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Friday, November 30, 2007

Newsday: Mets trade Milledge to Nats

The Mets have traded Lastings Milledge to the Nationals for catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church, a baseball official confirmed this afternoon. Milledge was believed to be a major chip in the Mets’ pursuit of an elite starting pitcher this offseason, but that apparently was not the case.

Thanks to Sean Forman.  May the self-immolation begin.

Andere Richtingen Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:36 PM | 569 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, nationals

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   401. Шĥy Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:12 PM (#2630008)
Just to review, Milledge's supposed off field problems are:

-Having sex at the age of 16 with a girl whose parents didn't want to her to have sex
-Wearing braids
-Producing a rap album
-Not becoming friends with a short, middle aged white man
-High fiving some fans
   402. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:12 PM (#2630007)
You know things are bad in Metville when Sam starts using a different handle, has that ever happened before?
   403. GM Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:14 PM (#2630009)
Is there any possible reason this trade makes sense for the Mets?


One could try...

Omar thinks this team's biggest flaw is defense, and if he fixes it, the 2008 Mets could go all the way... So, he significantly upgrades defense at catcher with the acquisition of Schneider, and, though we all think Milledge is a great talent, Church clearly upgrades defense at either corner he's placed at.

On top of that, Church is an upgrade over Milledge at the plate because, one, he hits righties very well, and two, left handers suffer far less in Shea than righties.

And if I keep telling myself that, I'm sure I'll believe it in no time...
   404. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:15 PM (#2630010)
403, you're forgetting the time he was late to that Phillies game in '06 as well as the cross he used to wear and the time he showboated against the Marlins, which caused the Mets to lose out on the '07 playoffs. He is a cancer.
   405. JPWF13 Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:15 PM (#2630011)
Is there any possible reason this trade makes sense for the Mets?


There could be, but most involve potentially libellous speculation
   406. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:16 PM (#2630012)
#398: I'm not defending the Mets. I didn't say it was a good trade.

I'm asking if it's really one of the five worst trades in recent memory. I'm asking if people should really consider going all Escape From New York over this deal.


I'm beginning to think you're just trying to create some kind of elaborate joke via repetition. I don't know how much more clearly the idiocy of the move can be spelled out for you.
   407. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:18 PM (#2630013)
#407: I don't know how much more clearly I can say that I agree it was a bad move.
   408. Шĥy Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:18 PM (#2630014)
From Metsblog report of Omar's conference call:

He [Omar] checked around with other clubs, and, from what he can tell, trading Milledge will not impact whether or not he can acquire a starting pitcher from another club.

He has always felt he needed to acquire a catcher like Schneider, who is ‘big on defensive.’


Why has Omar still not learned how to properly speak English? Shoudn't this have been a requirement when he was given the jon? He's been there for two years already. Maybe he does it on purpose to try hide his lack of good ideas.
   409. The District Attorney Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:21 PM (#2630017)
Why has Omar still not learned how to properly speak English?

Paul Lo Duca posts here??

Shoudn't this have been a requirement when he was given the jon?
I don't know. Shoud proper English have been a requirement for this jon? You tell me.
   410. Honkie Kong Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:21 PM (#2630018)
Shoudn't this have been a requirement when he was given the jon?

Port a potty is a salary incentive now?
   411. J. Cross Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:22 PM (#2630020)
From Metsblog report of Omar's conference call:

He [Omar] checked around with other clubs, and, from what he can tell, trading Milledge will not impact whether or not he can acquire a starting pitcher from another club.

He has always felt he needed to acquire a catcher like Schneider, who is ‘big on defensive.’

Why has Omar still not learned how to properly speak English? Shoudn't this have been a requirement when he was given the jon? He's been there for two years already. Maybe he does it on purpose to try hide his lack of good ideas.


This only makes him look stupider. He *only* valued Milledge for what veteran he could bring back in a trade. This probably also means that we're dealing Gomez and F-Mart for some starter that we'll have for one or two years. So more for the long run of success we seemed to be set up for. Omar couldn't stand waiting on line so he peed all over the rug.
   412. Morph Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:23 PM (#2630022)
I’ll be extremely interested to see whether Lastings has the discipline to make the necessary, near daily adjustments to be a consistently great player. His healthy relationship with Acta is definitely a plus, and maybe he gets taken under the wing of an older and wiser Dimitri Young, who could definitely be a positive influence on a young guy at this point in his life. He’s been there before, after all. Fair or not, in the few times I’ve seen Lastings play the OF it seems he gets a terrible read on fly balls, often employing the “oh ####, I really misjudged that” last second dive. Is he a natural CF? He’ll definitely get better reads out there.

Church needs to get off to a hot start. It could get ugly if the fans turn on him. He’s been accused of being soft in the past. Whether it’s true or not, who knows…

Omar should have asked for Saul Rivera. Rauch probably wasn’t available in this trade.
   413. rfloh Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:24 PM (#2630023)
#393

Yes Chris Young showed some power. He also has a career OBP BELOW 300 in MLB in a HITTER's park. Milledge has less power, but a better OBP.

Also, Milledge is a CF, unless anyone has any serious evidence that he is horrible out there.
   414. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:25 PM (#2630025)
I'm asking if it's really one of the five worst trades in recent memory.


In the off chance that this isn't a joke, I'll try to explain.

Most trades get made because of a combination of; a)gaining potential for the future; b)upgrade the present to contend; c)dump salary. The Mets failed to achieve any of these. Instead of playing Milledge to raise his value or wait out a better offer, he actually rushed to sell low.

If this isn't one of the five worst trades, it certainly is one of the most inexplicable. Inexcusable, really.

edit. I don't intend to sound hostile at all. I've just been in a high-strung daze this afternoon. Damn you, Omar!
   415. J. Cross Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:25 PM (#2630026)
btw, I think this is worse than the Scott Kazmir deal. Kazmir was further away and more of a risk at the time he way dealt. Milledge's future looks even brighter than Kazmir's did at the time. In either deal, the "value" of the players the Mets are getting in return is fairly neglible. (This isn't meant to be an insult to Church. He's fine as a platoon outfielder.)
   416. JPWF13 Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:26 PM (#2630028)
He [Omar] checked around with other clubs, and, from what he can tell, trading Milledge will not impact whether or not he can acquire a starting pitcher from another club.


Now I really really really hope Bowden is able to flip Milledge for a pitcher- a pitcher Omar wants

The Orioles turned down Gomez/Heilman/Humber for Bedard, now's the time they should tell reporters, "we would have done the deal with Milledge instead of Gomez".

That would be funny
   417. The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:27 PM (#2630029)
Meanwhile, the Phillies are tickled to death about this, even if Milledge stays in the division...
   418. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:27 PM (#2630031)
From the New York Mets News feed in my google reader:

The Mets added stability to their roster on Friday, dealing Lastings Milledge to the Nationals for outfielder Ryan Church and catcher Brian Schneider. Church, 29, hit 43 doubles in 2007, and Schneider has started at least 105 games as catcher each year since '04.


WOW!! 105 games!!

Edit: Maybe that's a sign of durability for a catcher, I haven't looked anything up. But I feel bad for the guy at mets.com that had to try and spin this. He should have just wrote it in broken English.
   419. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:28 PM (#2630032)
btw, I think this is worse than the Scott Kazmir deal. Kazmir was further away and more of a risk at the time he way dealt. Milledge's future looks even brighter than Kazmir's did at the time. In either deal, the "value" of the players the Mets are getting in return is fairly neglible. (This isn't meant to be an insult to Church. He's fine as a platoon outfielder.)

Church is more than fine. He's an excellent platoon OF. The problem is that you should never make a trade, IMO, where your thinking afterwards is "Woo, there's a chance we MIGHT come out even here"
   420. bibigon Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:29 PM (#2630033)
1. It's an open question who is a better player - Milledge or Delmon Young. I'll take Milledge for 2008. Young is right fielder, and not a particularly good one from what I've gathered. Milledge can play center (although how well depends on who you ask). If Milledge is even average in center, it'll take a big offensive edge for Young to be the better player.

2. I'll take Milledge to outhit Church in 2008.
   421. rfloh Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:31 PM (#2630034)
Oriole Tragic,

The Delmon trade made sense for the DRays. You might disagree with their trading away a great prospect, sure. But Garza, Bartlett and Morlan do fill needs and do improve the team now.

This Milledge trade makes no ####### sense at ####### all.

As #416 points out, it is arguably worse than the Kazmir deal. In the Kazmir deal, the Mets could at least make the argument that Kazmir might have injury concerns. They could make the argument that Zambrano was a huge improvement in the short term, since Kazmir was still in the minors, and that they were title contenders. Stupid arguments, but still valid, if you squint hard enough.
   422. shoewizard Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:35 PM (#2630039)
In case anyone is wondering, Levski is stuck in traffic.
   423. JPWF13 Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:44 PM (#2630047)
If this isn't one of the five worst trades, it certainly is one of the most inexplicable. I


I'll take Omar at his word, it's explicable because

1: The near term (2008/09) value of Milledge and Church is likely to be reasonably close; and
2: He VASTLY overvalues Schneider.
3: Milledge has no star potential

If you buy #1 and you think Schneider is an above average MLB starting catcher (I don't- and I don't think it's even close*) and you buy #3 (I don't but I know some here do), it's an explicable trade.


* Omar is an ex-scout/player development guy himself- and I think it's pretty clear that he has a hard time separating what he thought a player would be 5 years ago from what the player is now. He wanted Sosa because he was involved in the initial scouting and signing of Sosa- the fact that Sosa retained approximately NONE of those skills that had attracted him in the first place was seemingly lost on Omar.

Schneider looked like he was going to be a GOOD (above average) MLB catcher when he was 24/25
He hit .280/.338/.406 as a 21 year old in A ball, and had a strong arm and a good defensive rep. He hit .264/.316/.435 with 17 homers as a 22 year old in AA
Between 2001 and 2002 (ages 24-25) he slugged .460 with a .350 OBP (280 PAs)

Looking at his minor league numbers and his 2001/02 numbers it woudl be reasonable to think Schneider could hit something like .260/.325/.425- and with good D (at one pint he threw out 50% of baserunners) he would have been an above average starting MLB catcher.

Didn't happen and last 2 years his OPS+ has been 72 and 77
Omar either thinks Schneider is the catcher Omar thought he could be- or thinks he still can be that guy. Yeah well, Gil Hodges saw Joe Foy as a young prospect and loved him, 5-6 years later that hadn't panned out- but Gil still couldn't get the image of the player he THOUGHT Foy could have been out of his mind
Foy for Otis.
   424. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:45 PM (#2630049)
In case anyone is wondering, Levski is stuck in traffic.

He was probably less giddy when you guys swept the Cubs.
   425. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:45 PM (#2630050)
Thanks again, rfloh.

For the record, I am baffled as to why Omar couldn't get something better for Milledge. Did he really up after just talking to the A's and O's, and just decided, "Screw it, I'll take this crappy package from the Nats."

Also, as others have said, why didn't those other GMs try to offer just a little more to land this guy? We can't know the answer for sure, I guess, but I'm surprised that the A's couldn't find room for Milledge somewhere.
   426. Шĥy Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:46 PM (#2630051)
Paul Lo Duca posts here??

Do you not think that it is a problem that Omar talks in broken English? As a customer of the Mets, I want to be able to understand the reasoning behind a controversial decision. What does "big on defensive" mean? Does Omar believe that Schneider has great defensive skills or does he believe that Schneider places a high value on defense in preparation/practice? Communication skills should be an important part of a GM's job. Omar joined the Mets 2 years ago and also had previously been a GM. That is plenty of time to learn English. His lack of improvement, which is continually displayed in all of his interviews indicates that he is lazy and/or doesn't take his job seriously enough.
   427. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:47 PM (#2630053)
Levski is stuck in traffic.


ask him if he can dial this up on digital radio. :)
   428. JPWF13 Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:47 PM (#2630054)
He was probably less giddy when you guys swept the Cubs.


He's probably pissed off because his team could just as easily have picked up Milledge, without trading anything that they'd miss
   429. TerpNats Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:49 PM (#2630056)
Perhaps the Mets, having remembered Darryl Strawberry, feared Milledge would be Darryl #2 as a bad influence (rap album and all). Leaving NY for the relatively low-pressure baseball environment of D.C. (and reuniting with Acta) will help him.
   430. Sam M. Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:51 PM (#2630061)
That is plenty of time to learn English. His lack of improvement, which is continually displayed in all of his interviews indicates that he is lazy and/or doesn't take his job seriously enough.

Oh, who the hell gives a rat's ass??? I'm sorry, but if Omar doesn't speak with perfect English grammar, or even come particularly close, I frankly could not care less. It is about 437th on the list of priorities for a major league GM. He happens to have flunked something that is somewhere in the top 3 today with this awful trade, and you are obsessing over his use of the word "defensive" instead "defense" in discussing Brian Schneider.

Check out the forest, Why. You seem to have missed it amongst all these trees.
   431. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:54 PM (#2630064)
It's pretty interesting that Washington fans basically think Acta is Cox, Jr.
   432. rfloh Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:56 PM (#2630069)
#432

So, Willie is Art Howe II?
   433. bibigon Posted: November 30, 2007 at 11:57 PM (#2630070)
Alright - I'll give the upside here for Mets fans... This is the Andy Marte trade, and Lastings Milledge has exactly none of the upside we've all been told he has. He's already peaked, and everyone in baseball knew it - that's why nobody else was willing to top this offer. Because most of us have zero scouting knowledge, and most of those who think they do have scouting knowledge are just blowing smoke, we're behind the curve here.

Milledge will play CF next year, and hit about as well as he did this year, and people will write it off as a development year, and will continue stagnating until we give up on him. At that point, when this thread is long gone, people will come out of the woodwork saying it was hugely predictable that Milledge would stagnate, and that it was BTF groupthink which convinced us that this was a bad deal.

Or not.
   434. Swedish Chef Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:01 AM (#2630073)
I bet "defensive" accurately describes how Omar felt.
   435. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:02 AM (#2630074)
Milledge will be a Hall of Famer.
   436. Swedish Chef Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:02 AM (#2630075)
Something is seriously wrong with a trade if all the upside is in the guy you traded failing.
   437. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:02 AM (#2630076)
Marte was sell-high all the way that winter.

Milledge is as sell-low as you can get.
   438. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:03 AM (#2630077)
This is the Andy Marte trade, and Lastings Milledge has exactly none of the upside we've all been told he has. He's already peaked, and everyone in baseball knew it - that's why nobody else was willing to top this offer. Because most of us have zero scouting knowledge, and most of those who think they do have scouting knowledge are just blowing smoke, we're behind the curve here.

Well, Keith Law doesn't think so. A brief excerpt from behind the wall:

Lastings Milledge is still one of the better young outfield prospects in the game. By dealing him for an awful player in Brian Schneider, the Mets sold low on a former first-round pick with a lot of upside and committed two years and too much money to a catcher who can't hit. . . . Milledge could easily be the second-best hitter in the Nationals' lineup in 2008, and moved back to his natural position of center field, he gives them two plus defenders on the field as well. Milledge has quick wrists with line-drive power, and good plate coverage. His pitch recognition is weak right now, and he's vulnerable to anyone who can change speeds. This wasn't as much of a problem for him in the minors, so there's reason to expect an improvement. . . . Milledge's value was down due to some concerns over his attitude, but those were really overblown, and Washington just picked up a good prospect for about 20 cents on the dollar.


Nice going, Omar! (Law does have some decent -- though hardly glowing -- things to say about Church. Enough to mean the Nats paid 20 cents on the dollar . . . .)
   439. The District Attorney Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:03 AM (#2630078)
What does "big on defensive" mean? Does Omar believe that Schneider has great defensive skills or does he believe that Schneider places a high value on defense in preparation/practice?
The former. Is there anything else you'd like translated from Minayaese? (Hey, wasn't there a pretty decent manager a while back who was so incomprehensible that he required his own "-ese"? I think he even managed the Mets for a bit.)

His lack of improvement, which is continually displayed in all of his interviews indicates that he is lazy and/or doesn't take his job seriously enough.
This is the same thing that was claimed in the Randolph interview thread, I dunno if it was by you. That he's not trying. It's just a total non-starter to me. A, I find it incredibly unlikely that either Minaya or Randolph isn't actually trying their best. B, I don't care if they're "trying". I only care about the results. If they can make great trades and managerial decisions while playing EverQuest 23 hours a day, fantastic. What the hell do I care??? If, on the other hand, they make lousy decisions, then I critique the decisions, not their effort. Because the decisions are the issue.

I even agree that PR is part of Omar's job, and that he did a lousy job trying to publicly justify this trade. But in the long run, if it were a good trade, the PR would be good because the team would win more, and no one would care about how he sounded trying to defend the trade when it happened. The problem is it's a bad trade.
   440. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:08 AM (#2630082)
Silver lining for Mets fans: The last time this many here were sure a trade was an awful deal, they were bashing Beane on the Jeremy Giambi/John Mabry deal. Turned out, everyone was wrong.
   441. Tony Ling Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:09 AM (#2630083)
434 - That was a pretty good defense of the trade, actually. Reminds me of Sam M.'s attempt to "defend" the Austin Kearns trade, another horrifying trade involving the Washington Nationals - well thought out, makes sense if you don't think too hard about it, and would placate a casual fan. I'm quite sad that somebody now has to make that same kind of apology for Sam M.'s favorite team.

IMO, I'd say the opposite is true about baseball people's perception of Milledge. There were probably a lot of pissed off GMs around 1 PM today wondering why the hell Omar couldn't have waited a few days for the winter meetings while they scraped together a package that could top the Nationals' one (and, let's face it, it wouldn't have been hard). I'd also say that the odds are entirely in favor of Milledge hitting better next year, and that this thread will become as much a reference point as, er, the last Mets fan self-immolation thread.

My friend Scott has a good barometer for transactions - are the players your team is giving up or getting going to play a part on the next good team in the franchise's history? Unless the Mets solve their pitching problems, I'm not entirely convinced this will be true for Church and Schneider (and I liked both of those guys when I watched the Nationals regularly). On the other hand, I can very easily see Milledge trot out to CF in the first playoff game in Washington Nationals history. And we will probably not have to wait very long to see that.

We will be talking about this deal for YEARS. I have no doubt about this in my mind.
   442. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:15 AM (#2630086)
In case anyone is wondering, Levski is stuck in traffic


This is the only thing that's made me laugh since this blackness settled over my soul.

OK, this too:

Something is seriously wrong with a trade if all the upside is in the guy you traded failing.
   443. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:15 AM (#2630087)
This is Amos Otis II, or maybe Ken Singleton II.
   444. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:15 AM (#2630088)
I bet the Mets make the back page tomorrow.

advantage Minaya.
   445. Шĥy Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:16 AM (#2630089)
I even agree that PR is part of Omar's job, and that he did a lousy job trying to publicly justify this trade. But in the long run, if it were a good trade, the PR would be good because the team would win more, and no one would care about how he sounded trying to defend the trade when it happened. The problem is it's a bad trade.

I agree that it was a completely awful trade. I'm just pointing another of Omar's many flaws. Obviously, player evaluations and decisions are the most important part of his job but he needs to be able to communicate effectively. Other GMs listening to Omar on the phone probably think he is an idiot, which can definately influence the types of trades that are available. He's also letting Willie be completely incompetent. While that's probably not just due to communication problems, it's very likely playing a role.
   446. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:17 AM (#2630090)
Do you not think that it is a problem that Omar talks in broken English?
Are you the biggest idiot ever?
   447. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:18 AM (#2630091)
Thats what kills me, is how in the hell did Omar not think that floating Milledge's name to anyone(Winter Meetings)that would listen was not a better idea? That in itself makes this a horrible trade.
   448. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:22 AM (#2630093)
"Why," please, shut up and go away. In any order you like.
   449. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:22 AM (#2630094)
Thats what kills me, is how in the hell did Omar not think that floating Milledge's name to anyone(Winter Meetings)that would listen was not a better idea? That in itself makes this a horrible trade


he only had to make it 48 more hours at best.

I'd like to think that Kevin Towers would have listened. he needs a center fielder
   450. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:23 AM (#2630095)
Thats what kills me, is how in the hell did Omar not think that floating Milledge's name to anyone(Winter Meetings)that would listen was not a better idea? That in itself makes this a horrible trade.

We are in the freaking internet age. Do you really think there are GMs that didn't know Milledge was available? Any GM who needed the Winter Meetings to know Milledge was available must be locked up in a cave somewhere. I am upset about the trade. The thing that is puzzling more than anything is why GMs don't seem to value Milledge as much as we all think they should. Omar didn't think as much of Lastings as I think he should have. I don't think he's the only one though.
   451. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:24 AM (#2630096)
All I can do now is pray for a failed physical.
   452. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:24 AM (#2630097)
My friend Scott has a good barometer for transactions - are the players your team is giving up or getting going to play a part on the next good team in the franchise's history? Unless the Mets solve their pitching problems, I'm not entirely convinced this will be true for Church and Schneider (and I liked both of those guys when I watched the Nationals regularly).

Well, now that I don't see. The Mets will be a good team next year. Their "pitching problems" are greatly exaggerated. They were middle of the pack in team ERA last year (7th), and that was with a shaky bullpen that is quite fixable if Omar will just get to it (and if, for example, they get a bit lucky with a return to good health by Duaner Sanchez). They have an above-average rotation that would be better than that if Pedro can give them 180 innings. Could they use another top-shelf pitcher? Sure. But they still have solid pitching overall, and they did win 88 games last year getting very little from Pedro and nothing at all from Sanchez. And they still have the core of Wright, Beltran, Reyes, Delgado, and Alou.

So Church and Schneider will play parts on the next good Mets' team. It'll just be Springsteen-esque.

The thing that is puzzling more than anything is why GMs don't seem to value Milledge as much as we all think they should. Omar didn't think as much of Lastings as I think he should have. I don't think he's the only one though.

I don't think other GMs thought the price was this low. I think it unfolded that Omar realized he couldn't get the pitching he wanted with Milledge in the deal, so he went to the next item on his checklist ("catching void"), and filled it. It's like an NFL or NBA team drafting for need, instead of the "best available player." Omar traded for need, instead of taking (or seeking out) the best talent he could have obtained. Milledge's value was higher, but I suspect nobody got the chance to offer it because the shape they would have offered wasn't what Omar was looking for.
   453. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:28 AM (#2630098)
My friend Scott has a good barometer for transactions - are the players your team is giving up or getting going to play a part on the next good team in the franchise's history?

If Theo trades Bucholtz for Schneider tommorrow, Boston could still win the WS next year. That method of evaluation is fatally flawed.
   454. haven Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:28 AM (#2630099)
IMO, I'd say the opposite is true about baseball people's perception of Milledge. There were probably a lot of pissed off GMs around 1 PM today wondering why the hell Omar couldn't have waited a few days for the winter meetings while they scraped together a package that could top the Nationals' one (and, let's face it, it wouldn't have been hard).

I really don't know if this is true. There seems to be a lot of group think among FOs of major sports. I am not sure how strange it is for the vast majority or even every FO to get down on a player like Milledge. Actually sort of seems plausible to me.

The bottom line though is even if that is the case I don't understand why Minaya felt so compelled to deal Milledge at this juncture. Maybe Minaya really believes......

1: The near term (2008/09) value of Milledge and Church is likely to be reasonably close; and
2: He VASTLY overvalues Schneider.
3: Milledge has no star potential
   455. The Artist Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:28 AM (#2630100)
453 posts? Are we going to break 1,000 when they trade David Wright?
   456. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:29 AM (#2630101)
Do you really think there are GMs that didn't know Milledge was available?

Yes, the Nats are a natural trading partner for the Mets, as mentioned above Omar wanted a def catcher, he knew Manny Acta would probably greenlight the deal. He wasted no time.
   457. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:30 AM (#2630103)
I don't want to sound like a broken record but Omar made it clear to point out that he talked with other GMs and they said that losing Milledge wouldn't have an effect on talks for frontline starting pitching. If true, I think that shows that other GMs weren't very interested in Milledge. The question I want answered is why the heck not.

I am no GM but shouldn't they be making counter offers for Milledge when Omar is offering him everywhere? Does anyone think Beane doesn't make a counter offer to Minaya just to guage what Omar thinks of him and what he'd take for him?
   458. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:30 AM (#2630104)
Sam will break that number of posts solo if Wright is traded.

I'm kind of agreeing here with Russlan on this, as far as no interest in Milledge. God knows, nothing good can come of cornrows.

Anyhow, it doesn't make the option of holding onto him a bad idea, which should have happened, but I really DON'T think any of our out-of-the-loop asses have any idea what sort of stupidity bleeds from club to club along the wire. Hell, everyone gossips at work and school and we all know how accurate THAT stuff is.
   459. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:33 AM (#2630105)
Sam will break that number of posts solo if Wright is traded.


No, instead we'll just have a 10,000 post thread on the Newsday article "Attorney Murders Mets Front Office In Rage".
   460. Шĥy Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:35 AM (#2630107)
The thing that is puzzling more than anything is why GMs don't seem to value Milledge as much as we all think they should.

You don't know that this is true at all. Just because GMs might have known that Milledge was availabe in a trade for Santana or Haren and that the Mets weren't in love with him doesn't mean that they knew that he was available for so little.
   461. baudib Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:36 AM (#2630109)
I was the only guy who defended the Kazmir trade based on the fact that I thought Zambrano was an established, quality starter who could get better. Of course, I didn't know he was damaged goods and I was proven to be conclusively wrong.

I even dismissed Giambi for Mabry as no big deal, unlikely to be consequential for either team.

But this trade is just unspeakably horrible. There's no justification and no upside for the Mets whatsoever.
   462. NTNgod Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:36 AM (#2630111)
So with the acquisition of Schneider, I'd imagine the Mets have gone, in Johnny Estrada's mind, from "a team that's all about winning" to yet another team on his ever-growing 's**t list'...
   463. Tony Ling Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:37 AM (#2630113)
If Theo trades Bucholtz for Schneider tommorrow, Boston could still win the WS next year. That method of evaluation is fatally flawed.


I realized I left out a vital component for his method of evaluation - I meant to say "rebuilding teams". So I should also retract my statement about Church and Schneider.

Well, now that I don't see.


Aw, here I am complimenting you, and now you're politely and intelligently debating one of my points? How dare you! :p

They were middle of the pack in team ERA last year (7th), and that was with a shaky bullpen that is quite fixable if Omar will just get to it (and if, for example, they get a bit lucky with a return to good health by Duaner Sanchez). They have an above-average rotation that would be better than that if Pedro can give them 180 innings. Could they use another top-shelf pitcher? Sure. But they still have solid pitching overall, and they did win 88 games last year getting very little from Pedro and nothing at all from Sanchez. And they still have the core of Wright, Beltran, Reyes, Delgado, and Alou.


This is fair enough, although the collapse of the Mets staff post-ASG has to be worrisome, as well as the hole created by Glavine's departure. Of course, we can't say for sure what the staff will look like before Opening Day, so I guess I was just speculating to begin with. But at the moment, I'm not entirely sold on the staff as it currently stands. I should also mention that I read a number of Mets game threads, especially during The Fall, and I also have serious doubts as to Rick Peterson's handling of the staff and Willie Randolph's in-game deployment of the staff. Talent can be muffled by incompetence.

I do think that core you mentioned is quite strong, although you have to hope a) Delgado bounces back and b) Alou continues to defy age and history.
   464. Boriole Forester Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:42 AM (#2630117)
What has Milledge done that's been so awful? Does he shoot heroin? Does he beat his wife? It amazes me how reputations about guys are formed and become accepted as gospel with a bare minimum of evidence.


#403 presents the case quite well. Add the rap song with questionable taste, and you've created doubt. And I submit the O's highly fractured, individualistic clubhouse is not where the O's brass wants to take a chance with character questions. The whole point of bringing Trembley in was to instill discipline and respect for the game. Is that worth even a handful of wins? Heck no. But look at the end-of-season collapses that have occurred with alarming frequency during the last 10 years of Orioles suckitude and tell me it has NO merit.
   465. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:45 AM (#2630123)
Are we going to break 1,000 when they trade David Wright?

The Top Ten Things That Are Going to Break When The Mets Trade David Wright

10) The land speed record, when I drive to New York to crush, kill, and destroy everyone named "Wilpon" in the New York Metropolitan Area.

9) The record for most posts on BTF in a single (a) minute, (b) hour, and (c) day . . . all while I'm driving and breaking the land speed record on my way to New York.

8) Citifield. Into many billions of small pieces. And all Wilpons horses and all Wilpons men won't be able to put Citifield back together again.

7) Gary Cohen's screechy little racist voice, which will I'm sure be so happy tonight but wouldn't be able to stand having to read the copy announcing the news of a David Wright trade.

6) The bond between 97.5% of Mets' fans and the franchise, in a way that would take years to be repaired and in some cases never would be restored.

5) The record for stupidest trade the Mets have ever made, currently held in a many-headed tie by the Amos Otis, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and Scott Kazmir deals . . . and it wouldn't even matter who they acquired. This one would win.

4) The promises made by every supposedly important figure in the Mets' hierarchy regarding the direction of the team and its commitment to David Wright.

3) The structure of Major League Baseball, including ultimately the leagues themselves, which would devolve into barnstorming teams playing no set schedule and no clear champion decided by a season-ending Series.

2) The Earth's crust, as well as its upper mantle, as God's wrath would be visited upon the entirety of humanity for such a monumental breach of faith, via a series of earthquakes and ravaging tsunamis as the prelude to Armageddon.

And, the # 1 thing that would break when the Mets trade David Wright . . .

1) My heart.
   466. rfloh Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:47 AM (#2630125)
#465

VERY nice.
   467. baudib Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:49 AM (#2630129)
I'm not as snarky as most around here about the value of veteran leadership, but the Mets are once again a great exhibit on the damage of poor veteran leadership that often gets overlooked. Just as with Johnny Franco, you have a couple of shitheads like Billy Gagner and Paul Blo Duca making the clubhouse an uncomfortable place for talented youngsters.
   468. shoewizard Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:50 AM (#2630131)
The thing that is puzzling more than anything is why GMs don't seem to value Milledge as much as we all think they should. Omar didn't think as much of Lastings as I think he should have. I don't think he's the only one though.

I'm not justifying the trade, but I honestly always thought Milledge was overrated. I never really wanted to say that openly on this site, because not only would I be mocked and ridiculed, but I might be construed as trolling. Which I wouldn't have been...but you know.

Anyway, he's no longer a Met, so I'll just say it.

While I think he will be a solid, somewhat above average player, I don't ever think he'll be a star. I don't think he will ever hit with the kind of power you expect from a corner outfielder, and apparently he can't play Centerfield. So whats the big deal here? He's young for his levels? Well, as important as that is when evaluating a player, sometimes people get too hung up on that and ignore actual production.

Milledge hit .306 in the minors, not .330 or .340.....he hit 34 homers in almost 1200 at bats, yeah, he hit a lot of doubles, but sometimes people are too quick to assume that minor league doubles translate to major league homers.

I'm not saying there is no chance that he can reach the lofty levels that most experts, fans and pundits have projected for him. I'm probably wrong about him.....but I just never really felt he had as high a ceiling as everyone else.
   469. haven Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:51 AM (#2630134)
The thing that is puzzling more than anything is why GMs don't seem to value Milledge as much as we all think they should.

You don't know that this is true at all.

What makes you think it isn't true? Did you read or hear something?

Everything I have read makes me think GMs don't seem to value Milledge as much as we all think they should. That doesn't particularly make it so, but just saying it isn't so because you are incredulous at the concept doesn't make it not so......

What did I just say? I am clearly getting confused. Sorry for any confusion, but this trade (and the post-work Friday night bourbon) has blown my mind.
   470. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:51 AM (#2630135)
anybody think Estrada's name is on the senators list?

Omar offered him up for nothing, and Bowden passed.

thats telling.

Wasn't Estrada a teamate of Grimsley's
   471. rfloh Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:53 AM (#2630137)
I don't understand how the GM who made the Benson for Maine and Nady for Ollie trades could make this trade.
   472. baudib Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:54 AM (#2630139)
shoewizard:

I could be wrong but I don't think many here have projected Milledge as the second coming of Ken Griffey. I've said that I think he'll be a second-tier star on the order of Gary Matthews Sr. or Ellis Burks.
   473. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:56 AM (#2630141)
and apparently he can't play Centerfield

What is the basis for this statement?

Milledge hit .306 in the minors, not .330 or .340.....he hit 34 homers in almost 1200 at bats, yeah, he hit a lot of doubles, but sometimes people are too quick to assume that minor league doubles translate to major league homers.

You also have to consider the offensive environments Milledge came up in...FSL, EL, IL.
   474. rfloh Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:56 AM (#2630142)
#486

Wagner actually stated in a recent interview that he was not happy at the prospect of a good player like Milledge getting traded.
   475. Tony Ling Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:56 AM (#2630143)
shoewizard:

Even given that all of what you said is true, that he will never reach the ceiling many people have projected for him, and that he will only be a second-tier star (Ellis Burks was a good comp), does that still justify him being traded for what the Mets received today?
   476. NTNgod Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:57 AM (#2630145)
Omar offered him up for nothing, and Bowden passed.

thats telling.


It was expected that the Brewers were going to non-tender Estrada, and now by acquiring Schneider, that the Mets will non-tender him.

Why be on the hook for an arb award, when you probably can wait a few weeks and sign the guy for cheaper than he'd get in arb?
(or at least be able to only offer a $ figure you're comfortable with as a team, and walk away if Estrada wants more than you're willing to shell out, rather than be beholden to the arb decision)
   477. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:58 AM (#2630146)
Minaya: This trade brings balance to our club. BALANCE.

*Omar flashes a fake ####### smile*
   478. shoewizard Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:58 AM (#2630148)
I could be wrong but I don't think many here have projected Milledge as the second coming of Ken Griffey. I've said that I think he'll be a second-tier star on the order of Gary Matthews Sr. or Ellis Burks.

I think that consensus opinon "evolved".....18 or 24 months ago I don't think most people on this site were expressing the belief that Milledge would be a second tier star. I'm certain Mets fans didn't. Not as sure about non Mets fans though.

I'm not trying to create a strawman to knockdown. My perception is that most people posting here thought Milledge was a bonafide star in the making. But I could be wrong in my perception.
   479. shoewizard Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:00 AM (#2630154)
Even given that all of what you said is true, that he will never reach the ceiling many people have projected for him, and that he will only be a second-tier star (Ellis Burks was a good comp), does that still justify him being traded for what the Mets received today?

The first 5 words of my post were:


I'm not justifying the trade
   480. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:06 AM (#2630159)
Jayson Stark has pointed out in his chat today that we're probably all overrating Milledge and if Omar could've gotten good value for him, he already would have.


This sums it up very nicely. Omar knows better than anyone here what Milledge's trade value--after all, he's gotten the phone received hung up on him many many times after he would bring up Lasto's name. The Twins are apparently a lot more interested in Coco Crisp and Melky than they are in Lastings. No other team with stud starting pitchers to trade (Baltimore, Oakland, e.g.) thought much of Milledge to swing a deal for him. The second coming of Griffey Jr. he isn't. Every single GM has known for a while that Milledge can be had like the fat girl at the prom, and the only one to jump was Bowdes, who jumps at tools first and projections second. And even Bowdes didn't bother to offer someone who figured to be important to the Nats in 2008.

In other words, Lastings was a can't miss prospect only in the minds of Mets fanboys around here. Omar did well to get something for him before his value tanked. In fact, Church is most likely going to be better than Milledge in 2008, and in 09/10, the Mets have Gomez and Fermart in the wings, and both of them are a lot more valuable properties. So the Mets won't miss a beat without Milledge, and arguably improved by replacing him with Church AND erasing the Estrada fiasco. I heard the Mets offered Estrada for free to the Nats, and Bowden passed. And Estrada wants to be Omar's latex salesman.

Overall, solid trade by Omar. The Mets will be better in 08/09, and then Gomez and Fermart will be ready to take over alongside Beltran? Lastings Who? And, Willy gets a couple of veterans who play the game the right way, and won't be showing off on the field to boot. Those are the types of players who win you championships. I'm sure Willy loved this trade. Thumbs up, Omar.
   481. shoewizard Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:07 AM (#2630161)
You also have to consider the offensive environments Milledge came up in...FSL, EL, IL.

In 2005 in the FSL, Milledge ranked 32nd in OPS, and later that year, ranked 15th in OPS in the EL

In 2006, he ranked 21st in the Int. League in OPS

He was young for his levels.....so you give him a bump of course. But relative to his league, he never even cracked the top 10 in OPS from High A on up
   482. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:08 AM (#2630162)
That's some top-notch snark there, levski.
   483. MM1f Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:11 AM (#2630163)
"
He was young for his levels.....so you give him a bump of course. But relative to his league, he never even cracked the top 10 in OPS from High A on up"

I can't prove this at the moment of course but I bet that would be true of many big league regulars, particularly those who came up young and/or played defensive positions.
   484. Ravecc Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:11 AM (#2630164)
Shoewizard,

What makes you conclude Milledge can't play centerfield? The Nats are playing him there.

I was trying to convince myself that I am overrating Milledge, but I made the mistake of reading hiz Zips career projection in the Oracle.

Yeah, that made me sick. Literally.
   485. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:12 AM (#2630166)
Why be on the hook for an arb award, when you probably can wait a few weeks and sign the guy for cheaper than he'd get in arb? (or at least be able to only offer a $ figure you're comfortable with as a team, and walk away if Estrada wants more than you're willing to shell out, rather than be beholden to the arb decision)


those are good points.
It is just rare for Bowden to ever turn down a player. Especially one where he has an immediate need.
He just signed some 30 odd players to minor league deals the other day. Bowden will take a chance on anybody. Except maybe a 'steroid distraction' while opening a new ballpark in the nations capitol.

Just more surprised Bowden said no I guess.
   486. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:15 AM (#2630167)
The Twins are apparently a lot more interested in Coco Crisp and Melky than they are in Lastings.

Yeah, because fellas named "Buchholz" and "Hughes" come attached to those deals, but not to one involving Milledge. The problem Omar had in putting a package together was not his OF prospects (including but not limited to Milledge). It was his lack of high-end pitching prospects. Which is exactly what YOU have said, Levski, when you're in the mood to snark about the Mets' pitching prospects like Pelfrey and Humber.

Those are the types of players who win you championships.

I must have missed those ticker-tape parades down Pennsylvania Avenue after those scintillating championship victories Church and Schneider won for the Nats these past few years . . . .

Overall, solid trade by Omar. . . . I'm sure Willy loved this trade.

Now I know we're royally ######, if I didn't know it before. Levski is praising Omar and he thinks Randolph is a happy camper too. The universal convergence of those forces can mean one of two things must be true: the Age of Aquarius has returned, or Lastings Milledge is on his way to the Hall of Fame. And there ain't no goddamned harmony and understanding floating around these days, so Milledge might as well make his Cooperstown reservations now.
   487. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:16 AM (#2630168)
That's some top-notch snark there, levski.


the San Diego judge scores it: 8.4
   488. shoewizard Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:17 AM (#2630169)
He was young for his levels.....so you give him a bump of course. But relative to his league, he never even cracked the top 10 in OPS from High A on up"

I can't prove this at the moment of course but I bet that would be true of many big league regulars, particularly those who came up young and/or played defensive positions.


Well...if you read my posts, and don't just look for a counter point, I said I thought he would be an above average major leaguer........and you refer to "many big league regulars"........so yeah....many big league regulars fail to come in the top 10-15 in OPS in their leagues.

But I would think that most guys that go on to be stars in the majors do better than 32nd, 15th, and 21st in OPS in their High A, AA, and AAA stints.
   489. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:18 AM (#2630171)
#403 presents the case quite well. Add the rap song with questionable taste, and you've created doubt. And I submit the O's highly fractured, individualistic clubhouse is not where the O's brass wants to take a chance with character questions. The whole point of bringing Trembley in was to instill discipline and respect for the game. Is that worth even a handful of wins? Heck no. But look at the end-of-season collapses that have occurred with alarming frequency during the last 10 years of Orioles suckitude and tell me it has NO merit.
Not only doesn't it have merit as a strategy, but it doesn't even have merit as a diagnosis. The Orioles problem for the past 10 years has been exactly the opposite of the one described. With the singular exception of Albert Belle, the Orioles have always chosen character -- or perceived character -- over talent.

The Orioles have had some late season collapses in those 10 years -- other years, they were just bad all year -- but that's clearly attributable to the lack of anything resembling depth in anything but DHes.
   490. The District Attorney Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:22 AM (#2630174)
But I would think that most guys that go on to be stars in the majors do better than 32nd, 15th, and 21st in OPS in their High A, AA, and AAA stints.
I would think you're completely wrong. That is just a hand-waving way to try to justify ignoring age relative to league. How'd your boy Chris Young do in those rankings? And Lastings was a year younger.
   491. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:33 AM (#2630181)
How'd your boy Chris Young do in those rankings? And Lastings was a year younger.


Bitter, table for one, in the corner.
   492. shoewizard Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:36 AM (#2630184)
I would think you're completely wrong. That is just a hand-waving way to try to justify ignoring age relative to league. How'd your boy Chris Young do in those rankings? And Lastings was a year younger.

Nobody is ignoring age for level. In general, I believe it's the first and most important thing you look at when evaluating a player. But sometimes too much emphasis is put on it, or it's used as an excuse to ignore actual production levels. Balance in all things my friend.

With regards to CY, well, he finished 8th in OPS (.922) in 2005 while playing in Birmingham, the toughest park in the minors to hit a homer in. So that wasn't too bad.

But just 27th the year before that in Kannapolis, and 32nd the year after in 2006 in Tuscon. But in 06 he broke his hand in spring training and got off to a slow start.....he was tremendous the second half of 06.

Hey....the only big defense I've made of Chris Young this year is that his power is legit....some moron was trying to tell me his HR power was a fluke. Which obviously isn't true. But if CY does not walk more, K less, and get his OBP up pronto, he is not even going to be league average, let alone a star, homeruns notwithstanding.

This doesn't have to be \"### for tat" you know. We are talking about Milledge, not Young. Anyway, don't get your panties in a bundle. When Milledge achieves stardom, just come back and remind me how wrong I was....but until then, nobody is right or wrong anyway...it's just opinion.
   493. The District Attorney Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:40 AM (#2630189)
Now, as for you, levski.... ehh, but I can't stay mad at you, you lovable scamp. Omar sold out the future and fu?ked up hugely. It's your day; enjoy it. Wouldn't be at all shocked if you get another one when they sign Livan.

I will say, though, that I seriously don't think this was a "dump the bad attitude" trade. It'll be very tough to convince me otherwise, I'll gladly cop to that; Mets brass will very likely never admit it, and I probably won't trust any "unnamed sources." Still, I don't think it was. I think it was legitimately about Minaya loving Schneider that godd?mn much, and the weird way that he does things that Sam laid out in #453, where holes have to be filled immediately and in a particular order. Maybe it's not laziness, but OCD?
   494. shoewizard Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:42 AM (#2630193)
What makes you conclude Milledge can't play centerfield? The Nats are playing him there.

Sorry, I missed this. Yes, I think I need to retract that portion of my original statement...and of course that has a large effect on how I should evaluate him overall. If he can play a decent CF, than is a good deal better than if he just plays corner.

Anyway, the Ellis Burks comp was interesting, even though they don't really have similar body types.

We'll see...we'll see
   495. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2630198)
Jesus ####### Christ. This is inexplicable. I hate Omar. I need a new team. The Nationals are looking pretty good.

The DRays look good too. They've been my #2 team since the Kazmir deal.

All I can do now is pray for a failed physical.

Where's Banta? I'm sure he could ensure a failed physical.
   496. user Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:05 AM (#2630217)
   497. PerroX Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:07 AM (#2630220)
Didn't I read a rumor this week that Omar might trade Reyes?

The White Sox have a certain Cuban pitcher available who could help solve the Mets pitching needs.

Then all's left to do is sign Livan.
   498. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:07 AM (#2630222)
Maybe Ryan Church will test positive for heroin and crack.
   499. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:11 AM (#2630226)
Maybe Ryan Church will test positive for heroin and crack.


Isn't he a pretty religious guy?
   500. billyshears Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:11 AM (#2630227)
Have other teams liquidated top prospects for spare parts and worthless crap in the past five years, or is it just the Mets?

I don't even have the heart to defend Milledge against his critics at this point. Looking at his stats just makes me sad.

In my opinion, this trade is a fireable offense. It has exposed Minaya as the clueless dolt that many said he was. He has lucked into a few nice deals, but nobody with a modicum of baseball IQ makes this move. I can never defend him again.
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