Monday, October 13, 2008

Diamond Phiten necklaces: What are those things MLB players are wearing?

Boston Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima.

Necklaces have been showing up on more and more players in this year's postseason, or so it seems. They aren't the gold chains of yesteryear; they don't appear to be religious items.

The folks at Yahoo's Big League Stew have found that many of these necklaces are Japanese imports, purportedly worn for some perceived health benefit:

The necklaces being worn by many Red Sox players and other stars ... are called Phiten necklaces. Developed in Japan, the nylon-coated titanium necklaces are intended to promote pain relief and enhance performance through improved circulation and stress reduction.

Their therapeutic value has not been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration, but that doesn't seem to be stopping anyone.

-- Steve Clow

Photo: Boston Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning on Aug. 20 in Baltimore. Credit: Nick Wass / Associated Press