Phiten necklaces and the placebo effect

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This was more of a 2010 phenomenon, but those Phiten necklaces haven’t gone away. Especially on the Rangers. All of those dudes have ’em, it seems.  Drives me nuts that these dudes think — or that people who buy those necklaces may think — that they help with your body’s energy flow or what have you, but there are all kinds of dumb people in the world, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

We went over that a couple of times last year and, for what it’s worth, there is no more reason to believe in that witchcraft now than there was a year ago. But for those of you who will be watching the World Series with family members who are unaware of this hokum, just shoot them this article:

So, in sum: there’s no evidence that the body has any sort of energy flow (much less one that can influence the carrying capacity of red blood cells). There is an obvious way in which it transmits energy—nerve impulses—but they are only influenced by electrical currents or strong magnetic fields. The Phiten bracelets provide neither. So there’s no biologically plausible mechanism by which these products can directly influence the body.

It goes on to explain the placebo effect which, yes, is real.  But one would at least think that someone could find a placebo that isn’t so damn ugly.

(thanks to Reflex for the link)

2017 Preview: The National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics