Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sheffield calls out Torre, Jeter, Bonds in HBO interview Baseball
Friday, July 13, 2007
Sheffield calls out Torre, Jeter, Bonds in HBO interview news services

Gary Sheffield has strong words about New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, former Yankees teammate Derek Jeter, San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds and steroids in an interview with HBO's "Real Sports" that will air next Tuesday.

Sheffield says Torre treats black players differently from white players and says Jeter, who is from a mixed-race marriage, "ain't all the way black," during the interview with Andrea Kremer, as reported by Newsday.

As for Bonds, Sheffield says "if I took what Barry Bonds took, why don't I look like him?" He also says that he never took steroids because "the bottom line is steroids is something you stick in your butt -- period."

He added that he would be willing to talk to baseball's steroids investigator, former Senator George Mitchell. "I don't feel like it's all that much of a threat to me," he said.

A copy of the interview was made available to Newsday, the newspaper reported. The show airs for the first time on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.

Sheffield, who was traded to the Detroit Tigers during the offseason, claimed that a "couple of blacks that were there" had an issue with Torre.

"They weren't treated like everybody else. I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought were unfair," Sheffield told Kremer.

Sheffield later added: "He had a message to get across to the whole team, so he used me to get the message across." Sheffield said Torre didn't use the same method with white players.

"No ... I'd see a lot of white players get called in the office and treated like a man. That's the difference."

Sheffield said he doesn't consider Torre a racist. "No. I think it's the way they do things around there," he said. "Since I was there I just saw that they run their ship different."

At that point, Kremer says to Sheffield that the Yankees most high-profile player is black. "Who?" Sheffield says.

Told Jeter, Sheffield says: "Derek Jeter is black and white."

Later, he said there was no real significance to Jeter's bi-racial heritage, but added: "Derek Jeter used to come to me and try to tell you what Joe Torre is all about, he's a good man, he's this, he's that, but like I tell Derek Jeter, that's you. It's one thing that they treat you a certain way; you don't feel what other people feel."

Torre, asked about Sheffield's comments prior to Friday night's game in Tampa Bay, said: "I don't even want to answer those kinds of questions. I'm more comfortable not answering."

As for Bonds, a former workout partner and friend of Sheffield's, the Tigers' outfielder says Bonds scoffed at him when he was using vitamins. Sheffield says he then got substances from BALCO, claiming not to know they were steroids.

"In a million years, I don't care what anybody says, steroids is something you shoot in your butt. I do know that ... The bottom line is steroids is something you stick in your butt -- period."

Sheffield allegedly told a grand jury that he used steroid cream on his legs and "clear" under his tongue, but didn't know they were steroids.

He said his relationship with Bonds deteriorated because of a lack of trust.

"I trusted this man, he allowed me to stay in his house," Sheffield says. "I started seeing the control factor. I started seeing, wait a minute, you aren't going to tell me what to do."

Sheffield reportedly began the interview by saying: "I tell myself every offseason I'm not going to say anything crazy. I'm just going to have a peaceful season ... Can't do it. I'm cut from a different cloth." Copyright ©2007 ESPN Internet Ventures. Terms of Use and UPDATED Privacy Policy and Safety Information/Your California Privacy Rights are applicable to you. All rights reserved.

A-Rod, Jeter, Posada head to All-Star Game

A-Rod, Jeter, Posada head to All-Star Game
July 9, 2007

While most of the Yankees were headed home for a three-day break, their top three performers from the season's first half were boarding a plane for San Francisco to take part in the All-Star Game.

Alex Rodriguez had the best first half of his career (.317, 30 homers, 86 RBIs), and accordingly was the top vote-getter for tomorrow night's game. It was his eighth straight All-Star selection, the second-longest active streak behind Manny Ramirez's 10. It is Rodriguez's 11th selection, Derek Jeter's eighth and Jorge Posada's fifth. All three are taking family members with them to California.

"Some people say, 'Oh, it's no big deal. I'd like to have three days off,"' Jeter said. "When you don't go, the years I don't go, I wish I was there. It's a privilege, it's an honor, and I look forward to it."

Said Posada, who was picked for the first time since 2003: "The players voted me in, that's what I liked the most. They respect what I'm doing."

On the way back

First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz heads to Tampa today for rehab. He has been on the disabled list since breaking his wrist June 2 in Boston.

"I've almost got all my strength back," he said. He hopes to be cleared for baseball activities at his July 19 checkup and aims to play for the Yankees in the first week of August.

Extra bases

Joe Torre has not been fond of ESPN for years. Yesterday, when asked if he will tune in tonight to ESPN's "The Bronx Is Burning" miniseries, he said he didn't think he had gotten an invitation. Then, noting it will air on ESPN, Torre said: "I burned long before the Bronx did in their eyes." ... Torre said the Yankees will likely drop to seven relievers and add a bench player after the break. Their rotation will be Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and Kei Igawa ... Igawa brought gift bags for every teammate from his hometown of Ibaraki, Japan. When he gave the bag to Jeter, the captain said he would bring Igawa a present from his hometown of Kalamazoo, Mich.

Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.

Jeter gets lots of hits; takes them away, too

Jeter gets lots of hits; takes them away, too
July 8, 2007

He is on pace for more than 3,000 hits, but three of Derek Jeter's career highlights are spontaneous and spectacular fielding plays.

There was the backhand flip to catcher Jorge Posada that nailed Jeremy Giambi at the plate to save the Yankees against Oakland in the 2001 ALDS. There was his perilous running leap into the stands after catching Trot Nixon's pop, saving two runs, on which he lacerated his chin and bruised his cheek and shoulder in the 12th inning of a tense 2004 regular-season game against Boston. There was his pivot and blind relay throw to the plate that nailed Timo Perez of the Mets in Game 1 of the 2000 World Series, an early turning point.

And yet even with Gold Glove Awards for the previous three seasons, Jeter's defense frequently is questioned. Respected critics such as statistics guru Bill James and ESPN baseball columnist Rob Neyer say Jeter's range is limited and his arm is erratic. They rank him near the bottom defensively among major-league shortstops.

Jeter had made 13 errors through Friday, and his slow start in the field this season forced Joe Torre to be defensive about his shortstop's defense when the errors were coming in bunches in April. "I don't even worry about it," the Yankees' manager said. "You judge somebody like that by watching the plays he makes after the errors, and he made a couple with runners trying to score without any problem. As long as it's not in his head, it's not going to bother me."

Jeter scoffs when asked about the charts and statistical analysis that critics use to disparage his play. "The computer stuff? It's impossible to figure out defense with a mathematical equation," he said. "You can't do it. You've got different people pitching, you've got different people running, you've got different people hitting. You can use a mathematical equation if everything is the same. But it's impossible to do it when everything is different."

Jeter has become known for the jump throw from the hole, and he said he started doing it in high school because "I thought it was quicker and easier to get rid of the ball that way than coming to a full stop and planting. It just evolved." As for those wide receiver-like grabs of pop flies to the outfield, he said he never practices them. "I just go for it until someone else calls it. It's something I've always done. You have to be aggressive."

Torre, who managed Ozzie Smith, said the Cardinals' wizard used to practice fielding pop flies daily, but he called Jeter "as good as I've ever seen going out there and sometimes making acrobatic plays."

He also said Jeter does two things better than any other current shortstop: "One of them, Torre noted, "is coming in on the topped ball and making the off-balance throw. And we've all seen that jump throw out of the hole. Derek is a presence out there and he seems to be in control all the time."


New York's Gold Glove winners


Gil Hodges, 1B 1957


Willie Mays, OF 1957


Tommie Agee, OF 1970

Carlos Beltran, OF 2006

Ron Darling, P 1989

Doug Flynn, 2B 1980

Bud Harrelson, SS 1971

Keith Hernandez, 1B 1983-88

Rey Ordoñez, SS 1997-99

Robin Ventura, 3B 1999


Scott Brosius, 3B 1999

Wade Boggs, 3B 1994-95

Chris Chambliss, 1B 1978

Ron Guidry, P 1982-86

Elston Howard, C 1963-64

Derek Jeter, SS 2004-06

Mickey Mantle, OF 1962

Roger Maris, OF 1960

Don Mattingly, 1B 1985-89, 91-94

Thurman Munson, C 1973-75

Bobby Murcer, OF 1972

Mike Mussina, P 2001, 03

Graig Nettles, 3B 1977-78

Joe Pepitone, 1B 1965-66, 69

Bobby Richardson, 2B 1961-65

Bobby Shantz, P 1957-60

Norm Siebern, OF 1958

Tom Tresh, OF 1965

Bernie Williams, OF 1997-2000

Dave Winfield, OF 1982-85, 87

Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Jeter second most popular athlete

Jeter second most popular athlete
June 27, 2007

BALTIMORE -- Derek Jeter, who turned 33 yesterday, was named the second most popular athlete in America in a survey conducted by the Harris Poll organization.

Jeter is behind only Tiger Woods on the Top 10 list, which Harris puts out annually for no discernible reason. Alex Rodriguez did not make the list, nor did any other baseball player.

Not surprisingly, the news of his standing in the hearts and minds of Americans - or at least the 2,372 adults nationwide who were polled from June 5-11 - did not seem to complete Jeter's life.

"Really, honestly, it's not something you sit down and think about," Jeter said before the Yankees played the Orioles at Camden Yards. "I've never sat down and looked at a poll."

The Harris Poll

Most popular athletes in America

1. Tiger Woods

2. Derek Jeter

3. Michael Jordan (retired)

4. Brett Favre

5. LeBron James

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

7. Tim Duncan

8. Peyton Manning

9. Kobe Bryant

10. Tom Brady

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A-Rod In Lineup; Jeter Thrives At No. 3

A-Rod In Lineup; Jeter Thrives At No. 3
July 4, 2007

NEW YORK - By the time he reported to Yankee Stadium Tuesday, A-Rod was A-OK.

And he wasted no time proving it. Alex Rodriguez, who left Monday's game with a strained left hamstring, went through his usual preparation, then informed Yankees manager Joe Torre he was ready to play the Twins.

Not only was Rodriguez fit to hit, but he was back at third base. "He had the option of [being the designated hitter]," Torre said. "He wanted to play [in the field]."

Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the Yankees' 8-0 win. But he looked comfortable in the field, starting a double play with a pickup on the backhand side before leaving in the sixth.

Rodriguez was removed in the sixth Monday after colliding with Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau while stretching to beat a double-play relay.

Rodriguez was replaced by pinch runner Miguel Cairo with Hideki Matsui up after advacing to second on a walk.

"Alex said he wasn't going to try to score on a base hit," Torre recalled. "That's why I took him out then. It was a strategic substitution. I thought he might miss a day or so. Certainly, we wouldn't be taking any risk."

Torre had the same order as Monday, leaving Derek Jeter to bat third in front of Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.

Once again, the move worked as Jeter had three hits and two RBI. Monday, Jeter's two hits and two RBI were the first by a Yankee third-place hitter on the homestand.

"I hope [Jeter] has fun with it," Torre said. "I think he's pretty oblivious to where he hits. He's just himself."

Hughes' Rehab On Track

Two months after he made an overnight trip from emerging star to the disabled list, Phil Hughes appears to be on the road to recovery. The rookie righthander threw 30 pitches in live batting practice at the Tampa facility yesterday and may make his first rehab start early next week.

Hughes, the pride of the organization's minor league system, dazzled in his second start for the Yankees at Texas on May 1. But he sustained a hamstring injury in a one-hit performance and was knocked out of the rotation. After spraining an ankle in Florida, he was bumped from the 15-day to the 60-day DL.

Wire reports included

Newsday staff writer Ken Davidoff contributed to this story.

More articles

Copyright © 2007, Newsday, Inc.

A-Rod, Posada, Jeter only Yankees All-Stars

A-Rod, Posada, Jeter only Yankees All-Stars
July 2, 2007

A hollow victory is about all the Yankees can get these days, and that was the case after the results of the American League All-Star voting were released late in yesterday's 11-5 loss to Oakland.

Alex Rodriguez, for the first time in his career, was MLB's top vote-getter in earning his 11th All-Star spot; Derek Jeter was second to A-Rod and will start at shortstop for the third time, and catcher Jorge Posada was elected as a reserve on the player ballot.

"It's what you hoped for, and especially Jorgie," Joe Torre said, expressing affection for Posada, who is having a career season but often is overshadowed by the exploits of his high-profile teammates on the left side of the infield.

Jeter seemed especially pleased for his close friend, too. "He's having a great year, a terrific year," Jeter said of Posada. "He's one of our most consistent players and he deserves to go."

Posada couldn't fully enjoy the honor. "I'm happy about it, but I can't really think about that," he said. "It's really frustrating right now."

A-Rod and Jeter said essentially the same thing. "It's kind of hard to have a smile on your face, but obviously, it feels good that people recognize how you play the game," Jeter said. "You do appreciate it. It makes you feel good. But it's tough right now."

Rodriguez, perhaps because he wasn't certain about the New York vote at the start of the season, recently said several times that it would mean a lot to him to be No. 1 in the balloting. But yesterday, he barely smiled when asked about it.

"It's hard to think about that right now, but it's a pretty neat experience," A-Rod said. "It's a lot of votes, a lot of fans, so it's pretty cool. You have days like today that remind you how hard this game can be. To be so consistent for a long time is something that I'm proud of."

Torre was pleased for his third baseman, too. "I think it's significant," he said of A-Rod's vote total of 3,890,515, "because he's worked hard to get this. Alex has come a long way since last year and I'm happy for him."

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Monday, July 02, 2007



June 24, 2007 -- SAN FRANCISCO - Joe Torre said there is a chance Derek Jeter may have to sit out today’s game against the Giants with a strained left hip flexor muscle. As usual, Jeter scoffed at the idea he can’t play.

“I wasn’t able to move too well but it’s not a problem, no big deal,” said Jeter, who was removed from yesterday’s crushing 6-5 loss in the 13 innings in the eighth inning. “I plan on playing.”

Jeter suffered the injury running out a double in the first inning but stayed in the game.

“It had gotten to the point where he if he had gotten on [in the eighth] we would have had to run for him,” Torre said of his captain, who went 2-for-5 and extended a hitting streak to 17 games. “Dr. [Allen] Miller is here and he said it shouldn’t be long. I know he wants to play.”

Because the Yankees are off tomorrow, Jeter may benefit from not playing today and getting two days of rest. But that’s not the way to bet.

Jeter has a 25-game interleague hitting streak going, the second longest in history.


No wonder Alex Rodriguez digs this city.

Rodriguez went 4-for-6 with a homer that led off the ninth and tied the score, 5-5. He is 22-for-33 lifetime in San Francisco. It was his seventh ninth-inning homer this year. Rodriguez has nine homers in the last 19 games and has reached base in 11 of his last 13 plate appearances. In the ninth inning he is batting .550 (11-for-20) after batting .143 (5-for-35) in the ninth last year.


Torre said no decision will be made regarding whether to put Johnny Damon on the disabled list until Tuesday. Torre said Damon’s abdominal muscle problem was better yesterday, but the manager won’t try to speed up the recovery process after watching Damon ground out as pinch-hitter yesterday.


Torre saw enough positives from Kei Igawa’s outing Friday night to keep the lefty in the rotation, but didn’t know when the left-hander’s next start would be.

“That box is open,” Torre said of pitching coach Ron Guidry’s chart.

If the Yankees stay in rotation, Igawa’s next start would be Thursday against the Orioles in Baltimore. Because of tomorrow’s off day, however, the Yankees could use Chien-Ming Wang, yesterday’s hurler, Thursday. Torre was waiting to see how Wang came out of yesterday’s effort. This time the Yankees gave Wang an extra day of rest after he threw 113 pitches against the Mets in his prior outing Sunday.


When the Yankees summoned Andy Phillips from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Torre said he was going to give the infielder substantial playing time at first base. However, since arriving Tuesday, Phillips has started one game. Yesterday, Torre stuck with Miguel Cairo at first and said he was tempted to play Jorge Posada there today before Posada caught all 13 innings yesterday.

“With Derek we will probably start like we finished today,” said Torre who had Cairo at short and Phillips at first for the final six innings.


When Bud Selig instructed Jason Giambi to talk to George Mitchell or risk disciplinary action, reliever Mike Myers was critical of the commissioner’s edict. Now, that Giambi has agreed to meet with Mitchell, Myers doesn’t expect the former senator to learn much new.

“Jason will be smart about it,” Myers said. “He probably won’t go into a lot more detail that he has already said.”

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Jeter: What, me worry?

Jeter: What, me worry?
05/14/2007 12:27 PM ET
By Bryan Hoch /

SEATTLE -- Derek Jeter flicked the lapels of his sharp silver blazer -- exceeding the standard for team charter flights -- and turned to the gathering of television cameras and notebooks waiting by his locker.

After tough losses, this practice has become a steady standard for the Yankees captain. It has also been far too common an occurrence in the early going, as the 17-19 Yankees sank two games below the .500 mark following their defeat to the Mariners at Safeco Field on Sunday.

So Jeter, the most consistent Yankee this year, coolly dissected the latest installment of a season that has been implicit in its inconsistency. The state of the Yankees address contained an underlying message of hope.

Sure, the Yankees were eight games back of the Red Sox, but, as Jeter cracked, it's better than nine.

"I think what you've got to try to do, when there's a lot of things going on, is try to stay positive," Jeter said before Sunday's game. "I think that's the biggest thing. It's real easy to get caught up in that everything is so negative, negative, negative. That's all anyone's asking about, that's all anyone's talking about.

"I just try to stay positive, regardless of what happens. Even if we're not playing well, you can still try to draw some positives from an individual day. That's what I try to do. I'm still optimistic by nature."

Perhaps so, but the first six weeks of the campaign have presented circumstances difficult for even the most ardent Yankees supporters to swallow.

A starting rotation plagued by inconsistency and injuries seems to finally be rounding into form, but now the red flags have shifted to the offense, which has been held to two runs or less in three of four games leading into Monday's off-day in Chicago.

After Sunday's loss, Johnny Damon fretted that nobody would catch the Red Sox if their current pace continued. Even Yankees manager Joe Torre showed concern that the team was wasting pitching and had lost its swagger.

Yet Jeter kept his brave face, offering compliments to the Mariners' pitching staff and stating that the Yankees would worry about the Red Sox when they unpacked their belongings in a clubhouse across the hall. It was a course of action learned long ago.

"I remember being young, and you'd get caught up in the, 'Here we go again,' thing," Jeter said. "The thing you have to realize is, when we're going poorly, the only way you can get out of it is to forget about what's happened. Once you keep talking about it and keep dwelling on it, it's pretty difficult to get out."

In a lineup plagued by outages among many key contributors, including Bobby Abreu (2-for-22), Robinson Cano (9-for-63), Jason Giambi (0-for-18) and Alex Rodriguez (2-for-17), Jeter's reliability strikes even more of a chord.

The veteran shortstop has never finished a season leading the American League in hitting, but right now he paces the AL with a .375 batting average. His teammate, catcher Jorge Posada, is second with a .365 mark, and neither player appears particularly interested given the Yankees' struggles and the calendar month.

"I'm not chasing him," Posada said. "It's May."

"Individual awards, if I led the league, are great, but you don't think about that," Jeter said. "Especially in May. We're trying to win games. We've got a long way to go."

If nothing else, the statistics reflect a consistent approach. Jeter hit in 25 consecutive games in '06 and opened the 2007 campaign with a 20-game hitting streak, a string that was snapped on May 4, ending a run of 29 at-bats in which he'd batted .552.

Undeterred, Jeter picked up where he'd left off, hitting in his ninth straight game on Sunday.

"He knows what his capabilities are," Torre said. "He's not swinging and missing as much as the first couple of years. The fact that he uses the whole field, he's not going to hit a lot of home runs. Basically, he hits a lot of line drives."

Including the final 37 games of '06, Jeter has hit in 60 of his last 62 regular-season games and has reached base in 67 out of 68 games dating back to last season.

Perhaps most valuable, Torre said, was Jeter's production when pitchers tried to escape innings. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Jeter's success rate has been a staggering .625 (10-for-16) with 11 RBIs.

"That's the bonus, as far as I'm concerned," Torre said. "[With a] man at third base, less than two outs, you're supposed to knock in the run. With two outs, that's what turns into a great at-bat -- two-out RBIs. That's something that really deflates the opposition and perks up your team."

The production might be a bigger statement than any rah-rah speech Jeter could give behind closed doors.

"You don't always have to say something," Jeter said, "and when you say something, guys don't have to know about it. I get a big kick out of people saying that I don't say too much. How do you all know? You don't just run your mouth for the sake of running your mouth. I think you can lead by example, first and foremost.

"We've got 100-something games left. The sky ain't falling yet."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


May 24, 2007 --

THE old-timers don't want to hear this, of course, because the sacrilege is so extreme as to knock them out cold where they stand. It doesn't matter that the final sentence the great Red Smith ever wrote spoke of his belief that he would one day see another Joe DiMaggio.

"There was only one DiMaggio," is what they tell you.

Of course, every year there are fewer and fewer eye-witnesses to the feats of the great DiMaggio. Mostly, we rely on oral history and tales told from father to son.

And here's the thing: If you listen closely to those words, if you follow closely to those stories, they all have a familiar ring to them. They speak of an athlete of such grace that he seemed to be playing in 3/4 time while everyone else was at 4/4. They talk of effortlessness while playing a game that demands supreme effort out of most mortals.

"The thing about Joe," Phil Rizzuto once told me, "is that you could bring someone to the stadium who'd never seen baseball in his life, and the first thing they'd do is point to him and say, 'Who's that one?' "

Derek Jeter collected a couple of base hits in his first two plate appearances last night, part of the Yankees' assault and battery on Curt Schilling, part of the early crush that helped salt away this 8-3 victory before it could ever reach a critical moment. The first one was the 2,214th hit of Jeter's career. That tied Joe DiMaggio on the Yankees' all-time list.

The second was No. 2,215. That put Jeter alone in fifth place in Yankees history. He is a month away from his 33rd birthday, and it's becoming clear that he's not only a cinch to cruise to 3,000 hits - becoming, quite remarkably, the first Yankee to ever reach that forever milestone - but has a wonderful chance to become only the third man ever born to reach 4,000.

It's always been fashionable to say that the numbers don't define Jeter, but the fact is they do define him, they have to. His lifetime batting average entering last night was .318. In club history the only men north of him on that list have names like Ruth and Gehrig and Combs and, yes, DiMaggio.

"I won't lie," Jeter said. "When you hear your name mentioned with Joe's . . . that's pretty incredible."

What may be most remarkable is the season he's strung together in 2007. With warnings of a falling sky every few days, with everyone else on his roster suffering bouts of self-doubt and self-loathing (save for Jorge Posada - no coincidence they are the most inseparable Yankees), Jeter has been an absolute beacon of consistency. He has played 44 games. He has hits in 41 of them, and in one of the three hitless games he was forced to leave after the first inning with a wrist injury.

It's enough to hearken to DiMaggio, again. It was DiMaggio's brother, Dominic, who described best what it was like to watch Joe during May, June and July of 1941, when he assembled his fabled 56-game hitting streak.

"Most people who play this game, good as they are, it's still something of a pleasant surprise when you see them get a hit," Dominic said last year. "But in '41, whenever my brother made an out, that was the surprise. That's the kind of groove he was in."

And that's how Jeter looks, and has looked, all season long. He is never going to be as spectacular as Alex Rodriguez was in April, not even for a little while. But there really is something magnificent in the simple things he does so well, and so much better than most of the other people who play this game. There is something joyful about watching all of that.

Leading off the seventh inning last night, Jeter hit a ball to the left-center gap. When Jose Reyes hits one there, you see flames on the basepaths. With Jeter, there was just an easy glide. But he wound up on third base, too, career hit No. 2,216. And you get the sense, if someone was at Yankee Stadium watching his first baseball game, he would have pointed to Jeter, and he would have had to ask his neighbor a question.

"Who's that one?"

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