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)

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.