April 2009

About time for some success…

You know that you’re not the brightest crayon in the box when you log on to http://www.mlblogs.com and say, “oh hey, I know that guy in the picture… oh… wait… that’s me next to him.” Yeah… it actually took me a few seconds to recognize myself in the picture. Props go to Don for that picture.

So a heart felt thanks to you, oh loyal readers, and of course, MLBlogs.

But, we have business to attend to. The series against the Padres looked good, and it’s about time that the Rockies started winning. Five games behind, is totally unacceptable. With a few recent wins under their belt, let’s examine what has been going right for the Rockies.

We’ll single out the most recent game, April 29, as our point of reference.

Aaron_Cook1.jpgAaron Cook finally has a little confidence instilled in him. It’s about time too, Cook hasn’t been looking too pretty out there on the pitcher’s mound. Compared to what we usually expect out of Cook, this season he appeared mediocre. Like a washed up pitcher, no longer the ace or fall back guy of the Rockies. That was not the same Aaron Cook who pitched on April 29. Cook is best known for his sinking fastball, however, this great pitch wasn’t going to accomplish a whole lot if his sinking fastball was not sinking! I can’t say what Cook did to remedy this problem, but now that the mechanics of his pitching are fixed, I think he’ll be back to his old self. Cook needed this win, his problems with his pitching have been affecting his confidence and I think even he started to doubt if he would be back to his old self. With Cook’s confidence back to what it needs to be, I’m sure that he’ll start pitching like the ace that we know and love.
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Dexter Fowler. That’s all I can say is Dexter Fowler. This guy has looked beyond amazing and has been shrinking the outfield. Dexter Fowler is going to be one of the top players in our club, the kid has looked beyond phenomenal. He not only has been looking good to fans, but players inside the clubhouse as well. Ryan Spilborghs has been saying what a great player Fowler has been not only on the team, but for support as well. Dexter’s been doing a lot of things right, including having the ability to be an ambidextrous batter and he’s been shrinking the outfield with his incomparable speed. During Monday’s game, he stole five of the eight bases that Colorado had. Both offensively and defensively, no one could ask more of Dexter Fowler… unless you’re the opposing team. Then you’ll ask him to stop running so fast.

DSC_2845A.jpgSeth Smith hasn’t played as much as I originally thought he would. With the rise of Dexter Fowler and Ryan Spilborghs being placed into left, Smith hasn’t seen as much action as he probably would have liked. However, regardless he’s looked good when he’s been out on the field. He’s got three home runs, six RBIs, and has the highest OPS in the club. Look at how cute he is too!!! Aww, he’s adoreable. Anyway, back to business. I read that Seth Smith does this like… baseball instruction thing during the off season, and I’ll bet having the basics constantly being instilled in you are helpful when it comes to hitting.
Ryan Spilborghs28.jpg
Ryan Spilborghs was struggling a lot in the beginning of the season. His batting has finallypicked up and he’s looked pretty good. Unfortunately, in the April 29th game, batting third wasn’t the place for him. They took Garrett Atkins out of the game and Brad Hawpe was injured so batting third so Todd Helton could be in the clean up spot would make sense. The third spot is always for the best hitter on the team, and needless to say, unfortunately Ryan Spilborghs isn’t the best hitter on the team. However, I understand that for the line up’s sake, it was important to put him in the three spot. With his batting alas picking up, it’ll be easy to see him more consistently in left field.

images-1.jpgTodd Helton just needs to keep being Todd Helton. After his injury last season, I was worried about what he would look like when he came back to action, but he picked up right where he left off… ya know, before the injury. He’s been playing like good ol’ Todd, or Sweet T.
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Ian Stewart is having some trouble with the bat, and I think that’s because he doesn’t have a defined role with the team yet. With the Rockies having so much success with their outfield and infield, it’s hard to find a spot for a player as great as Stewart. I think because it’s been difficult for him to adjust to the idea of being in multiple roles, his attention hasn’t been with his bat. Last season, when he was much more settled at third, he looked great both offensively and defensively. His inconsistent playing time mixed with his sporatic placement on the field has become a struggle for Stewart. Once he gets used to being shifted around and the idea that he could become a semi utility player, he’ll find more success.

Troy-Tulowitzki-200x200.jpgTroy Tulowitzki… I don’t know what to say about you. Defensively you’ve looked good… that is, when you’ve been in the lineup. Tulo hasn’t seen as much playing time because his stats with his bat have looked… well… needless to say… terrible. The kid’s been struggling a lot and he’s in need of a confidence booster to get him going. It seems Tulo has high points and low points, although he can’t entirely forget about his defensive plays, his focus needs to be on hitting right now. That’s where it’s most important.

clint-barmes.jpg

Clint Bames… well, like Todd Helton, he just needs to keep being Clint Barmes. Barmes looksgreat with a bat and playing defensively. He puts his heart into every play, and it’s
incredibly evident. I’m always impressed with what I see from him.

Chris Iannetta.jpgChris Iannetta has been looking good defensively, yet he’s been struggling with the bat. While I don’t think he took it easy during the off season, I think he believed that his success with the bat would travel with him into this season… however, that has not happened. Iannetta has finally raised his BA to above 100 and perhaps is starting to pick up. Iannetta’s great with pick offs and blocking wild pitches, but his trouble with the bat has probably been effecting the true potential that he has.

I also wanted to share this comic I found, it’s Korean and it’s about the Rockies… weird… and hilarious.risingtulo.jpg

The caption is: The Mailman

Tulowitzki: I never fail to deliver my five tools for free

Helton: Wow! Fast!

Awesome.

1. Photo courtesy: www.sportsfaith.com
2. Photo courtesy: my baseball photos
3. Photo courtesy: vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com
4. Photo courtesy: my baseball photos
5. Photo courtesy: www.i-ontheball.com
6. Photo courtesy: www.rockymountainnews.com
7. Photo courtesy: mlb.mlb.com
8. Photo courtesy: www.rockiescast.com
9. Photo courtesy: my baseball photos

It was déjà vu…

… Only a different seat, sitting with different people, and different players in the lineup.

Let’s rewind to “Emily goes to her mock opening day,” take one.

So, there I was walking down to Coors Field on Friday, late as usual; I was going to meet up with Tom Walsh from Rocky Mountain Way at the game. I arrive at Coors and look around to find no one who really resembles who I might consider Tom. So, I drop my friends’ tickets off at will call and wait, looking for Mr. Walsh.

First, let me tell you that if you’ve ever been over to Tom’s blog, you’ll know that there are no direct pictures of him. It’s like when it comes to pictures, he becomes all emo or something and you can’t ever see his whole face. So, in reality, I’m clueless as to whom I’m actually looking for. So, I’m waiting around for him and let me tell you, people are very misleading. Lots of them walked by, gave me a smile, and then passed right by me, like it could’ve been Tom approaching me and then it was like, “psych.” Thanks misleading people. For a short period there, I was worried that Tom was this creeper who kept lurking around me; and I certainly wouldn’t want to go up to the creeper and be like, “Um… excuse me… weird question… but is your name Tom and not Creeper, like I’ve so adequately named you?” Anyway, so eventually the creeper went away and IPhoto 9.jpg continued to wait. I waited and watched as the staff brought over the Ubaldo Jimenez t-shirts that I was definitely going to have to snag and thought, “If tom doesn’t get here and I don’t get an Ubaldo shirt, he’s totally going to get a punch in the face.” So, alas, the elusive Tom shows up and we enter Coors Field… and I get my Ubaldo shirt; can’t leave that part out. I suppose I should also not leave out that Tom was not a creeper and looked quite normal when he showed up. Anyway, so, once inside, I took in a little batting practice, Photo 10.jpgwhen who should I spot?!?! None other than the Rockpile Ranter!!! He immediately greets me with a big hug, but then it’s back to business; snagging balls is very serious. He catches a BP home run and without hesitation hands it off to me. Let me say that that was, without a doubt, one of the nicest things ever. I mean, I really just met the guy and immediately he hands me off a ball. So, thank you so, so, so, so much D!!! So, there it is, my first major league ball ever!! Don was gracious enough to give it a quick appraisal, but then it was back to snagging. So, my ball isn’t labeled with anything associated with batting practice, and it’s got a nice big spot on it from where it was hit. Tom asked me if I was going to get it autographed, I said I wouldn’t even have any idea how to do that, and he said it’s easy for girls. So I’ll have to work to get it autographed someday.

On another note Don, thanks for the offer with the nachos, but that game was far too close to get up and wait in line for food that will clog my arteries and eventually be my demise. We’ll have to wait for a more secure lead in the game. 

So, let’s give a quick wrap up of the game. It didn’t start out too well for Cook. He gave up twoAaron Cook.jpgruns in the top of the first and the thought that immediately went through my mind was, “oh no, it’s like a repeat of the April 18th game.” However, after some struggles, Cook closed down the inning and the Rockies came back to score in the bottom of the first. They scored again in the third and the fourth inning and were leading the game!… which didn’t last long because the Dodgers would score in the fifth. The game was pretty quiet until the eighth inning when the Dodgers would drive in two runs and the Rockies responded with two runs. All tied up, 5-5. Into the ninth, the game is tense, but a win is coming. I swore I could’ve felt it, it was my opening day, the Rockies owed me. Dodgers hit a line drive between AtkinsGarrett Atkins20.jpgand Tulo bringing them up a run. As much as I love Garrett Atkins, and trust me, I love Garrett Atkins, I really feel like if Ian Stewart were playing third, he might have been able to make that play. Last season, Stewart made some amazing plays, he had a fielding percentage of 0.944 while playing third. So, no offense to you dear Atkins, Stewart’s just a little more agile than you are. Either way, the Dodgers would win it 6-5. Some good things that happened during that game, Iannetta would raise his BA to above 100 and Atkins would get an RBI. Both of their stats have been suffering this season.

Oh, let me also say that I didn’t even use my Asian intellect during that game at all. Since I walked down to Coors Field, I had to leave my house early and it was warm outside, so I didn’t bring a jacket. Well, that was stupid of me, because the sun went down and it got cold… and so did I.

A score of 6-5 and a lack of intellect. Well, I didn’t like that too much, so I was headed back to Coors Field the next night.

So, we were going to try this again. “Emily goes to her second game where they will hopefully win and she’ll replace that with the awful memory of how they lost on her opening day,” take… two… kind of.

All right, prepared for the cold weather this time, I had on my ball cap, a scarf, gloves, two layers of shirts, plus my Rockies spring training jersey. Bring on the weather and bring on a win!

So… there I was, sitting in the Pavilion watching as Ubaldo Jimenez gave up not one, not two, not three, but four, he gave up FOUR runs. My first thought, it was like watching, it was the April 19th game against the Dodgers, except Ubaldo gave up all the runs a little earlier. Thanks, why don’t you let them score a little more.

That game, I discovered many things… that’s kind of a sentence fragment, but whatever. Onestadium.GIF thing I discovered… I hate the wave. Everyone loves the wave, why? It’s annoying, it totally distracts from the game. For example, everyone was so busy doing the wave and looking for where it was in the stadium that no one noticed that Glendon Rusch struck out Manny Ramirez. Manny Ramirez, who, by the way, was struck out three times. Take that Manny Ramirez, face.

Next thing, I’ve been told twice that Colorado has the worst fans and the most bandwagon fans. I don’t even believe that, but last night, I can guarantee you, I had the most incompetent woman sitting behind me. So, obviously Ubaldo gave up six runs. They brought in Glendon Rusch who, I know I hate, but did really well. So this woman sitting behind me was like, “oh, he’s much better than Ubaldo, they should’ve started him.” Okay, lady, he’s pitching like two innings, did you even see him last season? He wasn’t anything special. Fast forward a little more, Matt Daley coming up fresh from the Sky Sox enters the game. First thing he does, strikes out a guy. Then the woman behind me is like, “he’s clearly the better pitcher, he should’ve been pitching the game.” WOMAN! Do you know what you’re talking about?!?! No, you obviously have no idea. GAH!
The incompetence surrounding me!!!

Garrett Atkins21.jpgSo, we’ll rewind a little bit because I must give credit where credit is due. Who got a home run?!?! That’s right, Mr. Garrett Atkins! He was due for one too. I told him when he came up to bat, because I trust that he has super sonic hearing and can hear everything I say to him, that if he didn’t do something, I would cry… not at the field, but in the privacy of my own home, I would wallow in my misery. So, a home run was exactly what he needed. Unfortunately, his stats don’t represent that of a cleanup hitter, but he’s been doing much better with a bat than it appears.

The game ended with yet another 6-5 loss. It hurt bad. So today I will be watching the game from the comfort of my couch. They better win this one, no more of this sweeping shenanigans.

Also, don’t forget to vote for your All Stars!!! I’m having some difficulty voting for mine though. I’d like to see Todd Helton at first, but gotta do what’s best for the team which means also voting for Albert Pujols. I keep hoping Iannetta will come alive with the bat… so far, no dice. I still have like… 15 votes, I may have to start voting someone else in. In the spirit of doing what’s best for the team, same goes for the Red Sox, Mike Lowell is my old man, but… well, he’s old. Evan Longoria would look much better at third. It’s embarrassing to be voting for Dodgers players after all that… but when push comes to shove…

all Star ballot.png 

1., 2. Photo courtesy: me
3. Photo courtesy: I have no idea. It was just in my previously uploaded pictures.
4. Photo courtesy: my baseball photo collection
5. Photo courtesy: www.bottomlayer.com
6. Photo courtesy: my baseball photo collection

“Opening day” here I come!

Welcome home Rockies!!!!

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Finally, ten days and eight games later the Rockies are headed home!!! And guess who will be there in the vicinity of section 150, row 29, and one of the seats in 13-16?!

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Garrett Atkins15.jpgThat’s right! Yours truly will be up left field line hoping to catch a glimpse of her two favorite players: Ryan Spilborghs and Garrett Atkins. I am totally stoked! I usually try to get a seat in the Pavilion, but all those seats were sold out. That tells me that maybe a lot of people will be at this game, which is even more exciting!

Granted, I’m a little worried, the Dodgers did sweep them in this past series, but really… I don’t care. I mean, yeah, it’d be great to see the Rockies win, but all I care about is that I’m going to be there! Finally!!!

I’ve practically been counting down the hours where IUbaldo Jimenez.jpgwill walk down to Coors Field, catch a little batting practice, pray that if a ball comes my way I’ll be coordinated enough to catch it (I have really awful depth perception), pick up my Ubaldo Jimenez t-shirt, sit in the glory that is Coors Field, and cheer my heart out. If I by chance see Andre Ethier, I’ll tell him that I read his blog. Maybe he’ll find somewhere to eat in Denver. What if I saw him eating in Denver?! That would be neat.

So, my predicted lineup for tomorrow? I’ll have to check with Thomas Harding‘s blog before I head out to see if I’m right:

1. Dexter Fowler

2. Ryan Spilborghs

3. Todd Helton

4. Garrett Atkins

5. Brad Hawpe

6. Clint Barmes

7. Chris Iannetta

8. Troy Tulowitzki

9. Aaron Cook 

Atkins, Tulo, and Spilborghs have been having some trouble with the bat, so there’s a strong possibility that their place will be changed around. Can’t wait to be there. No camera though, so you won’t get to enjoy my non existent photography skills. But I can’t wait to get home and blog about it!

I hope to see lots of this:

1. Photo courtesy: www.denver.com
2., 3., 4. Photo courtesy: my baseball picture collection

The psychology of ball parks

All right, I refuse to believe that the Rockies are straight up being out played. These past four games have been disgusting, yes, I used the word “disgusting” as the adjective to describe my feelings toward these games.

Maybe I’m in denial, but I cannot blame the Rockies playing abilities for their losses. I know, deep down, we have great players who can achieve so much, they’re just… kind of in a slump. In fact, being the psychology enthusiast that I am, I’m blaming their brains… well… kind of. I’m blaming the ball parks for messing with my players’ brain.

So, let’s break down the psychology of ball parks.

I kind of lied, our first stop isn’t actually a ball park, it’s a football stadium. The reason I choseHawkeye's visitor locker room.jpgthis is because it’s like a prime example of trying to demean your opponent. So, let’s talk about the Iowa Hawkeye’s stadium. Kinnick’s takes a unique approach when dealing with it’s opponent that actually sparked a lot of controversy.

The entire visitor’s locker room is pink. Everything is pink; the floors, the walls, the lockers, the urinals, the tHawkeye's visitors locker room.jpgile, everything. The color pink is supposed to have a calming effect on a person, which at the time was one of the reasons the coach claimed to have painted it that color. However, it’s my belief that when applied to a locker room, especially to a football locker room, pink represents an incredibly demeaning color. Because it’s often associated with feminism it dishonors and humiliates the team. Motivation should come from the idea that you’re better than the color of the locker room; but on a subconscious level, this is something that actually messes with people’s brains; it’s almost like priming. If I were to read you words that were synonymous with the word “slow” then after you read those words, you would in fact, walk slower. Not for very long, but some part of your brain told you that you needed to be slower. Pink comes into play the same way, it doesn’t turn you into a feminine person, but it takes a toll on your thoughts and the way you play. The whole feminine thing is where the controvery comes into play.

Hayden Fry, the coach who ordered the locker room to be painted pink has actually said that it was a mistake and that the locker room needed to be painted but the only color available at the time was pink and so it’s remained. However, the color is awfully convenient to abase oncoming rivals.

The locker room is a place for athletes to prep themselves, to relax, and where they go during rain delays. If you’ve got home field advantage, your locker room is bound to be much nicer than your opponents. Take, for example, the Washington National’s locker room.

Washington Nationals locker room.jpgWashington Nationals Locker Room2.jpg

The details put into a locker room are incredible. The Louisville Sluggers that separate each locker, the privacy that is given between each one, and check out the rest of it.

Washington Nationals Whirl pools.jpgWashington Nationals showers.jpg

The whole thing is just beautiful. The idea is to make you as comfortable as possible and the designers of Washington Nationals’ locker room have done a great job of accomplishing that. It’s doing all these little things that inspire confidence, comfort, and preparation in a player. The carpet has this big “Washington Nationals” logo on it, and it’s just one of those things that helps to personalize where you are and remind you of what you’re doing. The showers, the whirlpool, it’s all designed as a luxury.

Same thing goes for the St. Louis Cardinals’ locker room. If you look behind that guy standingSt Louis Cardinals locker room.jpgthere, you’ll notice leather chairs, ones that look like they might be recliners. When things like locker rooms are personalized, it gives off this homey kind of feeling. You’re more relaxed, comfortable, and that’s crucial in baseball. Of team sports, baseball is probably the one that regards the most mental preparation. I’m sure I’ll get arguments from football, basketball, soccer, and hockey fans; but baseball is the kind of sports where if you strike out, you throw a home run, you do anything wrong, it’s with you for the rest of the game. It’s not a game where you’re moving fast enough to just forget about it.

Diamondbacks locker room.jpgNow, the Rockies played the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight. The DBacks have a nice looking locker room. Notice the flat screens up in the corner.

My friend and I were at a game that ended up with a long rain delay, so, naturally, all the Rockies retreated to the locker room and we joked about what they did in there. Like, play Guitar Hero or Rock Band, or a baseball video game. Anyway, those TVs made me think of that.

So, I can’t find any pictures of the DBacks visiting locker rooms, but I imagine they look something like the Red Sox locker room or Wrigley Field’s locker room.

When we take a look at the Red Sox visitors locker room, compare it to the other ones thatRed Sox visitors locker room2.jpg you’ve seen. I mean, I had nicer lockers than this when I was in middle school. Anyway, the point is, it’s uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just the picture, but it looks like it’s painted that “Fenway Green.” The point is, it’s nothing special, when you compare it to home field locker rooms, this is just sad. Of course, it’s not meant to be comfortable, it’s meant to intimidate your opponent, it’s meant to make them uncomfortable, make them aware that they’re not atRed Sox visitors locker room.jpghome. In fact, Fenway has even started advertising on their chairs. Maybe Jason Marquis would feel a little more at home with his name on the chair, but the locker room is unwelcoming, as it’s meant to be.

Dugouts are another way that ball parks can mess with your head. Let’s take, for example
,Yankee Stadium.jpgYankee Stadium. Most dugouts you find are like those wooden park benches that are uncomfortable to sit on. Yankee Stadium has given their players more comfortable benches, everything’s about comfort.

Chase Field gives their players’ dugout a full bench with room to stretch out and move around. For it’s visitors’ dugout, there are two small benches that can’t fit all the players on it, and is meant to be awkward for players to sit on. A lot of things that are put into a home field are meant to make the players feel comfortable, for the visitors, there are obvious signs but they’re more on a subconscious level.

Although this example is extreme and probably doesn’t apply to baseball, in some Las Vegas casinos, there will be this sound coming through the speakers that’s not really blatantly audible. Our brains are constantly filtering things out, when you sit in class and you hear paper flutter, it’s not something you notice until someone points it out. So in some casinos, there’s this constant voice saying “lose, lose, lose” that’s being filtered out. The brain is an amazing thing, and despite not being fully conscious of it, you’ll still hear that “lose, lose, lose.”

Anyway, so the point is, the Rockies have been on the road for all but three of their last 12 games. The pressure and the unwelcome state has to be getting to them some how. I mean, I think Garrett Atkins has like… four hits out of 31 at bats… I think. Don’t quote me on that, it might be a different number. Maybe when they get home, things will be a little better for them and they’ll play a little better. But take note of the way that ball parks are designed, when you look at the home side verses the visitors side.

On a final note, being a native Coloradan, I’d like to pay tribute to the events that happened ten years ago today, April 20, 1999. The Columbine High School shooting was an event that shocked and dumbfounded a nation. It’s regarded as one of the worst school shootings in history, a title not to be proud of, but to pay homage to. My heart goes out to the victims who lost their child, their teacher, their friend.

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1. Photo courtesy: nbcsports.msnbc.com
2. Photo courtesy: www.iowalum.com
3., 4., 5., 6. Photo courtesy: www.jdland.com
7. Photo courtesy: flickr.com
8. Photo courtesy: phoenix.about.com
9. Photo courtesy: www.daylife.com
10. Photo courtesy: www.esquire.com

A little critique

After the beyond embarrassing sweep that the Rockies faced, I think it’s time to take a good, long look at the team and what I think is going on with them. This past series against the Dodgers was just… well… sad. The Dodgers completely swept the series winning the games 4-3, 9-5, and 11-2.

Sometimes baseball is like football, everyone wants to blame the quarterback, well, everyoneimages.jpg thumb-1019701.jpgwants to blame the pitcher. I think we all know, that’s not really fair. When it comes to the game of football, you have an offensive line that needs to block for the quarterback, a defense that needs to keep the opposing team from scoring, and a quarterback to pass the ball. I know, it’s a little more complex than that, but that’s the basic break down of it. Baseball, there’s an offense to score the runs, a defense to keep the opposing team from scoring runs, and a pitcher to throw the ball. Once again, a very basic break down, but the point is, like football, baseball is entirely a team sport.

So, with that in mind, I want to take a look at three playeres, mostly because I’m too lazy to write more right now, and the reasons that I think they’re struggling.

Aaron Cook.jpgAaron Cook: Cook has always been a fantastic pitcher, not only that, but for being a pitcher in the NL, he can often be seen swinging a bat. Over the past few seasons, Cook has been having a few troubles with pitching, probably because of health problems. Last season, he struggled with pain in his back and was placed on the DL. This season, Cook has said that physically he feels great, so his back problems are not an issue and therefore not contributing to his pitching issues. During the game, Cook had considerable problems with his sinker, his signature pitch. Although he had the confidence to play against the Dodgers, Cook lacked the command in his pitch. This was something that Bob Apodaca should’ve helped him with. Cook should’ve stepped off the bag, gathered his thoughts and what was wrong with his pitches, focused on what the problem was. What did it feel like when the ball left his hand? What was happening with the rest of his body? Cook can easiliy improve on these things, he’s a good pitcher. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll bounce back and show the skills that he has.

Ubaldo Jimenez.jpgUbaldo Jimenez: Jimenez is one of the best pitchers I’ve seen. He has a fastball that hits upwards of 100 mph. Because of that fastball, he’s intimidating on the mound. The problem with Jimenez is his lack of control with his fastball. You can have a killer fastball, but if you have no control of it, it’s ineffective. Jimenez needs to spend some more time practicing to find the strike zone with his fastball. He needs to control his pitches even if that means slowing them down to do so. Walking four guys in the 4.1 innings he pitched today isn’t going to bring your team closer to a win. Jimenez has the talent there, he just has to learn to perfect what he already has. Sometimes I think he rushes his pitches and doesn’t gather his thoughts. Pitching can be a daunting task, if you don’t focus your mind to prepare yourself for the pitch, the odds that you’ll throw a ball dramatically increase. Like I said before, Jimenez has all the parts to be great, he just needs to perfect them.

Ryan Spilborghs28.jpgRyan Spilborghs: For a long time, I’ve been wanting Spilborghs to get a full time in center field, and now he has it. However, over the past two games he played in, I think he went 0-4. He started out the season really looking good, and now he’s kind of lost that momentum. During his time with the Mexico Pacific League, he had a very low batting average. I think Spilly is putting a lot of pressure on himself now that he has been appointed this full time position. If Dexter Fowler isn’t playing, Spilborghs is at the top of the line up, and because that position is so important, I think Spilly puts an immense amount of pressure on himself. If he doesn’t get that hit, it’s a big let down for him. Since he has been promoted to full time, he needs to learn to shake things off, realize that he can’t control what the ump is going to call, what the pitcher is going to throw. The pitcher has been training his entire life to strike out people like Ryan Spilborghs. Spilly needs to take a breather, get his head cleared up, and just hit the ball.

I’ll be honest that that’s kind of all I feel like writing about right now. I’m really tired. My last thought is that I hope that the series against the Dodgers back here goes better than it did out there. I hope to get back to reading everyone’s blog tomorrow!

 

1. Photo courtesy: www.coolchaser.com
2. Photo courtesy: www.istockphoto.com
3. Photo courtesy: colorado.rockies.mlb.com
4. Photo courtesy: www.rockymountainnews.com
5. Photo courtesy: me

Some notes from the game

As I prepared to watch one of my favorite teams do my favorite thing yesterday, the news came at me Huston Street07.jpglike… something. “Manny Corpas will be replacing Huston Street in the ninth inning.” GAH! WHAT?!?! Huston Street!! You’ve embarrassed me in my choosing of you for the closer role. This is very unfortunate for both ends, in my opinion. When the word that Street was going to be coming to the Rockies, there was a lot of talk that he would be put up for trade because, well, a lot of people were looking for a closer. However, the Rockies welcomed him to the team and after a tough competition, found him a role as the closer. From there, what did he do?! He blew it. Whenever I say that, I always think of that scene from Billy Madison where he just yells, “YOU BLEW IT!!!” Anyway… yeah. I guess I’m just really disappointed about this because I was really looking forward to seeing what Street had to offer. It’s not only a let down for him, but it’s a let down for the team as well. I hope he figures out whatever issues he needs to so he can get back into the closing role.

de la Rosa.jpgSo, as we know, the game yesterday ended in a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers. Sometimes I have issues with commentators, and they have a good way of making me yell at them. So during yesterday’s game, Jorge de la Rosa pitched incredibly well. Let me first say that de la Rosa and I have had some issues in the past. I’ve never been a fan of him, in fact, I’ve been incredibly critical of him. During the off season, the Rockies sports psychologist, Ronn Svetich helped de la Rosa work through some emotional issues, which have clearly helped him. After watching that game, it was clear that he was making a lot of strides. Despite the strides he’s making, you can see that de la Rosa still has some issues to work out, he’s still an emotional player and it’s evident in his face, in his reactions even after Svetich worked with him. But even after an error, de la Rosa was able to close down the inning. So anyway, de la Rosa was having a great inning, when what happened? The commentators were talking about how de la Rosa hadn’t given up a walk and then what happened?! He walked a guy. Then they talked about how the game was currently a shut out, then what happened?! ManRam on his high horse came in and got an RBI. Stupid commentators.

During the game, I also saw a Rockies commercial with Scott Podsednik… and then I got sad.Scott Podsednik.jpgI’ve always enjoyed Podsednik playing and was sad to see him go. I guess I have to understand it though, with young kids like Ian Stewart, Seth Smith, and Dexter Fowler coming up, it almost makes sense. I mean, Dexter Fowler has unbelievable speed! And Ian Stewart has started to play both infield and outfield. 

Besides the upcoming stars, let’s talk about our Veterans. Congrats to Brad Hawpe who got his first home run of the season yesterday! Look at how happy he and Garrett Atkins are.

Photo 5.jpg Oh man, Garrett Atkins… Ha ha. Okay, anyway, so let me tell you that I went looking for this picture online to add to my montage of photos. So, I googled “Garrett Atkins” and went on the purple_lips.jpghunt. I found some great ones of Garrett Atkins that I had not yet found, but what was this photo that was available from google? What is this picture?! Can you even think of a caption for this picture?! I tried to find one, but I couldn’t even find the picture on the website I found it from, which I can’t find now to tell you where I even found the picture. But seriously, what is going on here? I just had to ask that question because I didn’t have any idea. Anyway, I thought I would see if you could come up with a caption for what’s going on in this photo.

Next thing, I never thought I held much hostility or resentment toward Matt Holliday after leaving the Rockies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally thrilled to see Garrett Atkins still with usmatt holliday.jpg(and it’s not just because I love him…) but pat of me always wanted Holliday to stay with us. I mean, can you blame me? Holliday puts up some great numbers, he shows leadership on the team, and was an all around great player. So, when people asked me if I was mad at Holliday or said that he was a traitor, I defended him completely. I always said that he never had a chance to stay in Colorado, regardless of what happened with Atkins’ contract. With an agent like Scott Boras, you’ll always go to whatever team is willing to put up the most money. So, I didn’t ever think that I held any anger toward Holliday; however, as the baseball season started, I realized that I found myself cheering against the A’s and hoping to see Holliday fail. After this realization I thought, “oh my god… I’m a terrible person…” I never wanted to see Holliday fail, I wanted to see him succeed. He’ll only be with the A’s for a season, why should I be holding hostility toward him? Matt Holliday was one of my favorite players, just because he’s with another team doesn’t mean I shouldn’t want him to succeed.

Speaking of hostility toward people, I also held a lot of hostility toward Todd Helton. I’ve always respected Helton as a player, being a hockey fan, he kind of reminds me of Joe Sakic, the upstanding captain of the team, the leader, and the role model. I blamed his contract for not being able to resign both Holliday and Atkins, and so a lot of anger came out of that. But as I’ve been watching him, I’ve really grown to respect him even more. I’m incredibly hopeful that he’ll stay healthy during the season and can stay the face that Rockies fans know and love.

The last thing I would like to say is this. I’m really not much of a political enthusiast, in fact, I’m quite the opposite. I know it’s important to keep up on the policies and beliefs of the people running our country, but the truth is, I’m quite apathetic toward these things. However, there are certain things that will really… just get me mad. I have no shame in saying that I voted for President Barack Obama. I believe in what he’ll do for this country despite all the negativity directed at him. See, that’s part of the problem with our country is that we’re incredibly divided. It’s my belief that President Obama faces some of the harshest scrutiny that a President has or maybe ever will see. People look to find the smallest things wrong with what he does, like smoking. I also have the belief that because no one can say anything about his race, they turn to other things to scrutinize. With the power to finally vote, it seems that as time goes on, Democratic and Republican parties become more and more divided. I don’t know what’s right or wrong, I form my own opinions based on what I believe is right, what I believ
e will be the best decision for our country. President Obama will have my full support because the fact is, our country has to hit rock bottom before we can begin to build it back up. I really don’t think I would be on this political rant had I not spent a week with my super conservative, Anne Coulter and Bill O’Reilly worshipping relatives. One of my relatives called “CNN” the “Communist News Network.” Oh my gosh. So, that being said, I am livid when I hear about people wanting to see the leader of our country fail. I often find conservatives as the kind who love NASCAR and insist that if you don’t hang an American flag from your deck and follow the rules of set hanging you’re by default a communist. I find Rush Limbaugh an intolerable egotistegoist, however, I know that he believes that he is a true American citizen, one who will do anything for his country. However, his remarks are without a doubt, one of the most unpatriotic things I have ever heard. However, this debate is a difficult one because I do believe in the freedom of speech, however, his remarks strike me as a kind of “hate speech.” I guess what it comes down to, is that I may not have a radio show, I may not be able to reach every American out there, but for the person who wants to see Obama fail, I want to see him succeed, so, I hope the President of our country, the one who is our leader knows that I want to see him thrive in his term.

Oh, I also have to tell you this kind of hilarious story. I grew up in Boulder, and my high school’s rival was Boulder High School Panthers. I guess recently there was some kid who, not long after Obama was inaugurated, wanted the school to be named after our new President. Therefore, the school would be: The Barack Obama Panthers. Anyway… I kind of thought that was hilarious.

 

1. Photo courtesy: colorado.rockies.mlb.com
2. Photo courtesy: www.daylife.com
3. Photo courtesy: my baseball pictures
4. Photo courtesy: me, but actually the Denver Post
5. Photo courtesy: weblogs.wpix.com
6. Photo courtesy: www.washingtonpost.com

A Quick Entry

I’ve been feeling pretty anxious lately, so I made the decision that it was time to do something with myself. Most people I know would choose things like knitting or something. I’ve chosen to fold 1000 cranes. They’re a sign of hope, goodwill, and peace for the world.

So, I bought this paper that’s about the size of a post-it note, and there are 1020 sheets of it, ya know, in case I mess up or something. So this stuff I bought on the best way to do it gave me stuff so that I could hang it up. Apparently 1000 cranes hangs about three feet. Well, I thought, “what am I going to do with three feet of cranes? That’s not really something to hang up.” So I fathomed that I would put them all into a little jar and make them different sizes. So far, this is the smallest one I’ve made.

Photo 25.jpgHmm… this picture made me realize I need a hair cut. Anyway, so as a whole, all the cranes are pretty small.

Photo 4.jpgYay. Anyway, so I thought about how cool it would be if I got cranes from people all over who read my blog. I’d love for you to be apart of this project, it’s nothing special, just something for me to do. But if you’re interested, drop me an e-mail: EmCO85@gmail.com

I guess that’s all.

Fashionably Late

My last entry was ten days ago. Wow.

First of all, let me start by saying that the community that I have here is the best. It’s hard to believe that blogging would impact your life, but somehow it has, and I appreciate everyone’s support through it all. I’ll get to my actual blog in a moment, but I wanted to begin by saying thank you to everyone who posted or read my previous entry. It was comforting to know that people actually care. Believe it or not, I can’t even express how psyched I was to come back after a really terrible month and find myself still in the top 50.

Anyway, there were over 1900 people at my cousin and my cousin… in law(?)’s funeral. If you’re interested in it, here’s a video, and if you’re not, that’s fine too. But 1900 people?! Sometimes I feel like I’d be lucky if five people showed up to my funeral.

http://www.katu.com/v/?i=42758122chris-iannetta-preview.jpg
fantasy_i_tulowitzki_300.jpgSeriously though, let’s talk opening day, because up until today, it wasthe only game that I got to watch on TV. I missed baseball these past days, a lot. So, one of the first things about opening day that stood out to me was watching Troy Tulowitzki and Chris Iannetta get back to back homers!! I couldn’t even believe it! It just looked beautiful, I was so impressed.

Everyone talks about how Coors Field is a hitter’s ballpark… a batter’s paradise, but April 6th, it sure seemed like Chase Field was a hitter’s park as well. InuFt5VWAe.jpgthe bottom of the fourth, there were almost 150 pitches thrown. By the time the top of the seventh rolled around, there were six home runs and Seth Smith made it seven. When I first saw Seth Smith, his hitting, his fielding, etc., I really wasn’t impressed with him. Like, you know how you see those players and you’re like, “what… are you sure?” That’s how Smith was for me, I mean, I didn’t count the fact that he was young, he had (has) a lot to learn, and this was all part of an experience for him. Also, two things. 1. When I was looking for a picture of Seth Smith, I discovered that Todd Helton had post season blog for 2007… or something like that. Anyway, that was exciting. 2. Did you know that Seth Smith was the backup QB for Eli Manning and Todd Helton was backup QB for Peyton Manning?! Anyway, I was excited about that. So, besides those points, I’m really excited to see what Smith will do and the potential he has. He’s young and looks like he has a lot to offer the team.

So, as I watched the game, Jeff Baker stepped into the on deck circle and proceeded to put a weight on his bat. If I ever get that dream job of mine, I’ll have a word with that hitting coach about completely booting that out of part of the player’s routine. Warming up with a weighted bat is incredibly common throughout the majors and the minors, they are under the belief that 2678006470_fc4e563389.jpgpractice swings with a weighted bat are beneficial to them when in fact, the opposite is true.Let’s talk about what Baker did. His first hit was a swinging bunt that went foul, he had a swing and a miss, and then he was struck out on a slider.

Maybe it was just coincidence that he struck out, I can’t say for sure, but there is a reason that you shouldn’t warm up with a weighted bat. The point of practice swings are to prepare you for facing the pitcher. Players tend to think that using a weighted bat will make their swing faster. I mean, I guess the idea behind is makes sense. IF your bat is heavier when you’re warming up, your swing is a little slower, then when you’re at the plate and don’t have the weight, you should, in theory, swing faster. However, this idea is wrong. The reality of what is going on is that you’re priming your muscles for how they’re supposed to react. Your muscles are composed of different kinds of fibers. One is designed to have quick and speedy reactions while the other is designed for slower and stronger reactions. By weighting your bat, you’re priming the wrong type of fibers, which will ultimately make your swing slower. When you don’t use a weighted bat, you’re priming the muscles for a quick reaction which in turn makes it easier to hit the ball on the right spot of the bat.

I know what I’m talking about!! I should be hired by someone so I can spread my genius knowledge to the world.

So today, I finally got to watch a game. I’ve only caught two of the eight games played thisHuston Street08.jpgseason. I’m pretty sure it’s been detrimental to my health. Anyway, so I was watching the Rockies play the Cubbies today. The Rockies were doing quite well up until the ninth inning where Street gave up that homer to Derrick Lee. He then proceeded to walk a guy and then let Reed Johnson get a double. After which, he was replaced by Jason Grilli. I’ve decided that perhaps I should write a letter to Huston Street. It would maybe tell him something along the liens of how bad I wanted him to have the closer role and all the arguments I made for why it shouldn’t be Manny Corpas, because during today’s game, he really wasn’t doing a whole lot for me. In fact, I’m looking like I didn’t know what I was talking about, which I did and still do when I was pulling for him to be the closer. so my message to Street is shape up a bit, your pitching in this game would even make Glendon Rusch look good, and some of you know how I feel about him…

I would like to say thank you to the Rockpile Ranter for being my 300th comment. I just so happened to notice that, so sorry to people who were my 100th and 200th, but thank you. I would also like to share with
you my favorite Rockies TV commercial… mostly because of Garrett Atkins.

So, hopefully things will finally calm down for a while and I’ll be back to blogging. It’s good to be back with baseball though. One thing is for sure, I will be at that April 24th game. That will be my home opener since I missed it and my first live game of the season. I can’t wait for it to be here.

 

1., 2. Photo courtesy: I’d like to tell you who, but I put these pictures out on my desktop and then got distracted doing something else, you know, ADD crazy, and then lost the page where I got them from. Sorry people who took them.
3. Photo courtesy: mlb.mlb.com
4., 5. Photo courtesy: somewhere in my baseball picture files

 

Untitled

I think I need to start this entry with a disclaimer. A lot of you are blogging about the glories of opening day, and what a glory it is. We’ve all been waiting months for this and now that the day has arrived most of us couldn’t be happier, trust me, I’m one of you. I’ve been waiting for opening day since September 28th and now it’s finally here.
 
Blogging for me is kind of an outlet. Being in Denver and not really knowing anything, this is kind of where I come to… to… well… deconstruct my thoughts. For the most part, I’d like to think that I can handle most things with a smile. Most of my entries have an almost whimsical view and I try to find humor in every situation. I believe that life is too short to be taken seriously. You know the Joker, “why so serious?” I kind of try to live by that… only not as creepily. The disclaimer comes into play here when I tell you that this will not be one of those entries. It’s more of a Debbie Downer kind of entry, but this is the only place I really know where I can vent and figure out what’s going on in my brain; I like to have things down on paper… or computer. I debated about allowing comments, and after arguing with myself for a while, I just decided to leave it. So, for those of you reading this, I’ll apologize in advance for bringing down such a memorable day. If you want to stop reading, obviously I won’t know and therefore, I’ll think nothing of it and won’t be offended. But for those of you who are gracious enough to continue with my thoughts, my undying gratitude to you that I am in such a great community.

I think to some degree, all of us know that life just isn’t fair; however, as we move throughout it, we expect there to be at least a little fairness in it. We want to see criminals put behind bars and menaces to society be brought to justice. Although karma may seem like more a coincidence than anything, when it seems to pop up in our lives, we can’t help but wonder what we did wrong or right.

If you’ve kept up with my entries, you’ll know that I’ve been on a quest for an opening day ticket. My quest came to an ending today but not because I purchased a ticket.

When it comes to karma, I don’t think that I’m a bad person. I don’t feel like I have a debt to society, at least for the moment. In fact, after trying to get an opening day ticket, I almost feel like society should have a debt to me. I mean, I feel like I’ve had to deal with… well… quite the ordeal after having my grandmother pass away.

Today I arrived back home. I’m one of those people that doesn’t like to be away from home for too long, so it was relieving when I pulled into the parking lot. No sooner did I when I got a phone call from my dad and he said, “where are you right now?” and I said, “in the parking lot.” He responded “I have some news… I’ll tell you when you get upstairs.” My first thought was that my other grandmother had passed away, this was another thing that would be expected. I got upstairs and found my dad sitting in the living room waiting for me.

The first thing I asked was, “did grandma die?”

He looked at me and said, “your cousin Tony has died and your other cousin’s wife is being air lifted to the hospital in critical condition.”

“What happened?”

“I’m not sure, your aunt was talking so fast on the phone, I couldn’t tell.”

It was more of a punch in the gut than anything, it would be the last thing I expected.

I know that the world doesn’t revolve around me, I know that I’m not at the center of the universe, but I feel like… what did I do that was so wrong that all this is catching up to me right now? Who have I wronged so badly that karma is now wielding it’s grasp on me? Deaths are supposed to come in threes and sevens, with my grandma and my cousin, I’m at two count right now…

I’m not looking for sympathy… at least I don’t think I am. I can’t be 100% sure what I’m looking for except an understanding. I’m not a person who believes in god, but if there is one, I’d like to ask it why it keeps messing with me. Maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion. There are people out there who are far worse off than I am, the world isn’t coming crashing down on me despite how it may feel. However, I can’t help but feel that I’m dealing with a lot of pressure right now.

Deaths come in threes.

I can’t help but feel… imagine… my cousin had to watch as his brother died right in front of him and now his wife. It doesn’t necessarily put things into perspective, but it emphasizes where I place my values. Suddenly… opening day didn’t feel so important to me. Suddenly, I didn’t care if I got a ticket to the home opener or not. Suddenly… I just didn’t care. I don’t care about anything right now. Do you ever feel like you’re just… existing? Floating through time and space without a purpose.

Right now, I can’t help but feel angry… furious. Maybe I do feel like the world is coming crashing down on me. I’m still trying to grasp my head around what I could’ve done that had put me in such large debt to society. I keep finding myself asking “why?” Like I said before, I guess I just expect that there should be some kind of fairness to life and right now… I’m getting the short end of the stick. Tony has a wife and two kids, he was a police officer for ten years; Bobby was practicing to be a minister. What could they have done wrong… what could I have done wrong?

I keep mulling this question over and over and find myself turning up empty handed. I can’t fathom the survivor’s guilt, the PTSD, the remorse that my cousin must be going through right now. I think like a guy in the sense that I want to fix everything. Whatever I did wrong, I want to fix it… but I can’t if I don’t know what I did.

I think I’m still having difficulty grasping my head around the idea that my cousin is dead. It has a little bit more of an effect on me than my other cousin’s wife’s death because I didn’t really know her. This just… isn’t fair.

Sorry blogging world for being the Debbie Downer of the day. I hope everyone had a great opening day celebration!

Cake, eat it or have it?

There’s an expression that people often say that really annoys me. “You can’t eat your cake and have it too.” For me, it’s the equivalent of how annoying Allen finds the word “blogosphere.” However, I was not too happy when I found that phrase running through my mind today while watching my two favorite teams doing my one favorite thing.

Before we get to that though, do you see the picture of this cake?! I had to put it in because it’s Optimus Prime and I love the Transformers movie. I mean, Optimus Prime is pretty much BA.

Today, the television graced me with the presence of the Red Sox vs. the Mets and the Rockies vs. the Mariners. It was like I had died and gone to heaven, watching my two favorite teams… on the same day?! There haven’t been that many Rockies games played during spring training, so to have it played was amazing.

oliver-perez.jpgThe Red Sox and the Mets was the first game that I got to watch. Let me say that this game reassured me that I am not the jinx of the Red Sox. I watched as Oliver Perez walked four guys and gave up a grand slam. I mean, the Red Sox got on the board because the bases were loaded and Perez walked a guy. It’s no wonder he only pitched for 0.2 innings. I’m all for a win, but this was a straight up… well… butt kicking – and that’s an understatement. So the Red Sox would win that game 9-3.

Okay, keep that in your mind, but set it aside for right now.

So next came the Rockies and the Mariners game. The Rockiesdancing dinosaur color.jpg were down until the bottom of the fourth. Then they made a good come back run to lead the game but not for long. The Mariners would score in the top of the fifth. However the game remained close and it wasn’t until the bottom of the ninth where the Rockies pulled it together to win it. It was one of those “dance around the room” kind of wins because the game was close.

So, let’s combine those two games that I watched today, for one of them, before the second inning, a team was already up 6-0, the other was a nail biter until the very end of it.

When I watch baseball, I want to see a game… but I also want to see my team win. Today the Red Sox pretty much assured a win within the first inning. It was almost a relaxing game because, well, Oliver Perez pretty much did all the work for the team. It was the exact opposite of a pitching duel, it was pretty one sided, in fact. The Rockies game was exciting when it came to seeing them put up a fight. I do have high hopes for them this season so to see them do well is always thrilling. But there wasn’t a guarantee of a win, it was a “what’s going to happen?” game.

So I started having to ask myself what kind of game I want to see. Because the fact is, I want it both ways, I want a real edge of your seat, nail biting game… but I also want to see my team win. Yes, it would seem that I can’t eat cake and have it too… stupid phrase.

Anyway, shifting gears, let’s talk about commentators during a game. Do you ever just want to punch them in the face? Like… you could do a better job with it? Like today, during the Rockies game, I don’t know who was commentating, but he needed to be told what was what. He said that Ryan Spilborghs was coming up to the plate, and I said, “that’s Seth Smith you dumb… guy.” I didn’t say “guy” but I thought it was more appropriate. Anyway, then he was like, “oh, excuse me, that’s Seth Smith.” The next situation is that Dan Ortmeier made the most amazing catch out in right, and the commentator called him Brad Hawpe. Normally, it wouldn’t really be a big deal to me, but this was a really amazing catch that he made that I thought he wasn’t going to make and would give the Mariners an extra base hit. Last thing, I don’t know if it’s an accent or what, but he kept pronouncing Chris Iannetta’s last name E-annetta.

Today, I know that I could’ve done a better job commentating than that dude. I was getting quite annoyed. The next thing I’m going to say, some of you might find sexist, but I always feel like most of the female sports casters are just there to be a pretty face. I mean, I know that the person who made all those mistakes was a dude, but I don’t really think that anyone would hire me as a sportscaster because I’m pretty homely and unkempt. I’m not a pretty face but I know what I’m talking about… at least most of the time. Anyway, I hope none of you were really offended by that, and if so… sorry you’re offended.

Huston Street10.jpgNext, I want to congratulate Huston Street on getting the closing role. I am so stoked that he was named for it!! I’ve been pulling for that guy for quite some time. He might have been a model in a past life too. Anyway, I’m really excited to see what he’ll do for the Rockies this season.

So, in the lineup, the pitcher is always the last guy in the orderColorado+Rockies+Photo+Day+IjearA20kAyl.jpg because he’s always the worst batter. I’ve always admired Aaron Cook as a pitcher because he’s not just the “one trick pony.” The guy can actually bat, not great, but better than most pitchers. This leads me to be even more excited for Jason Marquis. After watching him today, his batting is great.

Well, opening day is but two days away, I can hardly contain myself. It feels like I’ve been waiting for a long time, but now that I’m here, it’s like oh… where did the time go?

Looking forward to reading everything you all have to say about opening day!

1. Photo courtesy: www.krunker.com
2. Photo courtesy: butthegameison.com
3. Photo courtesy: www.karenbennett.us
4. Photo courtesy: my arsenal of photos
5. Photo courtesy: www.zimbo.com

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