Phiten is now the official placebo maker for Major League Baseball

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I just got a press release from Major League Baseball announcing that Phiten is now “The Official Compression Sleeve of Major League Baseball.”

You have heard of Phiten, of course. They make those ugly necklaces that provide no scientifically or medically proven benefits whatsoever, despite the fact that Phiten touts them for their ability to “promote stable energy flow throughout the body” and to provide “longer lasting energy, less fatigue, shortened recovery time and more relaxed muscles.”  Indeed, Major League Baseball — whose players are given free Phiten necklaces for obvious promotional purposes — refers to them in the press release as “the innovator and original maker of precious metal-infused wellness products.”

The compression sleeve is something else.  You’ve seen it: a spandexy-looking sleeve worn usually on one arm. They too are infused with Phiten’s “Aqua-Titanium technology,” and are supposed to “keep arm muscles warm and loose as well as to absorb moisture.” Which sort of sounds like a sleeve to me. Or a sweat band. Except those things don’t sell for $19.

Hey, not my money. If an athlete — or a wannabe — thinks that a compression sleeve helps them, good for them. If they think it makes them look badass, well, even better for them.  But, gosh, I sure hope no one things it’s gonna help them hit a baseball or anything.

Mike Napoli tore his ACL

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Mike Napoli suffered a torn right ACL and meniscus while playing for Triple-A Columbus the other night. The injury will require season-ending surgery.

Given that Napoli will turn 37 this year, given that he will need 10-14 months of rehab and given that, as it was, he was unable to find a major league gig, it’s almost certain that this injury will end Napoli’s career.

Napoli was off to a 1-for-24 start at Columbus after signing a minor league contract with the Indians this spring. He hit .193/.285/.428 for the Rangers in 2017. If this is it for Napoli, he’ll end his career with a line of .246/.346/.475 with 267 homers and 744 driven in. He appeared in the World Series with the 2011 Rangers, the 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Indians, winning a ring with Boston.