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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Well, It Is Manny Mota Talking ...
2006-03-18 07:13
by Jon Weisman

... so we show respect. Manny Mota changed Jason Repko's batting stance in September, according to Tony Jackson of the Daily News, and the dividends seemed tangible, giving credence to the notion that Repko might really be better than he showed most of 2005.

"His stance was so closed (before) that he was dropping his head," Mota said. "That was causing him to get under the pitches too much. I wanted him to try to stay on top more."

  • Little told reporters yesterday that the Dodgers would use an off day in the season's first week to skip Jae Seo's turn in the rotation - and that Seo might be reduced to spot-starter throughout April. That makes him the long man out of the bullpen, virtually eliminating the possibility that Aaron Sele or D.J. Houlton will be on the team at the outset. Little also confirmed for Jackson that it's unfair to evaluate Yhency Brazoban on his spring performance, and that Brazoban has plenty of time to get himself ready for the season.

  • Steve Henson of the Times keeps Hee Seop Choi alive on his list of candidates for the 25-man roster. Joel Guzman, Andre Ethier, Cody Ross and the half of the Oscar Robles/Ramon Martinez combo that isn't already on the team also remain in play. Henson added that several teams have inquired about trading for Ross, who is out of options.

    The Dodgers will meet Sunday night to see if they can come to some decisions, Henson reported - though there still will be two weeks of Spring Training left.

  • Dodger Thoughts March Madness leaders after the first round of the tournament:

    Leadman 1 , M. Leadman 260 (26-6)
    kiely 1 , t. kiely 260 (26-6)

    Eleven entries are tied at 25-7. Seeded teams are 23-9. I'm down near the bottom, at 19-13. Just haven't had it going on ...

  • Comments (102)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2006-03-18 07:34:40
    1.   Daniel Zappala
    Interesting dilemma for DT readers: would you take Choi or Ethier?

    Amazingly, my wife went 22-10, with only one of her sweet 16 entries out of the running. Naturally, I did worse than her on all five of the brackets I filled out.

    2006-03-18 07:49:52
    2.   Marty
    Woo Hoo! I'm leading in my work pool too. I used the same picks. Almost no thought put into picking my teams, so I'm sure I'll flame out quickly.
    2006-03-18 08:32:13
    3.   screwballin
    My big "hunch" this year was to put Kansas in the Final Four. Good thing I'm not a detective.

    Gotta go with Choi over Ethier, since the WBC proved what a great pinch hitter HSC is. ;)
    (I was there when he hit his 3-run bomb to deflate the USA's chances.)

    2006-03-18 08:59:13
    4.   Bob Timmermann
    Jon's brackets reflect the season the Stanford men had. They finished 16-13.

    I will likely hear a warning from Jon about having one's team play Alabama in the second round and the perils therein..

    2006-03-18 10:15:09
    5.   Steve
    That makes something like sense because the only pitches Repko could hit were low fastballs.
    2006-03-18 10:16:00
    6.   still bevens
    Anyone having gameday audio issues? Want to check up on Billingsley.
    2006-03-18 10:33:21
    7.   DodgerBlueBruce
    Audio quality here in Ohio is very poor right now too.
    2006-03-18 10:40:27
    8.   D4P
    And here I was thinking that Mota had just ensured his spot on The List.
    2006-03-18 10:41:35
    9.   bcmaiden
    per thread, after 2 no score. blue has 2 hits tigers 0.
    2006-03-18 10:44:08
    10.   Bob Timmermann
    I dislike the fact that on the first Saturday of the NCAA tournament that CBS's first game doesn't have any other game going on against it. So you almost always get stuck watching Duke or North Carolina and there's no way to escape them.

    This leads me to believe that I should go to the post office and mail my auto insurance payment in before the deification of JJ Redick is complete.

    2006-03-18 10:49:02
    11.   Steve
    8 -- It just has to make some kind of sense. I ask for so little.
    2006-03-18 10:55:27
    12.   bcmaiden
    the repko/ross & robles/martinez ST competition has been fierce. all 4 are having a great spring. which make the opening day squad?
    2006-03-18 11:08:16
    13.   Steve
    As far as Repko and Ross go, the latest convention wisdom appears to be neither one, if Repko needs more "seasoning" and Ross is to be traded.
    2006-03-18 11:09:00
    14.   D4P
    To residents of The Triangle, there are no basketball teams other than Duke and Carolina. (Some recognize the existence of State, others don't bother)

    And yet you give so much...

    2006-03-18 11:11:25
    15.   bcmaiden
    13. i strongly believe that one will be the 5th outfielder. cody is out of options so his fate is twofold. either he makes it or gets traded.
    2006-03-18 11:13:47
    16.   Linkmeister
    14 Not just residents of the Triangle. Programmers in Bristol, CT too.

    I'm tired of Duke worship, and it has been getting progressively worse for years, egged on by Billy Packer and (especially) Dick Vitale.

    What would it have been like had ESPN been around when UCLA won 6 or 7 straight championships?

    2006-03-18 11:14:30
    17.   bcmaiden
    bills gave up a homer and loney is 2-2. score is 1-0 tigers. i just love loney as well as ethier, kemp & guzman.
    2006-03-18 11:18:30
    18.   D4P
    I think 49er Worship was the worst I've experienced in my lifetime. Laker worship has gotten pretty bad at times as well, but that didn't bother me as much because they're my team.
    2006-03-18 11:19:20
    19.   Steve
    Worse than LoDuca worship?
    2006-03-18 11:20:56
    20.   ToyCannon
    Duke seems to deserve the plaudits and when they win again they can send Reddick to the Clippers so we can continue to be Blue Demon West.

    NC State is the team that got me hooked on March Madness when Valvano took his team to the championship by winning game after game at the FT line and winning the whole thing on an airball.

    2006-03-18 11:24:08
    21.   dzzrtRatt
    Really, how can we lose? If they keep Repko based on what Mota says he's done to alter his swing and it proves out-- good. If not, we will have a wealth of hungry, proud outfielders in Vegas who want to smash their way onto the roster--unlike last year's crop of lifer AAAA players. Repko could be a lot more complacent last season. Who'd he have to worry about, Grabowski? Now with Ethier and Guzman pressing him, it's up or out.

    Maybe the Mets will trade Lastings Milledge for Cody Ross.

    (That last sentence was an allusion to the offseason's endless posts about how we could shovel some crap at the Mets and get Milledge back.)

    2006-03-18 11:26:34
    22.   Bob Timmermann and the NY media have fallen completely under the spell of Lo Duca. They are milking the fact that he was born in Brooklyn for everything it's worth.

    I wonder what they would have done if Karros had ever played in New York. There would have been a bunch of stories about how much he missed his native Hackensack.

    2006-03-18 11:27:06
    23.   Icaros
    Why is Tom Goodwin allowed in the Dodgers broadcast booth?
    2006-03-18 11:27:11
    24.   D4P
    Yes. Lo Duca was just one player. The 49ers were legion, each of whom were constantly advertised as the best in the league at their respective positions.
    2006-03-18 11:28:21
    25.   bcmaiden
    ratt- so what you're saying is keep repko in vegas and ross in the majors?
    2006-03-18 11:31:40
    26.   Icaros
    I grew up in the heart of 49ers territory at the height of the team's glory years.

    I was a Rams fan.

    It took a long time to get over my bitterness.

    2006-03-18 11:33:20
    27.   ToyCannon
    My oldest brother went to George Mason which is the only reason I picked them. Kind of like picking horses.
    2006-03-18 11:34:49
    28.   D4P
    I'm still a little bitter, though I've made progress. But I still harbor a fair amount of justifiable resentment toward Montana et al.

    There were plenty of seasons where I would have gladly accepted a 1-15 record for the Rams if the 1 win was against SF.

    2006-03-18 11:35:37
    29.   Bob Timmermann
    Thank God, I have a "Rockford" rerun to bridge the time until the Cuba-D.R. game.
    2006-03-18 11:38:54
    30.   dzzrtRatt
    25 Not sure. How do you compare them defensively?

    My tendency would be to dangle both of them as trade bait, and trade the one who brings the most back in, say, pitching prospects. An endorsement from Manny Mota is quite the halo for Repko, so you might get a GM who wants a scrappy, fan-friendly OF who's got a new supercharged swing. And Ross has impressed as well.

    But neither of them are who we want to see out there in 2008. I should say, I'm in the camp that would be pleasantly very surprised if this year's team was very good, but believes we're on a track to be very good in a couple of years. So every strategic thought in my head is focused on the longer-term. I might feel differently in July, I suppose, but right now the Dodgers look like a mediocre, just-above .500 team that will succeed purely on the backs of a temporarily weak NL West. If winning this year means we let Arizona outrun us to the future, it won't be worth it.

    2006-03-18 11:39:54
    31.   Linkmeister
    20 Bill Walton on his most memorable NCAA game:

    I remember that one. I was at work at NavCommSta Japan listening on AFRTS. It was nearly impossible for a basketball fan to believe that UCLA would lose an NCAA game up to that point.

    2006-03-18 11:40:34
    32.   Linkmeister
    I should add, that was the one that made me enjoy the tournament more, just knowing that other teams could win.
    2006-03-18 11:45:33
    33.   dzzrtRatt
    I've only liked two dynastic teams: The Niners and the 80s Lakers. I latched onto the Niners because the Rams and Raiders had evolved into really disgusting operations who lost my support. Plus 'the Catch' smote the hated Cowboys; that probably did it more than anything.

    Otherwise, I tend to root for bad teams that occasionally have shockingly good years. Like Cal. Like the Mets and Jets when I was a kid. Like the Clippers. And, of course, the Dodgers since '89.

    2006-03-18 11:56:36
    34.   Icaros
    I always felt that if you took the glory of being a Lakers and Dodgers fan in the 80s/early 90s you had to also deal with being a Rams fan.

    If you were going to be on the 49ers wagon, you had to take the Warriors and Giants along with them.

    People who cherry-picked the best teams in California were cheaters.

    2006-03-18 11:57:17
    35.   D4P
    Choosing between the Niners and the Cowboys is like choosing between drowning and suffocating in water.
    2006-03-18 11:58:05
    36.   Steve
    Nobody's mentioned who is going to teach Repko how to catch.
    2006-03-18 11:58:29
    37.   D4P
    My philosophy exactly.
    2006-03-18 12:11:29
    38.   Uncle Miltie
    where's nate? I'd expect him to be around with Billingsley pitching. He's probably a little bit hung over...well so am I.

    I don't think it really matters how well Billingsley pitches this spring. It sounds like the Dodgers want him to get in at least a couple months in AAA. I'm kind of worried how he'll do in Vegas. Hopefully, he won't walk guys because that's the key to pitching in Vegas. What I'm worried about is that his K rate will dip because his breaking pitches won't have as much movement in Vegas.

    I'd love to see Duke lose to GW, even though it's unlikely. It would definitely hurt JJ Redick's draft stock.

    I'm starting to agree with others here that Aybar would be better served to spend some time in AAA next year playing 2B. Playing everyday is important for his development and he can work on his defense at 2B in the minors. He'd be a good guy to take over 2B when Kent's contract is up, as long as Ned doesn't sign some washed up veteran.

    2006-03-18 12:27:27
    39.   ToyCannon
    I always found it easy to be a Ram fan. They were a fun team to follow and while they had their share of heartbreak it made the Billy Waddy touchdown catch all that more sweet.
    2006-03-18 12:31:31
    40.   oldbear
    Random Meaningless stats:

    The White Sox are 3-13 so far during spring training.

    Russell Martin is 7-22 with 0 walks in 10 games. All 7 hits being singles. 0 walks in 10 games? Whats up with that?

    2006-03-18 12:37:09
    41.   D4P
    Martin starts with a 2-0 count, then doubles in 2 runs.
    2006-03-18 12:45:37
    42.   ToyCannon
    I'm listening to the game using the Detroit announcers and they were quite impressed with Kuo who going back to last year has become my favorite Dodger to root for just because of everything he's been through and quality of his stuff.
    2006-03-18 12:53:12
    43.   ToyCannon
    Nice come from behind win with the kids doing the damage.
    2006-03-18 13:17:46
    44.   natepurcell
    re 38

    heh, i woke up a little late today.

    i think justin verlander was starting against the dodgers today. not sure though.

    seo pitches tonight, cant wait for that.

    2006-03-18 13:24:03
    45.   dzzrtRatt
    34 Although I've lived in LA for most of my left, I spent 6 years in the Bay Area and my childhood in a suburb of NY. So I tend to choose teams from those three areas based on what must be subconscious factors. Manny Mota was who got me to finally shift from the Mets to the Dodgers. Gotta love that guy. Elton Brand pulled me toward the Clippers just as Kobe Bryant was starting to get on my nerves. When Kobe goes away, who knows? The Rams lost me when they moved to OC. I loved those hot dogs at the Coliseum. While in college, I followed the Niners when they were pathetic in the late 70s, so I thought it was okay to ride the up escalator with them.
    2006-03-18 13:24:29
    46.   dzzrtRatt
    uh, "life" not "left."
    2006-03-18 14:02:07
    47.   Sam DC
    Milledge hit his first HR of the season today (was against the Nationals).
    2006-03-18 14:04:23
    48.   Sam DC
    Of course, Royce Clayton hit one too . . . maybe it was the wind.

    Nats/Dodgers tomorrow in Vero Beach.

    2006-03-18 14:48:16
    49.   bhsportsguy
    Seo pitches his biggest game of his life tonight, will be interesting to see if he becomes the third pitcher (Fernando, Nomo being the first two) who will impact attendance at home games.

    With Guzman, Ethier and Young slated as the starting OF in Vegas, my hunch is that they would be more inclined to trade Ross for something and keep Repko up. Repko will always be a 4th or 5th outfielder while obviously Guzman and Young need at bats and innings in the outfield to prep for MLB.

    2006-03-18 15:07:22
    50.   Steve
    Nice 35 footer by Tennessee.
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2006-03-18 15:11:11
    51.   Steve
    With 2 seeds like that, who needs a tournament?
    2006-03-18 15:30:15
    52.   bhsportsguy
    The Lakers of the 80's will go down as the greatest team in LA history and my favorite. (UCLA's run under Wooden might be a close second) Their credentials:
    5 titles, 8 championship final appearances, 3 Hall of Fame players, 1 probable Hall of Fame coach.

    As far as the Dodgers, the most sucessful run in my lifetime remains 1977-1985 run, 1 title, 3 pennants, 5 division titles, 1 division playoff, and the 1982 team which was eliminated on the last day. Interestingly, only Don Sutton and Tommy Lasorda are in the HOF from those teams.

    I'm not sure that this was my favorite team but I was happy that the main group Garvey, Cey, Reggie, Dusty won that title in 1981.

    I will always be disappointed that my favorite player Bobby Grich missed out in 1986.

    2006-03-18 16:10:15
    53.   Jon Weisman
    More Grady Little compliments for Osoria and Carter today via Ken Gurnick's newest notebook, and positive raves for Kuo (if you don't take the comparison to Steve Howe the wrong way).
    2006-03-18 16:13:32
    54.   Voxter
    My big "hunches" were that Syracuse would go down in the first round and that the Pac-10 was no good this year. I'm not sure either exactly qualifies as a real hunch, as they were pretty easy conclusions to reach. Of course, Arizona made me look stupid in the first round. I'm doing all right for now, but I had both Iowa and Kansas going to the round of eight, so I might as well give up now.
    2006-03-18 16:25:23
    55.   Steve
    Apparently, Illinois' entire offense consists of Dee Brown driving out of control and throwing the ball off the backboard.
    2006-03-18 16:35:18
    56.   natepurcell
    our bullpen's going to be pretty good this year eventually. we have so much depth there that 3 capable relievers have to emerge out of it.
    2006-03-18 16:42:41
    57.   D4P
    I believe I just saw that Washington has attempted 37 FTs to Illinois' 9.


    2006-03-18 16:43:29
    58.   D4P
    Illinois' first FT attempt of the 2nd half came with 15 seconds remaining.
    2006-03-18 16:47:41
    59.   Steve
    Let's see if Washington is smart enough to foul
    2006-03-18 16:49:20
    60.   Steve
    Nope, but it doesn't matter to Illinois. The PAC-10 is establishing its dominance over the BIG 10, though I find it hard to believe that was in dispute.
    2006-03-18 16:49:40
    61.   D4P
    Final FT tally

    UW: 39
    ILL: 11

    I suppose it's possible that that's "fair," but it doesn't seem very likely.

    2006-03-18 16:59:59
    62.   Steve
    It wasn't, but it wasn't as if Illinois distinguished itself.
    2006-03-18 17:01:28
    63.   D4P
    Distinguish shmistminguish. I had Illinois going to the next round...
    2006-03-18 17:05:12
    64.   Steve
    I would have too, of course. It was one of those games where somebody had to advance, but nobody really won.
    2006-03-18 17:11:14
    65.   Steve
    The officials have clearly established in the LSU/A&M game who the higher seeded team is.
    2006-03-18 17:12:32
    66.   D4P
    There's a timeout-a-thon going on right now in the LSU game.
    2006-03-18 17:13:44
    67.   CanuckDodger
    Why does Kuo have to prove that he can pitch effectively on consecutive days? Is that a requirement for EVERY reliever? Kuo is not auditioning to be a big league closer this year. He is not being considered as a Dodger set-up man for this season either. Only one other bullpen role calls for a guy to be able to go on back-to-back days: LOOGY. My fear is that the Dodgers want Kuo to be a LOOGY. Let's take a look at Kuo's lefty/righty Opp. Avgs. for 2005 to see if he is really LOOGY material:

    High A: vLH: .240, vRH: .188

    Double A: vLH: .250, vRH: .198

    MLB: vLH: .385, vRH: .000

    Mike Remlinger is an example of an MLB lefty reliever who throughout his career has been more effective against right-handed batters than against left-handers. Some southpaws are like that for whatever reason, possibly because of a peculiar way their pitches move. In Atlanta, Remlinger was very successful for years because he was never used as a LOOGY, but when Remlinger signed with the Chicago Cubs, Dusty Baker just assumed that because he is left-handed he MUST be good at getting left-handers out, and not-so-good pitching to right-handed hitters. Misused as a LOOGY in Chicago, Remlinger fell on his face. I think Kuo is similarly being set up to fail, all because Colletti and Little don't appear to be disposed to look up some stats and draw the logical conclusions.

    2006-03-18 17:19:27
    68.   Steve
    Can't argue with that ending
    2006-03-18 17:20:31
    69.   D4P
    Nope. I needed that. I have LSU making it to the championship game.
    2006-03-18 17:23:17
    70.   Steve
    I have enough hobbyhorses of my own making that I don't need brackets to add to my suffering.
    2006-03-18 17:26:08
    71.   Jon Weisman
    67 - Those are good points. Maybe the hope should be that Kuo is the second lefty on the team, so that he wouldn't be limited to that LOOGY role. I assume they notice he's striking out right-handed batters right in front of them.
    2006-03-18 17:26:13
    72.   Marty
    I'm being brought down to earth. I needed Tennessee, Illinois and A&M to win. I guess if you are going to make your picks like a drunken monkey, you have to expect that after the fast start.
    2006-03-18 17:27:57
    73.   D4P
    I only play because my wife makes me fill out her office bracket.
    2006-03-18 18:06:47
    74.   trainwreck
    The 2-3 zone is kryptonite to Bruins.
    2006-03-18 19:03:23
    75.   Uncle Miltie
    These refs in the UCLA game are terrible
    2006-03-18 19:07:42
    76.   trainwreck
    Boy, I'll say...
    2006-03-18 19:09:03
    77.   Bob Timmermann
    They're equal opportunity bad referees at least.
    2006-03-18 19:14:10
    78.   Uncle Miltie
    What's Steve's deal with the Pac 10? Is he being sarcastic?
    2006-03-18 19:27:25
    79.   Bob Timmermann
    I think Tyus Edney will be needed in this game.
    2006-03-18 19:32:20
    80.   Bob Timmermann
    Whew! OK, just breathe now.
    2006-03-18 19:33:37
    81.   trainwreck
    UCLA could not give that game away.

    I feel like I have just gone through a rigorous workout.

    2006-03-18 19:35:56
    82.   trainwreck
    Joe Morgan pronouncing Korean and Japanese names, this is going to be an adventure.
    2006-03-18 20:07:44
    83.   Marty
    Well, it didn't snow last weekend, but it's hailing like crazy over my house now.
    2006-03-18 20:08:15
    84.   trainwreck
    Where do you live Marty?
    2006-03-18 20:09:34
    85.   Marty
    Altadena, above Pasadena
    2006-03-18 20:32:55
    86.   Uncle Miltie
    I had no idea that Hines Ward was half-Korean
    2006-03-18 20:42:06
    87.   Louis in SF
    As far as the WBC goes this has been my first look at Sao and like what I see, only concern he doesn't seem to have a real good fastball and wonder how that will translate over a season? Poise is good.
    2006-03-18 22:51:27
    88.   thinkblue0

    Maddux doesn't have a good fastball either and look at him...I'm not comparing Seo to Maddux, but I'm saying people put too much emphasis on a pitcher's fastball rather than the results it produces.

    Heck, Billy Kock threw 100mph and where is he? Fastballs don't concern me...hitting the right spots on the pitches is what makes a pitcher great, not necessarily the speed of his fastball IMO

    2006-03-18 23:11:52
    89.   coachjpark
    I'm a financial advisor offering free Dodger tickets for Wednesday, April 5th, 2006, against the Braves. All I need is an e-mail, phone number and signature per ticket.... no obligations at all to buy anything...

    2006-03-18 23:21:43
    90.   Steve
    With the caveat that I'm always being sarcastic, the answer is "Not Really." The PAC 10 just isn't very good, though obviously it is not the only major conference to be so (un)distinguished.
    2006-03-18 23:32:02
    91.   natepurcell
    the wildcats will prevail tomorrow!

    i am right, trust me.

    2006-03-18 23:33:11
    92.   coachjpark
    Thanks for the comment, Nate... appreciate it
    2006-03-18 23:38:36
    93.   Steve
    This is the time of March when it seems like Spring Training will never end.
    2006-03-18 23:52:40
    94.   natepurcell
    re 92

    no problem.

    re 93

    its just getting started! first kcal9 game tomorrow at 1005. i am setting my alarm!

    2006-03-18 23:56:36
    95.   coachjpark
    BTW, Jon, if you want free tickets, let me know, and I'll mail them to you personally. You don't have to give me any information - the value that you provide via Dodger Thoughts is payment enought... same goes for Bob on the Griddle...
    2006-03-19 00:09:51
    96.   natepurcell
    in hensons dodger report, he says kuo has developed a slider and that dodger officials are toying with the idea of returning him to the starting rotation. if they do that, kuo will begin the year in AAA.

    what does everyone think should happen?

    2006-03-19 00:17:11
    97.   coachjpark
    Let's keep Kuo in the bullpen for now... seems as if we have a surplus of starters at this point...

    His marginal value seems a lot higher as a lefty reliever than as a starter in the works in 2007

    2006-03-19 00:32:01
    98.   sanchez101
    93. i know exactly what you mean

    96. I like the idea of keeping Kuo in the bullpen for at least this season. If he stays healthy (knock on wood) then they can consider it. I like the idea of following the Johan Santana path of solid relief work followed by a move to the rotation.

    What happens if Kuo proves himself to be "closer material"? Does that complicate a move back to the rotation?

    I just hope he stays healthy

    2006-03-19 06:49:39
    99.   Marty
    First spring game on TV this morning? I'll have to record it, I'm golfing.
    2006-03-19 07:23:59
    100.   Daniel Zappala
    99 Golfing? In weather like this? OK, so you don't live in Utah, where we're getting 6 inches of snow so far. The upside is that I got to try out cross-country skiing yesterday, and it was great being out in the middle of snow-covered pines, with no one else around.
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2006-03-19 08:47:47
    101.   Marty
    Yes, even though it was hailing last night, it looks like a nice day for golf. I'll be spraying the ball around the Rose Bowl.
    2006-03-20 13:25:48
    102.   sws
    i think repko deserves another shot. he is certainly athletic enough. any thoughts if martin will start the season instead of navarro? martin is having a great spring...

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