Strategy vs Tactics
Pick a target, hit it with everything you've got

.

=== Strategy and Tactics, Dept. ===

In chess, "strategy" refers to general, overarc'ing plans.  I am a pawn ahead, so I should trade pieces, get my rook behind my passed pawn, stop invasions, and get the pawn moving.

"Tactics" refer to specific, moment-to-moment, smaller-scale activites.  He goes there, I go there, then he goes there, then I go there.  If I play PxP, he plays NxP, then I play B-B4, then he goes B-K3.  That's tactics.

In Fortune 500, upper management deals in strategy -- should we keep selling camera film, or should we start making printers?  First-level supervisors deal in tactics.  Does our store need three employees on for Saturday or does it need four?

...........

Strategically, Jack Zduriencik needs to be asking what he WANTS out of his rotation.  Does he want to place pressure on the rotation to win a playoff spot for him?  Then he better gamble on Taijuan Walker.  Does he simply need competent pitching, to support the new #3-4 hitters and the breakthroughs he expects from Montero, Ackley and Smoak?  Then maybe he can afford a 95 ERA out of Jon Garland or Jeremy Bonderman.

Maybe Zduriencik doesn't think 2013 is the year?  Fine.  Then somebody explain the presence of Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse, please, in one-syllable words, so even I can understand them.

To Dr. D it looks quite obvious that this Strategic Plan requires for a couple of blue-chippers to pull off a couple of Michael Pinedas.  He has no idea where a safe, comfortable MLB(TM) Jeremy "Mound Presence" Bonderman fits in from the 30,000-foot view.

He brought in the #3 and #4 hitters, and even the #3 starter -- all on one-year contracts.  He's got to select the rotation with this year in mind.  

In chess they refer to this as "consistency."  If one move brings force to bear on the queenside, and the next move brings force to bear on the kingside, and the move after that does neither ... well, your opponent spent all three moves bringing force to bear on the queenside.  Guess where there will be a breach first?

You pick an objective, and you hit it with all you've got.  

Jay-Z has to select his rotation with a view to 2013.  This does NOT (necessarily) mean selecting the rotation with the most experienced pitchers in mind.  Maybe it does, or doesn't.  It means selecting those pitchers which give him the best CHANCE to justify his one-year imports.

.

=== Tactically ===

Sgt. Wedge isn't likely to be thinking strategically; I'm not even sure it's his job to do so.  He's going to be wondering about who can give him the best start on Tuesday afternoon.  You understand why he cannot be faulted for this, do you not?  An organization NEEDS somebody to worry about this facet of the problem.

We have given full disclosure as to SSI's strategic imperative.  But let's put that aside for a second, and talk about what we fans are watching for this March -- tactically.

NEXT

 

Comments

1
M's Watcher's picture

I enjoy all the chess references. I see Jack, the Grandmaster, playing simultaneous personnel development games at the Last Exit on Brooklyn. Maybe in a few scenarios, he ends up using veteran depth in a long drawn out win. In others, the kids step up and make it obvious they are ready, cannot be denied, and the opponents are wiped out. In any case, Jack is always in control, victory never in doubt, having planned success under each set of circumstances.
I was fortunate to see Yasser Seirawan in HS at Garfield, and at the Last Exit, back in the day, hot apple pie a la mode. Let's hope Jack plays it as well.

2

"Then somebody explain the presence of Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse, please, in one-syllable words, so even I can understand them."
Let's say Jack doesn't believe this is the year. Explaining Morse and Morales is still pretty easy: they are here to facilitate the development of Smoak, Ackley, and Montero into the stars they were always supposed to be by taking the pressure of supporting the lineup off of their backs and by providing a consistent source of strength for the young hitters to look to. They also double as backups in case Smoak or Montero faceplants so that the team will still be respectable and Jack Z won't get fired. If Smoak busts, Morse is willing to re-up with the team and can be kept around as a ~league average first baseman for a decent price.

3

what I was going to say about that side of it.
I only see Saunders as being strategically confusing because the others are on minor league deals which suggests depth more than a determination to use them straight out. Bonderman or Garland could go to AAA or even be a long man out of the bullpen. Having them to use in the bullpen lessens the chance that Ramirez, Beaven or one of the rookies is limited to that role starting the year. There's arguments for and against whether it's better for one of the big 4 to start in mop up so I'm assuming a preference of all of them starting.
If it were chess I could just call Saunders a feint, but its likely he's part of the strategy in this case. Maybe it was just as much a matter of depth that Z didn't see it safe enough to commit to starting 5 of what we had and maybe have to trade too much later in spring to fill a spot when Saunders was only costing low dollars and no prospects then.
I've preferred leaving a spot for the rookies to fight for since before bats were added because the collective chance of 4+ of them is pretty good. I think it's better to stagger their adjustment to MLB as much as can be done reasonably. This could even stagger free agent years, but that's so far out its not a huge concern. They could all be on the same timeline or spread out over 3 years as free agents potentially but that means losing a year overall on one or more.
In the time since Saunders signed I've thought about the implications a bit. Going for it doesn't preclude raising the baseline that the added depth does. If a decision is made that Saunders isn't one if the 5 I think the rule is that he can't be traded until half the season is played with the team he signed with. Logically it seems they have to go with Saunders unless injured in the rotation through June 29th vs.the Cubs which is game 81. If the move him to the bullpen it would decrease his value. None of those complications came with Garland or Bonderman so they remain options rather than commitments. It is only a problem if Saunders isn't one of the best 5 early. Iwakuma just signed a deal so can't be traded early either, so trade options among starters early in the season are Beaven, Ramirez and the rookies.

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Chat: 7/28/15 12:52am
Interests: Book Men News Money (201257)
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-07-31 00:51

So trade Kuma and then resign him. No prob.

2015-07-31 00:24

Anyone else getting this repeated error at the top of the page after logging in?

Notice: Undefined index: map in field_ui_admin_menu_map() (line 86 of /home/klat/public_html/sites/all/

2015-07-31 00:21

Per Shannon Drayer, the Mariners are looking into whether Happ is tipping his pitches

2015-07-30 23:22

Domingo Santana, who just went from the Astros to the Brewers, looks kind of interesting. Definitely not a sure thing, but if he can adjust to major league pitching the Brewers could have something.

2015-07-30 22:05

I'm fine with the Ackley trade... but now with Flores, the Mariners now have 5 left handed or switch hitting speedy CFers with no power in our top 30 prospects per MLB.com

2015-07-30 22:03

Note that the quote I just posted from MLBTR says that "Mariners ownership" wants to keep Iwakuma. Look, I'm not opposed to re-signing the player, but let's call it like it is: in this organization there are different rules for Japanese players. Remember the Jojima extension?

2015-07-30 21:59

Taylor report on Shannon's twitter

2015-07-30 21:59

Despite a record that is well below the .500 mark, the Mariners aren’t planning to make right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma available, tweets Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. While other teams have apparently inquired, they’ve been informed that Mariners ownership prefers to keep him.

2015-07-30 21:55

http://www.halosheav... ---- is interesting and funny on the 2009 draft up to selection #25.

2015-07-30 21:17

Just 4 games in CF for Marte. I'm going to be surprised if he gets called up. More likely O'Malley or Rivero. But I'm not seeing the Taylor demotion report. Where was that Tac?

2015-07-30 21:06

Marte was tried in CF...so...maybe they think they can play him around a bit?

2015-07-30 20:33

Taylor sent down to Tacoma again. Marte coming up???
I wonder how healthy Taylor's wrist actually is

2015-07-30 20:26

Don't believe that anyone thought Trout was worth the 2nd pick. Northern kid, HSer, questionable competition level. Even the Angels had a battle internally because I believe Eddie Bane was pushing for Trout at #25 and others in the Angels org didn't think he was worth that high a pick. Bane reportedly threw down the chips that he'd quit if they passed on Trout and got his way. Reportedly, IF they had passed, the Ms would have taken him at #27 and hoped Nick Franklin lasted until #33. TomMac knew what he was, but the Angels had the earlier pick.

IF the Ms had not signed Fields just before the draft, they would have had Ackley, Trout, and Franklin, plus the #33 pick (would they have taken Baron then?). There were staffers who reportedly argued against the Fields signing, but whether they specifically thought that Trout would be available at #21 and not at #27 is a reach.

2015-07-30 20:05

Looks like the M's have recalled Montero. Bat, the stated theory was that some M's scouts wanted him with the #2 pick. As I said, I had not read that before.....and had no reason to believe it.

2015-07-30 19:47

Gotta be alder or doug fir, not pine, at Safeco.

2015-07-30 19:46

Steve Baron (who was taken at #33 in that 2009 draft) is hitting .295 at Tacoma since his call-up. Meanwhile, John Hicks has snapped out of his funk and is hitting ~.330 in July, including 2 hits so far tonight. Are they smelling the sweet alder of an MLB BU job?

2015-07-30 19:23

That's got to be BS, Moe. The only chance the Ms had to get Trout (other than taking him 2nd overall) is if they had not signed Bavasi's last pick Josh Fields, in which case they would have had the 21st pick. Trout went 25th and the Ms took Nick Franklin with #27. The Ms knew about Trout, but he went before they could get him. No overruling there.

In 2007 (under Bavasi), however, it is said that several Ms staffers wanted Giancarlo Stanton in the 2nd round. The Ms took Danny Almonte, and Stanton went to the Marlins with the very next pick.

2015-07-30 19:12

Reading one site today, somebody suggested that Z overruled his Scouts who were pushing for drafting Trout. I had not heard that before. I'm not sure I'm buying it. Anybody ever hear that?

2015-07-30 18:27

They've busted on some first round picks for sure. Ackley is not Z's fault though. He was pretty much a consensus best bet. An awful lot of GMs in that position would have also "failed".

2015-07-30 18:10

Test shout

2015-07-30 17:57

Montero not in the lineup in #El_Paso tonight. He's either on a flight or traded. Have the TV guys said anything?

2015-07-30 17:44

M's offense revives, M's pitching collapses. Seth Smith gives them a 2-0 first inning lead, and when Happ is done in the first inning we're down 5-2.

2015-07-30 17:00

Nah, The Yankees won't shave Ackley until the off season. They are too afraid of what kind of nasty ringworm fungus they might find underneath all of that beard.

2015-07-30 16:44

Ramirez has yet to run a WHIP in MiLB less than 1.2. I don't care about his 95 mile an hour heater...he most gets hit. I would ratehr we had Gamel, who MIGHT be some kind of a CF'er. Watch Ackley hit when he shaves. How can Montero be a "questionable" call up? He should be at 1B tonight, regardless of who is throwing.

2015-07-30 16:30

Hard to argue with Ackley trade. Changes beginning now. Look for things to pick up in next month or so. Also after anon showing those busts....begs to wonder how Mr GM has lasted as long as he had..brutal

2015-07-30 16:20

Hard to believe they still have that policy.. and yes.. he us not beard -worthy

2015-07-30 15:51

It's not that I don't like beards at all, it's just that on Ackley it looked TERRIBLE! If he had maintained a close-cropped beard it probably would have looked okay. Some guys CAN wear lumberjack beards and it just fits. Ackley ain't one of them.

2015-07-30 15:49

Hah Hah Hah! Just saw a note that with the Yankees' "no facial hair" policy Ackley will have to lose his beard. That makes the trade worth it by itself!

2015-07-30 15:42

JC Ramirez is not 40-man; Jose Ramirez and Ramon Flores were added, which gives 41 for now, with apparently more moves to come.

2015-07-30 15:22

Does either JC Ramirez or Jose A Ramirez ever get added to 40 man guys? more spaghetti please....

2015-07-30 15:12

Before this year I didn't feel too badly about out first rounders. Zunino would obviously learn to hit in a year or two, Ackley had shown glimmers, #Jackson and Morgan had talent and if DJ wasn't exactly Kris Bryant he still looked like a plus major leaguer. I dunno if it's our minor league coaches this year, the players, or what - but the farm is as devoid of joy as the big-league club. Somebody perform an exorcism on the entire system before it's too late. Maybe trading Ackley will send that mojo #New_York's way.

2015-07-30 15:08

Blown 1st round picks: Ackley (el busto), Franklin (traded for the corpse of #Jackson, doin' not much), Baron (never making the bigs), Hultzen (double busto - at least Ackley has gotten to the bigs). Zunino might be a bust as an offensive player. Alex #Jackson has struggled MIGHTILY this year with batting eye and power both, and Gareth Morgan ($2 mil signing bonus makes him a 1st rounder in my #Book) is never gonna make it out of the low minors if his batting eye stays where it is. Did I mention DJ Peterson has an OPS in the .600s and #Austin Wilson (another over-slot, high-bonus dude) can't stay on the field and couldn't even hit in the Cal League this season? It's uuuugly... ~G

2015-07-30 15:07

The Brewers have needs at 1B, 3B, MIF backup, LHSP, and might need a new CF. If you're talking future there, Morrison, D.J., Marte, Happ/Elias/Paxton/Hultzen/Yarbrough and Jones have gotta be of some interest - and D.J. and Marte would give it some prospect shine. Really wondering if that kinda move is percolating. Gomez was going to the Mets for the equivalent of Paxton and Ackley or Taylor. Lucroy would probably be even pricier. But with Seager at 3B, and Miller/Taylor/Marte/Smith/#Jackson and others in the SS depth, maybe Marte and D.J. would make sense as chips.

2015-07-30 14:54

Happ, Morrison, #Jackson, Marte, D.J., Elias, Morban, Jones, and others should hold their breath until Carlos Gomez is traded elsewhere or the deadline passes. Word that Montero "may or may not" be called up makes it sound like JackZ has another iron in the fire. If he could get Gomez AND Lucroy for even most of the guys listed I might be a little less down about the season

2015-07-30 14:37

Of course all GM's make mistakes, and any single mistake can be overcome, but the now-official bust of Dustin Ackley (as a Mariner) as the first of Zduriencik's prized high draft picks epitomizes, symbolizes, and signals the failure of Jack's regime.

2015-07-30 14:20

My guess is that Montero will now get called up to be the primary DH, and we'll be seeing much more of Trumbo the Dumbo in the OF

2015-07-30 14:18

Made no sense to put any more #Money into Ackley either. Getting anything of substance for him now is a good deal...regardless of how he performs from here.

2015-07-30 13:51

Ackley now traded to the Yankees for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez. That's a better return than the other one being discussed...Ramirez is an interesting relief pitcher with some upside (lord knows we need to find some relievers) and Flores might be of some use as a cheap, controllable Endy Chavez clone.

2015-07-30 13:43

Ackley's now a sunk cost. A trade for anything is no big thing. He wasn't going to make it here. It matters not what he does now in pinstripes. Though it will emotionally....

2015-07-30 13:17

Yeah, I don't blame him for not trading Ackley for two minor league org fillers. The opportunity cost of those org fillers is the AB's they take from the existing minor leaguers. I would rather those AB's go to the guys the M's already have. I would be looking for some other org's version of Ackley - busted top prospect. Odds are he remains broken but some small percentage of the 'change of scenery' scenarios work out. Go for the upside.

2015-07-30 13:05

Agreed, Matt. Ackley may not be worth a premium piece, but he's worth more than the Yanks wanted to give.

Jack has painted himself into a corner. If he sells off "his" guys on the cheap, he only underscores his own failures. If he doesn't and just keeps this train wreck of a team rollin' down the track, he completely loses any credibility and the fans for the rest of the season.

If I'm top brass, I've already put the leash on Jack re: transactions. Marching orders: ANY significant transactions are subject to top brass review. Otherwise you could have a GM under the gun making panic moves.

2015-07-30 12:24

I would not have taken Flores and Gamel...they are totally useless. I don't blame Z for that one.

2015-07-30 12:05

And Pineda on the DL today for the Yankees. They will be sniffing about 'Kuma.

2015-07-30 12:03

More on the Yankees discussions. BTW, if Jack Z. turned down such an offer for Ackley (or wanted more)....assuming this is accurate...that's enough reason for me to get rid of Jack. The Yankees recently reached out to the Mariners to express interest in Dustin Ackley, reports Mark Feinsand of the #New_York Daily #News (Twitter link). The two sides discussed a scenario in which outfielders Ramon Flores and Ben Gamel would’ve gone to the Mariners, but #Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik wanted more for Ackley, and talks have since cooled, per Feinsand. Ackley, the former No. 2 overall pick in the draft, is again struggling this season and has batted a mere .215/.270/.366. Many have speculated that Zduriencik is loath to undertake in any type of #Sale, as his job security could be tied to the Mariners’ finish this season. Nonetheless, it’s a bit surprising to hear him holding out for any sort of return on Ackley, though Flores and Gamel admittedly aren’t all that well-regarded. Flores ranked 27th on MLB.com’s midseason edition of the Yankees’ Top 30 prospects, while Gamel didn’t place.

2015-07-30 09:08

Meant to include that trade talks evidently fell through. But let's roll Montero out there nearly everyday for a while. Watching him demolish more AAA pitching isn't what we need. Let's see if he's got his MLB chops back. Morrison now at .123-.208-.262 for his last 28 days. Whooop-eeeee!

2015-07-30 07:57

SI reporting that the M's and Yankees had trade talks involving several players. Hmmmmmm? 'Kuma, I bet. Yanks also need 2B help as Drew is not good. Would they look at Ackley? Why not just give Refsnyder the fulltime gig? They could also use a 1B/DH bench typ bat. Montero....??? With his handful of hits last night (w/a 2B and HR), the kid is .465-.530-.775 over the last 28 days. Trade Ackley, DL LoMo, do something....but get Montero into our everyday lineup. Deej had two knocks in his Tacoma debut, btw.

2015-07-30 07:46

Indubitably.

2015-07-30 07:08

Imagine a future MLB park where the strike zone data is displayed on the jumbotron right next to the batter's picture and stats in real time, and where a sign is placed behind the plate and in two other spots on the outfield walls, and on the ribbon banners between the upper and lower decks on each side of the field that flashes red for strikes and green for balls the instant the pitch crosses the plate. Won't at bats be more fun to watch in that context?

2015-07-30 07:05

In short...it's only a matter of time. This is the best #News I've heard in my 25 years of watching baseball. I mean that.

2015-07-30 07:04

If the #Cali league is actually doing this and sticks with it for any length of time, two things will happen almost immediately:

1) The minor league statistics of batters and pitchers w/r/t plate discipline will get considerably more reliable (MLB teams will like this) because minor league umpires are known to be incompetent on a level far exceeding our MLB blue...and the MLB blue is pretty bad.

2) Minor league players who come from this league will begin demanding the automated strike zone in higher leagues as they advance. The players association will realize that the computerized zone is way better for their clients, and they will pressure MLB to adopt it.

2015-07-30 06:45

gnatto, yeah, bring it on.

2015-07-30 05:00

wowzers...couple of blockbusters last night...Hamels to the Rangers for six guys and Olivera to the Braves, prospects to the Marlins and Latos/Morse/Wood/Relievers to the Dodgers.

2015-07-30 00:17
2015-07-29 19:42

Also as for playing for draft pick.. start that up now.. Let us all face it.. no matter how close we may be to a spot, we are nowhere close. Not at all...Lloyd is not going to make it to the end of the year..,or should not.. start to shake up things sooner rather than later.

2015-07-29 19:39

Baseball team making me sick.. on to football chat yet..? football team not in total danger.. but after "passing" up anither ring.. off season has been filled with some negativity.. 2 d backs coming off injury..other 2 about to holdout. Star qb in middle of contract talk.. atleast they locked up Beastmode..but that got dicey. Hard to keep a champ together these days in the NFL or any league

2015-07-29 17:14

DJ going to Tacoma must mean Montero coming up to create room... so say hello to the DL Mr. LoMo

2015-07-29 16:19

When do we start playing for the high draft pick? Anyone worth hoping for?

2015-07-29 16:00

Good thing you aren't on twitter, DaddyO!!! People would be protesting at your house. I myself appreciate a good joke. I always thought the Confucius jokes were mocking the bad TV portrayal of the Chinese, so it's some deft comedy to turn it on the good ship mariner, which is a bad portrayal of a baseball team.

2015-07-29 15:31

Confucious say, man with egg on face not smile. Me say, How Li not smiling. Jack Z not smiling. Lloyd Mac not smiling. Confucious also say, sometime not sufficient wipe egg off face, face must be replaced. Confucious very wise man. (No offense intended; before PC correctness of the current era, when DaddyO was a kid, Confucious jokes were common, not to mock Confucious, but to use his reputed wisdom to, oh I guess, to mock someone else. Did I just admit to mocking Mariners' franchise leadership?)

2015-07-29 15:20

D-backs in process of completing the sweep. Clearly now the Mariners are dead #Men walking. Some SERIOUS shakeup in the offing, either soon or in the offseason. I find it difficult to imagine top brass doing nothing at all until the end of the season. This team has become a talented embarrass#Ment.

2015-07-29 14:44

Yeah. Where will his PT come from?

2015-07-29 14:34

Seems like an odd promotion. DJ has hardly been tearin' it up at #Jackson.

2015-07-29 11:33

Well that's something.

2015-07-29 10:05

@CurtoWorld: D.J. Peterson is joining the Rainiers today. Zach Shank sent to AA-#Jackson.

2015-07-29 08:00

Let's make room for Montero, huh? With his 3-4 last night (w/a 2B and ANOTHER 3B) he's .449-.519-.725 over his last 28 days, including the #Seattle stint. Morrison? .125-.222-.266 w/ a .104 BABIP. Trade #Jackson or DL Morrison (Hangnail?) or demote Ackley to #Everett, but do something! Heck, even trade Montero for something...at least that would be doing something. Well, don't trade him, really...but "C'mon #Dover! Move your bloomin' arse!" (for you My Fair Lady aficionados). And if we don't know now that 'Kuma will extend, then let's swap him out for something useful, too. Then resign him after the year.

2015-07-29 07:24

Mariners reacquire J.C. Ramirez. Remember him?

2015-07-28 23:06

Matt/Tacoma: I think the only team that gets away with weird platoons these days are the A's, and it's mostly because they have a super-fungible lineup with pronounced strengths/flaws. Like Matt said, it takes a fine touch and also the fact that a skill isn't linear and down to the resulting stats. If you played by the math #Book, you might miss out on a Walker-type power pitcher having a bad day, or the simple occurrence that a high FB pitcher might actually miss their intended target.

2015-07-28 22:57

So the Royals essentially go out and get Cueto, an awesome starter, and the best IF/OF backup in the league with Zobrist. Talk about taking things seriously!

2015-07-28 20:42

My anger management counselor says 70% of communication is body language. Ackley looks stressed/desperate.

2015-07-28 19:12

If we lose, It's your fault, browns

2015-07-28 18:23

Excited to see Iwakuna again as he continues to look good after getting back into the starting rotation. Hopefully I do not jinx him. Should be able to get a W tonight though

2015-07-28 15:35

Note to admins...I can't load the site from my android using chrome. Some sort of weird database error

Reply - admin - 7/28/15 5:55pm
Works for me now. Please try it again. Glitches happen...
2015-07-28 13:35

Matt... as much as the match ups for batters vs pitchers, I was wondering how much the umpire's strike zone comes into play in the decision... for instance Zunino can't hit the high fastball, but young umpire Davidson won't call a high strike on the fastball, so Zunino has a better chance to actually get on base then.

2015-07-28 12:55
note to admins - something within the facebook plugin or something media6degrees.com - is forcing a reload of pages - which deletes in progress comments. Kind of annoying...
2015-07-28 12:48

Royals sure going for it

2015-07-28 11:43

Plus sabr and tacoma.., the other team is constantly adjusting too. You should always field your best 9, and with the good teams...those 9 do not change too often. Maybe some lineup changes..,but not overall in and out of games

2015-07-28 10:55

Tacoma...that would be absolutely correct if players were strat-o-matic cards. If you manage a team too heavily on match-ups, however, players tend to take that as a lack of confidence in them by you, the manager. E.g. if you find out that Zunino can't hit high fastballs anymore (he can't), and you bench him every time he has to fact a power pitcher with a high fastball affection, you're telling him "I don't believe you'll ever hit a high fastball".

2015-07-28 00:52

Matt - dumb question time... but first my assumptions.
1. teams track their own players strengths and weaknesses when batting
2. teams track and know what each opposing pitcher is good at - meaning tracking where each pitch is thrown effectively in a zone, like most pitchers have trouble throwing off speed stuff inside
3. each umpire is know to have a normal strike zone that they adhere to most of the time

Thus, if a manager is doing his job, he should be using these pieces of information to help pick which players should be playing each day... Correct???
Does anyone think Lloyd this?

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