Phiten Through The B.S.

Straight Shooter

Straight Shooter

I know you’ve seen them. They’re more ubiquitous than postgame cliches, Yankee Stadium boos, and Chicago Cubs excuses combined. What I’m talking about, of course, are these multicolored necklaces that every single baseball player seems to be wearing these days.

They’re called Phiten Titanium Necklaces and whoever does their marketing should have their Blackberry retired. Through word of mouth, great advertising (which I have yet to see) or some other miracle, baseball players have all seemed to buy into it.

At first I thought it was just a fashion statement like the Van Dyke beard in the mid-to-late 90s. After doing a little research I find out that these things are full-fledged Magic Beans. According to their website,

“Phiten’s exclusive processes amplify the energy management system increasing the efficiency of each and every single cell.”

It goes on to say that the product MAY help to…

  • Alleviate Discomfort
  • Enhance Circulation
  • Promote Relaxation
  • Stabilize Energy Flow
  • Reduce Stress
  • Soothe Tension
Looking to alleviate stress in his teeth

Looking to alleviate stress in his teeth

Seriously, Ron Popeil needs to be taking notes. I haven’t been this excited for a product since I saw that Tater Mitts infomercial at 3 a.m. Thursday morning.

Now I know baseball players are a superstitious bunch, ready to jump at anything that promises to improve performance (see: STEROIDS, HGH, ANDRO, etc.) but this is remarkable even for them. How grown men making millions of dollars a year became conviced that a necklace can help them reach peak performance is beyond me.

In fact, I’m pretty sure the necklaces are having the opposite effect based on the “studs” they chose to put on the front page of their website:

  • Justin Verlander (8 more losses and 8 fewer wins than last season)
  • Josh Beckett (just went on the DL with a mysterious “strained right elbow”)
  • Clay Bucholz (ERA ballooned from 1.59 last year to 6.75 this year)
  • Justin Morneau (11 fewer homeruns than last year)

I’d say the necklaces aren’t exactly working for their posterboys.

I’ve got no beef with the Phiten people on this one. They’re just selling a bogus product that people choose to believe. The fault here lies entirely with the ballplayers that choose to swallow this Mumbo Jumbo. But hey, do what you gotta do.

The worst part is you can see little leaguers all over the country emulating their heroes by buying this witchcraft ($25 per necklace, by the way). I guess with all the money parents spend on their kids’ equipment, it could be worse.

They could be running up saying, “Daddy, you gotta get me a Gold Thong like the Giambino!”

When The Going Gets Tough….Just Quit

Just ignore that never ever ever part
Just ignore that never ever ever part

 

 

I really don’t see what everyone is so upset about. Jericho Scott, a 9-year-old pitcher with a 40-mph Nolan Ryan fastball was banned from pitching in his Pee Wee League in New Haven (it figures that the week I leave lowly New Haven for the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, something like this happens).

The team tried to ignore the rule and pitch young Jericho (who, ironically, suffered the same fate as his CBS namesake), but when the opposing team saw the intimidating 50-pounder on the mound they packed up their gear, left their Capri Suns and Ding Dongs in the cooler, and returned home in time to catch the second half of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with this move. If anything, Jericho and his parents should be flattered and honored by this gesture of submission by his peers. Professional athletes always talking about wanting to ‘go out on top.’ Well I can’t think of anything better than having the entire league refuse to play against you because you’re too good.

Could you imagine this conversation going on in the Phillies dugout before a game with the Mets:

“So, they got Santana going tonight. You think we should go with Feliz or Dobbs?”

“Wait, I got a better idea. Let’s just quit.”

“Oh yeah, why didn’t I think of that?”

Johan would be out of the league in no time. Despite the best efforts of his mother.

 

Jericho can now retire as the best 9-year-old in the history of the game. So good that his competitors would rather quit than suffer the embarrassment of striking out. Sounds like a good deal to me. I mean what are the odds that he would grow up to pitch in the Major Leagues? About the same as Danny Almonte starting next year’s All-Star Game.

Word on the street is that Jericho has other talents, however. Just this last week alone, these incidents occured at his high school:

  1. Jericho continually found his classmates’ hiding places during ‘Hide and Seek.’ After the second game, they simply refused to hide. When he finished counting to ten and uncovered his eyes, he found 9-year-olds lined up single-file like lambs to the slaughter.
  2. After running down several of his classmates after being tagged in ‘Duck, Duck, Goose,’ Jericho remained a Duck for the next six games. When one of his competitors accidentally called him ‘Goose’ and tapped his head, he simply fell to the ground in the fetal position and let Jericho tag him on the head.
  3. Jericho’s classmates refused to play MASH with him after he won the Mansion, Ferrari, Jessica Alba, and Pet Monkey that Poops Million Dollar Bills.

 

The New Haven community has certainly set a new precedent for youth activity. If someone is much better than you at something, don’t try to test yourself against the best and take pride in the fact that you tried your best. Just complain until somebody removes him from the playing field. Then you can make things fair by taking your hacks against the kid with the inhaler and the Rec Specs.

What’s This All Aboot?

 

We interrupt this broadcast of 8-year-old Chinese gymnasts masquerading as 16-year-olds for an urgent message: ONE OF THE PARTICIPATING NATIONS IS NOT HOLDING UP ITS END OF THE BARGAIN.

As of the time of this post, the fine nation of Canada had won 0 medals. Yup, that’s right, not one of the 33 million Canadian citizens can say that they have a medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. You, sitting on your couch yelling at American gymnasts for falling off a balance beam the width of your remote control, have just as many medals as any Canadian athlete.

Just for comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at some of 50 powerhouse nations that have managed to justify the 4 years of training, millions of dollars worth of travel, and countless amounts of commercials by actually winning a medal:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Mongolia
  • Togo (I guess they’re not just a sandwich shop anymore)
  • Vietnam
  • Egypt
  • Zimbabwe
  • Finland
  • Georgia (actually a country, not the Peach State)

and my personal favorite…

  • The Stan Brothers: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and of course the home of Borat, Kazakhstan.

It’s not like Canada is perenially in the poor house when it comes to the Olympics. In Athens in 2004, the Canucks took home 12 medals, including 3 golds! I don’t know what happened between now and then, but it seems like they never thawed out from the winter.

Hey, if your country is gonna spend its hard-earned Loonies and Toonies to get you here, you might as well compete, right? Here are some possible reasons for why they haven’t been able to break through with that first medal:

  1. Too much poutine.

    French fries and gravy....a marriage made in heaven

    French fries and gravy....a marriage made in heaven

  2. Still hung over from too many Molson Canadians on Canada Day.
    I think I had too much, eh?

    I think I had too much, eh?

     

  3. They are disqualified because they bring their hockey sticks to every competition.

    These guys showed up for gymnastics

    These guys showed up for gymnastics

  4. Instead of a swimming pool, the Canadian swim team practiced in a vat of maple syrup.

    This might get you through one Canadian breakfast

    This might get you through one Canadian breakfast

  5. All the real Canadian athletes stayed behind to become Royal Canadian Mounties.

    They always get their man...but unfortunately no medals

    They always get their man...but unfortunately no medals

 

Those are just a few ideas about why our friendly neighbors to the north have been struggling thus far. The most logical reason, though, is that they’re saving up so they can blow everyone to hell in Vancouver in the 2010 Winter Olympics, where they consistently give everyone else a good old fashioned wood-shed beating (24 medals, 7 golds in Turin in 2006).
With my luck, the Canadians will have 8 medals by the time this posts, but hey you gotta take any opportunity you can to take a shot at Canada, eh? What with their universal health care and friendly, helpful nature.

The Faux-Lympic Games

Alright, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Yes, at long last I have returned from my vacation to historic Charleston, South Carolina. No, that’s not a joke, I actually went on a family vacation to the Palmetto State, and I have to say it was quite a good time. Here’s the official tally:

Trips to the beach: 5

Waves ridden: 7

Jellyfish Stings: 2 (one to right foot, one to right ankle…on consecutive trips. I started to think i was going to set a Cal Ripken-esque streak for number of consecutive trips with a jellyfish sting. Alas, on the third day they got my brother instead. That’s like if they replaced Cal at short one day with Billy Ripken.)

Crabcakes eaten: 4

Shrimp eaten: 1,356

Ounces of alcohol consumed: priceless

 

Anyway I can’t say that I was too out of touch with the sports world while I was gone since we had digital cable with every channel imaginable. I was able to receive by-the-minute coverage of Favre-Gate 2008 (has a nice ring to it, eh?) even after the SportsCenter anchors insisted that Favre’s reign of terror was over. Now they’re giving us updates on how he is fitting in with his new team because he was forced to run a punishment lap. Just like a normal guy! Imagine that! Luckily, there was a crawl across the Bottom Line saying “Brett Favre runs punishment lap in 34.3 seconds. Jets management “satisfied” with time.”

I then turned my attention to the second-most covered story of the week: The Games of the XXIX Olympiad. 192 independent countries sent their finest athletes to Beijing, China where they were treated to one of the most impressive opening ceremonies I’ve ever seen. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, find a replay and watch it. You won’t be disappointed. Here are some stunning high-resolution photos  from the NY Times.

What was somewhat disappointing, however, was the list of “sports” that will take place at this summer’s Games. Here are some of the events we will be treated to at 4 a.m. on BRAVO, CNBC, and other affiliates while the real NBC turns into Michael Phelps’ own reality show, Michael Phelps: Silver Ain’t Good Enough.

  • Handball (the nations must decide the rules before the match, i.e. whether to include “rainbows,” “slicies,” and “bouncies.” See here for some commonly-used techniques.)
  • Synchronized Swimming (aka freaky twins showcasing their mind-control powers by dancing in the water)
In the midst of a riveting game of Marco Polo

In the midst of a riveting game of Marco Polo

  • Badminton (white sweater must be tied around neck at all times, or a point is awarded to the other team. Official timeout when Jeffrey brings out fresh-squeezed lemonade.)
  • Canoeing (one team member must stand at the front of the canoe with a spy-glass; extra points awarded for any land discovery)
  • Water Polo (what happens underwater…stays underwater!)
  • Fencing (before every strike, the striker must recite, in his best Spanish accent, “My name is Inigo Montoya…you killed my father…prepare to die!)
  • Table Tennis (Timeouts taken when the ball gets broken and/or lost under the garage beer fridge. Also, Tyler Hansbrough and Bobby Frasor avaliable for “Texas Ping Pong” tiebreakers. The fun starts around 3:08 )

 

  • Weightlifting (the U.S. team consists of four Jersey Shore residents who attempt to intimidate their opponents by grunting while they get their swell on. They are also known for their elaborate victory dances.)

 

With sports like these, who needs football, rugby, or golf? They’ve even decided to dump softball for the 2012 Olympics. I guess they need sports with more subjective judging involved rather than clear, outright winners. I’d personally like to see Mixed Martial Arts make its way into the Olympics. Some say it’s too violent, but one of the mainstays at the Olympics is “Shooting.” I think I’d rather see two guys face each other in hand-to-hand combat than an Aaron Burr-Alexander Hamilton style duel…but that’s just me.

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