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By Jim Mateja, Chicago Tribune Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Sep. 15--4 AUTOMAKERS FALL OUT OF CAR-OF-YEAR CONTEST:
"It might have been."
Can't remember who said those were the saddest words.
Perhaps Dusty Baker.
After awaiting a 2005 model-year debut, 15 nameplates have been whittled from the candidates for North American Car and Truck of the Year honors by the nation's automotive press.
Not in the showrooms and no chance to capture industry bragging rights. There isn't even a congeniality trophy for the also-rans.
Each year the panel of 50 automotive journalists, this scribe …