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From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Cordero implications

One of the interesting things about the signing, or near signing, of Francisco Cordero by the Reds is that the other two teams in the running were also NL Central teams. Milwaukee was obviously one of the clubs. Houston is thought to be the other.

As steep as $46 million for four years is, the fact that Milwaukee was willing to go $42 million for four years shows Cordero's value.

The Reds overpaid a little -- but they had to. It's a risk. But there's probably no other free agent -- other than A-Rod -- who could have helped the Reds more in 2008.

"Our offer was competitive," Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We had ‘Coco' a tad below Billy Wagner. As important as it is to have a closer, we just felt (the bidding) was getting to be too much."

That is wasn't too much for the Reds speaks a lot about the CEO Bob Castellini's willingness to spend money for the right guy.


55 Comments:

at 11:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats the old saying about a fool and his money?....

JB

 
at 11:23 PM Blogger Dan H said...

That's a lot of money to spend but that's business in today's market. I said during the season the bullpen must be fixed and this appears to be a good start. a structured pen with defined roles will most certainly help. I feel there is more to come to get the pitching staff improved.

 
at 11:53 PM Blogger gibbs12 said...

very encouraging to see the Reds stepping up to the plate and getting one of the top free agents.

 
at 12:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas has come early this year. Should the Reds get out of the gate this coming year like they did last year, it will be really nice to have a bullpen that won't melt down after a few weeks.

Now, dare I be a little greedy and hope for a number 3 starter in my stocking?

 
at 6:10 AM Blogger Doc said...

If the Cordero signing is the real deal, Reds' fans cannot have it both ways, unless they are bull-headed, or ignorant. Don't complain about the Reds not being competitive, and then complain about how much $ they spent to sign the guy.

 
at 6:31 AM Anonymous DENNIS said...

ABOUT TIME, i APPRECIATE IT, 13 MILL ON DUNN, NOW 13 ON CORDERO, DUST , YES YES YES, i BELIEVE IT GOING TO BE THE YEAR GRIFFEY GET'S RING

 
at 6:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe it. All I hear are trash comments about Catellini and Kvrisky sitting on their hands, they apparently sign a premier closer, and the first comment is someone bitching about the money.

 
at 8:37 AM Blogger Scott said...

This is exciting! Good job, REDS!

 
at 8:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cincy fans are not happy unless they're miserable. I knew the first comments would be negative.

 
at 9:05 AM Anonymous jc said...

this was a nice signing. lets face it.... in hindsight... it was the bullpen that torpedod the season. starters were not much better.... but an era of 5.10 with around 17-20 blown saves. hats off to castellini and krivsky on pulling the trigger. a four or five starter would be nice stocking gift.... only the ones not paying attention don't realize that bailey's bad starts were primarily when he was fighting groin injury. belisle or cueto will fill other spot.
i would like to see them dump hopper and or keppinger while they have some market value because i think they had career years. sorry... i know keppinger can hit but a clear headed gonzalez is the answere at shortstop.
i imagine that hamilton could be had for right price because i fear that he has wreaked some havoc upon himself the past five years and his body showed signs of wear and tear. freel has no market value.
they picked up hattebergs option to include him in a package with other players for a pitcher.i think they feel bruce is ready or close to it.
stanton the albatross. coutulangus and salmon have live arms. bray will be fine. can't figure majewski out. dont think his shoulder has come back yet.
this team can contend with one more starter.

 
at 9:26 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:56
You are right! Lots of negative fans in this town. Can't blame them a whole bunch with the past years of the Bengals and Reds.

It's to the point that nothing will please certain folk and thats just the nature of the fans here these days. Once the bandwagon gets going good they'll be all over it like white on rice. But as UC basketball has shown, start losing and they will ignore you like a hot chick ignores a guy driving a yugo!
Woody

 
at 9:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,
Do you see this signing affecting any other moves this off season?
Woody

 
at 9:53 AM Anonymous Trev said...

I'll tell you why Coco would want to come to the Reds. Whose defense would you rather have at 2nd & 3rd, Weeks & Braun or Phillips & Encarnacion? I know he's not a huge groundball pitcher but there are some and how many weren't recorded as outs that should have been? I just hope the Reds aren't snakebitten with relievers, with any luck he should be alright for the majority of the contract.

 
at 10:06 AM Anonymous ADMS said...

gFINALLY!!! Dibble, Myers, Williamson, and now Cordero. Weathers and Burton have shown to be very solid pitchers so putting them in the 7th and 8th will finally give us late-game stability. Now everyone just needs to stay healthy!
Didn't the stats show that if we didn't blow around 60-70% of saves, we would have taken the NL Central?
Short of making a big money run at A-Rod, it looks like for the first time in a long time, we made a move and got one of the top signings of the off season.
So...Stanton, Coffey and the rest of the bullpen disaster of 07, you're on notice. To the fans that preach the negative, the rest of us will remember.
The off season buying and trading is still early and there will probably be a painful trade of some young talent down the road, but one HUGE hole has just been filled and one that we've wanted for a very long time.

 
at 10:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As steep as $46 million for four years is, the fact that Milwaukee was willing to go $42 million for four years shows Cordero's value."

$46 million is large coin, and I applaud Bob Castellini and Wayne Krivsky for stepping up to the plate. Let's pray he passes his physical and doesn't turn out to be Gary Majewski, Jr.

This signing makes the Reds instantly formidable in 2008, and makes Harang a solid 20-game winner possibility.

I agree with the sentiment expressed earlier that the Reds need starting pitching depth, but given their recent run in the Rule 5 draft, I imagine Krivksy's crew will fill that hole.

Thanks, Bob! Thanks, Wayne! You just made my holiday season brighter.

 
at 10:14 AM Blogger feelgoodjoker said...

JC, are you nuts. Get rid of hopper and keppinger. Both players are relatively young(compared to A-Gongalez).Yes, A-Gon is a better defender but he has been a inconsisent batter throughout his career. Keppinger and Hopper can only get better. Also, much cheaper than A-Gon. You don't lose that much talent by getting rid of a-gon for keppinger. Hopper is going to have similar role like freel. Yes, we don't need an extra utility player but at that price you can't beat it. And also, injuries seem like that they plague us every year. This would be a good back up plan if someone gets hurt.

 
at 11:31 AM Anonymous Trev said...

B. J. Ryan had far less of a track record when he signed his incredulous $47M/5 year deal in 2005. Let's hope the Reds have better luck then the Jays who lost Ryan to Tommy John after only one year!

 
at 12:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great pickup. If Jim Bowden was still running the team, he probably would have signed Joe Kennedy this morning.

 
at 12:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not about being negative concerning this signing of Cordero. It's about the line this front office has been selling about "having to spend money wisely". They spent $13 mil on a position that they have a plethora by paying DUNN. They had two guys that make not even $400K ready to take his place in Hopper and Hamiltion, one of which is the best leadoff hitter for this team in Hopper. Now they spend $11+ mil a year on a position that has been one of the easier and least expensive ones to develop for a lot of small/mid market teams. They could have gone out and got a middle RP for a cheaper and made Burton the closer. Again, in Burton you have a guy that makes close to nothing and you have him locked at that rate for a few more years. I'm sorry, but if you are going to make a big splash, then make it a starting pitcher, they have a MUCH bigger impact on a team's success. And don't tell me Homer Bailey is ready because he's not! Anyone who knows baseball can tell you that his breaking stuff in unrefined and sloppy at this stage...I'm impressed they spent so much money and that is all, but they did so on two wrong positions. They should have been a lot smarter than that....

 
at 1:14 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Anonymous at 12:48 that's exactly the mindset that got the Reds into the position there in: let's try to fill the closer role with Coffey, or Weather or Burton or castoffs like Hermanson.

Where would you have the Reds spend their money? Give Kyle Lohse a contract like Gil Meche got last year? Sign a retread like Mark Prior?

The Reds identified their weakness and then went out and got the best available option. That's what smart teams do.

And Dunn at $13 million is still a relative bargain. Hamilton hasn't played a full year of baseball in something like five years and Hopper is not an ideal leadoff hitter because he rarely takes walks and has a low OBP.

 
at 1:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the last post is wrong. the closer has a much bigger impact on games than the starter. starters only affect 30-34 games while the closer can appear in close to 60 games. this was a smart signing and the results will show. sign one more guy like a david riske and a decent 4 or 5 starter and this team will go a long way.

 
at 1:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey 12:40, thats a pretty terrible thing to say. as much as you and everyone may hate Bowden, dont do it at the expense of somebody who just died tragically. no class at all.

 
at 2:09 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Sorry about the Joe Kennedy post getting on. I hit publish when I meant to hit reject. My bad.

 
at 2:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great signing and suggesting that a closers role is easy to fill for small market teams is as ignorant of statement that I've read in some time.

Have you even been watching?

Burton, Weathers/Bray, and Cordero = good morning, good afternoon, and good night from the 7th inning on.

When was the last time we could say that? 1990. As I recall that turned out rather well.

 
at 2:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great signing from--at the very least--a show that Reds are willing to spend. All the contracts with outfielders will allow for flexibility. Twins, Astros, Orioles all bats. Angels need a shortstop. Marlins will be looking to fill spots soon with Cabera leaving. I want to believe that this was the first step of at least two more. The latter being trades which could bring a #3 pitcher to town. And we all know that isn't going to happen through free agency...at least-- financially shouldn't.

 
at 3:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the reds starting pitching is more underrated than we think

I know this statistic is out there somewhere but I don't feel like looking it up but I would guarentee that you could lower the ERA about 3/4 of a run if they would have had a better bullpen.

Realistically how many times did the starters exit the game with a guy on first or second and the bullpen let both of them score?!?

I bet that happened at least every other game. That bullpen was AWFUL

So far this is the best signing in baseball.

For a team that was 18 games under .500 to improve their worst player with probably their best. Thats a big difference.

 
at 3:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ignorant??? Have ever heard of Jason Isringhausen, how about Joe Nathan....do you even know what these guys were when the A's and the Twins picked them up? Do you know how little they were making? How about a guy like JJ Putz, FRod, or Huston Street...all developed from within and at a very reasonable cost. Please....are YOU watching? And Bill Bray....good lord...do you see the lack of movement on his pitches??? He stinks and so does Majewski. And Todd Coffey, he should not even BE here next year. Awful!

Someone will have to explain to me how a guy that throws 60-80 innings in a ML season impacts a team's success more than a guy that can throw 200+ innings. I know the old tired and worn "more games pitched" argument. Don't watch too much ESPN please, it dumbs people down to the masses. That fact is, almost ANY pitcher that has good stuff to begin with can come into a game and throw full throttle and close games. Do you have any idea how easy it would be for Brad Penny, or Santana, or a Beckett to come in for one inning at the end of the game and mow guys down? I'm not saying make them closers of course, the point is....find a guy in your organization (young pitcher with good stuff), and convert them into a closer.....and bingo! It's cheaper and you control them financially for more years, then spend your cash on other things you really need more...the good small market teams have done it for years. Burton would have been a financially smart choice. Please, talk like you follow the game...

As for Hopper leading off, I do know he's not the ideal leadoff hitter, I realize that, BUT who else on this team is??......anyone, anyone..... Ok, there is not one. I know OBP is important for that obviously, but so is running and being able to steal and score. It's not more important than OBP, but it sure helps to have a guy like that. And with his bunting ability, he can get on base at a .350-.370 clip possibly. Put it this way, I have more faith in him at leadoff than anyone else, and if spending that kind of coin on DUNN prohibits them from adding a guy in trade that can help elsewhere, then that $13 mil ends up being money spent foolishly. This team needs pitching, and a lot of it, more than one single guy, that's for sure....

 
at 4:27 PM Blogger Bengal43 said...

Whatever happened with A-Gon's son?

 
at 4:30 PM Anonymous Trev said...

Throwing money at a supposed #3 SP is what put the Brewers in the bind that let Coco walk. Jeff Suppan got exactly the same deal last year that they offered Coco, $42/4 years. What did they get, 12-12 and 4.62 ERA.

 
at 7:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

His numbers are good, but $12 million a year is a bit much, especially for a guy who'll usually only pitch one inning a game. Don't get me wrong----strategically, it's great to be able to move Weathers (who often has pitched 2 innings a game) to a set up role and much like Bray last year, we have no idea how Burton will handle his second year. But I have really been sceptical of the way relievers have been developed in the last 10 years to be so specialized that they only face X number of hitter a game. Look at Stanton. He's getting, what, $2 million a year to face 2 hitters a game? There's a bargain, right? He either gets the hitter out or he gives up a homer and still gets the same pay.

But another problem is, how will this money affect their ability to make a trade? If they want to make a trade for a decent starter, they might have to give up either something of equal value or someone who will eventually become too expensive to keep in the long run (Encarnacion, for instance). I do not see the payroll getting too close to $80 million

 
at 8:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huston Street was a first round pick for Oakland, a guy who was nearly major league ready at the time they drafted him. I believe Krod was the same.

If it's as easy as you proclaim then Ryan Wagner would currently be our closer, but in case you haven't noticed guys who throw 99-101 don't exactly grow on trees.

For every Joe Nathan you mention I've got a Gary Majewski and Todd Coffey to counter. You do not win without a hammer in the pen.

This one signing adds no less than 15 wins to the Reds total next year, from last year. The ripple down effect in the pen is HUGE. Starters can also pitch with more confidence knowing that the pen is secure.

 
at 8:51 PM Blogger rls said...

I agree with JC. Hopper and keppinger are the two players I would trade for a pitcher. We tend to fall in love with the hot player, such as these two guys. I don't think either one will be an impact player on a major league team. They both would be excellent reserves.
rls

 
at 12:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those that think the Reds should have spent the money on a starter, please read the article about the signing. It mentions there that KYLE LOHSE is expected to command EXACTLY WHAT WE GAVE CORDERO.

So you have to ask yourself, do you want to pay 11.5 million for a top of the line closer, or 11.5 million for a starter that we all know SUCKS?

That answer is pretty darn simple...

 
at 6:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading some of these post if some of you were really reds fans you would be thirlled that we are finally getting a good closer. I heard that the Braves were looking for a veteran center fielder? How about this trade I like Griffey and all but how about Andruw Jones for Griffey?

 
at 8:39 AM Blogger Jlowe4 said...

With some of this post that i have read you would think if you guys were real red fans no matter what they have done since they won the world series in 90, you would be estatic that we are getting a big time closer? Now I know Kerry Wood or Mark Prior haven't pitched in years but what about one of them as number three starter? The rotation could be Harang, Arroyo, Wood or Prior, Bailey, Belisle.

 
at 9:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy, 6AM----don't you keep up with the news at all? Andruw Jones is a free agent, so the Braves can't trade him. Griffey is a 5-10 player so the Reds can't trade him without his permission. Jones is a client of Scott Boras, so even if any teams are interested in him, no one seems to want to deal with Boras (apparently not even his own clients). And Griffey has finally accepted that he's too old and sore to play center, so he's a rightfielder now.
Try to keep up, would you?

 
at 10:10 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Job. Great signing.

Reds want to make money and be a big name player, start their own network--like the Yankees YES Network--for Reds only. Get away from FSN who could care less about the Reds or their fans.

Their own Reds Network is where the money is.

 
at 10:25 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great move. Thank you Bob. As others have said this signing will end up improving the entire staff. I look for Belisle to be better and Bailey to be fully healed. I was at the Bats game that Bailey injured himself in and saw that he was never the same the rest of the season. Does Burton have any experience as a starter? His stuff reminds me a little of Harangs.

Ray
Louisville, KY

 
at 10:25 AM Blogger bruceglazer said...

On a different subject...

From Ken Rosenthal:
"... Ken Griffey Jr., according to one source, was the only current Reds player to attend legendary broadcaster Joe Nuxhall's funeral on Tuesday. Griffey chartered a plane from Florida, bringing his father, Ken Griffey Sr., and former Reds Barry Larkin, Hal Morris and Billy Hatcher."

Can anyone explain why more current Reds players did not attend Joe Nuxhall's wake or funeral? On its face value, isn't this very discouraging and insensitive of Reds' players?

 
at 12:06 PM Anonymous Eric said...

Anonymous has spent the last day and a half writing, reading, and reacting to every post here. Look at the timing on each of the posts -- every few minutes he's defending his case (I'll assume it's a "he".) Dude, please, get a life. This is sad that you're this obsessed with your opinions and everyone else's.

 
at 4:08 PM Blogger Frank Robinson's Ghost said...

Bruce --

That surprised me too. Of course, Jr. knew him much better than most, and it ia a long way to travel on short notice -- but you'd think some would make it.

Heck -- even Pete Rose was there.

 
at 7:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John:
Signing a power closer and 2 time All Star with a proven record for closing winning baseball games validates Castellini's commitment in a tangible way to give Reds fans a CHANCE at a winner. I give you credit for tolerating the blabbering stream of nimnoddity that infiltrates this blog. I'm sometimes embarrassed to be a Reds fan....reading the mindless blatherings of some so-called Reds Fans. We watch a bullpen that Marty Brennamen called the worst in his 34 years, but then wax eloquent about wasting money on All Stars with 46 saves when as we all know......we could simply call up some "young arms" to stem the 8th inning hemorrhaging. I particularly appreciate the Johan Santana post, prefaced by the oxymoronic "ignorant" references, followed by the "True-true, unrelated" references to Johan Santana and Brad Penny .....as if Krivsky is too stupid to simply call up Chattanooga Johan and Louisville Penny to put us in the playoffs.
Facts are facts....The Reds had the worst Bullpen in Marty Brennamens's 34 years. David Weathers was a one year stop-gap. Can we stop with the ignorant discourse that Marcus Macbeth, Cooter and some "young arm" to be named later can compete with Red Sox and Mets?

 
at 8:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Griff was the only one to attend the funeral was probably because he's been here longer than everyone else. I'm sure more current players went to the visitation, but I'm guessing the funeral was a little more private.

Second, I think that this was a good signing, even if it's just to boost the morale of the fans, the players, and Reds nation in general. We Cincinnati fans haven't had much to cheer about this year, so it gives us hope that Castellini and Krivsky and company are actually dedicated to getting a winning team here, and sooner rather than later.

Go Reds and Who Dey (finally)!

 
at 7:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cordero (fingers crossed) should help the Reds win 15 more games (at least) compared with 2007, so that's a nice start. Castellini is at least making an effort to address glaring weaknesses while keeping the slugging core intact (keeping Dunn and getting a legit closer were very important moves), now if we can dump Stanton and Coffey and A-Gonzo we'll be a far better (and less portly) team. Surely some MLB team is in dire need of a waddling no-steal, shortstop with an over-rated glove and a GABP-inflated homer total?

Anyone?

Bueller?

 
at 8:52 AM Blogger bruceglazer said...

To "Frank Robinson's Ghost" & "8:33 PM Anonymous"...

I appreciate your replies regarding Nuxie's wake an funeral visitors. Thanks!!

 
at 10:22 AM Anonymous TN(Japan) said...

As a former Cincinnatian and now a resident of Japan, I have seen numerous Japanese ball players go to the Majors to make a pretty good contribution to their respective teams. From a business perspective, chances are that it would be much more beneficial to find a good Japanese pitcher at the same price.
Why?
Take a look at the NY Yankees (Matsui), Boston RedSox (Matsuzaka, Okajima), Seattle Mariners (Ichiro, Johjima), and other teams with top Japanese players. We get Major League baseball on television here in Japan but only the teams with the Japanese players. I don't know anything about how much money is paid to whom in order to show the games here in Japan but think about the number of Japanese who will travel to Seattle, New York, Boston etc. and spend their Yen (converted to Dollars) at the local restaurants, gift shops, hotels, sights so that they can watch their favorite Japanese players playing on their now favorite American MLB team.
How much did Boston spend on Matsuzaka? 60 million was it? Was it worth it? It must have been.
Now, let's go back in time to the mid 70's, the era of the Big Red Machine with Rose, Bench, Griffey, etc. EVERYONE in Japan knew the Reds. The Reds even appeared in Japanese comic books playing against the top Japanese comic book baseball heroes. Many of these Reds fans are now in their 40's, 50's and 60's, the age when they now have money to spend! Think what that might mean for the Reds. From the perspective of pure baseball business for the Reds as well as for Cincinnati in general.

Just a thought.

 
at 11:38 AM Anonymous MONEY MIKE said...

John is there anyway we can get the players reaction to this signing? Pref. Stormy, Burton, the bullpen, and the starter.

 
at 12:29 PM Anonymous Phill said...

Bruce,
I don't think it really needs an explanation. I mean I just don't think a lot of the guys since they aren't from the Cincinnati area got to know him well enough to think of going. Most of the guys haven't been on the team from when Joe was still calling games and aren't from the area so they only know him in a more limited sense.

 
at 4:23 PM Anonymous Craig R said...

We finally are able to spend the money we blew in the milton deal. Now, hopefully we will land a 150-200 innings work horse (livan hernandez type) and go on to win the central.

Thanks REDS for AT LEAST trying to win!!!!

 
at 9:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see the commitment to winning. I just hope I'm wrong that 2007 was Cordero's career year. However, I must admit that Krivsky has been a very good judge of talent and has proven me wrong before. I hope he done so here as well.

 
at 12:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smart, smart, smart, smart move. Anyone who follows the Reds knows the season was lost last year in the 8th inning. The Reds converted 34 of 61 save opportunities in '07, shoring up the closers spot allows everyone in the pen to go back to their natural positions. The bullpen was a major need over our starting pitching. Bronson Arroyo probably would've had a winning record in '07 if not for our bullpen. Cordero makes the entire staff better. Well done!

 
at 10:38 AM Anonymous Bundy said...

how can anyone really belive that Hopper and Keppinger would be instrumental in securing a third starter? As a couple people have pointed out, LOHSE is going to command as much money as we paid for Cordero. And while Lohse may have a future as a 12-15 game winner, that is in no way as valuable as a man who can bring 40-45 saves to a ball clug with... NO BULLPEN! I f you happen to watch Reds baseball, we can hit, but only for power in recent years. Now were going to get rid of Hopper AND Keppinger??? two guys that i actually had a little confidence in when the came up to the plate with runners in scoring position last year. and how many reds can you say that about?

at their prices, you cant beat having clutch hitters on your bench. and at their prices, youre not going to get much in this sellers market.

oh, but then again we could trade them away for another 35 year old guy in the 'pen, or package him with Griffey (the cincy kid) or Dunn (one of the most feared hitters in the Central).

and with griffey and dunn gone, whos going to put butts in the seats?

 
at 12:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - When can we expect the press conference?

 
at 12:52 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I hope so. I'm trying to find out.

 
at 1:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will get more butts in the seats with a winner than just trying to sell Dunn and Griffey's primadonna attitudes.

I would think Reds fans are ready for some new and hungry blood; guys like Hopper, Bruce, Hamilton, and Votto. Griffey and Dunn's losing ways should be a thing of the past!

 
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