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With the NPB season nearly over — no team has more than 16 games left — it’s almost time for the group of retired pitchers who vote on the Sawamura Award to sit down and have a chat.

When they finish lamenting that none of today’s pitchers are as good as they were, it will be time to sift through the candidates for this year’s award. With no pitcher really standing head and shoulders above the rest, it could be a lengthy discussion.

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