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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Who was the team of the decade in MLB?

Who’s the team of the decade in Major League Baseball? Well, a team that won three World Series might be the most logical choice, but there’s at least some room for hot takes.

With the decade ending, we’re taking inventory of a lot of what happened over the past 10 years, including some of the best moments and who would be on the all-decade team.

But which franchise did the most this decade?

The floor is open for nominations.

 

QLE Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:51 AM | 90 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: team of the decade, that was the decade that was

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2019 at 02:06 AM (#5911897)
If I did the PI right, the Yanks led the way with 921 wins followed closely by the Dodgers at 919, StL at 899, Wash at 879 and Bos at 872. The team that won 3 WS went just 821-799 with just two 90+ win seasons and 4 losing seasons but did also win 2 division titles. The Yanks and Dodgers of course didn't win any WS in this decade, the Cards picked up one, the Nats one and the Red Sox two (and four division titles). I think the AL was still the dominant league in the first half of the decade but they have been pretty equal over the last few years.

In terms of 90+ win seasons, some selections:

Atl 5
Bos 5
Cle 5
Hou just 3 but all were 100+
LAD 7 (2 100+)
NYY 6 (2)
SFG 2
STL 5
TBR 6
TEX 5
WSN 5

That didn't really clarify anything. Giants thoroughly uninspiring as a regular season choice, Yanks and Dodgers uninspiring as post-season choices, the Red Sox probably have the best case for success in both ... but they managed to finish last in their division three times too. It's a lot like the decade as a whole where there was plenty of great stuff (Trout, 100+ win seasons, great post-season comebacks, some crazy good pitching) but not a huge amount of sustained success by either players or teams and very few of the players aged particularly well.

Maybe we should just go with no team of the decade. In the always exciting wins/$ saber tourney, the team of the decade was pretty clearly the Rays with 860 wins on an average payroll of $37.52 and two buttons.
   2. bbmck Posted: December 31, 2019 at 02:33 AM (#5911899)
Regular Season Wins:

921 - NYY + 2 WC + 15 LDS + 7 LCS
919 - LAD + 17 LDS + 12 LCS + 4 WS
899 - STL + 1 WC + 16 LDS + 12 LCS + 6 WS + 1 Ring
879 - WSN + 1 WC + 10 LDS + 4 LCS + 4 WS + 1 Ring
872 - BOS + 7 LDS + 8 LCS + 8 WS + 2 Rings

860 - TBR + 2 WC + 6 LDS
855 - CLE + 5 LDS + 4 LCS + 3 WS
843 - ATL + 5 LDS
843 - TEX + 8 LDS + 8 LCS + 4 WS
839 - OAK + 4 LDS

824 - MIL + 6 LDS + 5 LCS
822 - LAA
821 - SFG + 2 WC + 10 LDS + 12 LCS + 12 WS + 3 Rings
817 - CHC + 1 WC + 9 LDS + 5 LCS + 4 WS + 1 Ring
794 - TOR + 1 WC + 6 LDS + 3 LCS

793 - ARI + 1 WC + 2 LDS
793 - NYM + 3 LDS + 4 LCS + 1 WS
792 - PIT + 1 WC + 2 LDS
789 - HOU + 1 WC + 11 LDS + 9 LCS + 7 WS + 1 Ring
787 - PHI + 5 LDS + 2 LCS

782 - DET + 9 LDS + 8 LCS
775 - CIN + 2 LDS
765 - MIN
758 - KCR + 1 WC + 6 LDS + 8 LCS + 7 WS + 1 Ring
758 - SEA

755 - BAL + 1 WC + 5 LDS
752 - COL + 1 WC
743 - CHW
739 - SDP
707 - MIA
   3. bbmck Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:41 AM (#5911902)
2010-19 combined payrolls in millions per Fueled by Sports:

2065 - NYY
1855 - BOS
1852 - LAD
1518 - LAA
1493 - SFG

1471 - DET
1448 - PHI
1404 - CHC
1296 - WSN
1271 - STL

1257 - TEX
1228 - NYM
1161 - SEA
1121 - TOR
1079 - BAL

1058 - COL
1050 - CHW
1033 - MIN
988 - CIN
980 - ATL

949 - KCR
922 - HOU
915 - ARI
911 - MIL
898 - CLE

765 - SDP
742 - OAK
731 - PIT
724 - MIA
671 - TBR

Yankees spent $62mil less than the Pirates, Marlins and Rays combined. By far the lowest single season payroll of the decade is $24mil for the 2013 Astros. So for baseline I'll use $24mil means a team averaging 60 wins per season and cost per win at (Payroll - $240mil) / (Wins - 600) in thousands:

1657 - TBR
2101 - OAK
2560 - PIT
2579 - CLE
2996 - MIL

3045 - ATL
3448 - STL
3497 - ARI
3608 - HOU
3775 - SDP

3786 - WSN
4185 - TEX
4274 - CIN
4485 - KCR
4525 - MIA

4543 - TOR
4805 - MIN
5055 - LAD
5118 - NYM
5364 - CHC

5385 - COL
5414 - BAL
5664 - CHW
5671 - SFG
5684 - NYY

5755 - LAA
5829 - SEA
5938 - BOS
6461 - PHI
6766 - DET

Other than the 2013 Astros, the minimum is around $35mil from multiple teams in the first half of the decade, this would drop TBR to 1234 and DET to 6161 and order stays pretty much the same. Since 2015 there are no payrolls listed under $62mil, Tampa has averaged $71.57mil and 82.8 wins during those 5 seasons.
   4. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 31, 2019 at 07:19 AM (#5911905)
Giants seem a good pick. I think it hurts their memory that the success was in the first half of the decade. Three wins in five years, without a complete turnover in players, is a very successful team.
   5. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: December 31, 2019 at 07:33 AM (#5911906)
The team of the decade is Mike Trout.

Why not say that the Astros are the team of the decade? Obviously not the best team in any sense, but they're the ultimate example of the tanking-to-win strategy, which really became a widely acknowledged thing in MLB during this decade. Three years of 100+ losses and three years of 100+ wins has a nice symmetry to it.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: December 31, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5911915)
The decade was brilliantly bookended by the Giants and the Astros, each representing opposing trends and philosophies. They're the obvious twin teams of the decade.
   7. DCA Posted: December 31, 2019 at 09:48 AM (#5911919)
It's pretty clearly the Rays.

They began the decade with 4 consecutive 90+ win seasons and ended it with 2 in a row. All while being conspicuously the lowest-payroll team in the league (saying something that they are consistently competitive given how many teams are cheap and bad) and innovators on the field.

   8. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 31, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5911930)
Gotta be the Dodgers for consistency throughout the decade. They won their division 7 times - only 3 times for the Yankees. They didn't win a World Series but the Yankees didn't even get to a World Series. The Dodgers must have the most years of being the intimidating team nobody wants to face in the playoffs (the Astros have only been in that position the last two years - the actual WS winning team had a rotation of Dallas Keuchel plus random guys).
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: December 31, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5911931)
All while being conspicuously the lowest-payroll team in the league
Until I get a cut of their profits, that doesn't bump them up in the rankings for me.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: December 31, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5911932)
the actual WS winning team had a rotation of Dallas Keuchel plus random guys


If Kate Upton is into random guys, maybe all of us have a chance.
   11. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 31, 2019 at 10:43 AM (#5911936)
Oh yeah, I forgot he had been there that long.

Let's see, 10 postseason starts for Keuchel and Verlander; 8 for Lance McCullers Jr., Brad Peacock and Charlie "The Late Bloomer" Morton.
   12. DCA Posted: December 31, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5911938)
Re #9

Except that running a low payroll is a thing. And the Rays are doing that thing. It’s not a moral virtue or anything but I think it counts toward team of the decade in a way that a middle payroll team doesn’t.

Not a coincidence that several other team of the decade contenders got their GM or manager from the 2010s Rays pipeline.

And actually the opposite end of the spectrum is a point in favor of the Dodgers. They built a talent base at all levels by spending money freely with no regard to penalties or short term profits. Much of it wasted. But it’s only money. And now are loaded without any dead money.
   13. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 31, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5911946)
It’s the Giants. Yeah, they sucked for the second half of it, but 3 titles in 5 seasons is ridiculous. The Red Sox also had two championships in the decade.
   14. flournoy Posted: December 31, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5911947)
The Rays went 6-12 in the postseason this decade, losing all four series they played. They did a lot of things well, but that immediately disqualifies them from any consideration for "team of the decade" in my book.
   15. bfan Posted: December 31, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5911954)
The Rays went 6-12 in the postseason this decade, losing all four series they played. They did a lot of things well, but that immediately disqualifies them from any consideration for "team of the decade" in my book.


Braves lost all 5 series they played, so between the Rays and Braves there was a nice 0-9 result to bolster the series wins of several other franchises.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: December 31, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5911955)
The Rays went 6-12 in the postseason this decade, losing all four series they played. They did a lot of things well, but that immediately disqualifies them from any consideration for "team of the decade" in my book.
Braves lost all 5 series they played, so between the Rays and Braves there was a nice 0-9 result to bolster the series wins of several other franchises.
The Twins scoff at merely losing every series.
   17. flournoy Posted: December 31, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5911957)
Braves lost all 5 series they played, so between the Rays and Braves there was a nice 0-9 result to bolster the series wins of several other franchises.


Yeah, as a Braves fan, I'm familiar with postseason failures. The Braves are a similarly absurd choice.
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5911961)
It’s the Giants. Yeah, they sucked for the second half of it, but 3 titles in 5 seasons is ridiculous. The Red Sox also had two championships in the decade.

Unless the only thing you're counting is rings, the Giants are a ridiculous choice. Their 821-199 overall record for the decade was 13th out of the 30 teams.

The Yankees had the best overall record, but with not even a single World Series appearance, they're a non-starter.

The Dodgers made the playoffs 7 times, but without any rings to show for it, they're not an ideal choice.

I'd give it to the Red Sox. 2 World Championships, 2 pennants and 4 division championships in a division that was a combined 303 games over .500 for the decade, plus the 5th best overall record in baseball.

P. S. Here's a great webpage where you can instantly find the combined standings of any league or all of MLB, for any stretch of years between 1871 and 2019. It's one of the best sites for team records I know of, though it appears to have been last updated at some point late in 2019, and doesn't reflect the 2019 postseason.

   19. The Duke Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5911967)
It’s not an obvious choice. The dodgers and cardinals seem to have the best combination of season and post season wins. The giants have the most rings but a terrible second half. The Red Sox certainly have a claim with two rings. Tampa bay did it without the money. David freese knocks the rangers out of contention. The Astros appear to have ripped off a number of these teams with cheating. If they didn’t cheat we could be talking about the Yankees or the dodgers or even the Rays as the best
   20. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5911974)
If I did the PI right, the Yanks led the way with 921 wins

and the Yankees had the best record in MLB during the 80s but I don't think anyone would call them the team of that decade
   21. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 31, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5911979)
and the Yankees had the best record in MLB during the 80s but I don't think anyone would call them the team of that decade

At one point I think Steinbrenner did.

Best team of each decade, by subjective decree:

1900's: Cubs
1910's: Red Sox
1920's: Yankees
1930's: Yankees
1940's: Yankees
1950's: Yankees
1960's: Yankees (barely)
1970's: Reds (barely)
1980's: Royals or Dodgers
1990's: Yankees (head-to-head tiebreaker over Braves)
2000's: Yankees
2010's: Red Sox

(1900's begin in 1901, as in 1900 there was no American League)

In terms of competitiveness, baseball's Golden Age ran from about 1965 to 1993.
   22. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: December 31, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5911985)
I don't think any "team of the decade" can be considered such without a ring. I'm biased obviously but for me the Sox get the nod based on multiple rings and the best single season of the decade.

That said I think the Giants are an interesting consideration. In some respects you can compare them to the 1990s Yankees, a few bad years then a bunch of rings. The difference for me is that the Giants never really had a GREAT season. I think the Cardinals have a case because they have the most wins of the teams that also won a ring in the decade and unlike Boston and San Francisco never had a sub-.500 season. They also get some narrative points for the way they won in 2011.
   23. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 31, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5911990)
I don't think any "team of the decade" can be considered such without a ring. I'm biased obviously but for me the Sox get the nod based on multiple rings and the best single season of the decade.

That said I think the Giants are an interesting consideration. In some respects you can compare them to the 1990s Yankees, a few bad years then a bunch of rings. The difference for me is that the Giants never really had a GREAT season.


Another difference is that the Yankees of the 1990's had the 2nd best overall record in the Majors, whereas the 2010's Giants trailed 12 other teams over the decade.

I think the Cardinals have a case because they have the most wins of the teams that also won a ring in the decade and unlike Boston and San Francisco never had a sub-.500 season. They also get some narrative points for the way they won in 2011.

The Cardinals would be my runnerup for the decade, but you also have to consider that compared to the Red Sox, they played in what was overall a far weaker division.

AL East, 2010-2019, not counting the Red Sox: 179 games over .500
NL Central, 2010-2019, not counting the Cardinals: 63 games under .500
   24. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5911993)

In terms of competitiveness, baseball's Golden Age ran from about 1965 to 1993.


There were 19 different World Series participants during that 29 year span. There have been 20 just since 2003, the last 16 years.
   25. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5912006)
Team of the decade is obviously very subjective. From a fan perspective it is the Giants. Fans want flags which fly forever, and there is no flag for most wins in a decade or anything else.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5912015)

In terms of competitiveness, baseball's Golden Age ran from about 1965 to 1993.


Just nitpicking, but shouldn't the 70s be taken out of that? Just four teams in each league won pennants in that decade. The 80s were definitely a Golden Age of baseball, but the 70s were dominated by a few dynasties, and the 90s were dominated by Yankees, Braves, and to a lesser extent, the Indians.
   27. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5912019)
In terms of competitiveness, baseball's Golden Age ran from about 1965 to 1993.

There were 19 different World Series participants during that 29 year span. There have been 20 just since 2003, the last 16 years.


But that's more of a factor of postseason expansion than anything else.

1965-1968: 20 teams, 2 potential World Series winners at the beginning of the postseason
1969-1976: 24 teams, 4 potential World Series winners at the beginning of the postseason
1977-1992: 26 teams, 4 potential World Series winners at the beginning of the postseason
1993: 28 teams, 4 potential World Series winners at the beginning of the postseason
1995-1997: 28 teams, 8 potential World Series winners at the beginning of the postseason
1998-2011: 30 teams, 8 potential World Series winners at the beginning of the postseason
2012-2019: 30 teams, 10 potential World Series winners at the beginning of the postseason

How many of those World Series winners from 2003 would've even been eligible for the postseason if there were still only 2 divisions and no wild cards?

If the American League had been split into divisions during the long run (1921-64) of Yankees domination, you likely wouldn't have had that many Yankees World Championships. But would that really have meant that the American League was more competitive, or simply that the rules of the time allowed for Mulligans?
   28. Hank Gillette Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5912020)
It's pretty clearly the Rays.

They began the decade with 4 consecutive 90+ win seasons and ended it with 2 in a row. All while being conspicuously the lowest-payroll team in the league (saying something that they are consistently competitive given how many teams are cheap and bad) and innovators on the field.


My question is, if they increased their payroll by 50%, which would still leave them in the bottom half, how much better would they be? Would they be able to find better players that still have relatively low interest from other teams, or would they just be bidding on the same players that other teams are competing for now?

I’m not explaining my question very well, but is whatever they are doing now scalable, or does it only work with a low payroll?

Warren Buffett once used an example of the extreme value investing that he started out doing as someone who picks up used cigar butts from the street. Unsavory, but ignored by others, and there would be a few free puffs left. But (no pun intended), that type of investing is not really scalable. Buffett left that mode of investing behind and started paying higher prices for better companies (and has been wildly successful).
   29. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 31, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5912025)
In terms of competitiveness, baseball's Golden Age ran from about 1965 to 1993.

Just nitpicking, but shouldn't the 70s be taken out of that? Just four teams in each league won pennants in that decade. The 80s were definitely a Golden Age of baseball, but the 70s were dominated by a few dynasties, and the 90s were dominated by Yankees, Braves, and to a lesser extent, the Indians.


You're right that the 80's stood out like a beacon, but even the other parts of that 1965-93 period were more competitive than just about any other comparable period, when you're talking about domination.

And it's not just the Yankees. Aside from the 1910's NL, when from 1913 through 1919 you had 7 different pennant winners, pretty much every other decade was ruled in each league either by a single dynasty team or by competing dynasties. For instance, from 1941 through 1956, the Dodgers accounted for 7 pennants and the Cardinals accounted for 4.
   30. Hank Gillette Posted: December 31, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5912027)
The 80s were definitely a Golden Age of baseball, but the 70s were dominated by a few dynasties, and the 90s were dominated by Yankees, Braves, and to a lesser extent, the Indians.


On the one hand, many of us would like to see a lot of different teams in the World Series (except for our favorite team, which should be in every year), but on the other hand, we remember the dynasties and celebrate great teams.

When a lot of teams are competitive, there are complaints about mediocrity. I would be happy with some dynasties, as long as it isn’t the Yankees (and to a lesser extent, the Dodgers). I thought the dominance by the Braves (at the league level) was great, even though they are not my team. I do wish they would get rid of the ####### tomahawk chop.
   31. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 31, 2019 at 04:37 PM (#5912030)
Except that running a low payroll is a thing. And the Rays are doing that thing. It’s not a moral virtue or anything but I think it counts toward team of the decade in a way that a middle payroll team doesn’t.


I don't know. To me, "running a low payroll" is "a thing" in the same way that having three left-handers in your starting rotation is a thing. Which the 2019 Cubs did and which has absolutely no bearing on the extent to which the Cubs may or may not be the team of the 2010s (they're not).

The team of the decade would have clearly been the Dodgers or Yankees if either of them had won even one World Series. I get the arguments against the Giants, but would probably still vote for them. In the absence of any clearly "good" choice, I'd lean toward "count[ing] the rings".
   32. Mefisto Posted: December 31, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5912032)
Aside from the 1910's NL, when from 1913 through 1919 you had 7 different pennant winners


I think your count may be off here. The Giants won 4 pennants that decade (1911-13 and 1917), so the other teams could only have won 6.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5912035)
The thing about the Giant's 3 WS in 5 years is that, even in that 5-year span, they averaged just 87 wins a year. That would make them the Jack Morris of teams of decades. Which doesn't necessarily mean it shouldn't be them just that they're obviously not an inspiring choice and it's not entirely clear why you wouldn't take (for example) the Red Sox with more reg season wins, more division titles, one historically "great" season and 2 rings.

I mean it's far from obvious that the Giants were the best team in any of the years they won it, they just got hot at the right time. Maybe there's a case to be made that they were the best team based on their best 15 players or so (the ones you actually use in the playoffs) but, on the surface at least, they have a lot more in common with the 2013-15 Royals than they do with the Yanks of the 50s.

Still, maybe they deserve it, there are not strong cases. In the fantasy thread, the main question is "who was the SS of the decade?" Turns out there's only one guy who was a starting SS for the decade and that's Evlis Andrus. The next-closest guy in playing time is Alcides Escobar. The best-hitting guy with at least 4000 PA at SS was Asdrubal Cabrera. Tulo was great in the first half of the decade but ended up with fewer than 3700 PA for the decade. Lindor has been great for the 2nd half of the decade but of course wasn't around for the first half. That was a fantasy discussion, apparently traditional fantasy given the discussion about SBs, and they ended up with Ian Desmond as their choice (I go with Andrus by those criteria). By WAR, Andrelton leads the way but of course he has no fantasy value. Then you get a clump of Tulo, Lindor and Andrus at 28-30. Clearly by quality, Andrus is not the choice ... but that just raises the question of how important is "decade" in deciding "SS of the decade."

We're in a similar spot for team of the decade except the Giants aren't really at the level of a Lindor or Tulo where we can claim they were dominant enough for half the decade that it doesn't matter what they did in the other half. Analogously, the Giants are Roy Campanella with 3 MVPs (maybe not all "deserved") but not much else while the Red Sox are maybe Dale Murphy and the Dodgers and Yanks are maybe a Rafeal Palmeiro type who might end up with a decade's best numbers without a great or even MVP season.

Or, if your SS choice is Simmons then you're the sort of person who wants to come up with some formula like 10 points for a WS win and 7 for a pennant and 4 for a division title and 2 bonus points for a 100-win season and ... if your SS choice is Tulo or Lindor, you're leaning towards Giants or Red Sox ... if your SS choice is Andrus, you're leaning towards one of Yanks, Dodgers, Red Sox, maybe Cardinals. (But I agree, at least one WS title is pretty much required to be ToD.)

Back in the dark ages, the Village Voice ran their "Pazz and Jop" poll for album of the year in which they surveyed virtually every music critic in the country (maybe England too) asking them for their top 20 or whatever then added up the scores. But they also printed the detail and if you looked at the detail, you'd see that the "album of the year" had been cited as the best album of the year by something like 4 of 500 respondents. It of course had appeared elsewhere on lots of lists but so had the #2 album. I don't recall the scoring method but presumably it was possible for the #2 album to receive more first-place votes (as it theoretically is possible in MVP voting, etc.)

Anyway, I'm pretty agnostic on this one. I don't like the Giants as the choice but I'm not thrilled with the Red Sox as the choice and ain't no way I'm picking the Cardinals. So like "best pitcher of the 80s", I pick nobody. I value regular season performance highly enough that I suppose I'd give it to the Red Sox on having more wins and more division titles but still would be really annoyed picking a team that finished last 3 times (and I think their 2013 team was a massive fluke). Ick.

Which doesn't make it a bad decade -- it was a pretty balanced decade. And of course the team of the decade is the 2016 Cubs and there will be no debate on that.
   34. Hank Gillette Posted: December 31, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5912039)
Which doesn't make it a bad decade -- it was a pretty balanced decade. And of course the team of the decade is the 2016 Cubs and there will be no debate on that.


Wrong. The team of the decade was the Nationals, who had a magical season the likes of which had been unseen since the 1914 Miracle Braves. They also had more wins in the decade than any other team winning a World Series, except for the Cardinals, which I guess means it might be the Cardinals.

Let’s just go with no team of the decade.
   35. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5912043)
Let’s just go with no team of the decade.

Pitcher of the decade by WAR is a 3-way tie between Kershaw, Scherzer, & Verlander (59-56-56). Player of the decade is obviously Trout--his 72+ WAR is almost 20 above the 2nd place finisher. Which is who? (I never would have guessed it)
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: December 31, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5912046)
Ian Kinsler?

   37. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 06:02 PM (#5912048)
Kinsler is 12th
   38. PreservedFish Posted: December 31, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5912050)
Votto, Cano, Cabrera, Cutch?
   39. Hot Wheeling American Posted: December 31, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5912051)
Cano?

Edit since I see we get multiple guesses!! My shot in the dark, even though there’s no way he’s got 50+ WAR, is Goldschmidt.
   40. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5912052)
Cano--bingo

full list >40 WAR
   41. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 07:03 PM (#5912059)
This is probably recency bias, but to me it's got to be the Astros. They pioneered the dump-and-tank strategy that a lot of saber guys were advocating back in the late 90s (ie, the "success cycle" idea). They put the best teams on the field. And they were just more interesting than most of their competitors (Dodgers, Red Sox, the not-that-good Giants) for the title.
   42. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 31, 2019 at 08:18 PM (#5912063)
Aside from the 1910's NL, when from 1913 through 1919 you had 7 different pennant winners

I think your count may be off here. The Giants won 4 pennants that decade (1911-13 and 1917), so the other teams could only have won 6.


Of course you're right. It was the Giants, Braves, Phillies, Robins, Giants, Cubs and Reds. (No Pirates or Cardinals.) If I'd just bothered to list them the first time around I would've noticed it.

Longest streaks in each league with no repeats:

NL (7), 1999-2005 (Braves, Mets, Diamondbacks, Giants, Marlins, Cardinals, Astros)
AL (8), 1981-1988 (Yankees, Brewers, Orioles, Tigers, Royals, Red Sox, Twins, A's)

Longest World Series streak with no teams repeating in either league:

1919-1921: AL (Red Sox, Black Sox, Indians, Yankees), NL (Cubs, Reds, Robins, Giants)


   43. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 31, 2019 at 08:57 PM (#5912066)
It's pretty clearly the Rays.
The Rays financial spreadsheet may get them extra credit in a CPA League, but not MLB. The Giants 3 WS wins make them the Team of the Decade, notwithstanding their weak overall performance. No one else did enough to stake a better claim.
   44. Mefisto Posted: December 31, 2019 at 09:04 PM (#5912067)
1919-1921: AL (Red Sox, Black Sox, Indians, Yankees), NL (Cubs, Reds, Robins, Giants)


I guess it's my day to be that guy, but I assume you mean 1918-1921.

   45. SoSH U at work Posted: January 01, 2020 at 08:54 AM (#5912095)
If you look at it from the perspective of success, then there's no obvious answer, coming down to finding the right balance between rings v. regular season.

However, if you look at it from the more interesting angle of which team best reflected the decade (as Voxter and Fernigal did), then it's clearly the Astros. During the decade, they: shifted from the NL to the AL, a switch which mandated interleague play all season long; pioneered (and best implemented) the tear-down, build strategy; were at the cutting edge of the use of new data sources to improve performance; involved in the various cheating incidents as both victim and perpetrator, and, like the sport itself, they became rapidly more difficult to like as the decade came to a close.

   46. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 01, 2020 at 11:21 AM (#5912110)
1919-1921: AL (Red Sox, Black Sox, Indians, Yankees), NL (Cubs, Reds, Robins, Giants)

I guess it's my day to be that guy, but I assume you mean 1918-1921.


Yeah, obviously. One of the minor problems here is the time limit on the edit function.

---------------------------------------------

However, if you look at it from the more interesting angle of which team best reflected the decade (as Voxter and Fernigal did), then it's clearly the Astros. During the decade, they: shifted from the NL to the AL, a switch which mandated interleague play all season long; pioneered (and best implemented) the tear-down, build strategy; were at the cutting edge of the use of new data sources to improve performance; involved in the various cheating incidents as both victim and perpetrator, and, like the sport itself, they became rapidly more difficult to like as the decade came to a close.

Good point. And going from the NL to the AL at a time when the AL was clearly the superior league made what the Astros accomplished an even more impressive feat.
   47. salvomania Posted: January 01, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5912116)
Best team of each decade, by subjective decree:
1960's: Yankees (barely)

I would give it to the Cardinals---same number of rings (2), almost identical win totals (884, to Yankees' 887, but Yankees played 162 games in 1961 while NL teams were still at 154), but the Yankees finished last once (10th out of 10), next to last twice (9th out of 10 and 5th out of 6), and were under .500 four times, while the Cardinals had one season under .500 (with a record of 80-81).

The Yankees were unquestionably the 1960s Team of the First Half Decade, dominating 1960-1964, but were mediocre to bad for the rest of the '60s.
   48. salvomania Posted: January 01, 2020 at 11:49 AM (#5912119)
Cardinals could also make a case for the 1940s---most wins (960 to Yankees 929), but just 3 rings to Yankees 4. Both teams did well during and after the war, but for the decade the Cardinals finished 1st or 2nd every year but one (they finished 3rd that year), while the Yankees had four 3rd-place or lower finishes.
   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 01, 2020 at 11:52 AM (#5912120)
However, if you look at it from the more interesting angle of which team best reflected the decade (as Voxter and Fernigal did), then it's clearly the Astros. During the decade, they: shifted from the NL to the AL, a switch which mandated interleague play all season long; pioneered (and best implemented) the tear-down, build strategy; were at the cutting edge of the use of new data sources to improve performance; involved in the various cheating incidents as both victim and perpetrator, and, like the sport itself, they became rapidly more difficult to like as the decade came to a close.
To the extent that there can be a “right answer,” this seems like it.
   50. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 01, 2020 at 02:50 PM (#5912159)
Best team of each decade, by subjective decree:
1960's: Yankees (barely)



I would give it to the Cardinals---same number of rings (2), almost identical win totals (884, to Yankees' 887, but Yankees played 162 games in 1961 while NL teams were still at 154), but the Yankees finished last once (10th out of 10), next to last twice (9th out of 10 and 5th out of 6), and were under .500 four times, while the Cardinals had one season under .500 (with a record of 80-81).

The Yankees were unquestionably the 1960s Team of the First Half Decade, dominating 1960-1964, but were mediocre to bad for the rest of the '60s.


Can't argue with that last point. I gave it to the Yankees overall (barely) because of the greater number of pennants (5 to 3), but if you wanted to argue for the Cardinals I think a point you left out was the NL's big overall superiority.

Trivia point about two of those Cardinals' World Series: They were extremely lucky to win in 1964, and probably would've won in 1968 if it hadn't been for a rare bonehead play by Lou Brock.

In 1964, the Cardinals won both games 4 and 5 because of critical errors by Bobby Richardson on easy ground balls.** If Richardson had fielded those two routine grounders and completed the plays, the Yankees would've won that Series in five games.

And in the fifth inning of 1968's game 5, it's likely that if Brock had slid home instead of trying to score standing up, (1) he would've been safe; (2) the Cardinals would've increased their lead by 4 to 2 with only one out and the heart of the order coming up. And a win that day would've also ended that Series in five games.

But as Seinfeld would say, it all came out even Steven.

** Along with one of the greatest defensive plays in history by Bob Gibson, which prevented Tom Tresh's subsequent game-tying 9th inning home run from being a walkoff 3-2 winner. I still can't believe any human being was capable of making that play.

----------

Cardinals could also make a case for the 1940s---most wins (960 to Yankees 929), but just 3 rings to Yankees 4. Both teams did well during and after the war, but for the decade the Cardinals finished 1st or 2nd every year but one (they finished 3rd that year), while the Yankees had four 3rd-place or lower finishes.

I suppose you might make that case, but given that two of those Cardinals' pennants (1943 and 1944) were against war-depleted competition,** and given that four of those five (not four) 3rd-place or lower Yankees finishes were either wartime (1944-45) or just 2 or 2.5 games behind the pennant winner (1940 and 1948), I can't see giving it to the Cardinals.

**While the Cardinals' rosters were relatively unscathed by the draft
   51. DCA Posted: January 01, 2020 at 03:21 PM (#5912163)
The Giants 3 WS wins make them the Team of the Decade, notwithstanding their weak overall performance. No one else did enough to stake a better claim.

I think the Giants are clearly outclassed by the Red Sox.* Both with 4 playoff appearances. 2 WS wins vs 3. But one of those was an all-time great team and the other had the most wins in the league, while the Giants were relatively weak champions and were never the best team in the NL over a 162 game or longer sample.

I would take 1 strong + 1 historically great title vs 3 weak titles, but even if not, the extra 5 wins per year should make up the difference.

* who would not be my choice, btw, but they still have an obviously better claim than the Giants.
   52. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 01, 2020 at 04:35 PM (#5912179)
They pioneered the dump-and-tank strategy that a lot of saber guys were advocating back in the late 90s (ie, the "success cycle" idea).


Except they didn't. Theo and Cubs were ahead of the curve on this and set the blueprint and won the series even sooner.

Team of decade, if we must choose one, has to have at least won the Series once. Also the team must have a solid record throughout the decade.

Red Sox, Nats, Cards...those are your choices. Nats appeared and won the series, once. Cards won once, lost once. Red Sox appeared and won twice. Nats eliminated.

Red Sox won twice, Cards have the better overall record. Take your pick from those 2.

As the Yankee fans have pointed out though, the Red Sox competition has been substantially tougher then what the Cards faced, so maybe that sways your decision. Plus the Red Sox had that amazing 108 win season which was the best of the decade.
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: January 01, 2020 at 04:51 PM (#5912183)
Except they didn't. Theo and Cubs were ahead of the curve on this and set the blueprint and won the series even sooner.


The Cubs won the series sooner, but they entered tank mode one year after Houston did. They both became competitive in the same year.
   54. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 01, 2020 at 07:03 PM (#5912201)
but they entered tank mode one year after Houston did. They both became competitive in the same year.


Well that'll teach me not to guess that it was a linear thing with the Cubs getting to the big prize sooner. Thanks for the clarification.
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: January 01, 2020 at 07:08 PM (#5912204)
If the Dodgers win just one World Series in the decade, they are the team of the decade, but without one World series win, it pretty much eliminates them from consideration... on the opposite end... the Giants had three wins, sucked many other times, nobody really can think they are the team of the decade... Same with the Yankees, who to be honest was probably the best team of the decade, but because of their failures in the post season, it limits them as a real choice... You have to at least make the World Series to enter the discussion, and probably have to win at least one.....

I'm with 52... it's the Cards or Red Sox...

editing... no I'm not... 3 losing seasons for the Red Sox eliminates them from the discussion... now I'm with people saying "there was no team of the decade." You cannot be in the discussion for team of the decade when you post losing seasons multiple times... that is not a team of the decade pedigree.



   56. cardsfanboy Posted: January 01, 2020 at 07:10 PM (#5912206)
As the Yankee fans have pointed out though, the Red Sox competition has been substantially tougher then what the Cards faced, so maybe that sways your decision. Plus the Red Sox had that amazing 108 win season which was the best of the decade.


and I think that is a stretch, the NL Central has been pretty much the most dominant division in baseball the last five years with up to 4 teams putting up over a .500 record...
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: January 01, 2020 at 07:12 PM (#5912208)
And reading through this thread... I honestly do not understand any of the incredibly stupid ass arguments that talk about payroll... who f-ing cares about payroll as a fan, it's results, and when it comes to team of the decade... payroll is at best the 55th most important analytical point to consider in the discussion.
   58. bbmck Posted: January 01, 2020 at 08:05 PM (#5912214)
Astros pioneering a strategy of tanking? I didn't realize how young the posters are who weren't even around for the Marlins winning two World Series.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: January 01, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5912220)
Astros pioneering a strategy of tanking? I didn't realize how young the posters are who weren't even around for the Marlins winning two World Series.


Obviously, the Marlins never tanked to win the 1997 World Series, so that's not a good example.

And while the 1998-99 teardown did produce a few key members of the '03 series winners (Lee and Beckett), there wasn't any sense that the Marlins were tanking for the purpose of building the next great team. Rather, it was Wayne Huizenga shedding every bit of salary in a fit of pique. That they rode Trader Jack's midseason magic to another wildcard World Series title a few years later is not really all that comparable to what the Astros and Cubs did, either in execution or results.

   60. The Duke Posted: January 01, 2020 at 09:53 PM (#5912233)
If you have to pick just one team of the decade I think it has to be the 2019 Nationals. Even as a cardinal fan I have to say this was better than 2011 — the run they had in late Sept and through the World Series was amazing.
   61. bbmck Posted: January 01, 2020 at 09:55 PM (#5912234)
What the Astros did was draft Carlos Correa in the same year the non-tanking Dodgers drafted Corey Seager, followed by taking back-to-back 1st overall picks who haven't played in MLB, got bailed out by Brady Aiken to get Alex Bregman and then taking Kyle Tucker with the 5th pick.

George Springer is an 11th pick and doesn't really qualify for tanking and allegedly the team tried to blackmail him into signing a really cheap contract and only once George was brave enough to take the fight public was he allowed to make his MLB debut, meanwhile Jose Altuve was essentially a fluke that they caved in and spent $15,000 on the advice of Al Pedrique.

Meanwhile the Marlins signed two MVPs to long term contracts but their Ace pitcher gets killed in the off-season and short a few wins don't make a move at the deadline for a playoff push and begin to tank yet again. If only the Marlins had figured out how to bang out a few extra wins.
   62. SoSH U at work Posted: January 01, 2020 at 10:10 PM (#5912238)
What the Astros did was draft Carlos Correa in the same year the non-tanking Dodgers drafted Corey Seager, followed by taking back-to-back 1st overall picks who haven't played in MLB, got bailed out by Brady Aiken to get Alex Bregman and then taking Kyle Tucker with the 5th pick.


The Astros made a very specific decision to rid itself of talent, with an eye toward building for the future. How much of that future success was the result of tanking vs. just good fortune is subject to debate, but there's no question that was the aim. No one at the time, including the Marlins themselves, suggested they were ridding themselves of talent for the purpose of building the next great Florida team. Hell, the tanking began three months after they won the title. They were at the top of the success cycle. That was simply a salary dump.

You could make a better case that the team's actions before the 2006 season were closer to the Astros-Cubs approach (and other teams since then, including the Marlins). But it didn't pay off in any meaningful way.

Meanwhile the Marlins signed two MVPs to long term contracts but their Ace pitcher gets killed in the off-season and short a few wins don't make a move at the deadline for a playoff push and begin to tank yet again. If only the Marlins had figured out how to bang out a few extra wins.


What does this have to do with what happened six years or so earlier?
   63. TomH Posted: January 02, 2020 at 06:05 AM (#5912269)
#54 and #55; shocker alert... CFB ops for the Cardinals as team of the decade!

reg season W pennants... Rings
921 - NYY ....... 0 .......... 0
919 - LAD ....... 2 .......... 0
899 - STL ........ 2 .......... 1
879 - WSN ....... 1 .......... 1
872 - BOS ....... 2 .......... 2
821 - SFG ....... 3 .......... 3

I kid somewhat; yes, there is no obvious answer, but dissing the Red Sox by quoting sub-.500 seasons is pretty silly; we could also quote seasons over 100 wins (STL has 0), or count only rings where a team had both a great regular season and also a dominant post-season run, as opposed to sneaking in the playoffs and escaping with a trophy on very close plays (hello, 2011).
Three teams have a good case. The Dodgers won a ton and came close to a trophy twice. As a guy who believes you shouldn't put everything on Count the ringzz, especially on series that could have gone either way, I would go with LA, BOS next, then STL. But YMMV.
   64. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 02, 2020 at 06:37 AM (#5912270)
[Game 5 of the 1964 WS featured] one of the greatest defensive plays in history by Bob Gibson, which prevented Tom Tresh's subsequent game-tying 9th inning home run from being a walkoff 3-2 winner. I still can't believe any human being was capable of making that play.


Judge for yourself.
   65. Blastin Posted: January 02, 2020 at 09:02 AM (#5912278)
The team of the decade is the Astros because of the tanking, the winning, and the..... ethics.

The way that bad people are often "person of the year" for Time.

You gotta win at least one ring to be the team of the decade.
   66. Lassus Posted: January 02, 2020 at 09:37 AM (#5912290)
which prevented Tom Tresh's subsequent game-tying 9th inning home run from being a walkoff 3-2 winner.

What was that about being "that guy", Mefisto?

There's no way any of the pitches to Tresh would have been the same if there had been a dude on 1B.
   67. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 02, 2020 at 10:57 AM (#5912309)
Maybe or maybe not, but if Richardson hadn't blown those two easy DP balls, there wouldn't even have been any bottom of the 9th. The Yanks would've won the 4th game 3-0 and the 5th game 2-0, and the Series would've been over in 5 games. Kind of ironic that the biggest goat of the World Series would also have had a .406 BA and an .875 OPS, but that's baseball Suzyn.
   68. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:15 AM (#5912311)
Along with one of the greatest defensive plays in history by Bob Gibson, which prevented Tom Tresh's subsequent game-tying 9th inning home run from being a walkoff 3-2 winner. I still can't believe any human being was capable of making that play.


Which I swear I knew nothing about till this sent me to YouTube in search of footage ... though surely Halberstam wrote about it in October 1964. Haven't read that in some 25 years, though, & wasn't exactly taking notes.
   69. Hot Wheeling American Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5912323)
Judge for yourself

Good God, the umpire's out gesture!
   70. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5912325)
Judge for yourself


Is that Harry Carey announcing?
   71. PreservedFish Posted: January 02, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5912329)
Good God, the umpire's out gesture!


It's beautiful.
   72. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 02, 2020 at 12:31 PM (#5912333)
Along with one of the greatest defensive plays in history by Bob Gibson, which prevented Tom Tresh's subsequent game-tying 9th inning home run from being a walkoff 3-2 winner. I still can't believe any human being was capable of making that play.

Which I swear I knew nothing about till this sent me to YouTube in search of footage ... though surely Halberstam wrote about it in October 1964. Haven't read that in some 25 years, though, & wasn't exactly taking notes.


On pp.339-340 of October 1964 Halberstam described "along with Boyer's home run, the most important play of the Series" at great length. I'm too lazy to type it all out, but he writes that Tresh, who was on deck at the time of Pepitone's smash, said that Gibson made "one of the greatest plays Tresh had ever seen in baseball and certainly the greatest fielding play by a pitcher."

I know what I felt at the time of Tresh's homer: This was only delaying the inevitable. Gibson pitched a 10 inning complete game that day with a Game Score of 87, and unfortunately for the Yankees, all they had to throw at the heart of the Cardinals' order in the top of the 10th was a stiff named Pete Mikkelsen. It was the mismatch of the century.
   73. RoyalFlush Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5912362)
Back to back WS appearances with one ring - plus a GM that isn't afraid to openly discuss and deal with the dangers of pornography?

That's my team of the decade.
   74. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:46 PM (#5912368)
Giants seem a good pick. I think it hurts their memory that the success was in the first half of the decade.

Hey, somebody has to be the worst team ever to win 3 WS in 5 years.

2010-2014 Giants : every other team with 3 WS in 5 years :: Pablo Sandoval : every other player to hit 3 HR in a WS game
   75. Mefisto Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:58 PM (#5912378)
Yeah, but Sandoval hit his off of Verlander. I'm not going to go look it up, but I doubt any of the others hit them off anyone remotely that good.
   76. Nasty Nate Posted: January 02, 2020 at 02:16 PM (#5912385)
Yeah, but Sandoval hit his off of Verlander. I'm not going to go look it up, but I doubt any of the others hit them off anyone remotely that good.
I don't think anyone in history has given up more World Series home runs than Verlander.
   77. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 02, 2020 at 03:52 PM (#5912425)
Yeah, but Sandoval hit his off of Verlander. I'm not going to go look it up, but I doubt any of the others hit them off anyone remotely that good.

Two of those were off Verlander, who gave up five runs in four innings. One of Ruth's three in 1928 was off Grover Cleveland Alexander.

But in one way the most impressive three homer postseason game was George Brett's threepeat against Catfish Hunter in game 3 of the 1978 ALCS. What made it so impressive was that those three home runs accounted for the only three runs that Hunter gave up that day.
   78. Nasty Nate Posted: January 02, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5912427)
I don't think anyone in history has given up more World Series home runs than Catfish Hunter.
   79. Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: January 02, 2020 at 05:59 PM (#5912477)
Unless the only thing you're counting is rings, the Giants are a ridiculous choice. Their 821-199 overall record for the decade was 13th out of the 30 teams.


That record looks pretty impressive.
   80. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 02, 2020 at 07:47 PM (#5912506)
I don't think anyone in history has given up more World Series home runs than Catfish Hunter.

You're right, but he also had a World Series career 5-3 record and a 3.29 ERA in 63 innings.
   81. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 02, 2020 at 07:59 PM (#5912511)
Didn’t know about that play by Gibson, that’s a hell of a play.

Also, the word “wallop” doesn’t get used enough to describe a home run.
   82. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 02, 2020 at 08:08 PM (#5912514)
That's "a White Owl Wallop" to you.
   83. Hank Gillette Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:09 PM (#5912546)
I actually think this play was better. It wasn’t in the World Series, but notice which hand the pitcher throws to the plate with, and which hand he uses to throw to first.
   84. Hank Gillette Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:18 PM (#5912547)
I don't think anyone in history has given up more World Series home runs than Catfish Hunter.


I count nine for both Hunter and Verlander, but Hunter pitched in six WS, and Verlander only four.
   85. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2020 at 12:01 AM (#5912551)

I actually think this play was better. It wasn’t in the World Series, but notice which hand the pitcher throws to the plate with, and which hand he uses to throw to first.


And you were impressed despite rooting for the Nats.
   86. Hank Gillette Posted: January 03, 2020 at 12:49 AM (#5912556)
And you were impressed despite rooting for the Nats.


Yes. I think it is the single greatest play I have ever seen. I don’t know if he had to go as far to get the ball as Gibson, but to throw it with his off arm while in extreme pain (he left the game after this play) just impressed the hell out of me.

Don’t get me wrong; I love those plays where outfielders reach over the fence to take away a home run, but many of those are actually pretty routine, requiring only to get to the right location and timing the jump.

The “greatness” of a play is subjective, but this is my “greatest”.
   87. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2020 at 08:22 AM (#5912573)
Yes. I think it is the single greatest play I have ever seen. I don’t know if he had to go as far to get the ball as Gibson, but to throw it with his off arm while in extreme pain (he left the game after this play) just impressed the hell out of me.


I was alluding to the comments section from that there video.

But I agree, that's a spectacular play.

   88. Nasty Nate Posted: January 03, 2020 at 08:39 AM (#5912576)
I count nine for both Hunter and Verlander, but Hunter pitched in six WS, and Verlander only four.
You can ser why I had to post #78 as a companion to #76 when he happened to mention Hunter.
   89. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 03, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5912583)
I actually think this play was better. It wasn’t in the World Series, but notice which hand the pitcher throws to the plate with, and which hand he uses to throw to first.

But what you don't mention, although the announcer does, is that Velasquez is ambidextrous. It's still a great play, especially considering the pain he was obviously feeling, but he had time to square up and make the throw from a normal position. Gibson didn't have that luxury.
   90. Mefisto Posted: January 03, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5912612)
You can ser why I had to post #78 as a companion to #76 when he happened to mention Hunter.


That was impressive.

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