Ballplayers think that little shiny bracelets improve their performance

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We live in a world in which PED hysterics say things like “ballplayers wouldn’t take HGH if it didn’t improve their performance.”  We also live in a world where ballplayers wear shiny little mylar bracelets that are “digitally encoded with a frequency that your body can tune into” and which are claimed to give you the same sort of alleged benefits that can be found in new age b.s. like crystal power:

At least a dozen Phillies were wearing them yesterday, among them
Placido Polanco, Ben Francisco, Ross Gload, John Mayberry, and Charlie
Manuel. There was even one proponent from the medical community: “Doc”
Halladay wore a band on his left wrist.

“I’m wearing it because it’s red,” reliever J.C. Romero, who always
wears something on his wrist as he warms up, said. “I’m not sure about
the rest of it. If you think it helps you, it probably helps you.”

Manuel said he took the strength and balance tests Monday. He’d been
wearing a white wristband ever since.

“It’s just some rubber and that little disc,” Manuel said. “I don’t feel
anything, no. But you never know. When I was a hitting coach, if a guy
thought he was having success because of something, I didn’t say
anything. Let him think it.”

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Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.