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2013 World Baseball Classic

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by tellitlikeitis, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    I only see a qualification thread, so I'm a bit surprised that no thread for the main tournament has come up yet. Oh well... also, TL;DR alert.

    The opening game of the tournament will start tonight at 10:30 Central, with Chinese Taipei taking on Australia. All of the games will be on MLB Network, so I think there's going to be a bit of a viewership issue. I don't have the channel.

    Baseball America:Despite Success: World Baseball Classic Still Finding Its Footing

    Infographic: WBC at-a-glance

    First up.... the pools that begin play tonight. Pools A and B. Here are the teams, the venues, and some WBC-related background for each team.

    Note: For players currently in the minors or Majors, I am going off the final rosters.

    Pools and Venues

    Pool A

    Location: Fukuoka Dome, Fukuoka, Japan.

    [​IMG]

    Japan

    They won both of the previous editions of the WBC. Kaz "Anal Fissure" Matsui was named to the final squad. He's the only player on the squad that has played in the majors. In the past, Japanese players like Koji Uehara, Norichika Aoki, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Yu Darvish have used the WBC to showcase their talents before moving on to Major League Baseball.

    [​IMG]


    China

    MLB is still trying to find its Yao. The sport has struggled to find its niche in China after Mao Zedong decided that basketball was the way to go.

    Time: Will Chinese Baseball Make It to the Big Leagues?

    They were winless in the inaugural edition, and under Terry Collins, went 1-2 in 2009, with the victory being a 4-1 game over Chinese Taipei.

    To date, the only major league player from China is Harry Kingman, who played 4 games with the Yankees in 1914. According to his Wikipedia page, his parents were missionaries in Tianjin.

    Zhang Zhenwang and Liu Kai were signed by the Yankees in 2007 but have since been released.

    Cuba

    Runners-up in the 2006 WBC to Japan, the Cubans didn't fare as well, as they suffered an early exit in the 2nd round at the hands of.... Japan.

    Obviously, all of their players are from the domestic league, the Cuban National Series. Fun fact: It's not a professional league. That was Fidel's doing.

    Alfredo Despaigne, a 26-year-old outfielder (listed at 5'8, 214 on the WBC site; other sources put his weight in the 170s), is the home run king of the Cuban National Series, as he sent 34 out for Granma during the 2011-12 season. He is currently hitting .345 with 11 homers and 33 RBI and owns a 43:25 BB:K ratio.

    This was the record-breaker. Broken bat!

    <object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/IiOJrNz-vv8?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/IiOJrNz-vv8?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    IF Yulieski Gourriel has been one of the biggest stars on the Cuban circuit during the 2000s. After the 2006 WBC, there were rumors that he had defected to Colombia but he shot them down.


    Brazil

    Wait, Brazil????

    Yes. They beat Panama 1-0 on November 19 to qualify.

    Obviously baseball lags behind soccer there, but they have 10 players on the roster who are currently Minor Leaguers. Luiz Gohara, a lefty who was signed by the Mariners for $880K last year, could become the big star of Brazilian baseball. He's the #12 prospect in their system, according to BA. He's not on the roster. Baseball in Brazil is primarily played by the Japanese immigrant community there, mainly in São Paulo.

    The closest Brazilian to the majors is RHP Andre Rienzo, who would become the first pitcher from his country to reach the majors. Rienzo, who will turn 25 on July 5, spent the majority of the 2012 season at AA Birmingham in the White Sox organization. He also pitched at High-A Winston-Salem and had 1 start at AAA Charlotte and was suspended 50 games for a positive PED test. According to the 2013 BA Prospect Handbook, Rienzo is the #7 prospect in their system, up from #17 in 2012.

    Andres Reiner, a former Astros scout, has helped the Rays lay the foundation for a Brazilian pipeline. The Rays and Mariners have had a foothold in Brazil for a while... they, along with the Phillies and Tigers, have the last remaining active academies in Venezuela. Naturally, the Brazilians that they have signed usually start off in Venezuela.

    A few articles: Rio Times Online

    Mop-Up Duty (ESPN SweetSpot blog): Baseball in Brazil

    New York Times (from 2007): Trying to sell America's pastime in soccer-mad Brazil


    In fact, Yan Gomes (who is not on the roster) became the first Brazilian player to play in the Majors when he made his debut for the Blue Jays on May 17. However, he was raised in Miami. He played 2 years at Tennessee, earning Freshman All-American honors before transferring to Barry, a Division II school located in Miami. He's now with the Indians.

    Murilo Gouvea, an Astros minor leaguer, is on the squad. He spent 2012 with Lexington and did very well, although he was roughed up towards the end of the year. He was originally a member of the White Sox organization, and he also made his professional debut alongside Andre Rienzo in 2007, when they were both 18.

    Barry Larkin will be serving as the manager of Team Brazil.

    Players currently in the Majors: None
    Players currently in Major League organizations as minor league players: 10

    -RHP Murilo Gouvea (Astros)
    -RHP Rafael Moreno (Orioles)
    -RHP Andre Rienzo (White Sox)
    -RHP Thyago Vieira (Mariners)
    -IF Felipe Burin (released by Mariners, signed with Dodgers)
    -1B Iago Januario (Rays)
    -3B/SS Leonardo Reginatto (Rays)
    -2B Pedro Okuda (Mariners)
    -2B Lucas Rojo (Phillies); he's listed at 5'6", 153
    -OF Paulo Orlando (Royals)



    Pool B

    Location: Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, Taichung, Taiwan

    [​IMG]

    South Korea

    3rd place finishers in 2006 after Japan knocked them out in the semifinals (which was their only loss of the entire tournament), they had to settle for a runner-up finish after losing 5-3 in the 2009 final.

    Amazin' Avenue (Mets SBNation site): Profiles of 4 Koreans who could come to the US in the future

    Woo-Ram Jung is currently serving in the armed forces.

    MyKBO.net: English site for all things Korean baseball

    Like the Japanese, they're going with players from their domestic league. RHP Jae Weong Seo appeared in the majors with the Mets, Dodgers, and (Devil) Rays during the early-to-mid 2000s.


    Netherlands

    Baseball in the Netherlands is primarily played in the Antilles. However, the mainland is gradually producing some talent and they have traditionally been a European power. A few notable Dutch baseball players include Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven (who wil be their pitching coach), Andruw Jones (from Curaçao), Sidney Ponson (from Aruba), and Roger Bernadina (Curaçao) of the Nationals. They have plenty of guys on the roster who have played in the minors and majors. A few played college baseball in the United States.

    The Orioles have been one of the most aggressive teams in the Netherlands Antilles.

    In 2006, they were grouped with Panama, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, going 1-2. Shairon Martis, who is now in the Twins organization, threw the first no-hitter in WBC history in a 10-0 victory over Panama, which was mercy-ruled.

    They made it to the double-elimination 2nd round in 2009, losing to Venezuela 3-1 and 9-3 to the US.

    In 2013, the Netherlands will have the largest player in the field: Ludovicus "Loek" van Mil, who stands 7'1" and weighs 260. If he appears in the majors, he would become the tallest player to ever appear in a game, surpassing Jon Rauch.

    [​IMG]

    For the future.... keep an eye on Xander Bogaerts. A shortstop from Aruba, he is currently the top prospect in the Red Sox system and will play the entire 2013 season as a 20-year-old. BA also rates him as the #8 prospect in all of baseball. Jonathan Schoop, a 21-year-old 2B/shortstop in the Orioles system is also one to watch. He is the Orioles' #3 prospect according to Baseball America. In 2012, he was rated #82 in their Top 100. The Rangers' Jurickson Profar, who is arguably the top prospect in the game, was also considered, though he was not named to the final roster. Presumably because he'd like to compete for a spot on the Rangers.

    Players currently in the Majors: 2

    -OF Roger Bernadina, Nationals
    -SS Andrelton Simmons, Braves

    Players who have appeared in the Majors: 3

    -OF Andruw Jones (Braves, Dodgers, White Sox, Yankees, Rangers)
    -OF Wladimir Balentien (Reds, Mariners)
    -RHP Shairon Martis (Nationals)

    Players currently in Major League organizations as minor league players: 7

    -RHP Loek van Mil
    -RHP Jonatan Isenia (Orioles)
    -RHP Tom Stuifbergen (Twins)
    -SS Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox)
    -SS/2B/3B Jonathan Schoop (Orioles)
    -OF Randolph Oduber (Nationals)
    -OF Kalian Sams (Mariners)

    SS Hainley Statia (Brewers) and C Dashenko Ricardo (Giants) were released by their respective organizations.

    Australia

    They were winless in 2006 and went 1-2 in Pool B in 2009, beating Mexico, but losing to Cuba and the Mexicans in an elimination game.

    The Aussies bring a mix of minor leaguers and guys with MLB experience, par for the course. No current MLB players, though. The Twins have usually been the most active team Down Under. The Phillies, Mariners, and Braves have signed a few as well.

    Players currently in the Majors: None
    Players who have appeared in the Majors: 5

    -RHP Chris Oxspring (Padres)
    -LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (Mariners)
    -C/1B Justin Huber (Royals, Padres, Twins)
    -OF Chris Snelling (Mariners, Nationals, Athletics, Phillies)
    -2B Luke Hughes (Athletics, Twins)

    The entire roster has played in the Minor Leagues at some point in their careers.

    Chinese Taipei
    As we all know, China kind of doesn't like it when they use Taiwan.

    Chinese Taipei was a participant in the first 2 editions of the WBC, but this time around, they had to qualify for their spot. And they did on November 18, when they drubbed New Zealand 9-0. CT did not allow a single run in qualifying.

    Unlike the People's Republic, baseball has been embraced by the Taiwanese. RHP Jen-Ho Tseng could be a hot commodity on the July 2 market this year.

    Amazin' Avenue: Free Agent Profile: Jen-Ho Tseng Great analysis on Tseng's stuff.

    The Astros are represented by OF Che-Hsuan Lin. If you remember (you probably don't), Lin was claimed off waivers by the Astros from the Red Sox early in the offseason. Chia-Jen Lo was also slated to participate, but he probably wanted to focus on making the Astros' Opening Day roster.

    Players currently in the Majors: None
    Players who have appeared in the Majors: 3

    RHP Hong-Chih Kuo (Dodgers)
    RHP Chien-Ming Wang (Yankees, Nationals)
    OF Che-Hsuan Lin (Red Sox)

    Players who are currently in Major League organizations as minor leaguers: 1

    RHP Yao-Lin Wang (Cubs)

    A few of their players have also played in the Minors, as well.

    Later, I'll take a look at Pools C and D.
     
  2. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    Chinese Taipei leads Australia 3-0. Chien-Ming Wang has been excellent so far.
     
  3. Beavis Stiffler

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    My predictions:

    First Round
    Group A: Japan & Cuba
    Group B: Korea & Taiwan
    Group C: Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic
    Group D: USA & Mexico

    Second Round
    Group 1: Japan & Korea
    Group 2: USA & Puerto Rico

    Semifinals: USA over Korea, Japan over Puerto Rico

    Finals: USA over Japan. The Americans will end the Japanese WBC dynasty.
     
  4. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    Well... 1st game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and Chinese Taipei comes out with a 4-1 victory over Australia. The Taiwanese had a 33 2/3 inning scoreless streak dating back to the qualifying round snapped by a solo home run from Stefan Welch in the 7th inning.

    Chien-Ming Wang got the win for CT, as he threw 6 scoreless, allowing 4 hits and striking out 2. Che-Hsuan Lin, the Astros' representative, went 2-3 and scored a run. He started in center field and hit 2nd in the order.

    There's probably going to be more than a few viewership issues at this time of night, especially with these pools. Japan and Brazil will start at 4 Central to kick off Pool A play, and the Netherlands and Korea will play at 5:30.
     
  5. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    Japan needed an 8th inning rally to stave off a game Brazil squad 5-3. They scored 3 in the top half of the frame, with the go-ahead run coming on a Shunnosuke Abe forceout. Nobuhiro Matsuda went 2-4 with an RBI. He was one of 5 players who drove in a run. Masahiro Tanaka got the start, allowing an unearned run on 4 hits in 2 innings without walking or striking out a batter. Tadashi Settsu got the win in relief, as he allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 4 in 3 innings. Kazuhisa Makita picked up the save, working around a hit in the 9th by fanning 2.

    The Brazilian attack was paced by Rays farmhand Leonardo Reginatto, who went 3-4 with an RBI single in the 1st and an RBI double in the 5th that gave his team a 3-2 lead. Astros farmhand Murilo Gouvea pitched 3 innings in relief as the first man out of the Brazil bullpen. Rafael Fernandes got the start and went 3 innings. He allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2. Oscar Nakaoshi and Kesley Kondo couldn't hold the lead in the 8th, as the 2-time defending champions were able to come through.

    Netherlands with the upset! The Dutch held South Korea to 4 hits (all singles) in a 5-0 win. Choi Jeong went 2-4. It looks to me like the Korean manager went Brad Mills with his bullpen in this game, as he went through 6 relievers.

    Curt Smith, who spent 2012 in the Marlins organization, got the Kingdom on the board first with a sac fly scoring Andruw Jones in the 2nd. Roger Bernadina went 1-5 with an RBI forceout and an RBI double. Wladimir Balentien had an RBI single. Diego Markwell pitched 4 strong innings, allowing 2 hits, walking 1 and fanning 2 for the victory. Orlando Yntema, Leon Boyd, and Mark Pawelek (a former Cubs 1st-round pick) finished off the shutout.
     
  6. RollingWave

    RollingWave Member

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    Taiwan also beat Netherlands convincingly 8-3, so they're in a good spot to advance, though it is still very possible for a 3 way tie of 2-1 teams and then it gets tricky.
     
  7. Beavis Stiffler

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    As expected, heavy favorites Japan and Cuba in Group A advanced to the 2nd round. Group B will be very interesting, I can see some surprises in this one. It will be a big disappointment for the Koreans if they don't make it past the 1st round after being in the WBC Finals last time. Talk about March Madness, this year's WBC could have some major upsets.
     
  8. RollingWave

    RollingWave Member

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    There's always going to be upsets in baseball.

    Group B is going very complex, here's the possible outcomes today.

    Taiwan beat Korea , Aussie beat Netherland = Taiwan advance for sure, other 3 team in 3 way tie at 1-2 and need to count runs.

    Taiwan beat Korea, Netherland beat Aussie = Taiwan and Dutch advance, probably the clearest result

    Korea beat Taiwan, Aussie beat Netherland = Korea and Taiwan advance . also pretty clear result.

    Korea beat Taiwan, Netherland beat Aussie = probably the most complex situation of all, 3 team would be 2-1.
     
  9. Beavis Stiffler

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    I expect Holland to run up the score on Australia but there is the 10-run mercy rule.
     
  10. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    The winner of the Brazil-China game will automatically qualify for the 2017 WBC.
     
  11. RollingWave

    RollingWave Member

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    Dutch beat Aussie 4:1, though Aussie came within a couple feet of a game tieing HR in the 9th... Dutch will advance as the 2nd seed no matter what now.

    Brazil imploded in the 8th against China and lost :eek: . China save their status 4 years from now while Brazil need to go through qualifier again.

    Now it's the all important Taiwan / Korean game, Korea need to with by a significant margin to advance.
     
  12. Anxiety Trooper

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    Crazy about the Brazilian team. Makes sense about our Japanese playing the sport.
     
  13. jdh008

    jdh008 Member

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    I love this event and watched every game I could in the '06 and '09 tournaments, but because I don't have MLB Network, I haven't been able to get into this year's tournament and that's a shame.
     
  14. RollingWave

    RollingWave Member

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    well Korea won... but only by 1 run which eliminates them, so was a game where no one was too happy about as Taiwan's best reliever imploded for 3 late runs and blew a great performance by most of his teammate but Koreans still go packing.

    Interesting to see what happens in Japan- Cuba tonight, Japan hasn't looked sharp to say the least. it seems they are vunerable in the next round at this point. Taiwan would surely be sending their ace pitcher (former 19 game winner Chien Ming Wang) against them and that would be really dangerous.

    On the other hand, this seem to be a chance of a life time for Taiwan, they have a pitcher that could legitimately shut down even the best teams. they already won more games than the previous 2 times x 2. here's hoping they make a huge dark horse run.
     
  15. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    Pools C & D begin play today. Let's have a look at these teams.

    Pool C

    Venue: Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico

    [​IMG]

    Dominican Republic

    The Dominican Republic is the largest foreign source for baseball players in the Majors. Of course, many of their players are currently members of a major league club. Robinson Canó, Jose Reyes, and Hanley Ramirez should form 3/4 of their infield. Pretty good group, I think.

    Jose Veras represents the Astros on this team... and Wandy Rodriguez should be one of their starters.

    Spain

    Spain qualified with a 9-7 win over Israel on September 23. Most of their players are of Venezuelan, Cuban, and Dominican descent. They've been among the better teams in Europe in recent years.

    Rhiner Cruz is the Astros' representative on the squad. Fernando Martinez was scheduled to participate, but withdrew.


    Puerto Rico

    A possible 51st state? As a territory of the United States, and owing to its location in the Caribbean, baseball is massive. As is the case with the Dominican and Venezuela, many of its players have appeared in the Majors.

    Xavier Cedeño is the lone Astro on the team; Nelson Figueroa, who appeared for the Astros in 2010 and was in their system in 2011, is also on the team.

    Carlos Beltrán, Yadier Molina, Alex Rios, and Mike Aviles will be expected to pace their lineup.

    Venezuela

    The game of baseball was first introduced to Venezuela in the 1890s by Venezuelans who studied in America. Alex Carrasquel was the first Venezuelan in Major League Baseball, making his debut with the Washington Senators in 1939. Since then, 285 of his countrymen have become Major Leaguers.

    Their lineup will be paced by Mr. Triple Crown himself. He'll also be joined on the infield by Elvis Andrus, Kung Fu Panda, aka Pablo Sandoval, and Asdrubal Cabrera. Carlos Gonzalez is another threat in the lineup. He has evolved into one of the National League's best.

    Not too many household names in their pitching staff, though. K-Rod, Anibal Sanchez, Jhoulys Chacín, and that ****** Carlos Zambrano are by far the big names.

    Pool D

    Venues: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale

    [​IMG]

    Chase Field, Phoenix

    [​IMG]

    United States

    AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They couldn't get any of the big-name pitchers to commit. However, Gio Gonzalez and Mr. Cy Young are on board and will be counted on for big innings, while Craig Kimbrel is a lockdown closer.

    With Mark Teixeira out of the picture, Eric Hosmer of the Royals has been summoned to play 1B.

    Italy

    A European power, they have the benefit of drawing from Italian-American MLB players. Mike Piazza will serve as a coach, although the other Mike Piazza, who is a pitcher in the Angels system, is not on the team. They are also distantly related to each other.

    The Italians will also have Pat Venditte, a switch-pitcher currently in the Yankees system. Here's a pretty funny sequence with him facing a switch-hitter in short-season ball.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yDyCRTlKllk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    The power will be supplied by 3B Alex Liddi and 1B Anthony Rizzo. Liddi is the first player born and raised in Italy to appear in a MLB game. Rizzo is a former top prospect in the Red Sox and Padres systems, and he now plays for the Cubs, where he had a dazzling half-season, sending 15 out in 87 games. IF Nick Punto, OF Chris Denorfia, and RHP Jason Grilli have extensive experience in the majors.

    Canada

    Our neighbors to the north qualified with an 11-1 victory over Germany on September 24. They are a rising country in terms of developing baseball talent. Jameson Taillon, who pitched at The Woodlands and was selected #2 overall in 2009, will take the ball for them in their first game against Italy tomorrow.

    Brett Lawrie's older sister, Danielle, was an All-American softball player at Washington (as a pitcher). She's engaged to former Astros farmhand Drew Locke. He's not too shabby at baseball himself. He, Joey Votto, and Justin Morneau could form a potent middle of the lineup for the Canadians. They'll also be joined by Jimmy Van Ostrand, who spent 5 seasons in the Astros organization. Stubby Clapp, who served as Tri-City's manager the past 2 seasons, is on the coaching staff.

    Mexico

    A mix of native Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, they're probably one of the favorites to advance out of the pool. All of them are veterans, whether it's the Majors or the Mexican League. They are all battle-tested.

    The rotation is anchored by the Brewers' Yovani Gallardo, who was born in Mexico, but grew up in Fort Worth. Many of their relievers have appeared in the Majors. Sergio Romo recorded the clinching out of the 2012 World Series for the Giants.

    Adrian Gonzalez will be the big hitter for the Mexicans. He'll be supported by Jorge Cantú, and Karim Garcia, among others.
     
  16. BrieflySpeaking

    BrieflySpeaking Contributing Member

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    :eek:Arriba Mexico, cabrones!!
     
  17. jdh008

    jdh008 Member

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    I always get a kick out of videos like that with Pat Venditte. I actually remembering it happening when he was still in college.

    He played at Creighton, who was playing Rice in this particular instance. Switch-hitting catcher Diego Seastrunk came to the plate and they went through the same dance.
     
  18. Beavis Stiffler

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    Tonight's game will be emotional for the Venezuela baseball team because their president passed away a few days ago.

    Big win for Italy, it looks like Mexico is eliminated because they are going to play the USA tomorrow.
     
  19. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    Hanley Ramirez sends one way out.

    [​IMG]


    Mirin:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. 713

    713 Member

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    What time and channel will USA game be?
     

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