Proposed: Why Felix Hernandez Loves The Mariners

it's science - Christian Petersen

It's often been suggested that Felix Hernandez is a big-game pitcher. What's funny about that is that, in a way, Felix Hernandez has never thrown in a big game, at least not in the major leagues. Since Felix was promoted, the Seattle Mariners have failed to qualify for the playoffs. They haven't even gotten all that close to making the playoffs, and the team hasn't finished with a positive run differential since 2003. There are teams with longer success droughts than the Mariners, but there aren't many of them, as the Mariners' glory days seem like ancient history.

Yet, while the Mariners have failed to win for Felix, and while the Mariners have failed even to score for Felix, Felix seems to love this team, and he seems to love this city. Rarely does he miss an opportunity to profess his devotion, he's already signed one long-term contract extension with the organization, and presently it's expected that he'll sign another. Felix spends more and more time in Seattle every year, and he even supports the Seahawks, Huskies, and Cougars. Never has Felix expressed frustration about the way things have gone, even when things have been their worst, and it appears that a big part of Felix wishes to spend his entire big-league career in the same underachieving place.

On the surface, Felix's loyalty is mystifying. While the Mariners are the only organization Felix has ever known, at some point you'd think he'd want to play for a winner. At some point you'd think he'd get fed up. Not long ago, Matthew and I discussed why Felix might feel the way he feels, despite everything. We came up with a hypothesis, and presented below is a proposed explanation.

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Perhaps even more profound is the effect of poor sleep on judgment. The prefrontal cortex, an area near the front of the brain responsible for logical reasoning and complex thought, seems particularly vulnerable to sleep deprivation. (source)

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Effects of TH Imbalance: Hypothyroidism

Some of the most profound effects of TH imbalance are in the mental arena. Hypothyroid people sleep easily and do not get full refreshment from their sleep. During waking hours, they experience fatigue, apathy, and "brain fog" (short-term memory problems and attention deficits). (source)

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A link between chemicals called phthalates and thyroid hormone levels was confirmed by the University of Michigan in the first large-scale and nationally representative study of phthalates and BPA in relation to thyroid function in humans.
[...]
Specifically, researchers found an inverse relationship between urinary markers of exposure and thyroid hormone levels, meaning as urinary metabolite concentrations increased, serum levels of certain thyroid hormone levels decreased. (source)

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[...] endocrine disrupting chemicals are found in low doses in thousands of products. Chemicals commonly detected in people include DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's), bisphenol A (BPA), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE's), and a variety of phthalates. (source)

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Indeed, phthalates are not used as substrates or precursors in the manufacture of PET. However, as discussed below, several reports suggest that phthalates may leach from PET bottles into the contents of the bottle. (source)

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Polyethylene terephthalate (sometimes written poly(ethylene terephthalate)), commonly abbreviated PET, PETE, or the obsolete PETP or PET-P, is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers; thermoforming applications; and engineering resins often in combination with glass fiber. (source)

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Gatorade bottles, like the majority of consumer sports drink plastic bottles, are made from only one type of plastic. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the plastic of choice for making the bottles for the vast majority of commercially available consumer beverages. (source)

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