Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Series Wrap: v. Orioles (Postseason Roster Edition)
2007-09-20 14:55
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Offense: They scored enough to win against Brian Burres, a lefty who has given them trouble all year, and put up 20 runs in the other two games. I'd say that's a job well done.


Robinson Cano 6 for 11, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R, HBP
Derek Jeter 6 for 13, 2 2B, 3 R, BB, 3 K
Doug Mientkiewicz 4 for 11, HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, SacB, 2 K
Hideki Matsui 4 for 13, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, K
Melky Cabrera 2 for 6, 3 RBI, BB
Jason Giambi 0 for 1, 3 BB, HBP, 2 R


Alex Rodriguez 1 for 11, SacFly, BB, 4 K
Johnny Damon 1 for 8, RBI, R, BB, 3 K
Shelley Duncan 0 for 3, BB, 2 K

Wilson Betemit singled, Jose Molina flew out, and Bronson Sardinha struck out each in their only at-bats, all of which come in the eighth inning on Tuesday night. Alberto Gonazalez also appeared as a defensive replacement in that game, but did not come to bat.

Rotation: Outstanding, with only Phil Hughes falling short of a quality start, doing so by being pulled with one out in the sixth in the opener. Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte combined to allow just one run in 14 2/3 innings.

Bullpen: The bullpen turned in something of a quality start of its own, compiling this line: 6 2/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 7 K. That's a strong outing by a starter, but the pen needs to do better than a 4.04 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP against a team that's laying down on the job, which is essentially what the the Orioles are doing.

The Good:

Luis Vizcaino struck out two in 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the opener, allowing only a single. One of those Ks came when he replaced Edwar Ramirez with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning of that game. Jose Veras struck out one in a perfect inning on Tuesday night. Ron Villone also pitched a perfect inning in that game. Joba Chamberlian struck out the only man he faced on four pitches in the finale.

The Bad:

I'm being hard on Mo, but despite his not allowing a run and getting the saves in the opener and the finale, he did allow an inherited runner to score in the opener, and allowed four men to reach base in his 1 1/3 innings in the series. That means half the men Mo faced reached base. Over his last three outings, all converted saves totaling just 2 1/3 innings, opposing batters have hit .300/.533/.600 against him with three doubles and four walks. Over his previous 65 innings this season, Rivera had allowed just six doubles and walked only eight men. Those three outings have all come since Mo was hit in the right pinky by an errant Eric Gagne toss in the Boston bullpen on Sunday night, so he has an excuse. Joe Torre may also want to use that excuse to give Rivera, who has worked four of the last six games, a few nights off this weekend. Of course, Mo could have had Monday off had Kyle Farnsworth not stunk up the joint in the ninth inning of the opener, walking the leadoff man with a five-run lead, then throwing a wild pitch and giving up a pair of singles to plate one run and force Torre's hand with two outs in the inning. Earlier in that game, Edwar Ramirez got a huge strike out in relief of Hughes with two out and the bases loaded and the Yanks clinging to a three-run lead, but then passed the same situation on to Luis Vizcaino in the next inning (albeit with two more runs on the board for the Yanks).

Conclusion: The O's have rolled over once again, and the Yanks swept them, as they should have. With an eye toward the postseason roster, Mussina looks to have earned the fourth spot in the rotation that Torre likely would have given him even without so strong a performance. Andy Pettitte shrugged off his recent struggles. Luis Vizcaino and Derek Jeter seem to be over their recent aches and pains. Joba Chamberlain got his first mid-inning appearance out of the way (the next hurdle is to come in with a runner on base). Doug Mientkiewicz is earning a spot and possibly the starting first-base job. Matsui and Melky look to be busting out of their slumps. The Yanks do need their MVP to break his slump, however (a day off might help), and Farmaduke is making an argument to be left off the roster altogether, possibly in favor of Veras or even Ross Ohlendorf, who did not pitch in this series. It will be interesting to see how Torre doles out tryouts to the relievers (my current fear is that Ron Villone will make the roster as a supposedly necessary lefty), and how he rests his big guns (Rodriguez and Rivera especially) over the final ten games. Edwar Ramirez has supposedly already made the postseason roster setting up something like this:

1B - Jason Giambi, Doug Mientkiewicz
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Derek Jeter
3B - Alex Rodriguez
C - Jorge Posada, Jose Molina
OF - Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera, Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon
IF - Wilson Betemit

Rotation: Andy Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina

Bullpen: Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain, Luis Vizcaino, Edwar Ramirez

That's twenty men. Torre has suggested that either Hughes or Kennedy will make the postseason as a long man in the pen (I expect their remaining starts will serve as an audition for that role). That's 21. Here are the six men who I expect to be the top candidates for the final four:

Shelley Duncan - OF
Kyle Farnsworth - RHP
Ron Villone - LHP
Brian Bruney - RHP
Jose Veras - RHP
Ross Ohlendorf - RHP

Note that Veras spent most of the season on the major league 60-day DL, which should make him eligible for the postseason, while the presence of Darrel Rasner and Carl Pavano on the DL should allow Ohlendorf to be added via the K-Rod loophole. I list both of them over Chris Britton and Sean Henn because of both their recent performances and the fact that Torre has singled both out for praise. Of the six above, if Duncan's healthy and can get his stroke back before the season ends, I think he's a no-brainer, as his bat is a big weapon off the bench, particularly as a righty in combination with Betemit and either Giambi or Damon from the left side.

Comments (74)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-21 06:26:01
1.   Sliced Bread
0 Not that it matters who struck Mo with that rogue pitch, but didn't Gagne say someone else dealt it?

True that Shelley went 0 for 3 with 2 Ks, but he also offended a pack of visiting Cub Scouts from Baltimore with a flurry of "Orioles Suck" autographs. Shouldn't that be enough to get him off the dud list?

2007-09-21 06:36:02
2.   RichB
0 I thought Mo was clearly gassed by the last game, due to his heavy workload the last week plus. Torre should not only give Mo the night off on Friday, but if there is a save situation, Joba should be the one trotting out of the bullpen, since he had his off day with everyone else on Thursday.

So, what should Joba's theme song be? What is it now?

2007-09-21 06:39:32
3.   ny2ca2dc
2 Clearly it should be the Emipre's theme song from Star Wars. Darth Vader's march.
2007-09-21 06:39:39
4.   Sliced Bread
Up until last year I used to get all worked up over the postseason roster, (in 2006 I was vehemently against Villone, Wright, and somebody else I can't recall) but I recently came across something Joe Sheehan(?) wrote a while back.

The playoffs pretty much come down to how a team's top 15 players perform, and getting the most out of them. Not saying it doesn't matter who fills out the roster, but I'm not gonna sweat those bottom five or six spots this year. If the Yanks lose a series due to the poor play of those last guys they probably don't deserve to win.

2007-09-21 06:41:28
5.   Chyll Will
2 Roc Raider - "You Don't Know Who You @#$%in' Wid" >;)
2007-09-21 06:41:35
6.   Alex Belth
Joba's theme the other night was "Shout at the Devil" by Motley Crew. He can do better than that.

Isn't his father supposed to be at Yankee Stadium this weekend? I remember talk about that when the Yanks were in KC. That ought to be cool.

2007-09-21 06:43:30
7.   Rob Middletown CT
I'd love it if Joba came in to the Imperial March.

Though I have to admit, Shout at the Devil is a pretty good choice too. I loves me some Crue.

I too am slightly concerned about Villone making the roster, but I'm more concerned about ARod's slump and Mo's shakiness. Happily, the Yanks have 10 games to work those things out.

2007-09-21 06:44:25
8.   vockins
There is one option for Joba's theme music. I already addressed this on Eephus Pitch.

"Run To The Hills" by Iron Maiden.

It is perfect.

2007-09-21 06:47:13
9.   Sliced Bread
Emma Span recently wrote about Joba's theme music over at Eephus Pitch. He's been entering to 'Indian Outlaw' by Tim McGraw.

Joba doesn't need an overture if you ask me.
Maybe some ominous thunder, but that's as corny as any theme music.

2007-09-21 06:48:44
10.   Count Zero
I spoke with Tonya Harding yesterday and she has assured me that she has someone who's good with a baseball bat and will take care of the Villone problem cheap.
2007-09-21 06:49:14
11.   Sliced Bread
Is today a Joba Day?
2007-09-21 06:51:59
12.   Knuckles
I'm all for getting Duncan as many AB's as possible in the next week, because he seems to be the small contributor with the most upside, if he can get his stroke going. How he's going to do that against Halladay, Marcum, McGowan, Burnett, Kazmir, etc. is anybody's guess, but it doesn't hurt to try. The regulars can benefit from the rest, I have no worries about Betemit or Minky (with all his veteran-ness).

But if Duncan is going to take his all-or-nothing approach into the playoffs, I'd prefer it be heavy on the Bye-Bye and light on the Balboni.

2007-09-21 06:52:37
13.   RIYank
Mo's last appearance had special features. After the bloop double, which wasn't due to any problem on his part, it was clear that he had to avoid giving up a single even at the expense of throwing a lot of pitches out of the zone. Once the bases were loaded, and he had to go right after Scott, he did it. And very effectively. So I thought that was actually a very good performance, despite the many base runners and extremely high tension it caused here at the Banter.

The only extra reliever that I'd be happy with on your list is Ohlendorf. The other guys I wouldn't want to see in the game in any important situation anyway. Farnsworth can only go an inning, so he's useless as a method of soaking up unimportant innings.

And I agree that adding Shelley is a no-brainer.

2007-09-21 06:53:31
14.   unpopster
8 I can just see it now, the doors to the bullpen open to smoke machines and pyrotechnics exploding all around. A giant EDDIE doll steps out, roars, and out runs Joba right behind him.

oh, if only MLB was just a little bit more like the WWE.

just kidding, of course, but "Run To The Hills" is indeed perfect.

2007-09-21 06:56:18
15.   williamnyy23
Again, I think Mo gets unjustly placed on the bad list. In Monday's game, he game in with a 4 run lead, so the fact that he let an inherited runner score is irrelevant. With the tying run still on deck, Mo threw a fastball down the middle to start the Huff AB and it was lined for a single. He then blew away Mora to end the game.

On Wednesday, Mo gave up a bloop double (which wasn't even hit well enough to be called a bloop) and pitched around Huff before losing Hernandez and blowing away the rookie.

So, in 1 1/3 IP, he did give up 4 baserunners, but only the walk to Hernandez was really the result of "bad" pitching.

2007-09-21 06:56:24
16.   rsmith51

Can you comment on the effect Minky would have starting in the post-season? I think he would hurt the team more by starting 100+ games in the regular season, but in a short series he wouldn't be as detrimental. I have been against him starting most of the year, but maybe if his bat isn't horrible he would be OK. His defense is clearly better than anything else the Yanks offer. I definitely think he should start behind Wang, which I have been saying all year.

2007-09-21 07:09:36
17.   RichB
16 I'd like to hear Cliff's take too. My initial reaction is that you only get 27 outs to score and you need to use them wisely. But, you could make a case that an 0 for 3 night by Minky beats Giambi hitting a solo home run and committing 2 errors which let in 3 runs, which would be the same as giving the opposition more than 27 outs. To look at it a third way, Minky has been fairly hot and that may matter more in a short series than anything else. If that keeps up over the next 10 games, I'd probably play Minky, especially when Wang is on the mound.
2007-09-21 07:12:22
18.   RichB
3 7 I dig the Imperial March and obviously it has more meaning since his name is Joba... but every ballpark in America uses that song at some point during the game. I think it's over-exposed.
2007-09-21 07:20:06
19.   Sliced Bread
Giambi has shown he can hit off the bench which makes the decision to start Dougie D a little easier.

As well as Mink hit against the O's, I still think he best serves the team as a late-inning defensive replacement for Giambi. Yeah, Jason had a terrible game, but he's generally much better with the glove.

Dougie's D is a tremendous asset, but I don't think it outweighs Melky's coverage and arm in center, nor does it outweigh the potential offensive production of Hideki and Damon.

2007-09-21 07:20:47
20.   pistolpete
8 While the entire song works as a whole, I don't know if 'Run to the Hills' opens well enough for my tastes. 'Shout' has that great riff right from the start.

You know what always gets me fired up?

AC/DC - "Thunderstruck"

Fantastic intro, I get the chills just thinking about Joba coming in to this one.

2007-09-21 07:32:46
21.   RIYank
I don't understand how Melky could be bad to start during the regular season but good to start during the play-offs. (I personally would start him in both.) Can someone explain that to me?
2007-09-21 07:34:45
22.   RichB
0 7 Actually, I'm not that worried about Villone making the roster. Villone hasn't done well against lefties this year. Last Friday, Torre brought in Vizcaino to face Ortiz in the bottom of the 8th. If Torre was under any illusions that Villone could be his lefty specialist, he would have been brought Villone in for one batter right there.

However, Torre does like to put one guy on the post-season roster that can mop up innings in a blow out. Villone could be the choice for that, since Henn is struggling so badly. But, I would think it more likely that Kennedy or Hughes would be tapped for that position and could double as an emergency starter, if the need arises.

So, I don't think Villone makes the roster at all.

What frightens me most is the prospect of a repeat of 2003 with Farnsworth playing the role of Weaver.

2007-09-21 07:38:12
23.   RichB
21 rsmith51 was saying that Minky (Doug Mientkiewicz) - not Melky - would be better in the post season, and worse in the regular season. The assumption, I believe, is that games are usually closer, hence defense can make a larger difference in a short series.
2007-09-21 07:39:26
24.   JoeInRI
20 Funny . . . I was thinking the opening to Hell's Bells . .
2007-09-21 07:41:58
25.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Things that would work for Joba:

"Think Not Forever" - Lost Horizon
"Heart of Storm" - Lost Horizon
"Painkiller" - Judas Priest (though the Death version is just as good)

If you really want ominous and don't mind offending people, "Into the Infinity of Thoughts" by Emperor.

Also, Phil Hughes should get "Running Free" during the post-season.

2007-09-21 07:43:20
26.   williamnyy23
If John Sterling were on the list, he'd recommend Blue Bayou. He's been using that joke for over 20 years.
2007-09-21 07:43:35
27.   RIYank
(a) If anyone is available to tutor me, please volunteer. I need remedial reading lessons.

Sorry about that.

(b) It's probably true that the games are somewhat closer in the postseason, if only because there are no really bad teams in the postseason. But I bet it's not a big difference.

(c) Why is defense more important (relative to offense) in a close game? I still don't get it. A Scrabble diving stop is more important in a close game than in a blow-out. But so is a Giambi homer.

2007-09-21 07:43:45
28.   pistolpete
24 It's already being done in San Diego. :)
2007-09-21 07:47:37
29.   tommyl
25 Continuing on the Metallica theme for our relievers, how about "Wherever I May Roam", or "Hero of the Day"?
2007-09-21 07:49:09
30.   JoeInRI
28 Ahh . . . serves me right for my East Coast chauvinism . . .
2007-09-21 07:50:18
31.   RIYank
Why not break with the pop tradition by entering to "Ride of the Valkeries"?

Sure, it's a little pointy-headed. And arguably it has a kind of feminine connotation.

Weeping, thoughts?

2007-09-21 07:51:55
32.   JoeInRI
Is it wrong to keep rooting for Farnsworth . . . ?
2007-09-21 07:52:03
33.   RIYank
30 RI-ers are sooooo parochial! ;-)

(It's surely one of the two best-known entry tunes in baseball.)

2007-09-21 07:52:41
34.   bp1
14 While I agree re: "Run to the Hills", I think it would be cool to back up Mo's entrace with another Metallica tune. Maybe "For Whom the Bell Tolls", which also has a pretty distinct opening. Those bells tolling would sound pretty awesome.
2007-09-21 07:52:43
35.   pistolpete
31 All I would be able to think of would be 'Kill Da Wabbit'.

What about Beethoven's 5th?

2007-09-21 07:52:55
36.   RIYank
34 It's touching.

But wrong.

2007-09-21 07:52:57
37.   RIYank
34 It's touching.

But wrong.

2007-09-21 07:54:30
38.   Knuckles
For Joba, howzabout 'Bulls on Parade' by Rage, or maybe 'Don't Say Nothin' by The Roots.

Does anyone use 'My Wave' by Soundgarden? The intro to that song kicks some serious backside.

2007-09-21 07:55:17
39.   RIYank
Oh, perfect. When you bracket the wrong number, always post it twice. (I meant 32 .)

Yeah, "Kill the Wabbit", that's a good point. Opening to Beethoven's Fifth would be cool, actually, good call.

2007-09-21 07:56:16
40.   JoeInRI
[33}I'm not even a native, dude . . . I've been living here too long.
2007-09-21 07:56:40
41.   pistolpete
38 Love the Rage. 'Sleep Now in the Fire' would be a great one too.
2007-09-21 07:58:24
42.   bp1
39 I was wondering what was touching about "For Whom the Bell Tolls", lol.
2007-09-21 08:01:18
43.   jedi
Anyone pass a Yankee Clubhouse store recently? I don't know if this is old news but they started selling "Joba Rules!" shirts.

Me gots to gets one of those!

2007-09-21 08:04:45
44.   Andre
TNT by AC/DC is my choice for Joba.
2007-09-21 08:08:34
45.   RIYank
40 Neither am I, actually. It makes the parochialness easier to notice, huh?

NYers are famously parochial. But it's not the same. At all.

2007-09-21 08:09:32
46.   Cliff Corcoran
Joba's music should be "Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones, because if he's not in the rotation next year I'm gonna go off on someone.
2007-09-21 08:11:54
47.   AbbyNormal821
35 39 season...
2007-09-21 08:16:20
48.   Knuckles
No need to start Joba next year, because we'll have a ton of cash free to chase FA starters, since Buster believes that A-Rod is a perfect fit for the Dodgers, as he explains in his column today. What a clown. I know it's a slow news day and all, Buster, what with only 4 of the 6 division races being close, with a week left in the season. But seriously, raising this point right now is asinine, and to me seems to be simply pre-work for the book he's hoping to write this winter, "OK, So the Yankees Dynasty Didn't Really End that Night, as Evidenced by their Subsequent 6 More Straight Postseason Appearances, But This Time, It Really Ended When A-Rod Opted Out of His Contract"
2007-09-21 08:16:49
49.   Bama Yankee
47 LOL. When Joba is on the mound, I think Kevin Youkilis would certainly agree that it is "duck" season... ;-)
2007-09-21 08:17:47
50.   Chyll Will
47 Wabbit Season!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-21 08:18:08
51.   seamus
I feel that Joba should enter to a driving alt-country tune, like maybe off of Uncle Tupelo's first album. Hmmm, maybe I need to go research by listening to lots of good alt-country! :)
2007-09-21 08:18:31
52.   Chyll Will
49 stoopid >;)
2007-09-21 08:20:23
53.   seamus
51 or maybe something along the dinosaur jr. lines. Just because I'd be happier. :)
2007-09-21 08:21:23
54.   AbbyNormal821
49 True dat!

In the dead of night
A shimmewin' wight
Gweem of a bwade
And dah devew was paid
When dah axe comes down
A chiwin' sound
Steew against dah head
Anothaw wabbit's dead
I'm a wabbit swayer
A guitaw pwayaw
With a nasty habbit

Kill dah wabbit!!! (hah hah hah)

2007-09-21 08:24:08
55.   JoeInRI
45 Brooklyn's got nothing on North Providence . . .

46 , 48 I'm starting to wonder if that's going to happen. What if Joba is the 2nd coming . . .

2007-09-21 08:31:58
56.   Bama Yankee
51 How about a classic country tune like: "Take this Job-a and Shove It" by Johnny Paycheck... ;-)
2007-09-21 08:36:31
57.   seamus
56 lol. Some sort of country with drive would work well for the nebraskan.
2007-09-21 08:39:58
58.   yankz
55 Blasphemy.
2007-09-21 08:42:31
59.   vockins
20 I am about to get Rob Gee on this one.

No to "Thunderstruck." AC/DC is an exceptional rock and roll band. One of the finest. However, nothing in the lyrical content of "Thunderstruck" concerns Native Americans kicking ass. "Hell's Bells" is a fantastic song, but besides also not having anything to do with Native Americans kicking ass, but Trevor Hoffman is going out to "Hell's Bells". Joba is his own man. This is the argument against Metallica, too. Rivera, in his greatness, has locked down the entire band's catalog.

I honest to God cannot understand how someone could make any other argument against "Run To The Hills". There's the elementary but immediately intriguing drum intro leading into the chorused guitar attack of Murray, Smith, and Harris with the galloping verse.

Imagine Yankee Stadium collectively singing:

"Run to the hills
run for your life."

as Joba finishes his final warmup pitches.

It would be an unrivaled spectacle in sport. Premier League Football chants would pale in comparison.

Besides, the lyrics are perfect. The entire thing is ideal. It's like Iron Maiden decided to write a song for a lights out Native American relief pitcher but they did it three years before the dude was ever born.

No to anything that isn't Iron Maiden's "Run To The Hills."

2007-09-21 08:42:44
60.   Chyll Will
Do you know how delerious I'd be at the stadium if at least once during a Yankee rally in the playoffs, the organ-player busts out with the chorus from Doug E. Fresh's "The Show"? or better yet, after a Yankee home run, "Flashlight"...

oo-kay, I'm going to go back to work; those chocolate Pop-Tarts are starting to kick in >;)

2007-09-21 08:43:36
61.   pistolpete
56 I'm sure Youkilis would like to shove him.
2007-09-21 08:44:51
62.   Yankee Fan In Boston
60 flashlight on the organ?!?
that'd be beyond amazing.
2007-09-21 08:46:42
63.   Schteeve
I think Rusty Cage by Soundgarden would be perfect. It starts off with that frenetic riff and the whole idea of Joba busting out of his cage all King Kong style is fitting in my opinion.
2007-09-21 08:46:43
64.   pistolpete
59 I agree wholeheartedly with you on the lyrics, but an entire stadium screaming,

"You've been...



isn't too bad either. :)

2007-09-21 08:54:11
65.   Bama Yankee
60 Good call on Doug E. Fresh, especially since we already have "Doug E. Stale" playing first...
2007-09-21 09:01:24
66.   Chyll Will
65 Ahh, but if he makes a spectacular play at first or repeats his triple word score from three days ago... (Maybe Lil' Vicious would be more apropos there...)
2007-09-21 09:09:50
67.   mehmattski
I always thought that if I were a closer, I would come in to "Closing Time," by Semisonic.

"You don't have to go home but you can't... stay... here.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Of course, this is on the assumption that I'd be such a good closer that I didn't need the intimidation of a hard metal song, just a polite reminder that the game has already ended because I've entered the game.

2007-09-21 09:26:33
68.   Sliced Bread
67 good sing-along chorus, too.
52,000 voices

"I know who I want to take me home"

2007-09-21 09:27:23
69.   Bama Yankee
66 Yeah, Lil' Vicious might be better... or the way some people feel about Minky, "Sid" Vicious might even be better (the wrestler not the Pistol):
(Warning, don't watch that if you have a weak stomach)
2007-09-21 09:39:16
70.   RichB
If we're going with classical how about either "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana or (and this is a bit obscure) the track "Vampire Hunters" off of the Bram Stoker's Dracula Soundtrack. Both start low, but the build is amazing.

<:) (this is my pointy head)

2007-09-21 09:40:02
71.   51cq24
why not put hughes and kennedy both on the roster? it doesn't make any sense to take veras or ohlendorf over either of them. and considering the status of clemens and mussina, having 2 back-up starters would not be such a bad idea.
2007-09-21 09:47:51
72.   RIYank
Several of the Carmina Burana would do pretty nicely. A bit hard to sing along to, admittedly!

New thread now.

2007-09-21 10:48:01
73.   weeping for brunnhilde
70 Bless its pointed little head!

(Anyone, anyone...?)

I love O Fortuna!

What a great selection.

Put the fear of the gods into those batters.

Nice, nice!

2007-09-21 11:43:45
74.   Rob Middletown CT
20 Oh, perfect! I love Thunderstruck. It does have a great intro, and gives the crowd something to chant (much like Shout at the Devil, but even better).

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