Big League Stew - MLB

Another postseason, another opportunity to be curious about the neckwear of players.

Back in October 2008, we investigated the wave of necklaces that were the rage of MLB's postseason as everyone from Dustin Pedroia(notes) to Jim Thome(notes) sported them.

The hemp- and wiry-looking loops were a product made out of titanium by a company called Phiten. Though their exact physical impact is still up for debate, players have extolled their performance-enhancing virtues since future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson(notes) brought some back from an All-Star trip to Japan in 2001.

Those necklaces, however, look different from the thicker and more colorful versions that players like Texas' Elvis Andrus(notes), San Francisco's Andres Torres(notes) and Philadelphia's Placido Polanco(notes) (above, left to right) have sported this postseason. So what's the deal with those?

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The simple truth is that they're only wearing Phiten's "Tornado" version, which features two necklaces woven together and comes in MLB colors and with a MLB logo.

Here's the product's 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.

The reason you see a lot of players wearing them is easy to explain. Last spring training, I happened to visit a lot of camps on the same day as a Phiten product rep. She worked the clubhouse giving players free necklaces and bracelets to wear out on the field.

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I don't think they'd continue wearing them all season if they didn't see any benefit, though, so there must be something to them — even if it's just a placebo effect.

If you want to check it out, though, it's going to cost you a pretty penny to see for yourself. The "Tornado" version costs $50 on Phiten's website.

Yes, that sound you hear right now is a nation of Yahoo! readers slapping their foreheads and remarking that we're all in the wrong business.

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