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The Platoon Advantage 

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10-03

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6

The Platoon Advantage: What We Mean By Worthless
by
Bill Parker

09-26

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27

The Platoon Advantage: Is 12 Enough for Ichiro?
by
Michael Bates

09-12

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14

The Platoon Advantage: The Year of Everything But the Shortstop
by
Bill Parker

09-05

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7

The Platoon Advantage: Shaving an Icon
by
Michael Bates

08-22

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4

The Platoon Advantage: Plunk Cost
by
Bill Parker

08-15

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9

The Platoon Advantage: At What Price Revolution
by
Michael Bates

08-08

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1

The Platoon Advantage: Who is Jason Heyward?
by
Bill Parker

08-01

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11

The Platoon Advantage: Remain Calm, All is Well in Minnesota
by
Michael Bates

07-18

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8

The Platoon Advantage: The 24-Year-Old Masher Who Can't Get A Call-Up
by
Bill Parker

07-11

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8

The Platoon Advantage: Fixing the Worst Days of the Baseball Season
by
Michael Bates

06-27

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3

The Platoon Advantage: The Eternal Shortstop
by
Bill Parker

06-20

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1

The Platoon Advantage: Venting About Bullpen Woes
by
Cee Angi

06-13

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10

The Platoon Advantage: Cheating Cheaters and Their Awful Excuses
by
Michael Bates

06-06

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23

The Platoon Advantage: Oakland is Just Terrible (No Offense)
by
Jason Wojciechowski

05-30

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3

The Platoon Advantage: On the Padres, Cycles, Supercycles, and Pseudocycles
by
Bill Parker

05-23

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5

The Platoon Advantage: Life and Ed Whitson
by
Cee Angi

05-16

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5

The Platoon Advantage: Ten Excuses for Not Voting Johnny Damon Into the HOF
by
Michael Bates

05-09

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0

The Platoon Advantage: Seeking the Secrets of Sequence
by
Jason Wojciechowski

05-02

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8

The Platoon Advantage: Why Rookies of the Year Fail
by
Bill Parker

04-25

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22

The Platoon Advantage: What Valentine Brings to Boston
by
Cee Angi

04-18

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51

The Platoon Advantage: All Done With All-Time Teams
by
Michael Bates

04-11

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0

The Platoon Advantage: Going the Other Way
by
Jason Wojciechowski

04-04

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10

The Platoon Advantage: Last Expo Standing
by
Bill Parker

03-28

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7

The Platoon Advantage: Chicago's Bear
by
Cee Angi

03-14

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19

The Platoon Advantage: Why You Should Watch the Non-Contenders
by
Jason Wojciechowski

03-07

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14

The Platoon Advantage: The Terrible Twins of 2012?
by
Bill Parker

02-22

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6

The Platoon Advantage: Springtime Can Kill You
by
Jason Wojciechowski

02-15

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11

The Platoon Advantage: Roy Oswalt and the Temple of Late-Signing Free Agents
by
Bill Parker

02-01

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3

The Platoon Advantage: The Spy at the A's Fanfest
by
Jason Wojciechowski

01-25

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7

The Platoon Advantage: TwinsFest Cognitive Dissonance
by
Bill Parker

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Offering at least one reason to tune in to each potentially talent-challenged team when you're flipping through your MLB.tv options this season.

Bad teams have been much on my mind lately. Blame it on being an A's fan, blame it on marrying into a Mets family, blame it on my generally sour personality. Irrespective of the cause, I find myself less intrigued by the powerhouses or the teams in tight races for the playoffs than by the squads that will come out of the gate slow, dawdle through the dog days, and finish in a muddle of obscure Triple-A players crowding the expanded September rosters as they fight for 2013 jobs on what will likely be yet another mediocre team.

If you're a fan of one of these franchises, you'll probably watch them whatever happens. But what will the rest of you watch on the nights when your team is off, or long, lazy weekend afternoons? You can always tune in to see the Yankees and Rays face off in a game with playoff implications for the umpteenth time, but if you're like me, you get a little bored seeing the same (really good) players over and over. Let me present, then, a team-by-team list of reasons to tune into a game at which more casual fans might turn up their noses. Call it the Every Team is Special list.

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Is there any hope that the Twins will be better than horrible this season?

First, let’s get this out of the way: The Minnesota Twins will probably be pretty bad, at best, this season. They lost a lot of games in 2011, and though many of the names and faces have changed, they’ll take the field in 2012 looking a lot like the same team. As a matter of sabermetric best practices, it’s probably a good idea to assume that they’ll lose a lot of games again. PECOTA and the depth charts currently see the Twins losing 91 games, in a two-way tie for the AL Central cellar and a three-way tie for last in the American League. That’s all very reasonable, and nothing you read here is going to dispute the notion that that’s exactly what’s most likely to happen.

What I’m wondering, though, is why it’s being treated as a foregone conclusion. Great analysts are dismissing the team without, well, analyzing. Our own departing-and-incoming managing editors—brilliant, insightful, and devastatingly handsome men, both—had things like this to say in their recent AL Central preview: “This team should trade any veterans not nailed down” … “they can’t compete” … “The Royals are about to leave the Twins in their dust” … “It’s going to stay bad before it gets better.” And they’re certainly not alone... they’re just the example I can find right now. On Twitter and elsewhere, the Twins have very quickly become a punch line. They’ve been written off completely.

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February 22, 2012 3:00 am

The Platoon Advantage: Springtime Can Kill You

6

Jason Wojciechowski

Some people may turn into kids in a sweet shop at the first sight of PFPs, but not this guy.

Spring is here! Birds are singing, bees are buzzing, flowers are in bloom, and soon, ever so soon, horsehide will give leather a resounding smack. The long winter is over, Starks be damned, the frost retreats a little more every day, and soon, ever so soon, the crack of the bats will be heard all over America. Winter coats are going into storage, bears are stretching and yawning in their caves, and soon, ever so soon, my dears, baseball will be played again.

And I feel sour about the whole thing.

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How unusual is it for a pitcher of Roy Oswalt's record to be without a job this late in the offseason?

It sneaked up on us a little bit (and by us, here, I mean me), but all of a sudden it’s very late in the offseason. It’s February 15th. The Athletics and Mariners have opened Spring Training already, sort of, and the rest of the teams’ pitchers and catchers report on Sunday. Major League Baseball will be played two weeks from Friday. Major League Baseball that counts will be played...well, that’s seven weeks from today. That’s still quite a ways off, really. But still, Spring Training! Soon!

And yet, as Matt Kory hilariously discussed yesterday, Roy Oswalt remains unemployed. That’s...odd.

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February 1, 2012 3:00 am

The Platoon Advantage: The Spy at the A's Fanfest

3

Jason Wojciechowski

Jason experiences fear and loathing in Oakland.

Tradition has journalists putting themselves in strange situations and writing accounts of their exploits. Hunter S. Thompson did a lot of drugs and went to a motorcycle race in the desert. David Foster Wallace went on a cruise. George Plympton played sports against actual athletes. Me, though, I'm no journalist, so here's what I did: I went to Oakland A's FanFest at Oracle Arena posing as a journalist.

["FanFest again!" the audience groans. Yes, Bill Parker did write about FanFest in the Platoon Advantage space last week. It's FanFest season, and it just worked out this way. I promise we're not renaming ourselves The FanFest Advantage. We'll be back to writing about Saber Boy and Jamie Moyer soon.]

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January 25, 2012 7:09 am

The Platoon Advantage: TwinsFest Cognitive Dissonance

7

Bill Parker

Beginning an ongoing series of weekly contributions from the authors of The Platoon Advantage. This week: Fanalysts.

BP welcomes the authors of The Platoon Advantage, a general baseball blog that covers history, stats, and current events with passion and irreverence, and revels in the random minutia that makes the game we love so special.

I’ve always been entertained by the usual line of attack traditionalists take against the sabermetrically-minded, specifically the “get your head out of your spreadsheets and watch the games!” line. Because if there’s one thing I know to be absolutely true about everyone who might be shepherded under the sabermetrics-friendly umbrella, it’s this: we all love the game of baseball. We love it in very different ways, but we nonetheless love it, and we love watching it. There is no one whose one true love and calling is biochemistry or software design, but who does sabermetric research instead because he or she just can’t pass up all that sweet, sweet sabermetrics money. We get into the numbers because we love the game. The numbers don’t replace our love of the game, they enhance it. But you know that.

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