goodbye as the Orioles challenge the Yankees for division dominance, right? Hitting the eggnog early, huh?

posted by jerseygirl at 12:14 AM on December 24, 2003

Eggnog is not Atkins-compatible. Plus if I identified with any religion it would be Judaism.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:15 PM on December 24, 2003

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