TTB

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Category Archives: Jamie Moyer

Pig Report: Tyler Cloyd

Phillies SP Tyler Cloyd (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Position: Starting pitcher
Age: 25
Prospect Level: Mid-level prospect.
2012 Major League Stats: 6 starts, 2-2, 4.91 ERA, 33 IP, 30 K.
2012 Minor League Stats: (Reading & Lehigh) 26 starts, 15-1, 2.26 ERA, 167 IP, 113 K.

Season in Review: Tyler Cloyd is one of the most interesting pitching prospects to come up through the Phillies system in quite some time. Cloyd absolutely dismantled Double-A and Triple-A hitting for 26 games, posting an astounding 15-1 record and 2.26 ERA.

But when the 25-year-old righty got up to the Majors, he struggled greatly against far superior batters, and that all falls back on the velocity of his fastball.

Read more of this post

Phils letting Moyer rehab in Clearwater

The Phillies are going to let Jamie Moyer begin his rehab from Tommy John surgery at Brighthouse Field in Clearwater, reported Todd Zolecki.

“We’re providing him our space in Clearwater and our expertise,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Before people jump to drastic conclusions, this is pretty much a favor Amaro is doing for Moyer, who has been a huge asset to the Phillies success in 2007 and 2008.

I wish the 49-year-old Moyer a lot of luck and a speedy recovery in his return from this injury. Many have to wonder what type of team will run the risk in signing Moyer. Is he on the Phillies radar? I sure hope not. But that doesn’t mean Moyer’s continued presence in the Phillies organization isn’t welcomed.

 

Faceoff: Who should we thank?

Question: Was Pat Gillick responsible for the Phillies current success as a franchise and perenial power in Major League Baseball?

Writer Brian Jacobs decided challenge the rest of the Faceoff competitors with this question and John Russo, reeling from his loss to Christian Hetrick, wanted to get himself in the win column.

Brian: Yes.

The Philadelphia Phillies formed a new brand of baseball in the city of Philadelphia during the 2000’s. In 2005, Pat Gillick joined the front office, and the Phillies took off from there.

Former general manager of the Phillies, Ed Wade, brought in the big bat of Jim Thome to go along with the new stadium, Citizens Bank Park, in 2004. Most Phillies fans wouldn’t hesitate to smash Wade and those horrific seasons under his watch, but a small portion of credit should be given to him.

Former Phils GM and HOFer Pat Gillick helped bring a championship to Philadelphia for the first time in 25 years and the first World Series in 28 years.

With Gillick at the helm and new scenery, the fans had a taste of something they were deprived of for years, which was change. Are the Phillies going become a winning team? What are our expectations now? Those were the questions, asked by fans of the club during this time of change.

Gillick’s first big move was trading Jim Thome and cash to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Rowand and two prospects. Thome’s time in Philadelphia was somewhat symbolic. It was almost as if his stay in the city was simply used as a jolt of electricity that the city was in need of.

Along with the players on the field and the front office, Gillick created a feeling of hope and positive expectations for Phillies fans to bask in. The Phillies were no longer going to accept defeat. They were finally sick of seeing the Atlanta Braves at the top of the division.

Once again, a few pats on the back should be given to Ed Wade. Gillick inherited the future stars, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, whom Wade had drafted. Gillick then brought over the rule-five selection, Shane Victorino, along with the battered bat of Jayson Werth. We all know how that turned out. Gillick looked like a genius and he wasn’t done.

The Phillies finally entered the post-season, but failed to get past the Colorado Rockies in the National League Division Series. In the offseason, Gillick made a trade with the man he had replace, Ed Wade, who was, and still is with the Houston Astros organization. In came Brad Lidge and his soon-to-be perfect season. Thanks again, Ed Wade.

The Phillies went on to win the World Series in 2008 and they’ve been knocking on the door ever since.

A lot of times, players receive most of the credit for a successful season. General managers sometimes get slighted, but I have a feeling that Pat Gillick and his master plan, as the Philadelphia Phillies’ general manager will find a way into the hearts of fans if it hasn’t already.

John: No.

Three huge things have factored into the recent success of the Philadelphia Phillies before Pat Gillick even stepped in as GM: the farm system, Scott Rolen and the new stadium.

I’ll attack the more logical reason first. The Phillies farm system was teeming with talent. Before Gillick was GM, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels were playing minor league ball. They had Pat Burrell, Brett Myers and Jimmy Rollins already up on the Phils.

But you will bring up Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth being acquired along with Pedro Feliz and Brad Lidge. Werth and Victorino were diamonds in the rough. It was a complete shot in the dark on whether or not they would make an impact.

But Rolen may actually have been the catalyst in David Montgomery and the rest of the office relinquishing their tight grip on their wallets. When offered a 10-year, $140 million contract to stay with the Phillies, arguably for life, Rolen turned it down because of squabbles in the front office because they showed no interest in winning.

Not only has Chase Utley cememted himself as the greatest Phillies second baseman of all time but he may find himself in Cooperstown one day.

Rolen was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for three scrubs and Placido Polanco, who gave way to Utley three years later and returned to the Phillies in 2010. Only months after the trade did the Phillies front office get it. They signed first baseman Jim Thome and third baseman David Bell to replace Rolen on the field and in the line up. They also traded back-up catcher Johnny Estrada for Braves starter Kevin Millwood, who threw a no-hitter during his tenure with the Phillies.

It didn’t stop there as the Phillies finally sought external help, signing players like Pedro Feliz, Adam Eaton and Freddy Garcia (don’t laugh, they were supposed to be big improvements at the time), Jamie Moyer and traded for Brad Lidge.

But the money didn’t grow on trees. In 2004, the Phillies moved into their current stadium, Citizens Bank Park. Their lowest attendance since the stadium opened was 75% capacity. And with a division win in 2007, a World Series win in 2008, a NL Pennant in 2009 and another division win and league’s best record in 2010, the Phillies are selling out games and have seen  their payroll sky rocket from under $58 million in 2002 to $170 in 2011.

Gillick was a fantastic GM but the right pieces were there before he became the GM in 2005. All he did was do some minor tweaking and turn the Phillies into World Champions, finishing the job started four years before he was signed.


Jamie Moyer has a job in baseball!

Jamie Moyer is not retiring from baseball this season.

Well, sort of.

It was announced today that the 48 year old left handed pitcher has signed with ESPN to be a guest analyst for Baseball tonight.

Moyer will appear on the show periodically throughout the season to give insight and analysis, and will make his TV debut tomorrow for ESPN’s Opening Day coverage.

“It’s a new challenge and I look forward to this forum as a chance to elaborate on the art of pitching as I rehab from injury this season” said Moyer in a statement.

Personally, I love this move by ESPN. I usually don’t like when they make former athletes into analysts, but in Moyer’s case I think it’s a good fit. To me great athlete doesn’t equal good analyst (see NFL Network), or in the case of Trent Dilfer, mediocre athlete doesn’t equal great analyst.

Moyer is a well-spoken individual, and if you have heard his interviews you know he offers great insight into pitching. If Jamie can’t find a job as a pitcher with another club, I see this as great second career for a guy like Moyer.

The only problem for Moyer is Baseball tonight is usually only a half hour to full hour program. For whatever reason Moyer talks really slow and talks for a really long time (I think it’s an old person thing).

This can come into conflict when Moyer is breaking down Tim Lincecum’s pitching technique and frankly won’t shut up.

Either way, I’m pulling for you Jamie. I already hate 90% of the analysts, so hopefully you succeed, so my eyes and ears won’t bleed when watching ESPN.

 

Moyer talks return; Mayberry on fire

I read a couple good articles on Philly.com this morning.

The first has to do with Jamie Moyer. The 48-year-old left-hander, who opted for Tommy John Surgery over the winter, is not ready to retire and is eying a return to the majors in 2012.

In Phil Sheridan’s article, Moyer talks about how he enjoys the “retirement life” yet isn’t ready to make it an every-day activity.

“For me, this is all I know,” Moyer said last week. “It’s the first time in 40 years I haven’t been playing baseball at this time of year. I still felt last year that I could compete.”

Moyer can begin throwing in May.

With his hot play, the Phillies could be looking at Mayberry as more than just a temporary bench guy replacing Dom Brown. (Yong Kim/Inquirer)

The other article that jumped out at me was by Bob Brookover on the hot spring John Mayberry, Jr. is having.

Mayberry is batting .353 with three doubles, four homers and nine RBIs. With numbers like that, he could go from fighting for a roster spot to getting some serious playing time with Ben Francisco while Domonic Brown is nursing a broken hand and a broken swing.

This quote from Charlie Manuel stuck out to me at the bottom of the article:

“He puts in real good at-bats on lefties, but he still has to hit righties better,” Manuel said. “But you can platoon guys. You can get at-bats that way.”

Right now, Mayberry is hitting well against every pitcher he sees, and it’s pleasing his manager.

“I look at him as a guy who is similar to Jayson Werth,” Manuel said. “The better he does – who knows? – he might end up being a regular.”

Five Questions to Be Answered

The Phillies will look to get back to the World Series and with the addition of Cliff Lee, their rotation will be a big factor in getting there.

The Phils lost a bat but added an arm. The bull pen went under some minor tinkering. With a different complexion to the Phillies heading into 2011, will this new formula put them back on top of the baseball world or will they fall under the class of a one-hit wonder?

I have asked myself and the rest of the TTB staff five questions and they chose to answer either some or all of the questions. Here are their answers:

1. How far will the Phillies go this season?

Brian McCollum: As an “impartial” fan, I believe the Phillies will go as far as their offense will carry them. What I mean by that is, the Starting rotation will surely keep them in the majority of the games, it’s a matter of scoring runs. The majority of the hitters on the Phillies are over 30 (Utley, Howard, Rollins, Ruiz, Polanco, Ibanez, and Victorino) and it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up the “American League” style of play. Now I do believe they can take the East for the 5th straight year. But it’s gonna come down to the offense. But World Series? National League Pennant? Maybe, but you have to start with the division first and move your way up.

John Russo: It’s hard for me not to think the Phils will make a lot of noise in the NL this year. They have the best rotation on paper and if 2010 was a fluke offensively then they will have the most complete team in baseball. With the league showing signs of becoming a pitcher’s league, the Phillies will clearly have an advantage. With that said, with the NL not being as strong as the AL, the Phillies should find themselves back in the World Series in a battle with the Red Sox, the early favorite in the AL.

Dan MacNeal: Depends how well the offense plays.  The pitching will be there and can carry the load.  I don’t see how they don’t win the division again, even with the other teams improving.  After that, it’s just match-ups.  If they won the World Series again, it wouldn’t surprise me.

2. Is losing Jayson Werth as big of a deal as it sounds? Who plays in right field?

Chris Bengel: Werth was a huge part of the Phillies’ success last year. He is an all-around great player but the Phillies just weren’t going to pay that kind of money to the fourth best player on their bal lclub. He did provide great protection for Ryan Howard and that is one aspect that I think the Phillies will miss. However the addition of Cliff Lee outweighs the loss of Werth. Lee adds another All-Star caliber starter to the rotation. The starters won’t be giving up too many runs this season so I think that will help accommodate the loss of Werth. The platoon of Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco should be able to get the job done. Ross Gload and even John Mayberry Jr. are options if Brown struggles.

With the loss of Jayson Werth, players like Shane Victorino will have to step up offensively and may even find themslves in newer roles in the line up.

JR: What the Phillies lose in Werth isn’t just a bat but a balance to the line up. Having that dangerous presence from the right side of the plate to protect Howard is what will be missed. Now the Phillies will likely have a hole in that spot which will allow teams to pitch around Howard. So to be short, Werth as a player won’t be missed. It’s the balance he brought to the line up that will be missed. As for a replacement, I don’t see anyone being signed before the season starts. Look for a platoon of Ibanez, Brown and Francisco. If that doesn’t work mid-season, expect a trade.

BM: I was never really a fan of Jayson to begin with. Granted he is a good right-handed power bat and an excellent fielder, but he does have his lapses in judgment and strikeouts on one knee. I don’t think it is that big of a loss. Werth is on the other side of 30 and will smolder in D.C. with that “Grand Canyon-esque” baseball park. The fact that they kept Domonic Brown says a lot about the kid and that they were willing to move forward without Jayson. I think that Dom Brown will get the majority of playing time in right field. But if Brown struggles, he gets platooned with Ben Francisco or even Ross Gload.

DM: There are going to be questions, no doubt, as in who will bat behind Ryan Howard? Raul Ibanez? Jimmy Rollins? Dom Brown? Who’s the right handed bat? The Phils will miss Werth, but they’ll adjust.  Brown will probably be the starter to begin the year, and will have to learn on the fly after spending most of last year on the bench.  I’d like to see Francisco get some more at bats, even if he won’t be the full time starter.

3. Will Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard have bounce-back years or are they on the decline?

CB: I definitely think that Howard can bounce back this year. He missed a few weeks due to injury but was still in the top 10 in both home runs and RBIs last season. The home run total will be up once again and I don’t think anyone should worry about Howard getting back to the player he was in 2009.

BM: I can see Howard bouncing back. Howard’s HR and RBI totals were down last season (10 and 32 respectively). But the average hovered near .290 for a good part of last season. So I do believe Howard will bounce back. Now, Utley like Howard and Rollins was injured for a good portion of the season. If Utley comes back healthy, he will bounce back. He just has to remain healthy. He may not be the best second-baseman in the Majors, but he is still one of the best in the NL.

Utley was also bit by the injury bug last year, only appearing in 115 games. His statistics were down and had some forgettable moments in the postseason. However Utley is still one of the best second-basemen in the game today and should bounce back just fine. If he can stay healthy, I can see 25 home runs and around 90 RBIs for him.

2010 is a year Jimmy Rollins would like to forget. Playing in only 88 games, Rollins hit career lows in average, hits, and stolen bases. Whether he leads off in 2011 is also up in the air. He will need to stay healthy in order to bounce back.

Rollins may be the biggest key to the Phillies success in 2010. He is the table setter and missed the majority of the 2010 campaign with multiple leg injuries. Rollins has said he was rededicated himself to training hard in the off season and being physically ready for the grueling major league season. I really see Rollins having a phenomenal year. He is playing in a contract year and will have many incentives to produce for the Phillies this year. I think the lead-off man will be back to his old ways and help the team have a great year.

DM: Howard should put up good numbers this year.  He won’t crack 50 HR, but he will be fine.  His improved average made up for his lower power numbers.  As long as Utley is healthy, he should have an Utley-like year.  Rollins is the question mark, unfortunately had a bad (by his standards) last year and an awful start to the year before.  Is this his last season with the Phillies?  He knows his best days are behind him, but he’s still a very good leader and good fielder.

4. Who will lead the Phillies rotation in wins?

JR: Cole Hamels for this reason: He’s going to be facing a team’s #3 or #4, which he will be heads and shoulders better than. He will get the run support from the offense against a weaker pitcher to go along with his 3.00 ERA. Hamels will finally know what it’s like to be Jamie Moyer in 2007 and 2008.

BM: I think Doc will get the majority of the wins this season. Here is what I think: Doc (20-25 wins), Lee (16-21 wins), Oswalt (15-19 wins), Hamels (17-22 wins), and a combination of Kendrick, Blanton, Worley and a bag of baseballs (10-15 wins).

CB: Roy Halladay will lead the Phillies in wins once again. I feel that he will get the most opportunities and should produce another outstanding season. I think Halladay gets 22 wins this year with Cliff Lee right behind him with about 20.

5. Who is the biggest threat in the National League?

CB: Although they had an off-year last year, the St. Louis Cardinals are the team that I fear the most. The combination of Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday is one of the most lethal in baseball. They simply can make any pitcher look average. They have a great pitching staff handled by a great catcher in Yadier Molina. Of course the Phillies have arguably the best rotation in baseball so a series between the two would be very entertaining. The Cardinals should be back atop their division this year and could be the biggest threat to another Phillies World Series appearance.

DM: San Fran, simply because they are the team to beat right now.  Their pitching staff shut down the Phils in the playoffs last year.  St. Louis is always good, with their staff also, and don’t forget the Brewers, who added Zach Grienke, and already have a pretty good lineup

JR: I would have to agree with Dan. San Francisco established themselves as the team to beat despite not making any significant moves in the off season. They’re a better team in experience but do you really expect the offense to repeat what it did last year? Their rotation is second only to the Phils and with this being a pitcher’s game now, that’s a clear advantage over the rest of the NL.

2010 Moment: #8 Moyer’s Historic Night

Let’s face it: 47 is old. But for one night, Jamie Moyer felt young again. Moyer became the oldest pitcher in Major League history to record a complete game shut out when he blanked the Atlanta Braves through nine, 7-0. He broke Braves great Phil Niekro’s record of over 46-years old in 1985.

Phillies starter Jamie Moyer pitches against the Braves in the ninth inning.

He was backed by an offensive show from Jayson Werth, who hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez each drove in two runs as well.

There was something about Moyer’s stuff that night. He threw 105 pitches, allowing only two hits in the win while striking out five and walking none with Troy Glaus getting both hits. His blistering low-80’s fastball had some movement on it and he was crippling hitters with his change-up.

The ninth inning was quick. The place erupted behind Moyer when he jogged back out to the mound. I remembered seeing Twitter buzzing with excitement as well during the ninth.

Nate McLouth was the first to face Moyer, weakly popping up to third baseman Placido Polanco for the first out. Next to the plate was Eric Hinske. He hit a grounder to Ryan Howard, who took it himself for the second out. Omar Infante then grounded out to Valdez for the third and final out to seal Moyer’s place in history.

It was the best start of the season for Moyer, who actually had two complete games during the 2010 season before an elbow injury ended it. Heading into the game, Moyer’s career ERA against Atlanta was above 5.00.

Moyer is now a free agent and just had Tommy John surgery. He wants to try and play baseball in 2012 when he’s healthy but will have a hard time finding a buyer. Whether he returns in a couple years or not, Moyer will go down as one of the best pitchers in the last 25 years and may one day land himself a spot in Cooperstown.

Top 10
10. Chooch’s walk-off HR against St. Louis
9. Taser bro

Moyer has Tommy John; eyes return in 2012

For 47-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer, letting go of baseball is not easy.

Moyer underwent Tommy John surgery today, a procedure that has changed the careers of athletes. In a statement, Moyer eyes a return in 2012, when he would be 49.

“I look forward to the challenge of making a comeback for the 2012 season,”

If Moyer does return, he would put himself in a great position to play professional ball in the MLB in his 50’s. But first he’d have to find a team willing to spend the money on a pitcher with grandchildren for him to reach that prestigious milestone.

No Surprise: Werth Offered Arbitration

The Phillies figured they will get something out of Jayson Werth this off season. With it highly unlikely they will sign the free agent right fielder, the Phils offered arbitration in hopes of getting something for him.

Werth is a Type A free agent which means the Phils will get the top pick and another of the team who signs Werth.

In other arbitration news, Chad Durbin was not offered arbitration. As Todd Zolecki said in his post, it was a move similar to what the Phils did in 2008 with Jamie Moyer. They are afraid Durbin will demand more money and with the good season he had in 2010, he could get a raise. They’ll take their chances in signing him as  free agent instead.

Grading the Phillies: Starting Pitching

The starting pitching was the sole reason the Phillies were so good despite a heavily inconsistent offense and and injury-plagued season. Resting on the backs of the Big Three, the Phils were carried to their fourth straight NL East championship and boasted the best record in baseball for the first time years.

It was a magical night in Miami as Roy Halladay celebrates after throwing the 20th perfect game in major league history back in May.

Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, and Jamie Moyer pitched the bulk of the first half of the season. But a trade right at the deadline sending Happ and prospects to Houston for Roy Oswalt turned the Phillies rotation into the best in the game, rivaled only by the World Series champion Giants.

Phillies starters this year were 70-48 and averaged 6.4 innings pitched-per-start. It was that effort that kept the weak bull pen fresh and allowed the Phils to rely on their three-four best relievers without burning them out in the late run.

(Since Happ was traded and Moyer got injured, I won’t grade them)

Halladay (33 starts): 21-10, 2.44 ERA, 250.2 IP, 9 CG, 4 SHO, 219 K, 30 BB.

Halladay had an almost inhuman season. He led the league in innings pitched, complete games, shut outs, and wins to win his second career Cy Young.

I could go on for days what type of season Halladay had in comparison to his past accolades. Instead, I’ll just highlight some of his achievements.

Halladay pitched the 20th perfect game back in May in Florida. It was one of the most beautiful pitching performances in my lifetime. Halladay had a near repeat performance in his playoff debut. In the first game of the NLCS, Halladay threw a one-walk no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the second player in baseball history to throw a no-no in the playoffs.

Halladay was brought over the Philadelphia in December in a trade that sent prospects to Toronto. The Phils also traded Cliff Lee to Seattle in return for prospects that really haven’t panned out. Halladay quieted the protests with his Cy Young performance. Hell, a fan blog was made to parody Doc and numerous fan-made t-shirts were created (and forced to be deleted by MLBPA).

No incoming athlete has taken over the city of Philadelphia like Halladay has, not since a certain left-handed pitched in the 70’s won four Cy Young awards in this city.

Grade: A+

Hamels (33 starts): 12-11, 3.06 ERA, 208.2 IP, 211 K.

Left-hander Cole Hamels pitches against the Reds in game three of the NLDS. He threw a shutout that game to send the Phils to the NLCS. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Hamels wanted 2009 to be over – simply because he wanted 2010 to come. Hamels silenced every single one of his haters, putting up the best season of his career and confiding in Phillies fans that the “2008 Cole Hamels” is back.

Hamels had a career best 3.06 ERA and career high 211 strikeouts. He posted an ERA under 2.80 in each of the last three months of the season as he lined the Phillies up for another World Series run. He pitched a complete game in game three of the NLDS, possibly his best performance of the season.

Hamels caught so much crap for the poor 2009 he had. Many doubted he was mature enough to handle the role of ace. With Halladay coming to Philly, the weight was lifted off of Hamels’ shoulders. Hamels showed maturity and composure as he pitched beautifully in clutch situations to show he has a good head on his shoulders and his a reliable No. 2 guy.

Grade: A

Blanton (28 starts): 9-6, 4.82 ERA, 175.2 IP, 134 K, 43 BB.

Heavy B had an odd season. Starting a month late, Blanton was rough for the first couple months of the season. He got stronger as the season went on and with the arrival of Oswalt, Blanton moved down to become a very reliable No. 4.

Blanton’s 4.82 ERA was his highest since 2006 and his strike-out numbers were down almost one per nine innings. His walks totals decreased a bit though but his hit numbers went way up.

Overall, Blanton had a set-back season. You could blame that on losing the first month to a strained oblique. If he has a bounce-back season in 2011, the Phillies rotation 1-4 could be among the best in the majors again.

Grade: C+

Kendrick (31 starts): 11-10, 4.78 ERA, 180.2 IP, CG, 84 K, 49 BB.

Kendrick wasn’t even supposed to be a starter this year. But with Blanton’s early injury, Kendrick fit into the five-spot, battling with Jamie Moyer until the old man’s season ended.

Kendrick was either brilliant or absolutely awful. One of his biggest highlights was his complete game against the Yankees but he also had starts that made the fans question his presence on the mound.

For a No. 5, he had a very normal year. The Phils may have confidence in him as a No. 5 for next year unless they see it fit to go after Cliff Lee. And with that highly doubtful, Kendrick’s spot in the rotation could be safe.

Grade: C+

Oswalt (12 starts with Phils): 7-1, 1.74 ERA, 82.2 IP, 73 K, 21 BB.

The Big Three was complete when Roy Oswalt was traded to the Phils before the deadline. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Oswalt was the savior of the Phillies in late July. Being traded for Happ and prospects, Oswalt’s impact on the Phillies was almost unmatched.

What made Oswalt fit in with the other two Phillies aces so well was that he was a third completely different pitchers. Halladay is a power-pitcher, Hamels relies on deception, and Oswalt uses the movement on his fastball to set up batters to take bad swings.

The Phillies will have Oswalt for another year or two and would love to see what a full season of him with the Big Three will do for the team. With the offense likely taking a hit in losing Jayson Werth, they will need all the good pitching they can get.

Grade: A

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