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)

Yankees acquire James Paxton from Mariners

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The Yankees announced that the club has acquired starter James Paxton from the Mariners in exchange for three prospects: pitcher Justus Sheffield, outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams, and pitcher Erik Swanson.

Paxton, 30, has been among the game’s better starters over the past few years. In 2018, he went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA and a 208/42 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. The lefty has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining after earning $4.9 million this past season.

Sheffield, 22, is the headliner in the Mariners’ return. He made his major league debut in September for the Yankees, pitching 2 2/3 innings across three appearances. Two of those appearances were scoreless; in the third, he gave up a three-run home run to J.D. Martinez, certainly not an uncommon result among pitchers. MLB Pipeline rates Sheffield as the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect and No. 31 overall in baseball.

Thompson-Williams, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. This past season, between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, he hit .299/.363/.546 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI, 63 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 415 plate appearances. He was not among the Yankees’ top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

Swanson, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. He spent most of his 2018 campaign between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Overall, he posted a 2.66 ERA with a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rated him No. 22 in the Yankees’ system.

This trade comes as no surprise as the Yankees clearly wanted to upgrade the starting rotation and the Mariners seemed motivated to trade Paxton this offseason. To the Mariners’ credit, they got a solid return for Paxton, as Sheffield likely becomes the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The only worries about this trade for the Yankees is how Paxton will fare in the more hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium compared to the spacious Safeco Field, and Paxton’s durability. Paxton has made more than 20 starts in a season just twice in his career — the last two years (24 and 28). The Yankees are likely not done adding, however. Expect even more new faces before the start of spring training.