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Old 02-15-2017, 05:51 PM   #781
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30 Jun - 2 Jul 2042

LEE 3 HUL 0: Cabrera 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB. Richard 2-4, HR, DBL. Flores SV (10). [47-35]

LEE 5 HUL 3: Kemp 7.0 IP, 3 ER. Richard 2-5, DBL. Fuentes 2-3, BB. [48-35]

Kenshin Hayashi wants a contract extension. I'd love him to stay but I simply won't pay him the $29m per year he's seeking. All the best in the future, Kenshin, and bring me a nice draft pick.

LEE 4 HUL 5: Magana 2-4, DBL, 2 BB. Fuentes 2-3, SB. Jermaine Cooper took to the mound for us midway through the 12th. In the top of the 14th, he hit a beautiful RBI double to give us a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately he then proceeded to give up 2 runs: both technically unearned but after his own error. And lo and behold, another extra innings defeat for the Hedgehogs. [48-36, =1st place, with NEW]

Cumbria's Darrel Keller pitched his second 4-hit shutout of the season against the Wizards. The previous one was in May.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:53 PM   #782
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3-5 Jul 2042

MAN 4 LEE 5: Hayashi 2-5, HR, TPL, BB. James 3-4. A reversion of yesterday. The Falcons took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 13th, but Hayashi's walk-off 2 run homer sealed an unlikely extra innings turnaround win. After his eventful 2.2 IP yesterday, Jermaine Cooper pitched 3 scoreless innings today. [49-36]

MAN 6 LEE 1: García 3-3, DBL, SB. James 2-4, DBL. [49-37]

MAN 6 LEE 5: Page 2-4, HR. Fuentes 2-5. [49-38, 2nd place, 2 GB from NEW]
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:57 PM   #783
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6 Jul 2042 - rest day

We've had a sequence of tough series against playoff contenders, and we went 3-6 in that time. We're still in the hunt, but that was disappointing.

Alex Frye has agreed to resume contract discussions. He's going through a cold spell so I though this was the perfect time. He still wants 6 years, at $22m per year. I've offered him the salary, but for 4 years.

Pedro Magana will become my full-time CF, taking over from Jim Mullins. Mullins has struggled this season (.299 wOBA) and I had a jam at 3B where Magana and Fuentes were sharing playing time. Magana wasn't happy about not being an everyday starter, and I decided I didn't want to make a lad angry who has the potential to become an incredible hitter. I explored trades for Mullins and had a deal lined up with Westminster for a young outfielder called Mark Hebert, but I pulled out because I didn't feel it was good value. In any case, Magana's versatility means that if I get a single injury in the lineup (and I've been lucky with injuries so far this season) then Mullins will be a starter again.

I've offered Juan Fuentes a one-year extension worth $12.5m. He wanted an 8-year deal at that annual value, but no chance.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:57 PM   #784
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7-9 Jul 2042

Luis Rea is trying to make me look like a right plonker for trading him. He's just got NL player of the week after hitting 14-27 with 5 HR and 11 RBI.

LEE 7 LIV 8: Richard 2-5, 2 DBL. Hayashi 2-5, 2 DBL. [49-39]

We broke the news after the game that Alex Frye has signed a new 4-year contract worth a total of $88m. That ties him up until the end of the 2046 season. The fans were absolutely ecstatic. I'm very pleased, too - he's a vital part of the offense here.

LEE 6 LIV 2: McGinnity 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. James 2-5, TPL, DBL. Richard 4-5. Frye 3-5, DBL. I can nearly always rely on McGinnity to stop a rot. [50-39]

LEE 6 LIV 1: Cabrera 9.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB. Fuentes 3-4, HR, BB. Frye 3-5, 2 DBL. It only took Armando Cabrera 99 pitches to see off the Emeralds today. [51-39, 2nd place, 2 GB from NEW, 2 game lead over wildcard]

We now hold the second NL wildcard spot, with a 2 game lead over Liverpool and Blackpool who lead the chasing pack. Things are just starting to get shaken out a little in the standings.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:54 PM   #785
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10-12 Jul 2042

STO 4 LEE 11: Frye 4-4, HR, DBL, BB. Richard 4-5, DBL. Alex Frye has now gone 10-14 with a HR and 4 doubles in the three games since signing his new contract. Tim Richard has been off the scale this season, batting .361 for 133 hits, which both lead the EBA. He has a clear lead over legendary Falcons outfielder Bobby Fields in the race for the NL batting title (Fields is hitting .343). [52-39]

STO 4 LEE 5: Frye 3-5, TPL. Benítez 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB. An unbelievable comeback win. Benítez has gone off the boil recently, and the Sky Chiefs plunked him for 4 runs in the 4th. We pulled a run back in the 7th but were still trailing 4-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th. Cue the offense. 4 hits, 3 walks and only 1 retired batting later the game was ours, Ed James getting walked in for the winning run. The Sky Chiefs's furious manager couldn't bring himself to even look at his bullpen guys as he stalked off the field. [53-39]

STO 4 LEE 5: Richard 2-3, BB. Fuentes 2-4. Kemp 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB. This has been an entertaining series but Stoke will be kicking themselves for getting swept. Today they surged to a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st. But their defensive let them down and they committed three crucial errors. All 5 of our runs were unearned. [54-39, 2nd place, 1 GB from NEW, 2 game lead over wildcard]
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:54 PM   #786
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13-15 Jul 2042

LEE 3 WOL 2: McGinnity 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1-2. Page 1-2, 2 BB. [55-39]

LEE 2 WOL 5: Cabrera 6.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER. [55-40]

LEE 14 WOL 6: Richard 4-5, TPL, 2 DBL. Mullins 2-4, HR, DBL, BB. Frye 3-6, 2 DBL. Fuentes 3-, 2 DBL. [56-40, 2nd place, 1 GB from NEW, 2 game lead over wildcard]
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:55 PM   #787
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16-18 Jul 2042

COV 3 LEE 8: Mullins 2-4, 2 HR (15), 6 RBI. Benítez 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. Mullins took the Bumblebees pitching to the cleaners, smashing two 3-run homers. It was a welcome return to form for Benítez. [57-40]

COV 2 LEE 4: Richard 2-3, DBL, BB. Kemp 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER. There was a heart-stopping moment when Alex Frye came out of the game in the 2nd inning with a sore leg. Fortunately Art Attack immediately decided it wasn't serious, and Frye will play tomorrow. [58-40]

COV 4 LEE 6: McGinnity 8.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. Hayashi 2-3, HR, BB. A great moment as Kenshin Hayashi, in front of his home fans, smashed the 400th home run of his wonderful career. He smoked it a full 432ft for good measure. The clamour is growing for me to keep him here next season. I'd like to, but only if he's be prepared to take a massive pay cut. [59-40, =1st place with NEW, 2 game lead over wildcard]
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:01 PM   #788
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19 Jul 2042 - rest day

Juan Fuentes has asked his agent to seek a contract extension to remain a Hedgehog. The problem is, he turns 28 next month but still wants an 8-year deal. No hope and Bob Hope. The $14.5m annual amount he seeks is reasonable, but 4 years is my maximum. If he turns it down, I'll reluctantly look for a pre-deadline trade. But it'd have to be a good deal. I think I may prefer to hang onto him and take my chances on getting him back as a free agent over the winter.



On the whole, our pitching has steadily improved as the season has gone on. I've run out of superlatives to describe Brian McGinnity. Bertoldo Chiappo is clinging onto the lefty middle relief spot by his fingertips. He's lucky there is now no immediately ready young lefty prospect waiting in the minors or else he might be gone already. Brandon Krieger is closest but not there yet.

Elsewhere, I made my first demotion of one of the active roster on opening day. Máximo Morales has been sent down, and young left fielder Louie Campbell has been promoted in his place. I love Morales's outstanding defense, but his hitting (.543 OPS) isn't good enough. Campbell is only a very mild downgrade defensively, but should get bat on ball a lot more frequently.

The Manchester Falcons have won the North West Division 7 of the last 9 years, and at 64-35 are well on course to make it 8 in 10. The Islington Foxes are the surprise runaway team in the Southern League and stand at 67-32. They've made only 1 Cup Final Series appearance, back in 2022 when they lost to the Wizards. That said, it's 1 more appearance than this franchise, despite my best efforts.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:02 PM   #789
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20-22 Jul 2042

LEE 2 SHE 6: Fuentes 2-4, HR, DBL. Cabrera 3.1 IP, 9 H, 6 HR. Armando Cabrera has been frustratingly inconsistent this year. He served up absolute dross today. He'll have probably one more start before the trade deadline, and if I get more of this nonsense I might pick up the phone. [59-41]

LEE 8 SHE 4: Richard 2-5, HR. Flores SV (16). Another late escape. 4-3 down entering the top of the 9th, at one point we were one strike away from defeat. But Hayashi ultimately drew a walk in the plate appearance, loading the bases. Rich Mitchell drew another walk to tie the game. Tim Richard stepped up to the plate. A wild pitch allowed Jim Mullins to score the go-ahead run, the two pitches later Richard smashed a 3-run homer to make the game safe. [60-41]

Juan Fuentes has agreed to take the 4-year contract on offer. Good lad. Rich Mitchell is now the last of the hitters on an expiring contract that I want to tie up. Hopefully we'll settle somewhere around $60m over 4 years.

LEE 8 SHE 5: Frye 2-5, 2 HR (25). Magana 2-5, HR. Fuentes 3-5, TPL. Richard 3-5, DBL. [61-41, 1st place, 2 game lead over NEW, 4 game lead over wildcard]
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:10 PM   #790
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Sorry for leaving this thread hanging for so long - time to get it finished off...
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:13 PM   #791
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23-25 Jul 2042 - González joins, Cabrera and Hopps depart

We've had a good couple of weeks, have taken the lead in the North East Division, and with the trade deadline approaching I wanted to use some of my minor league pitching depth to upgrade the team further. If I could get the team younger as well, so much the better.

The guy in my sights to be moved out was starter Armando Cabrera. I've always had a soft spot for him, as he was the first trade arrival after I took over here, and he showed great character to bounce back from a bad injury incurred a few months later and spending a year on the sidelines. However his performances have been on the wane the last couple of years, and this season has been his worst in a Hedgehogs uniform. His 8-7, 5.14 record and 1.34 WHIP don't sound great, but ah, you say, he's got a .321 BABIP so he's been a bit unlucky, give him a break. The giveaways, however, are the 4.75 FIP and 2.60 K/BB, both the worst marks he's put up since the injury. Another consideration is that I'm paying him $15m per year.

So I phoned round some of the teams who are off the pace this season, to see if any of them might be interested in trading their front-line starting pitcher in a multi-player trade involving Cabrera. My old friends at Nottingham kindly obliged. They were willing to part with their young number 2 starter, lefty Carlos González (25, throws L, 4.5*). González has an impressive 6-pitch arsenal that includes a forkball and a circlechange. He was drafted 11th overall by the Arrows back in 2038. At 3-13, 4.29 he seems to have struggled a bit this year, but I look past those not especially meaningful stats. He has consistently put up sub-4.00 FIPs and like Cabrera has an inflated .321 BABIP making his life harder. He takes Cabrera's #4 rotation spot and I think is a clear upgrade. He's also younger, under club control for the next 2.5 years, and cheaper: he's on $8.8m this year with a $13.8m arbitration estimate for next year. I also like that by being a lefty he gives my rotation a bit more balanced. I'll try and tie him up for the rest of his arbitration period soon.



Along with González I also got back career minor league reliever Yannick Budding (32, throws R, 2.5*), who the Hedgehogs drafted back in 2032 but I released in 2040 with him having no hope of reaching the majors. Well he's proved me wrong, making the Arrows' bullpen late last season, albeit finding things a struggle.

In return I sent to Nottingham: Cabrera, backup starters Joel Hopps and Alberto Díaz, and lefty reliever Natsume Ichihara. With Hopps and Ichihara going, I've gone from having an absolute glut of backup lefty relievers in the minors to being a bit thin. But I do have Ricardo Avíla and Brandon Krieger as options.

LEE 3 CMB 2: Kemp 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. James 2-4, HR, SB. Fuentes 2-4, 2 DBL. Jaime Flores now has 18 saves from 18 opportunities. A consistency Pedro Castro could only dream of. [62-41]

LEE 4 CMB 5: McGinnity 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER. Richard 2-4, 2 DBL. Magana 2-4, HR. Frye 2-4, HR. [62-42]

Liverpool's lethal 9-time all-star closer Júlio Vásquez will miss the rest of the season with shoulder inflammation. He'll be a big miss.

Our batters are now all locked up, because Rich Mitchell has agreed the 4-year, $62m contract I offered. Including Kenshin Hayashi's wage coming off the books at the end of the season, our projected payroll for next year is now $190m. That gives me $10m available to spend on a replacement starting catcher.

LEE 6 CMB 1: González 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Mitchell 4-5, HR. Frye 3-4. González's debut start for us came on short rest since his last appearance for the Arrows. But he was stunningly good. [63-42, 1st place, 3 game lead over NEW, 5 game lead over wildcard]

Armando Cabrera did even better on his first start for Nottingham, which was also today. He threw a 4-hit shutout against the Bumblebees.
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:16 PM   #792
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26-28 Jul 2042

BIR 0 LEE 15: Maldonado 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Magana 3-4, HR. James 4-5, SB. Richard 3-4, DBL. A fantastic team performance in all aspects of the game. We'd have beaten any opponent today. We scored 5 runs in the 1st and then simply carried on the destruction from there. [64-42]

BIR 3 LEE 4: Benítez 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 6 K. Frye 2-4, DBL. Richard 2-4. Tim Richard's batting average is now a ridiculous .372. He's on track to put up the EBA's best single-season batting average since Portsmouth's Francisco Jiménez hit .375 way back in 2023. The all-time mark of .396 set by Islington's José Rodriguez back in the EBA's inaugural season is nearly untouchable. [65-42]

Alex Frye won NL player of the week, after hitting 13-29 with 3 HR and 9 RBI.

BIR 1 LEE 2: Kemp 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Mullins 2-4, DBL. Campbell 2-3, SB. Flores SV (20). [66-42, 1st place, 4 game lead over NEW]

This great run means we now have the third best record in the EBA, behind only Islington (71-37) and Manchester (68-40).
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:17 PM   #793
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29-31 Jul 2042

LEE 2 NOT 1: McGinnity 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB. We faced our recently traded colleague Armando Cabrera today. He was excellent... but Brian McGinnity was even better. [67-42]

LEE 8 NOT 9: Mitchell 2-4, HR. Frye 2-5, HR. [67-43]

LEE 5 NOT 11: Frye 3-4, HR. The less said about today the better. [67-44, 1st place, 5 game lead over NEW]
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:18 PM   #794
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1 Aug 2042 - rest day

The deadline passed quietly, with our in-season business already done. In a rare treat we aren't well under our Pythagorean record.

The big news today was that Nottingham and EBA legend Dae-il Kim announced that he'll retire at the end of the season. I've waxed lyrical about the guy many times in this diary. He currently has a fabulous 360-225, 2.50 record and is a lock for the Hall of Fame. He'll set a wins mark that may never be surpassed.
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:19 PM   #795
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2-4 Aug 2042

BLA 4 LEE 8: Frye 2-4, HR. James 2-4, DBL, SB. We fell behind 3-0 early on, but our superb offense has the ability to claw back deficits like that. [68-44]

BLA 5 LEE 2: McGinnity 7.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER. [68-45]

BLA 4 LEE 2: Kemp 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Frye 2-4, HR (30). A couple of disappointing series there, we need to get back on it. [68-46, 1st place, 5 game lead over NEW]
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:26 PM   #796
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5-7 Aug 2042

LEE 5 SUN 4: Richard 3-4, DBL, BB. Magana 3-5, DBL. [69-46]

LEE 1 SUN 3: García 3-4, DBL, SB. Frye 2-4. [69-47]

LEE 5 SUN 0: Benítez 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 KK. Frye 2-3, 2 BB. Fuentes 3-5. When Benítez gets it right, he's nearly unhittable. He's now 14-2 for the season. He jointly leads the EBA in wins along with 6 other guys. [70-47, 1st place, 5 game lead over NEW]

Bad news after the game, however. Tim Richard sprained a knee sprinting to first base in the first inning. Art Attack says he'll miss 6-7 weeks. Pedro Magana will move across to play 2B, and Jim Mullins will platoon with Louie Campbell at CF. Our top prospect (though that's not saying much) Randall Hunt comes up for his first taste of major league action, and will back up all three outfield positions against righties.
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:29 PM   #797
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8-10 Aug 2042

LEI 2 LEE 5: McGinnity 8.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB. García 2-3, HR. James 3-4. [71-47]

LEI 14 LEE 7: Frye 2-5, HR. Lang 2-4, DBL. Rookie Luis Castillo learnt a hard lesson today, after getting milked for 6 runs in a disastrous 5th inning. [71-48]

LEI 4 LEE 3: Mitchell 4-5, DBL, SB. González 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. [71-49, 1st place, 4 game lead over NEW]

Next up we face the 25-95 Derby Locos. By their standards they're on scorching form, having won a whole two games in a row.
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:30 PM   #798
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11-13 Aug 2042

LEE 7 DER 0: Mullins 3-4, HR, 2 DBL. Frye 2-2, HR, 2 BB. Maldonado 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. [72-49]

LEE 2 DER 6: Mitchell 3-4. Magana 2-4, DBL. How the hell did we contrive to get fairly thumped by the Locos?!?! [72-50]

LEE 6 DER 0: McGinnity 9.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB. Magana 3-4, SB. [73-50, 1st place, 4 game lead over NEW]
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:44 PM   #799
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14 Aug 2043 - rest day

Led by our former pitchers Clay Barnes, Gary Behr and Nick Barker, it's the Sky Chiefs leading the way in the Northern League. They're chasing their first North West Division title for 15 years. Champions Leicester may well defend their title, in my opinion. With Juan Aguilera and Outstanding Pitcher winner Ken MacKinley in their rotation, they'll be tough to get past in a playoff series.

Over in the Southern League, all the division races are as good as sewn up already. Southampton, Reading and Islington all have commanding leads and are probably all playoff-bound.









Most of the dodgy FIPs among the pitching staff have disappeared now. Brian McGinnity and Jaime Flores are showing why they're the main men. I'm not worried about Isidoro Fortini.

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Old 06-25-2017, 05:45 PM   #800
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15-17 Aug 2042

NEW 10 LEE 0: Fuentes 2-4, DBL. This is a big series in the race for the Nort East Division, and that is exactly not what we needed. I expect an immediate reaction from the boys tomorrow. [73-51]

NEW 1 LEE 7: Hayashi 3-3, 2 HR, 2 BB, 5 RBI. González 8.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. Mitchell 3-5. Much, much better. The calming leadership and explosive bat of Kenshin Hayashi was a big factor today. [74-51]

NEW 9 LEE 4: Frye 2-4, HR. García 3-4. Talk about blowing hot and cold. We've been playing .500 ball for the last three weeks. We need to get back on form or else the Swordfish will haul us back in. [74-52, 1st place, 3 game lead over NEW]
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