Thursday, October 30, 2014

One Year Ago!

It’s hard to believe that the best Red Sox game I’ve ever been to was just one year ago!

So much has happened since then, including the Sox falling back to the bottom off the division. In some ways that championship feels so long ago.

But, it so many others, it seems like it was only yesterday. There are so many reminders of that wonderful night all around me. Even though they didn’t perform as well, most of the key players were still in Boston this season. Living proof that the championship actually happened. There are videos of it on youtube all over the place. Ways to see the game over and over.

Of course, my house is packed to the gills with championship memorabilia. Every time I see a piece of it, I’m brought back to that game six. Especially one picture. Like everyone else at the game, I had the camera in heavy use the entire ninth inning. During the final at-bat, it was even more rapid fire trying to catch a memorable image. Every time Koji wound up, the clicks went off. Once the game was over, the clicks went crazy again. I really wanted a pig pile picture for the wall, after all. In all the excitement and bouncing around, I never got one that didn’t look like everyone was underwater. I’m actually glad I didn’t. If I had taken the time and made the effort to get a really good shot, I would have missed out on the celebration of the moment. All that emotion would have been hidden away. That would have been a shame.

Besides, I was able to get a better shot.

As luck would have it, my little camera caught the very final swing of the series. Pedroia is airborne as he completes his pre-pitch hop. Koji is in the follow-though. The bat is a blur just over the blur of the pitch crossing the plate. The exact moment of the strike out. Sure, it’s not a professional pic. It even takes a bit to realize that you can see the ball and the bat. But, it’s the moment. The exact moment it became the best game I’d ever been to.

How can I not look at that every day, and smile?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

One Last Day

Yup. Today is the final day this season that the Red Sox will be reigning World Champions.

It a little sad, and a little exciting. Sure, it’s sad because you’d prefer they were still “defending” World Champions. But, alas, a title defense was not in the cards. Things never seemed to get going the way they needed to. We all kept waiting for everything to click into place, but it never did. Once the team was sure of that, they threw in the towel. Hit the do-over button and cut their losses. While it was a smart move, it did not make for exciting September baseball. Which means it’s been a while since the Red Sox have been playing games that mean anything. I definitely preferred the last World Series to this one, for that very reason.

It’s also very exciting. Although by the end of the night they will have lost their crown, they can finally start the process of getting it back. Since we all now know that going from worst to first is possible, it’s exciting to be able to get to see them try again.

What will they do? Who will they sign? Who will they trade? Who will be left? What will the team look like?

All those questions can start to be answered as soon as the World Series concludes. Red Sox fans can stop slogging through a lost season, and start ramping up for the next one. With so many spare parts, this has to be one of the most interesting off-seasons in recent memory. The have to make at least one big trade, just to clear room on the roster. They’ll need to sign a free agent or two, just to fill holes.

They’ll need to decide on a direction for the team. Is this a full-blown youth movements with all the warts that come with it? They could certainly do that. Start a rookie or second year player at about six starting positions, and trade away some veterans. There may be some bumps along the way, but it could be interesting. Or, trade away most of the youth for a veteran team that would be very competitive right now, if not for the long haul. Or a combination of the two with so youth, and experience combined into a single unit.

I can’t wait to see which direction they choose. And it all starts after game seven is over.

Go Royals!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ten Years!

It’s still unbelievable, even if looking back it shouldn’t have been. Do you remember how you felt when that flip landed safely in Mientkiewicz’s glove? My reaction was a little surprising to me. After all, when Luis Gonzalez’s single reached the outfield grass in 2001, I jumped up and danced around the room. That wasn’t even the Sox winning. But, this time, while everyone else was jumping up and down on screen?

I exhaled.

That’s all. I gave out a “phew” and just sat there. Sat there and felt the relief. Sat there watching. Sat there as everything changed around me. Sat there and enjoyed every second of it.

And, everything really did change. I’m not usually one to relate events on a sports field to real life. I get that Curt Schilling wasn’t a “hero.” Being at a no-hitter shouldn’t be the best moment of my life. But, this was different. This was life-altering.

No, not in the “what do I do now?” way that some people actually suggested. I wasn’t once worried about what I would do without the misery of cheering for a loser. I was very happy to transfer into cheering for a Champion. When they did it again a few years later, I knew exactly how to enjoy that one as well. I seamlessly switched to cheering for the top dog, as opposed to the underdog. That wasn’t it.

It was everyone else. Some people thought Boston fans were weird for putting all this stock in a supposed “curse.” We didn’t. Sure, we might have had some fun with it every now and then. But it was everyone else that kept making it a “thing.” After Foulke flipped it to Meintkiewicz, that all had to stop. Yankees fans had to stop that annoying “1918” chant. I never really understood it. Either you were the defending champs, or you weren’t. Everything else was just extra. I guess other than Yankees fans themselves where past success matters. But, for everyone else it didn’t matter how long it had been. Once it got to a few years, it was all the same. But, that was over. They would at least have to come up with a new annoying chant now. Or a new way to hang “K” signs instead of using Babe’s face.

And the networks. Maybe I could watch a nationally televised game again without them harping all over how much bread cost in 1918. How much had that become the easy way out when it came to a Sox broadcast? FOX actually tried to resurrect it last season by making up this streak of not clinching a championship at home since 1918. They already had the stories and the graphics, they just needed a way to work them into the broadcast. Because that’s how long it had been since a home clinch. Get my point? At least they had to try harder now, and be a little bit creative. It all changed.

It was stuff like that, and all the other stuff too. The world was a different place. No more curse of Ruth. No more Buckner replays, like that was in game seven or something. The Red Sox, and me as their fan, had to be treated like every other team and every other teams’ fan. I didn’t once feel like I lost an identity. I felt like I gained a new, better one.

The aforementioned 2007 championship was the perfect example of that. When the Sox went up 3-0 on the Cardinals, I admit that a SMALL part of me had a thought. Wouldn’t it be just like them to be the first MLB team to ever come back from being down 0-3, just to become the second team to ever blow a 3-0 lead, in the very next series! But, I had none of that in 2007. The Sox were down 1-3 to Cleveland, and it was OK. Of course Beckett would be overpowering the next game. He wasn’t going to pitch well during the season only to give it up at the end. Why would he? He’s not Clemens. The past had nothing to do with it. It was all about that team, and what they could do. It was wonderful. It was freeing. It was different.

It was life changing.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

First Fairfield

I went to Target the other day, with a burning desire to open some packs. I looked at the current offerings, and couldn't find anything to strike my fancy. The choices on the shelf seemed a little stale. That's when I noticed the Fairfield repack sitting on the shelf. I had seen other bloggers mention repacks. I mostly saw them talked about as stacks of old cards packaged together. That never really appealed to me. But, these were repacks of packs. That was just what I needed! And, not just packs. 20 packs! Plus, apparently, a hit of some sort. All for the price of a blaster. So, which packs were inside? Here's a look.

Not a bad selection. A little more recent that I was expecting, with a vast majority of the backs from 2013. One thing I was looking forward to as I opened the packs was the prospect of getting some Red Sox inserts I don't have. Since I buy most of my Red Sox cards in set form, the inserts tend to elude me. This was a chance to get some that I had missed.

So, how did I do from those packs? Here are the Red Sox cards that came to me.

Yeah, I don't see any inserts either. Oh well. Certainly can't complain about 2013 cards of the ALCS and World Series MVPs. I love the Hanrahan card too. Remember when he was the Red Sox closer? 

So I didn't make a huge dent in my Red Sox wantlists. I had a lot of fun, and that's really what counts. Because, with these repacks, you can never tell what you're going to get. Check out the lone pack of 2012 Topps Chrome.

I know, those RC aren't worth millions. But, for a pack I didn't know I was getting, I got probably the two best base cards available. Funny how things work out.

Wonder how they'll work out next time.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happy 36th John Lackey!

The Red Sox have had several players over the years that have had their relationships with the fans change over the years. An overpaid slug can become a hero with one game six grand slam. An icon can become an outcast after some well-place propaganda. It’s nothing new. But, I’m not sure any player was on quite the roller coaster of John Lackey.

When he was signed, he was seen if not an ace, at least a top addition to the rotation. His first season was pretty mediocre. It was definitely an underwhelming year. The next one was even worse, as he might have been the worst starter ever, statistically speaking. Then, it turned out he was hurt, so suddenly there was a bit more sympathy for the numbers. Then he came back and was the ace of a World Series winner. From adoration to hate to legend. What a ride.

It looks like I was at Fenway for seven Lackey games during his Red Sox career. A couple of them stand out above the others, as I’m sure you can imagine. Specifically two October games.

I had the pleasure of being at the ALDS Game 2 last year when Lackey took on David Price. Lackey pitched well as the Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the series.

But that’s not my favorite Lackey start.

If you’re looking for a peak in the roller coaster that was Lackey’s time in Boston, look no further than Game 6 of the 2013 World Series. I was in the stands as Lackey made our dreams come true. He was everything you wanted from a starter in that situation. He even convinced John Farrell to leave him in the game at one point. When he walked off the field to a loud standing ovation, the transformation was complete. I always said I was amazed that JD Drew gave us a curtain call after his 2007 grand slam. If I were him, I would have told the fans to stuff it. The same definitely was true with Lackey. His tip of the cap as he walked off the field was something I’m not sure I could have done. I’m not sure we deserved it. He certainly deserved the ovation, though. He deserves one every time we see him from now on.

A birthday wish is the least we can do.

Happy 36th John Lackey!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Giant Royals

Baseball is back!

That little break since the NLCS has been pretty annoying, hasn’t it? But, finally we get to have baseball again. Even if it’s just for a little while longer.

Not only do I not have a rooting interest in this series, I don’t really have a strong desire for either team to win. It will be a different way to watch a series.

Sure, if I’m pressed, I want the Royals to win. There are quite a few reasons, really, although none of them are particularly great. They haven’t won it in a while, so that would be a better story. It will be nice for the people of Kansas City to feel that again. They’re also the AL team. Unless it’s the Yankees, chances are I’d rather see the AL team win. (Well, maybe if it was the Rays.) The real draw for the Royals, though? The giants currently have two World Championships this century. The Red Sox are the only team with three. So, I’d prefer that the Sox keep that lead. It’s also nice that a Royals win will mean yet another team will have one championship in the century…just like the Yankees.

Like I said, they’re not great reasons.

But, that means I can really enjoy the series. No, not as much as I enjoyed last year’s series. But, I can allow myself to get caught up in the moment, no matter what that moment is.

I’ll also be able to enjoy the fact that neither of the two teams seems to have much of anything that the Red Sox don’t have. I said at the beginning of last year that the 2013 Red Sox seemed a lot like the 2012 Giants, and I couldn’t see why the Sox couldn’t win the World Series as well. The 2014 Royals and Giants make me believe that the Red Sox won’t be too far off in 2015. Neither one has Pedro Martinez as the ace of the staff. So, maybe the Sox can go out this offseason and build a rotation after all. The offense are both solid, but we’re not talking about the 2003 Red Sox here. A key improvement or two might be enough for the Sox to make up the ground. It’s comforting, really. Maybe a worst-to-first-to-worst-to-first isn’t all that far-fetched. I’ll be watching the series to see just what the Sox are missing in order to compete with these two teams.

I don’t think I’ll find much.

Monday, October 20, 2014

From the Pedro Binder

2001 Topps Hobby Masters

I’m not sure what qualifies someone as a “hobby master.” But, I’m quite positive that Pedro Martinez met those requirements in 2001. Coming off two of the best seasons a pitcher has ever had, he was a major force in the hobby. Assuming, I suppose, they’re referring to the “baseball card collecting” hobby. The model train collecting hobby? Maybe not so much. But, as far as baseball cards, he was one of the most popular players in the game. So, naturally, Topps included in this insert set.

Which makes sense. The set is so uninspired, it’s only logical that the player selection would be obvious choices. You know someone made a list of the players that they thought would sell cards. Then, instead of trying to sort them into theme sets like “blazing fastballs” or “power packers” they just lumped them into one set. That meant that the design had to be pretty generic, and  it is. Pedro set against some squares and colors. No rhyme or reason. Just background clutter.

The photo selection? Bleh. A generic shot of Pedro getting ready to pitch. Just something Topps had sitting in a file cabinet somewhere. Again, Topps feels that the name of the set is the most important part of the set. Pedro’s name is in the tiny type. Can you find it? Now, hoe about the name of the set? Do you see that? It’s impossible to miss as it takes up about a quarter of the card. Terrible.

And to think…people were supposed to “chase” these inserts.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Royal Trash Talk

As the Kansas City Royals advanced to the World Series last night, I was reminded of an encounter I had with a Royals fan a few years ago.

I was at Fenway, pre-2004. It was against the White Sox early in the season. (From looking at past scorecards, my best guess is the home opener in 1999.) As it happened, The White Sox had struggled out of the gate and found themselves behind the Royals in the standings. A Royals fan was at the game in his bright blue Royals jersey. He took the opportunity the standings provided, and was just hammering any White Sox fan he saw. He somehow managed to do it in a funny way, so there were no hard feelings. Maybe it was because he, and we, knew that any high position the Royals had in the standings was temporary. They would finish the year under .500, just as they had for the past five years or so. Which was good, because he decided to ignore the Red Sox hot start, and lay into us as well. After all, the Royals had won the World Series in 1985. The Red Sox? 1918, as you may recall. The White Sox? 1917. So, here was this Royals fan, a fan of a terrible team, who had seen a World Championship in his lifetime. It didn’t matter that the Red Sox finished with the second best record in the AL the previous year. 1918! It didn’t matter that the White Sox were closer to contending than KC could even see. 1917! Back and forth, the whole game. 1917! 1918! It was fantastic.

Hopefully that guy is still a Royals fan.

Congratulations Royals!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In The Media Guide

In my collection, I currently have every Red Sox Media Guide dating back to 1998. I love flipping through them to see what tidbits they contain. I figured that if I liked it, you might enjoy taking a look along with me. So, I had a random number generator select a page from the 2014 edition to talk about today.  The random number generator selected pg 451.

What a great page. This page has various home run records for the Sox. They’re some of the obscure facts that announces throw out after a strange feat is accomplished. Take, for example, the first section. Players who have hit conventional and inside-the-park home runs in the same game. I was actually at the most recent occurrence when Pokey Reese did it in 2004. After he did it, or maybe just before, I’m sure the announcers brought up Tony Armas. This category is more of a fluke thing than anything else, but it’s still interesting.

The team home run highs is another one that gets the curiosity running. You might assume that teams that hit lots of home runs hit lots of home runs at home, and on the road. But, check out that 1977 club. It has the record for home runs at Fenway, but doesn’t crack the top twelve on the road. I wonder why. In fact, the same goes for the 1996, 1979 and 1970 teams. So, apparently, they were very good at home. How about the other way? The record holder for road HR is the 2003 team, and they finished sixth on the home list. They hit a lot of home runs that year. The 2010 team was second on the road, but dropped to twelfth at home. 2011 and 1998 didn’t make the home lists. I wonder why there was such a difference.

Most at-bats without a home run is great. Pokey Reese gets two in one game, but these guys never fall into one all year. Poor Jerry Remy.

The pairs to teammates chars is more fluky than anything. Teammates who were together for a while and hit a lot of home runs hit a lot of home runs in the same game (Rice/Lynn). Or, someone who hit a lot of home runs happens to have hit one in lots of games another teammate did too. (Manny/Nixon, Ortiz/Pedroia). So, while those lists don’t mean anything, really, they are fun to look at and thing about. This all makes for a great page.

Just like every page.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bandwagon Fans

I’m confused by bandwagon fans. Well, not by them so much I suppose. But, I’m confused by everyone’s desire to label them as such, and berate them for it. It’s a little odd.

Take Baltimore. All I heard during the first two games of the ALCS were snide comments about how they don’t fill Camden Yards with Orioles fans during the regular season. It’s just a bunch of bandwagon fans dressed in orange. Disgraceful. If they’re not going to be supporting the team when they’re lousy, or in the regular season, they shouldn’t be showing their painted faces now. Apparently.

But, what about Tampa? Aren’t their fans chastised for the very consistency we’re insisting that Orioles fans display? They don’t fill the Trop when the Rays are lousy, or when they’re in the playoff hunt. They show the same level of enthusiasm, or lack thereof, no matter the circumstances. And they get ragged on. Come on! Support your team! You can’t even sell out a September game when you’re one game out of a playoff spot? Disgraceful.

It’s not that you’re just supposed to support your team through thick and thin, either. That’s what Cardinals are known for. And, you guessed it, they’re routinely mocked for it. What are they doing cheering a guy after he strikes out three times? Or when Wrigley sells so many tickets to see a last place club. Disgraceful.

So, which is it? Are you supposed to only support quality? That’s certainly what you do in every other aspect of life. I don’t go see a bad movie just because I’m loyal to the theater, or the actor that’s starring in it. If a restaurant changes chefs, I’m allowed to go there even if I didn’t go back when the food was terrible. I’m allowed to limit my choices to things that make me happy. Why do we expect more than that from sports fans?

Personally, my only problem with bandwagon fans comes when they’re vocal about it. If you want to go buy a brand new AL East Division Champs Orioles shirt and wear it around town, more power to you. If you want to paint yourself orange while you do it, go right ahead. Just don’t come up to me at a bus stop because I’m wearing a Red Sox hat and start laughing at me because the Sox finished last. That you have to earn. If you were at the same bus stop with orange skin last October? Maybe I’ll allow you to trash talk this October. Otherwise, just be quiet and go about your business. It’s the same theory that led me many times to say I almost preferred a Yankees loss to a Red Sox win. At least if the Yankees lost, I could go to the grocery store without Yankees fans giving me a hard time.

So, go ahead and support your team whenever you want, however you want. But, if you only support them when they win, be quiet about it.

Or at least be clever.

Friday, October 10, 2014

From the Pedro Binder

1998 Fleer Ultra

I don't know how I feel about this card, exactly.

The design? Obviously fantastic. I'm a sucker for full bleed photos, and this card has one. I love it when the graphics float over the picture, and this card obviously has those. It lists Pedro's name and team, along with position. Those are all tucked out of the way. The best part is that the Ultra logo is even more tucked away, and almost hard to find. It's a perfect design to give all the focus to the picture.

Now, about that picture...

On the surface, it's uninspired. Sure, it's different. He's not throwing a pitch. But, laying on the ground stretching? Bleh. This is our new ace! We don't want a picture of him stretching.

But, then I remember that he's our new ace. I realize that I should probably appreciate a pic in the Red Sox uniform. It's not an Expo jersey, or an airbrush. It's not even a photo shoot. Ultra did their best to get him in "action" wearing a Red Sox uniform. Maybe I should be commending them. I just can't quite bring myself to do it.

What about you?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bye Bye Beckett

As you probably noticed, Josh Beckett announced his retirement last night. I've always been a Beckett fan. How could you not like someone who dominated the Yankees in the World Series as a youngster. When he came over to the Sox, that was clearly a big deal. Even when times were rough, I always thought he got the short end of the stick from fans in Boston. As I started thinking about this post, I flipped though my scorebooks looking at Beckett starts I had scored, and noticed something pretty cool.

Here is how Josh Beckett performed in games when I was at Fenway.

?? TOR-W 7 IP, 1ER, 2 K

9/19/06 NYY-L 5+IP, 9 ER, 2 K

4/10/07 SEA-W 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 K

9/15/07 NYY-W, 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 K

4/7/09 TB-W, 7 IP, 1 ER, 10 K

5/23/08 NYM-ND, 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 K

4/13/12 TB-W, 8 IP, 1 ER, 1 K

My goodness! If I was going to Fenway, and he was pitching, apparently I was assured of having a
good day. Even with the one absolute stinker against the Yankees, his career ERA in games I went to was 2.75. Ignoring that one (which, I know, you can’t do)? In six games he gave up one earned run per game, and went at least seven innings each time. That’s a 1.23 ERA. We’re talking Pedro numbers there. (Well, maybe Kershaw.) Look at that consistancy. 7 IP and 1 ER, like he was rolling out of bed.

So, maybe that’s why I’ve always had a soft spot for Josh Beckett. It’s not like I saw him have one great start, and be mediocre the rest of his career in Boston. His seven starts that I saw were spread out pretty evenly throughout his tenure. They were almost all amazing. Almost all of them allowed me to leave Fenway happy.

Not a bad result from a starting pitcher.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

List of 36: Things I enjoyed about the 2014 season

1. Popcorn in a helmet
2. Blog readers
3. Ring ceremony
4. Magnet schedule with 3 trophies on it
5. Jackie Bradley Jr’s defense
6. Twitter followers
8. Watching the Sea Dogs
9. Brock Holt
10. Pedro visiting
12. David Ortiz going 30-100
13. Blog commenters
14. Replica World Series championship rings
15. Facebook likes
16. Mike Lowell visiting
17. Ice cream in a helmet
18. Grady Sizemore starting
20. Christian Vazquez throwing to second
21. Walk-off wins
22. World Series merchandise
23. Scoring
24. Mookie Betts’s emergence
26. Sunny days
27. Joe Kelly
28. Raising a banner
29. Instagram followers
30. Reading Red Sox books
31. David Ortiz Bobblehead
33. Yoenis Cespedes’s throws
34. Jason Varitek visiting
35. Ticket stubs with World Series pics on them
36. Derek Jeter finally retiring

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Is Value Overvalued?

Many of us credit the 2001 Patriots for contributing to the 2004 Red Sox World Championship. They proved that a team full of quality could win a title. It didn't take three stars and a bunch of scrubs. There's a feeling that their success allowed Theo Epstein the freedom to construct a team the way he wanted to. Well-balanced, and efficient. As the Sox enter a very important off-season, here's hoping that they don't adhere to one Patriot mantra.


Sure, I understand getting good value. Nobody wants to pay too much for something. If I'm at a game, I don't want to hear that the person sitting in front of me paid less for their ticket than I did. Or, that I paid twice as much as the person sitting the row behind me. I want to know that I got good value for my money. The same way that the Patriots want to be sure that they get good value for their offensive linemen. But, that can be carried too far. Lets say I was looking at ticket prices. I see a ticket for sale that I can afford, but see that one previously sold in the row in front of me for less than I would need to pay. I can tell that I'm not going to get good value if I buy the ticket. So, I could pass. I wouldn't have overspent. But, I won't be going to the game either. That's the trade off.

The Red Sox did something similar with Jacoby Ellsbury this last off-season. He was overpaid. I know it. You know it. The Yankees know it. Heck, even Ellsbury probably knows it. So, the Sox let him go to New York. He'll never be worth the contract in five years. Nobody ever talked about whether he was worth the contract this year. This year they needed to go on without their lead-off hitter. The same thing happened when Pedro left. Everyone rightly said the contract was too big. There wasn't value there. But, he was still darn good that next year. One time the Sox didn't get value in their move was with the JD Drew signing. He was overpaid. But, he was the best option out there. He put up great numbers for the Sox. If they didn't have him, who knows what they would have been forced to play in right field. They didn't have value. They had an all-star.

This off-season the Sox have some holes to fill. They also seem to have some organizational rules they're trying to follow. Rules about value. No long term contracts for pitchers, or old players, or old pitchers. There's not good value there. We can't give Jon Lester a five year contract. There won't be value there. Maybe. I guess they'd know. After all the Sox have some experience with pitchers on long contracts. That Lackey guy just carried them through the playoffs, winning the decisive game in the World Series in the fourth year of a five year (becoming six) contract. There wasn't value there.

Just a World Championship.

Friday, October 3, 2014

From the Pedro Binder

2003 Sportclix

Does this even count as a card? I suppose it has to, right? It's certainly card size. It's cardboard. It has Pedro on it. It came in a pack of cards. Sounds good to me!

Honestly, I have no idea where I got this card. I want to say it came in a pack of cards of some sort as an advertisement. It was trying to get you to buy player Sportclix when they came out. I didn't. Not even the Pedro. Guess the ad didn't work.

As for the card itself? Well, it features three stars of the day. As far as pitchers go in 2003, this might have been the cream of the crop. The Pedro Clix is a great pose. The angle of the picture, though, makes the base much too obvious. It's like I'm looking at a big green blob, with a little Pedro on top. Maybe an angle more from the top.

There's zero information about Pedro on the front, since he shares the card with two other pitchers. The ad portion is actually nicely tucked up top to allow the three pictures all the room they would need to be enjoyed. I'm actually a little amazed the "Available March 2004" wasn't three times that size to get the point across. But, it wasn't. It makes for a much cleaner card. Wish card companies would take note. Simple can be good. Usually is, in fact.

It was in this case.

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