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Is there anything more fulfilling than grabbing a hitter on a short schedule day and he gives you a home run, steal or just an overall quality day? It’s the fantasy baseball equivalent to taking a girl out, she pays and has sex with you (assuming you’re not a paid escort, though I’m pretty sure there’s not that many paid escorts reading a fantasy baseball blog). It’s pay dirt of the fantasy baseball kind. So how does one with the ‘pertise of me find a waiver wire hitter on a short schedule day? Darts at a board? A Ouija board? Draw whiskers on my face, infiltrate a clowder of stray cats and hold pictures of Will Venable and David Murphy up to see which one the cats are attracted to? Sometimes it’s all the above. But before I resort to dumb luck, I usually look for these five criteria:

1. Playing time – There’s nothing worse than picking up a hitter for one day and he doesn’t play. I usually sort by ABs for the last week to make sure the top free agents are playing. If there’s even a chance they might not play, I usually look elsewhere.

2. Is the guy currently hitting? – Hitters tend to do what they should do over the course of a season, but from day to day and week to week guys go in and out of slumps. If you’re picking up a guy for only one day, you want a guy that is hitting. If he’s in a 0-for-45 slump, you’re probably better taking an 0-for-0 and going to grab a bite to eat at Whataburger. To pinpoint guys that are hitting, I sort by hits in the last week. There’s usually overlap between guys who are getting playing time. Otherwise, their managers should be fired.  I can think of a few.

3. Righty/Lefty Splits – If a guy is hitting well over the last week but is going against his notoriously weaker side, he’s a pass. This usually goes for lefties facing lefties. Righties that are going against righties don’t give me as much pause, unless we’re talking about Matt Diaz. Speaking of which, if a guy is going against a side he absolutely kills then he’s almost an automatic start since I assume his manager will start him too.

4. Hitter/Pitcher Matchups – This is a continuation of the splits. If a guy hits a particular pitcher very well, he’s a go. Contrary to the above splits though, if a guy is hitting well and hasn’t hit a particular pitcher well, he could still be a go if all else fails.

5. The Park and Team Factor – The last thing I look at is where they’ll be playing. If it’s between two guys and one’s at Coors and one’s at Petco, I obviously choose Colorado. If a player’s team is currently hitting well then I’ll go with him over a guy whose team is struggling. The thinking is he’ll at least have some chances for RBIs and Runs.

These are in order of importance. If a player doesn’t meet the first criteria, he’s eliminated. If you get, say, ten guys who meet the first criteria, then you keep moving down the list until you only have one guy left. If you still have a few choices by the end, then you draw whiskers on your face and find yourself a clowder of strays.

87 Responses

  1. Wilsonian says:
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    Have Espinosa in a 16 Team H2H Keeper. Just dropped Lawrie off my bench for J.Weeks to try to get some production out of that spot. Should I let Lawrie clear waivers and drop Espinosa? Or should I drop someone like Snider or Valencia for Lawrie? Snider and Valencia are rotating in and out of my 2 UTIL spots with Hardy.

    Thanks!

  2. Dane says:
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    You wrote all of this just to use “clowder,” didnt’ you?

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Dane: Of course!

  4. bobbo says:
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    Scott Baker @TEX… Start ‘em or Sit ‘em

  5. DogHat says:
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    5×5 roto daily league
    For an OF add do you like:
    Reddick
    EThames
    Jay
    Duda

  6. bobbo says:
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    Wright looks right again… how long till someone throws at his head and scares him back to the DL?

  7. Jon Bones Jones says:
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    Stanton hit his 24th home run today which was his 16th solo shot. Seriously, 16 of his 24 bombs are with the bases empty. You’d figure they’d keep him up in the lineup rather than hitting him in the 7 or 8 hole all the time.

  8. Terrence Mann says:
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    Beckett’s correction has been a long time coming.

  9. Jon Bones Jones says:
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    Grey, I have Napoli as my catcher who is awesome when he plays (like every other day)…would you roster Arencibia over Napoli because of the fluctuating playing time?

  10. p0rk burn says:
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    Grey – dude offered me Alexi Ram and Phil Hughes for Reyes in a keeper league. Bleh. I countered with Reyes for his Ryan Zimm since we are keeping 10 and I have no 3rd baseman (rocking el nunez and McGahee). I didnt expect him to bite, but he did.

    Did I screw the pooch or was trading an injury prone SS for an injury prone 3rd baseman a good move?

  11. Eddy says:
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    @Jon Bones Jones:

    I want to agree with you because as a Marlins fan (yeah, we exist) I’d love nothing more than to see Stanton hitting 4th dropping bombs with men on base, but:

    In a combined 218 PA hitting 4th/5th, he has a .188/.257/.339 line.

    In a combined 335 PA hitting 6th (his usual spot this season) he has a .307/.382/.642 line.

    So right now, he seems comfortable there. Now I will say that the 4th and 5th slot experiment was mainly last year, when he was a rookie. Could he have been putting more pressure on himself back then? Possibly.

    I’m sure in a year or two he’ll only be hitting clean up.

  12. p0rk burn says:
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    @Eddy: Greetings to another Marlins fan!

    My love for Stanton is so great I kept him in my two keeper leagues after last season and just got him in a third league via trade (someone offered me Stanton and Anibal for Shields, who I picked up on waivers in May – shallow league – I couldn’t hit accept fast enough).

  13. p0rk burn says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, I’ll be the first to admit its definitely geared more for the future. Keeping 10 players leaves eff-all for third base come draft time next season. Andrus and Aybar are decent enough for SS and this fills a major hole for me.

  14. Jon Bones Jones says:
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    @Eddy:

    Ya, I hear what you’re saying, and younger players tend to press when slotted in a clean up position. I’m an Angels fan and have the same argument with Trumbo hitting 7th day in and day out.

  15. Art Vandelay says:
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    @Jon Bones Jones: No offense, but how long have you been reading this blog?

    @ Grey – what do you think about my dealing Ogando for Cuddyer? Good trade? My OF is currently pretty sporadic: Pence, Bruce, Heyward, and a platoon of Snider/Crisp/Joyce for the last two slots. I’m not convinced Heyward will give me anything this year, and Snider and Joyce seem to go into prolonged slumps. Looking for some added stability. Thanks.

  16. Eddy says:
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    @p0rk burn:

    Hey-O!!

    I unfortunately have no shares of Stanton across six leagues this season. It makes me quite sad, but at least I have the luxury of listening to Rich and Tommy splooge every time he comes up to bat and makes contact with the ball.

  17. Fletch says:
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    Kuroda or Danks? I assume Kuroda especially if he is dealt to a contender.

    Also, do you think Oswalt has a strong finish like he has shown in the past during the 2nd half?

  18. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    Hideki Irabu dead from suicide

  19. nsomniak says:
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    @Grey

    I’m being offered Miggy, Morrow, and C. Luebke
    for my Beckett, Beachy, Hosmer

    who wins that deal and is it by much?
    fair?

  20. Jon Bones Jones says:
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    @Art Vandelay:

    Why do you ask?

  21. Art Vandelay says:
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    @Jon Bones Jones: Your question about Napoli. Grey gets asked about dropping Napoli like 10 times a day. So much so that he makes jokes about it constantly. Not that your question is a bad one; just that Grey already has answered it ad nauseum.

  22. Wilsonian says:
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    @nsomniak: Miggy side and it’s not close.

  23. Wilsonian says:
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    Kendrick or Cuddyer at 2nd for the ROS?

    H, R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBPS

  24. Steve says:
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    It’s also nice to pick up a guy to help in the short or medium term and be rewarded right away. Welcome to the RCL, Conor Jackson!

  25. nsomniak says:
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    Grey

    what if miggy is swapped with granderson

    so granderson, morrow, and luebke
    for my beckett, beachy, hosmer

    still winning in that deal?

  26. Jon Bones Jones says:
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    @Art Vandelay:

    Arencibia has been hot lately…more of a reassurance question than anything. I know Grey likes Napoli, there are a lot of players that Grey likes but that doesn’t mean I going to roster them…

  27. Wilsonian says:
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    @Wilsonian: throw Kelly Jo or Espinosa in there, too.

  28. nsomniak says:
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    @wilsonian

    please feel free to chime in with your thoughts as well. much appreciated!

  29. DHill Dragons says:
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    Mark Trumbo is a single away from the cycle. He’ll be leading off the 9th inning in a few minutes. (Of course I was considering using him at Utility today, but naa, he’s much better on my bench).

  30. nsomniak says:
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    @Grey

    and if you could just let me know which trade would be better value-wise.
    a Miggy or Grandy centered deal.

    Thanks a lot, and apologies for the many questions.

  31. Wilsonian says:
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    @nsomniak: gotta go Miggy. He’s a top 5 overall player. Especially if this is a keeper. It’s Miggy all day long if he’s the centerpiece of the deal.

  32. Wilsonian says:
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    @nsomniak: you still win the Grandy deal, but if you can make Miggy happen, then by all means, DO IT!!!

  33. Wilsonian says:
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    In the always loveable Michael Buble, Lincecum for Phillips. Which side?

  34. nsomniak says:
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    Grey

    Yea, I was asking which was a better deal. The one centered around Miggy or the one centered around Grandy.

    I just need some SB’s as well, and Grandy is on pace for an awesome 40-30 season.

    But obviously, Miggy is as good as it gets, right?
    So that’s why I’m a lil wavering on which deal to take.

  35. sean says:
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    @Grey: at this point in the season, how much can I reasonable expect to improve a 3.729 ERA and 1.279 WHIP? 927 IP so far in a 10-team 5×5.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: Not a whole lot. Maybe to 3.60, 1.26

  37. longbeachyo says:
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    Vin Scully referred to the houston astros outfielder last night as hunter “s”pence….

    Hunter is now obligated to change his name due to the fact that Vinny is infallible!!!

  38. longbeachyo says:
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    Dear Desmond,
    I LOVE YOU!!! Please continue to do what you do for the rest of the year.

    Truly yours,
    Longbeachyo

    xoxoxoxo

  39. Steve says:
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    About damn time Longoria joined in the fun.

  40. birrrdy! says:
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    Grey, wanted to get in on the Rasmus thread, but posting here to keep current. Losing Rasmus in an NL Only 5×5 league, and get first rights to one new AL player coming in.

    I’m thinking I take Edwin Jackson, but will need to drop a pitcher. Who goes between Arroyo, Capuano, Leake, Vazquez or McDonald? I’ll still be keeping D.Hudson, Norris, Zimmerman, Storen and Hanrahan on my staff, which is currently #1 in ERA, WHIP, and in the top 3 in Ks, Ws and Ss.

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

  41. Marty Funkhouser says:
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    It’s okay to drop Zimmermann to make room for Bedard, correct? It’s been a great ride but Zimmthang’s looking pretty cooked of late and his August/pre-innings cap schedule looks scary, with a game at Wrigley being the only semi-softy.

    Would you drop both to pick up Luebke, or just roll with Bedard?

  42. Chillmodious says:
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    @Grey

    I have Dom Brown, Bourgeois and Bastardo (which, incidentally, is not the name of an indie band), and Dexter Fowler is out there. I can only roster 2…which do you prefer?

    (In weighing Bastardo, keep in mind that I have Madson on my roster too)

    Thanks a lot!

  43. Dad says:
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    @Grey: I’m about to drop Capuano for some bench depth. Who’s the best schmohawk (16-team, H2H): Duda, Mayberry, Altuve?

  44. Salty Balty says:
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    Nice post. Great advice.

  45. herschel says:
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    @Grey: how high do you see jennings going next year?

  46. jared says:
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    Who would be better bet to stash in my dl spot Grady sizemore or shin soo choo? Both are on my waiver wire

  47. Robert says:
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    @ Grey- Sorry if this has been asked: Is it worth holding on to Pineda? Hasn’t looked good last few outings.

  48. Nick says:
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    @Grey:

    I’ve got a dillema.. I have to pick between Heyward and Jennings for my 4th and final keeper slot. My other 3 keepers are Longoria, Reyes, and Kemp. I’m putting you on the spot: Which of the two do you see as the better fantasy producer over the next 5 seasons? GO!

    I need to decide now because I want to trade 1 of them before the Aug 15 deadline to get some draft pick compensation.

  49. Steve says:
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    On the not so bright side, I did pick up Weeks for today. Naturally the 0-5.

  50. WDE05 says:
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    Billy Butler with yet another homer today. He must have hit the bench press hard over the AS break and turned those moobs into rock hard pecks. Dude is going to hit 40 after the break!

  51. Wilsonian says:
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    @Steve: I dropped Espinosa for Kelly Jo (instead of Kendrick who went 2-5, 3 runs, 2 rbi) to see him go 0-4.

  52. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    you do your readers a service by posting this article .

    for those that can follow your logic , have you considered a follow-up
    article wherein you expand the horizon a bit ?

    trades are a different animal , but i am continually amused by ROS
    questions about waiver wire moves (add/drops) .
    what ? are these decisions irreversible ? cast in stone ?

    i understand that most aren’t as rigid as they portray , and are simply
    seeking your approval or looking for confirmation on what they deem
    is an important decision , but jeez , you have to wonder about the
    degree of flexibility , at times .

    by following your own examples , readers should understand that if a
    particular waiver wire move doesn’t work out , just make another one .

    again , nice post .

  53. chata says:
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    @chata:

    also , major props to the readers who post what might be the up-coming
    schedule (opponents) for starting pitchers .

    i find this information very useful and am often too lazy or too distracted
    to search it out in time .

    i used this info to help me decide to pick up narveson (most recently)
    for the 3 game stretch he has with the astros and the cubs .
    (so far , 1-0) .

  54. paulzone says:
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    effin weeks…who would you pick up to replace him:

    ackley, barmes, raburn, casilla, ellis

    thanks

  55. paulzone says:
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    @paulzone: his brother jamille is available too…

  56. paulzone says:
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    @Grey: ackley or altuve?

  57. Charlie says:
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    ROS

    Dickey, Lilly, Niemann or Holland?

  58. paulzone says:
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    @paulzone: sorry, one last addition:

    ackley, altuve or polanco

  59. bfeels says:
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    @Grey: In this group of 9 players, I’m wondering which 5 you would keep for 2012 as of today….

    McCutchen
    Granderson
    Stubbs
    Alex Rodriguez
    Uggla (recent hot streak makes me believe…again)
    T Hanson
    Price
    Gallardo
    Strasburg

    Thanks!

  60. Steve says:
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    Jesus, Howard. Come on.

  61. Nick says:
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    @Grey: my bad I think you misunderstood my question. Heyward or Jennings as my 4th and final keeper?

  62. knighttown says:
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    Been offered Cano for my Andrus and Chris Perez. I have melancon on the bench to replace Perez. Yes or no?

  63. Steve says:
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    You too Heyward. Useless prick.

  64. Wilsonian says:
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    @knighttown: the better question is who is replacing Andrus? I’d still do it regardless.

  65. peter says:
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    Down goes Sickie! Hill, Altuve, Barmes, Infante, Hairston? I hate my fantasy life.

  66. knighttown says:
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    @Wilsonian:

    I’ll slide Emily Boneface into SS and drop Espinosa into the MI slot leaving the 2B to Cano.

    Potatoes to chips, Emily has been just ridiculous this month. He’s (she’s?) the 3rd ranked fantasy hitter in Yahoo. S/he’s batting .385. S/he’s leading the league with 26 runs and running away (tee-hee) with stolen bases with 18 in the past 30 days.

    I’m now 25 SB ahead of second which also makes the loss of Andrus tolerable.

  67. Deeeeeez Nuts says:
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    start bedard tomorrow?

    thx

  68. Wilsonian says:
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    @knighttown: it’s a no brainer then…even though I woulda done it without the options you have there.

  69. Fletch says:
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    Oswalt or Beachy?

  70. Dominic says:
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    @Grey: Should I drop Latos or J zimmerman for Oswalt?

  71. chata says:
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    for those of you unfamiliar with going fishing and not catching anything , (again) , we have a “jonah” among we stubbs owner , wherein jonah is the embodiment of evil curses and intrinsic bad luck .

    how else could it be explained that drew stubbs went 0-4 , no rbi , and with one measly run scored , on a day when his team scored 9 earned runs ?
    clearly a dark shadow has been cast upon us .

    fear not .
    i have a plan .

    we take turns benching stubbs , … even if it means not having a sub and going blank … until our luck turns around and our jonah has been identified .
    once identified , that owner must agree to voluntarily drop drew stubbs ,
    (for the good of the whole) within 24 hours or face execution by firing
    squad .

    ok , who’s going 1st ??

  72. ruah says:
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    Have room for one of these, just need best overall: Carp, E Nunez or Jesus Guzman. Thanks.

  73. Hennessey says:
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    Cruz/Uehara for BJ/Masterson?

  74. TheNewGuy says:
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    God im loving the ride so far Jennings, noone thought you’d find it this easy. He’s become one of the Rays best hitters already! Damn Andrew Friedman…

    My DJ love has got me already thinking how long to keep him for at the end of the season. Either be 2 years at 9 bucks or 3 years at 13, which do you prefer?

  75. Pic74 says:
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    Hi Grey, in a roto keeper league for next year who would you keep. We keep only 5 players including pitchers and its a normal draft for the rest. Doesnt matter witch round you selected your player. I’m hesitating between those 8:

    Han Ram (i think i have no choice)
    Halladay (no brainer)
    Posey (wonder if he’ll ever catch again if not he s not a keeper)
    Youkilis
    Kinsler (2b)
    Lawrie
    Jennings
    Beltre

    What do you think?

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