So what’s up with those big fat ugly necklaces everyone is wearing?

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Watching the playoffs, I’ve been trying to figure out if those big necklaces a ton of the players are wearing are a fashion statement, a charity or public awareness thing or something else. ‘Duk over at Big League Stew has the whole story today. Turns out it’s snake oil. The necklaces are sold by some company promising unverifiable benefits, and they handed a bunch of these out to ballplayers who serve as free advertising.  From the product description:

“Featuring Phiten’s exclusive Aqua-Titanium technology, this product helps to promote stable energy flow throughout the body. The benefits of this are longer lasting energy, less fatigue, shortened recovery time and more relaxed muscles.”

And people still ask why players take HGH even if there’s no scientific evidence showing that it enhances performance.  Players will do anything if one guy starts doing it and doesn’t drop dead ten seconds later.  “Hey! Johnny AllStarBigSlugger started wearing that necklace last spring, and he made the All-Star team! And led the league in homers! You can’t argue with that!”

In other news, please read this comic, print it out, and keep it close by for handy reference the next time someone wants to sell you homeopathy, energy crystals, magnets, big fat necklaces or any other kind of hooey that promises to do something special for you. The only thing that stuff does is make the people who sell that stuff rich.

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.