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.

UPDATE: WEEI denies it will change Red Sox broadcasts to a talk show format

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UPDATE: WEEI is pushing back on this report, denying that it is true. Finn’s source for the story was the agency posting job listings which said that, yes, WEEI was looking to do the talk show format. WEEI is now saying that the agency was merely speculating and that it will still be a traditional broadcast.

Both WEEI and Finn say they will have full reports soon, so I guess we’ll see.

9:47 AM: WEEI carries Boston Red Sox games on the radio in the northeast. For the past three seasons, Tim Neverett and Joe Castiglione have been the broadcast team. Following what was reportedly a difficult relationship with the station, Neverett has allowed his contract with WEEI to end, however, meaning that the station needs to do something else with their broadcast.

It seems that they’re going to do something radical. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe:

There were industry rumors about possible changes all season long. One, which multiple sources have said was a genuine consideration, had WEEI dropping the concept of a conventional radio baseball broadcast to make the call of the game sound more like a talk show.

That was yesterday. Just now, Finn confirmed it:

I have no idea how that will work in practice but I can’t imagine this turning out well. At all.

Hiring talk show hots to call games — adding opinion and humor and stuff while still doing a more or less straightforward broadcast — would probably be fine. It might even be fun. But this is not saying that’s what is happening. It says it’s changing it to a talk show “format.” I have no idea how that would work. A few well-done exceptions aside, there is nothing more annoying than sports talk radio. It tends to be constant, empty chatter about controversies real or imagined and overheated either way. It usually puts the host in the center of everything, forcing listeners — often willingly — to adopt his point of view. It’s almost always boorish narcissism masquerading as “analysis.”

But even if it was the former idea — talk show hosts doing a conventional broadcast — it’d still be hard to pull off given how bad so many talk show hosts are. There are a couple of sports talk hosts I like personally and I think do a good job, most are pretty bad, including the ones WEEI has historically preferred.

Which is to stay that this is bound to be awful. And that’s if they even remember to pay attention to the game. Imagine them taking a few calls while the Red Sox mount a rally, get sidetracked arguing over whether some player is “overrated” or whatever and listeners get completely lost.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Red Sox fans who listen to the games on the radio.