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)

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.