Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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The Hunt Down of all Hunt Downs: RandBall's Stu is the hunted

Posted by: Michael Rand under Buffalo Lake-Hector Updated: June 19, 2014 - 2:40 PM

For roughly six years now, commenter @RandBallsStu (branding!) has written a weekly feature on this site called "The Hunt Down" in which he tracks down a former Minnesota sports figure about whom you might have forgotten. This regular feature, in its own way, helped introduce the Internet to the genius of Stu, who went on to write regularly for Twinkie Town and to create a defined persona on Twitter, among other things. He lost his non-writing job in late March; that's bad. But when that door closed, he busted through and created a window, landing a writing job at American Public Media/MPR. That's good! He starts Monday, and really this could not make us happier.

If his reward for all his Internet work here, in some small way, was a path that led to that job, his risk now is that he has exposed himself as a real human being. Stu's real name is Steve Neuman, something we have known for years but something only started sharing publicly in the past few weeks. As such, it is possible to do what was previously impossible: A Hunt Down of Stu.

We enlisted the help of longtime commenters and Sportive Podcast co-hosts Clarence Swamptown and Jon Marthaler, as well as his wife, Mandy, for this Hunt Down. We've also added a few words. We won't tell you who wrote what, but it might be obvious as you read!

--------

The Hunt Down

Name: Steve Neuman

Claim to Fame, Minnesota: Proprietor of popular RandBall-branded Twitter account, @RandballsStu, who also writes hilarious fake news for Twinkie Town, makes fun of both former Minnesota athletes and the Green Bay Packers for this here blog, and occasionally chimes in on a terrible podcast.

Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: His Hunt Down posts at RandBall have regularly caused minor internet kerfuffles, like the time he got Rashad McCants to go off on him on Twitter, or the time that his post on Jeff Brady caused Brady to call up Rand to yell at him. ... Confused his wife's aunt in Colorado when she talked about her (then) boyfriend Stu and then introduced her to Steve.

Where He Is Now: He has a new job in St. Paul. If you work in St. Paul you should probably head over to say hi.

Top 3 Ways Jon and Clarence Helped Stu Get His Job At MPR

3. Little-known Current membership level that allows you to hire your own MPR staffer.
2. Helped transform Stu's resume to a list of skills and accomplishments instead of a five-page screed about the drum production on The Old 97's split EP with Funland.

1. Repeatedly hit the light rail train with our car.

Is He on Twitter: And how!

Has He Ever Been in a Twitter Feud with Patrick Reusse: Probably not. He likes Reusse an awful lot, and besides, he's not the type to Twitter-feud -- except with Richard Greico, with whom he has apparently feuded.

Glorious Randomness: Three of Stu’s former basketball coaches have reportedly suggested he seek psychological counseling. Wait, no, that was Rashad McCants again. Sorry about that... Was physically removed from two different churches for repeatedly shouting GO VIKINGS during services... Can tell you your hometown just by gazing into your eyes and knowing your last name. ... Is a noted pineapple-smashing enthusiast. ... Stearns County denied his application to rename his youngest daughter "Piper from the RandBall blog"... Borders on being "that dad" at his daughter's basket ball games. He's a little more calm at his other daughter's dance competitions. .... Hit the Minneapolis Trending Report by trolling Packers fans. ... Once wrote a post about Scott Erickson that prompted Erickson's wife, Lisa Guerrero, to call the Star Tribune newsroom unprompted to offer more details... Always choose "Science" as his final category in Trivial Pursuit. He once completely butchered the word epinephrine while reading a question. ... Allowed lies to conquer the minds of the weak.

Thursday (Twins have avoided major slides) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Twins fans Updated: June 19, 2014 - 9:20 AM

 

The Twins find themselves in a familiar spot right now, albeit with some key differences from other similar situations this season.

 

On multiple occasions, as we are doing right now, it has been fair to wonder whether a team playing primarily .500 ball was heading on a nosedive south from which they would never recover.

Early this year, when they fell to 3-6 after a three-game sweep in their first three home games ... they rallied to win their next three against Kansas City to even their record.

They dropped four in a row after starting 12-11, but then they won three in a row to get back to 15-15.

Four more consecutive losses in late May pushed them to 23-25, but they leveled themselves by going 9-8 over the next 17.

That, though, brought them to this recent stretch: five consecutive losses, four by one run, many in heartbreaking fashion and none more so than Wednesday's game in Boston. The mental difference between winning a 1-0 game in extra innings and losing it 2-1 -- not to mention snapping a losing streak and salvaging a once-promising road trip with a 4-5 mark instead of 3-6 -- is hard to calculate, but it is significant.

The Twins are now 32-38, six games under .500 for the first time all year. So once again we find ourselves asking: is this the point where the Twins break? Do five losses in a row become 11 of 13, 14 of 17? Our guess this season is no based on the starting pitching being better than in past seasons; then again, we just watched three starting pitchers throw about as well as possible at Fenway, only to have the bats go silent in a sweep.

Still, though, our guess is no. This is a cycle with this year's Twins, not a trend like it was from 2011-13. But we could be wrong, and it's precarious regardless heading into this four-game series vs. the White Sox.

TFD: If you haven't already, read this piece by Tony Gwynn's former bat boy

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball Updated: June 18, 2014 - 6:17 PM

No shortage of wonderful platitudes have come in after the death of Tony Gwynn earlier this week, but it's hard to resonate more than a first-person account from a former Padres bat boy who had idolized Gwynn his whole life.

Here's a sampling of what he wrote on Deadspin:

You know where this story ends for most kids. They idolize a figure they know from afar, they get an improbable chance to meet the guy, and he turns out to be a bum. He cheats on his wife. He kicks over trash cans. He shouts at clubhouse attendants. My first day at the stadium, I stood getting dressed in my sparkling new uniform in the bat-boy locker area, which was tucked around a corner from the main locker room, and located about 10 feet from the bathroom. Players filed by, most of them ignoring us. Suddenly, he appeared.

"Hey," he said to me, holding out his hand. "I'm Tony. How are you?" Flustered, I stammered, "Uh, nothing much." He laughed.

What do Ricky Rubio, O.J. Mayo, Darko Milicic and Michael Beasley have in common?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wolves news Updated: June 18, 2014 - 2:54 PM

OK, yes, the obvious answer is to that headline question is they were all either drafted by the Wolves (O.J. Mayo), played for the Wolves (Darko Milicic and Michael Beasley), or both (Ricky Rubio).

The deeper trivia cut is that all four of them made ESPN.com's list of the top 25 draft prospects since 2000.

Darko checks in at No. 6, Rubio at No. 14, Beasley at No. 17 and Mayo at No. 19.

This is not a list, obviously, of who panned out ... it's a list of who was regarded the highest coming out of the draft. It's interesting to note Kevin Love does not crack the list -- nor do a lot of other players the Wolves drafted very high (like, say, Derrick Williams and Wes Johnson).

You'll need Insider access to see the entire list, but it's worthwhile as far as lists go.

It also gave us the excuse to create that image.

Whatever you call yourself on Twitter is what you are, NFL argues

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional football Updated: June 18, 2014 - 12:24 PM

Jimmy Graham of the Saints is involved in a grievance with the NFL over whether he should be considered a wide receiver or a tight end. The difference is about $5 million in franchise tag salary.

We've always known Graham as a tight end, particularly for fantasy football purposes. The NFL's case is a little more complicated. Or is it?

By this logic, we eagerly await the day when the NFL tries to use our "freelance lover of jumpsuits" piece on our Twitter bio against us. Because we will crush anyone in our path when it comes to jumpsuits.

Then again, if the Winklevoss twins had only thought of this, they would be running Facebook.

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