As Torre backpedals, Moose calls out former boss


The Joe Torre Book Tour gets started tomorrow afternoon at the Barnes & Noble at 46th and Fifth Ave., and the general consensus is that this book tour will make or break his Yankee reputation. He isn’t off to a great start.

The big issue right now revolves around his critiques of A-Rod. As Neil Best writes today, Torre is attempting to backtrack on his A-Fraud comments. On his Friday appearance on Larry King Live, Torre claimed that his less-than-glowing nickname for the Yanks’ third baseman was simply a joke. I don’t buy it and neither, it seems, does Mike Mussina.

In the Bob Klapisch column linked above, Mussina opines on this debacle, and his words ring true:

“Joe has started something that a lot of people are going to have to answer to,” Mike Mussina said by telephone on Thursday. “Joe’s going to have to answer to it too, but it won’t be as bad for him because he’s with the Dodgers now. But it’s going to be bad for the guys he left behind.”


Mussina said, “it’s not just what goes on in the clubhouse, it’s sitting on the bus, or if you’re out having lunch. As a ballplayer you need to know who you have to watch out for and who you can trust. First and foremost, you should be able to trust your manager.

“I mean, people knew that Brown was out there, and that Randy was ornery all the time. And Pavano is whoever he is. But if you’re their manager, you can’t go out and write about them like that.”

This gets back to an issue that will plague Torre in two weeks. He will show up for Spring Training in Glendale, Arizona, and confront a bunch of players who have, for weeks, heard about Torre’s throwing the guys he doesn’t like under the bus. Would you trust your manager with that knowledge? I don’t understand why Torre wrote the book, but things aren’t looking good for Torre’s reputation.

Categories : Front Office


  1. The Evil Empire says:


  2. usty says:

    I don’t understand why Torre wrote the book

    Cue Million Dollar Man theme song…

  3. Jake H says:

    Moose really puts it all together. I wonder what Torre is thinking now that a guy who was one of his best players is saying that. I really wonder what Jeter thinks.

  4. Bruno says:

    I don’t understand why Torre wrote the book

    The last few years he was here Torre showed he wasn’t the smarted man in the world (his use of the ‘pen, napping in the dugout). This book just confirms it for the rest of the world.

    • Donald Duck says:

      “The last few years he was here Torre showed he wasn’t the smarted man in the world ”

      While I am the last person who should pick on anybody for spelling or a typo, that one made me laugh.

  5. frits says:

    What would be the proper response for Jeter if he goes past the boilerplate “no comment”? How stunning would it be to see him openly criticize Torre?

  6. John says:

    While his name is certainly not on the book Mussina has not endeared himself with former teammates either. This is just one of the examples of comments made by Moose in the book.

    “Our problem right now is we have too many pitchers on the 15 day Pavano, Mussina said one day in April. That’s what it’s officially called now. Did you know that? The Pavano. His body just shut down from actually pitching for six weeks. It’s like when you get an organ transplant and your body rejects it. His body rejected pitching. It’s not used to it.” – Mike Mussina

    • frits says:

      Where’d you get that quote?

    • steve (different one) says:

      i agree that Moose probably shouldn’t have said anything either, but man, that’s funny.

      and one of the biggest issues i had with Torre’s book is that he did this while still managing. at least Moose is retired.

    • Moose publicly mocking Carl Pavano for being injured all the time is not exactly the same thing as a manager airing dirty laundry on dozens of his former subordinates and generally pointing the finger of blame for numerous team “failures” at every single place possible other than at himself.

      • Donald Duck says:

        I agree. But Moose is really the last guy I want to hear from on this issue.

        Moose always whined and bitched about plays his teamates made or did not make. If Alex booted a ball he would shoot him dirty looks in game, yet when Moose failed to pitch inside to guys nobody EVER said anything in public or gave him dirty looks.

        Moose especially as he got older turned into a real cry baby about a lot of things. But his take on this Torre situations is dead on.

        • Ben K. says:

          If we start requiring comment registration, I’m blaming you for changing your handle every six to eight weeks.

          • Three words: Wall of Shame.

            FWIW, when you legally change your name in the real world, you’re required to have it published in the paper so everybody knows who you were and now are.

          • Donald Duck says:

            Ok so Ben you are deleting my posts back to you? Seriously dude what is up with you? I posted nothing that was worthy of a delete. Like I said before when you sent me all the emails with crying in them if you want to ban me ban me but I broke no rules.

            Ban a guy because you do not like him on a message board, but at least be up front about it.

            • Ben K. says:

              I’m deleting your posts because, in violation of our commenting guidelines, you’re making unnecessary and unwarranted personal attacks against one of the authors of this site. You’ve made your point; I’ve made my point. If you don’t stop, we are going to ban you. That’s a final warning.

              • Donald Duck says:

                “you’re making unnecessary and unwarranted personal attacks against one of the authors of this site”

                LOL please there was no personal attack. I said something back in response to what you said to me.

                I laugh at your warning. Ben please ban me if I ever “attack” any of the owners of this site.

                You own the site I get it, but I will not cower when you are wrong and not stick up for myself when you take shots at me.

                Nothing I said in the two posts you deleted was anything close to a personal attack, just like nothing I said the day you emailed me all that stuff was either. You just do not like me. I get it, its ok I am not mad.

                • Out of genuine curiosity (since I haven’t the foggiest of ideas of what the two of you are talking about), Donald, who were you before, and why’d you feel the need/inspiration to change your name/handle?

                  Something to hide? Multiple personalities? Running from creditors? Sex change?

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  “Out of genuine curiosity (since I haven’t the foggiest of ideas of what the two of you are talking about), Donald, who were you before…?”

                  I figured he’s DBHOF, no?

                • Donald Duck says:

                  It is me! Your bestus buddie DBHOFABCDEFG. I went to post and it did not remember me and I forgot exactly what my name was so I just used what came to my head first.

                  I do not think that I would get that operation because it might come across as effeminate, so I just did the name slight manipulation ya underdig?

              • pat says:

                ban hammer ban hammer ban hammer ban hammer ban hammer ban hammer ban hhammer ban hammer ban hammer ban hammer ban hammer ban hammer

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

      Could we please only use “15 day Pavano” when somebody is injured in the future.

      • Tom Zig says:

        Are you the same guy who owns the blog with that name?

        • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

          Didn’t know there is a blog with that name. Wasn’t my intention to steal any name.

          • Tom Zig says:

            I don’t think they’ll mind, they haven’t updated since August. I was just wondering because I thought it was a great name. (Sorry Ben, I know it is off topic, but it was a pertinent question).

  7. John says:

    Directly from the book. I have it and have already read it. That’s just one of many times Mussina makes cracks like that. I am quite certain Moose doesn’t care what Pavano thinks of him, but the whole glass houses thing comes into play when he criticizes Joe.

    • Ben K. says:

      I think there’s a world of difference between criticizing Carl Pavano for being a giant wuss and what Torre did.

      Also, please use the “reply to this comment” link when you’re replying to others’ comments.

      • John says:

        You are 100% right there is a world of difference, that’s why I said “While his name is certainly not on the book Mussina has not endeared himself with former teammates either.” What Torre did by making the goings on of the Yankees inner circle public was 100% wrong, not going to argue that point. All I am saying is that Mussina made some comments that could be seen as crossing the line with teammates. There are many more examples, too many list. He is in the book quite prominently.

        • frits says:

          I bet Moose didn’t know he was “on the record” for the duration of spring training.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          John, I hear you about Moose and his comments, but there’s a big difference that hasn’t been addressed. From what I can tell, Moose makes observations about things that are already public knowledge, while Torre is leaking private information to the public. Moose is saying “Pavano never pitches, he’s a wuss,” but everyone already knows Pavano never pitched so he’s just making fun of something that is public knowledge. Torre, on the other hand, is actually telling the public things that nobody outside of the clubhouse knew about. I don’t think you’ve disagreed with this point, but it hasn’t been addressed yet in this thread and is really the crux of the issue when comparing Mussina making fun of Pavano and Torre’s book.

      • frits says:

        That quote from Mussina is beyond awesome.

  8. BigBlueAL says:

    Doesnt Moose kinda take a shot at Mo???? Madden in the Daily News had an excerpt about Moose talking about Mo blowing the 2001 WS and Game 4 vs Boston in the 04 ALCS.

    • A comment about Mo + a comment about Pavano =/= “As The Torre Turns”

      • John says:

        I don’t think anyone is saying it does…and it’s not one quote. The book is filled with information given by Mussina. Most of which is about teammates, good and bad. The end game is that Torre’s name is on the book, so he takes and deserves the blame, but that doesn’t mean Moose gets to stand up and criticize Torre when he essentially did the same things. (Yes, I know he’s a player, Torres a manager, but I think that the same code applies: What happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse.)

        • John says:

          Just wanted to thank you guys for such a great site. I have never posted before, but I do read the site daily. It’s a great place. Thanks for allowing me to post and join the conversation.

        • A) A quote, or a series of quotes, is never as bad as a book published for profit. Moose is calling out teammates publicly because reporters are asking him for his honest opinion. Nobody was asking Torre to publicly throw his former players under the bus, he volunteered to do that shit for the benefit of his own personal finances. World of difference.

          B) As somebody who’s been a supervisor/manager of a large group of people, there’s also a big difference between two peers publicly airing their dislike and a supervisor publicly airing a dislike for a subordinate. Moose and Pavano are nothing but peers. But Torre is supposed to be the one who’s the player’s confidant, the one they can go to with shit they can’t go to anyone else with. He betrayed a bigger trust than Mussina answering a reporter’s question.

          • Arin says:

            Well put, TSJC. Couldn’t agree more.

          • John says:

            If you are speaking to me with (A) and (B) I think you are missing my point. I understand the dynamic of peer to peer criticizing Vs. airing dirty laundry as manager. All I am saying is this is the wrong time for Mussina to be standing up pointing fingers at Joe. Moose covers his arse by saying “If you’re the manager, ” but in essence he’s doing the same thing sans the big payday and name on the book. You are 100% right that a series of quotes compared to an entire book does not compare but if you were stealing apples while your buddy was stealing steak, the end result is your both thieves and standing up pointing fingers doesn’t behoove either of you.

        • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

          But how did Joe get those quotes of Moose? Either those jokes were going around in the clubhouse or Moose leaked information to Joe. Those 25 guys on the roster plus the coaching staff – that’s a pretty small group. There are probably not a whole lot of secrets, so Joe will likely have heard those, too. While Moose didn’t go public with this stuff, Joe did and that’s the difference.

          • John says:

            Remember the book is a third person narrative written by Verducci, not Joe. The reporting aspect of this is Verducci. So the quote above is reported by Verducci, not Joe. When you read the book you will see where Joe speaks or where the info comes from Joe, it says Torre said/says.

          • Donald Duck says:

            Clay I just got your name after thinking about it. The mouse fell off the wheel for a second.

            To me Moose was wrong for a lot of the stuff he talked to the media about while in pinstripes, but it is not on the level of Torre selling out this whole group of guys, and the organization that made him a rich man. Joe never was a multimillionaire big timers before he got here and now he is darn near Pope Joe. Well maybe not anymore.

    • Donald Duck says:

      Moose is good for taking pot shots at everybody and anybody from time to time. This is not new. I think the thing with Mo was not so much of a shot is it was him being upset he did not get a ring. Mo had a bad series in 04 but his arm was dead. If we had, had some great pitching that could go deep into games he would have been alright. The biggest problem I had with the pen was not Mo, it was that Tom Gordon got shook and was horrible.

      I have been watching Tom Gordon pitch since he came in the league (for some reason I always really watched Gordon and found him an interesting pitcher) and he was always good to great until pressure was there and then he got all sweaty and would lose focus and really pitch horribly.

      Back to Mo, anybody who blames Mo for us not winning a WS in 01 is a short sighted Yankee fan.

      • Ben K. says:

        Mo had a bad series in 04 but his arm was dead.

        Rivera allowed one earned run over 7 innings in the 2004 ALCS. He gave up six hits and two walks while striking out six. That’s hardly what anyone would ever call a bad series.

        • Arin says:

          Thanks Ben.

        • Donald Duck says:

          He did have a bad series. Why in a seven game series was he only pitching 7 innings when Tom Gordon clearly had nothing to give was still still getting put in games? I did not say Mo was pitching poorly, he had a bad series because he was not able to pitch as much as we needed him to.

          I do not have the stats handy but I would assume that Gordon pitched around the same amount of innings and got beaten up. Those innings Mo would have been out there if he was his normal self. See this is another reason why dry stats alone are not all they are cracked up to be some folk on this very slab of the web.

          • Ben K. says:

            He made five appearances, threw seven innings. That’s more than you’d like considering one of the Yanks’ wins was a blow out, and the last game of the series didn’t require Rivera’s services.

            I agree that Tom Gordon was used too heavily in that series, but that was because Torre was hung up on his Gordon + Rivera combo and not — as far as I know — because of Rivera’s dead arm. If you can point me in the right direction of word of Rivera’s dead arm, I’m certainly willing to change my view on it.

            • Donald Duck says:

              I have no proof Mo had a dead arm maybe I am wrong and he was healthy. All I can say is I watched him out there and he did not look right.

              You may be correct with the Joe Torre thing, but all I know is the ALCS that I watched in 2004 I would have not put Tom Gordon on the mound if I had a healthy Mo.

              The blowout game actually aids what I am talking about more. That is yet another day of rest for Mo, so he can pitch 2 or 3 or possibly more innings in another game.

              To me if Mo was healthy Joe was even a worse bullpen manager than I gave him credit for.

              • Mike Pop says:

                What happened in 2004? I don’t know what in the hell any of you are talking about.

                • Donald Duck says:

                  We are talking about Moose’s comments on Mo. My opinion on Mo’s performance in the 04 ALCS. Also other side comments about Joe Torre and his managing of said ALCS and his pitching staff.

          • A.D. says:

            Because Gordon was overused & didn’t pitch enough innings in your mind then Mo had a bad series?

            Its actually Mo had a very good series in ’04, too bad his arm was dead else he could have pitched some of Gordon’s innings and maybe we don’t have to talk about this debacle.

            Gordon did get shelled, 6 runs in 6 2/3s innings, 10 hits & 2 walks.

            • Donald Duck says:

              My point is that Mo did not pitch as much as we needed him to. I think it was because he was not feeling right. Maybe I stated it the wrong way but I do not think Mo gave us what we needed and that was what I was trying to get across.

              Did Mo have any clean innings in that series? I just recall him even when he got guys out he was working harder than he normally would even against the tuff Boston lineup.

              • Ed says:

                Mo pitched 2 innings on back to back nights, took one night off, then came back in and pitched in game 7. He probably would have pitched more in game 7 if it wasn’t a blowout. He also pitched 1.1 innings on back to back days in games 1 and 2.

                How much did you really expect out of Rivera?

    • Tom Zig says:

      I haven’t read the book yet, but I assume Bill Madden did. Moose does take a pretty hefty shot at Mo. Compliments and slams him all in the same breath .

  9. UNION YES. says:

    If I was in the city, I’d totally go to his book signing and heckle his ass.

    • Donald Duck says:

      How grown up of you. Are you the sort of fellow who boos children when they strike out at little league games?

      No matter what Joe did wrong, no reason to heckle him. Joe will have to live with this one for a hot minute. There is no wiggle out of this jam. He either needs to say sorry and back away from promoting this book, or take his medicine.

      • UNION YES. says:

        Umm, no. How do you go from heckling a 68 year old manager (who gets heckled for living no less) to booing little leaguers? There’s quite a difference.

        I was also half-kidding. I’ll also going to go ahead and hannibalize this situation. You struck out in little league at every at bat. Your father heckled you upon existing the womb. Kidding though, take a chill pill.

  10. Count Zero says:

    You know my problem with this whole bad episode is related to my own self-imposed double standards.

    To explain — many of us always had differing opinions on Joe’s ability as a manager. Some thought he was great, others not so much. Bullpen usage, bad pitchouts, veteran infatuation — whatever. I wasn’t a big Torre fan myself. But I think almost everyone agreed on two things:

    1) Joe knew how to handle the media and insulate his club from them
    2) Joe was a class act whether he was winning or losing

    So now he co-authors (signs off on, whatever) a book and completely destroys (1) by throwing his old players under the sensationalist media bus, plus he leads us all to question whether (2) was ever true or not.

    Wells writes a tell-all — who cares? Torre does it — well, I’m a little troubled by the fact that I had to reconsider the whole “class act” thing. I mean “class acts” don’t whine and complain about how their players made it impossible to win…

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      Agreed – The point in favor of Torre, which not many people ever disputed until recently, was that he was a master at handling different personalities/egos. This book completely undercuts/negates that theory. So he’s not such a great in-game tactician and he also isn’t so wonderful at handling different personalities in the clubhouse? Well then I’m very sad his time came to move on.

      • He doesn’t even have a full, masculine mane of Executive Hair.

      • Donald Duck says:

        The whole handing everybody personalities thing is hogwash anyway. Give me a guy that puts the right guys in the right places at the right times.

        Give me a guy that makes sure his players are prepared to play and win each game each day.

        I really could care less if he is all buddy buddy with guys.

        Joe’s best asset in NY was he played the media like a conductor. He gives good press. I would have mad Joe an advisor after the 02 season (aka a paid Steinbrenner flunky with no real job but talking to the press).

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          I agree. Just to clarify, I don’t think Torre is great because of his ability to handle personalities, I was just reciting what Torre backers and the media always said about him.

  11. casey says:

    McNamee provides collateral damage in the Torre book. He says all the pitchers in Toronto while he was there were using amphetamines. A quick check of the roster in 97 and 98 shows Chris Carpenter. Another one goes under the bus.

    • A.D. says:

      Weren’t amphetamines or “greenies” legal then… they were just banned recently, and that’s what Cameron was nailed for to begin last year.

      • Donald Duck says:

        They were not legal to take in the US of A so they were not legal in the sport even if they were not in the agreement.

        Being a person who has never taken amphetamines maybe I just do not get this. But I would think they would make one bug out so much you could not focus correctly to play the game properly.

        • Well, as greenies have been part of the game since like the 40′s or 50′s (possibly earlier), the consensus is that the grind of the everyday nature of the game makes greenies a necessity (as guys would start dragging physically and be awful come July because they’re just tired of swinging the bat or throwing the ball).

          Of course, this was pre-GNC supplement land and back when guys routinely did all-night benders and slammed a pot of coffee minutes before the game, so it’s not like 1950′s players were the paragons of modern athletic and nutritional science programming…

          • Donald Duck says:

            Yes I am aware of their usage in the game. I just do not see how they could be good for you in the longrun or even in the short term.

            I see how other PEDs help players for a time period, I just do not see the true advantages of doing speed. But I have never done it, I am just assuming what it would make me feel like from what I have heard and read.

            Anybody here ever do any of the over the counter “speed”? Like the stuff they try to market to truckers and college kids?

            • Mike Pop says:

              Shit fucks you up man!!!!!!!!

              • Donald Duck says:

                Can you see it possibly helping you play a sport where extreme concentration is involved?

                • whozat says:

                  Don’t you feel like coffee helps you focus when you’re tired and dragging?

                  Hyper-focus is a pretty common effect of stimulants. At least, for short periods of time.

                • Joseph P. says:

                  “Can you see it possibly helping you play a sport where extreme concentration is involved?”

                  As someone who has taken Adderall recreationally on a number of occasions, I can absolutely see how it would help. In fact, the first time my friends and I took it we thought how much better we’d be at sports if we took it all the time.

                  Amphetamines also make you better at video games, for what it’s worth.

        • A.D. says:

          They weren’t tested for, that’s what I was thinking.

    • Mike Pop says:

      Hmm, interesting.

  12. Mike Pop says:

    I don’t understand why Torre wrote the book, but things aren’t looking good for Torre’s reputation.

    Money and hatred of the Yankees because he feels “screwed” and wants to get back at them. That is why I think he wrote it.

    • Oh, well, in that case, then, it’s all good. I thought he was writing the book for ignoble reasons. Money and petty revenge are the purest and most virtuous reasons for doing anything.

      That’s why Jesus healed the sick: God was paying him a hefty 8-figure cash advance and he was sticking it to Satan for trying to make a move on Mary Magdalene.

    • Donald Duck says:

      I think that can be the only answers. It is not like he wrote them to enrich peoples lives and do it for free. Joe is going to have a tuff time wiggling his way out of this one.

      The thing is I think he could have done all he wanted to do to the Yanks by doing well in LA and being a real and honest dude. Instead of pretending like he did not care about them leaving his image out of the closing ceremonies he should have said that he was dissapointed and wishes that there were no hard feelings, but maybe he really has those hard feelings.

  13. Rob S. says:

    I’m not sure Moose has a lot of room to talk here. He is apparently quoted in Torre’s book ripping Mariano Rivera. He all but blames him for the Yankees postseason shortcomings in 2001 and 2004. As if Moose never had a poor performance in the postseason.

    I wasn’t happy seeing Jeter and Posada, when questioned on MLB Network, take the easy way out (I haven’t read it…blah blah) when questioned about the book. I felt at the very least they should have said something in support of A-Rod. Posada reportedly lobbied for A-Rod to be re-signed last offseason and Jeter is the team captain. I realize they both have loyalties to “Mr. T” but the bottom line is Torre’s a Dodger now and their team should come first.

    I still hate John Sterling.

    • I felt at the very least they should have said something in support of A-Rod.

      (nods in agreement)

    • Donald Duck says:

      “I still hate John Sterling.”

      That made me laugh. I dislike his female partner more, and also his former partner even more.

      Sterling is the worst I have ever heard at judging home runs and pop flys. I would love to see him and his cohost get the bizzoot and get some true professionals in there that I can listen to.

      Does Sterling have really bad eyesight? I do think he has a good to great radio voice but he over corns it up at times.

    • A.D. says:

      I only think its the “easy way out” if after having the opportunity to read the book they don’t/still don’t comment on it. I can understand a player like Posada or Jeter wanting to wait and be able to have all the facts and context, but if they first deflect the question they should be ready to answer it.

    • whozat says:

      “He all but blames him for the Yankees postseason shortcomings in 2001 and 2004.”


      No, he doesn’t. He says that, in an objective analysis, Mo’s blown his share of postseason opportunities since 2001, just like everyone else has. People love to rip on ARod, but if Mo closes out game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, ARod becomes the guy who carried the Yanks to the 2004 world series.

      The point is that there’s plenty of blame to be shared, and maybe the guys who did well for the Yanks in ’96-’00 get excused for the same lack-of-production that gets you ripped if you got to NY in ’01 or later.

  14. yankeefan91 Arod fan says:

    if anyone interested theres baseball on mlb network the caribbean world series

  15. mike says:

    Its amazing how Moose, in his last two seasons ( ironically his last two before he and the hall-of-fame comes a lookin’) he became a helpful sage to the kids, and a ready quote for the press.

    in the past years, he was known as an arrogant ass who would condescend to everyone around him, and a person who was a prima donna as far as prep and turns in the rotation.

    I still remember how i lost respect for him a few years back ( i guess it was 2006) when he humped his fastball up to 91-92mph for the first part of the year and was pitching great after fading in 2005, where it came out that was the first off-season he began to work out – again coincidentally his walk year.

    As much as i enjoyed his pitching, for a guy who did his best to get the Yanks KO’d in the 1st round for the last 3-4 years prior to this one i would hope he keeps a lower profile.

    • whozat says:

      “where it came out that was the first off-season he began to work out – again coincidentally his walk year.”

      NO player doesn’t work out in the offseason. It’s a matter of how much time they take off and when they start to ramp back up.

      So…a guy who’d succeeded with a given offseason workout regimen only changed it when it became clear that aging was taking it’s toll on performance? Shocking!!

  16. mustang says:

    I haven’t commented on Torre’s book because I think it’s just sour grapes from someone who lost a job he loved. However, Moose brings up an excellent point these guys trusted that this man would not act like the media. Simply put Torre sold them out.
    It’s a shame because Torre seem less to me then what he was. This whole thing is just one big let down.

    • UNION YES. says:

      Like learning for the first time that Santa Claus wasn’t real. Major bummer

      • mustang says:

        Exactly, as naive as it may sound I fell for the whole St. Joe thing. I thought here his a man who can rise above things even if he was fired under less then perfect circumstances. I guess not.

  17. [...] As Torre backpedals, Moose calls out former boss / Nady vs. Abreu vs. Swisher [...]

  18. Rich says:

    Torre has internalized the hype beyond the imagination of even his most sycophantic defenders. That’s why he is the “Monster That George Created.”

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