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Back in the day before Okada was getting started, there were iconoclasts in Japan interested in sabermetrics, but overall the attitude was, “If the professionals don’t know this, it must not be worth knowing.”

In the 1990s, young Japanese starting pitchers were being ground up and spit out with huge pitch counts despite generally working on 5-days rest. A friend and knowledgable person within the Pacific League told me, “They all know this, but they can’t stop doing it because it’s what we do in Japan.”

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