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Michael Rand

Digital sports editor | StarTribune.com
phone: 612-673-7564
Michael Rand is digital sports editor. He also writes the RandBall blog and oversees the sports section's 2Day feature on Page 2.
Recent content from Michael Rand
KG tells his side

KG tells his side

If you've had lingering questions since Kevin Garnett's retirement in September — such as, why are the Wolves essentially paying him not to play this…
Big trade appears to be the Kings being the Kings

Big trade appears to be the Kings being the Kings

The Sacramento Kings finally did it. After years of speculation as to whether the Kings would trade DeMarcus Cousins, it happened. One of the most…
Page 2: Warmth spell puts spring sports on the mind

Page 2: Warmth spell puts spring sports on the mind

The population of Minnesota is around 5.5 million, which makes sense given that I counted about 5,499 million people outside this weekend. A good million…
U won't permit tailgating for United games

U won't permit tailgating for United games

Professional soccer in Minnesota brings to mind not only a love of the beautiful game but also a thirst for pregame parking lot festivities.Having a…
Speculation running wild on what's next for Vikings' Adrian Peterson

Speculation running wild on what's next for Vikings' Adrian Peterson

We're less than a month away from the Vikings' deadline for deciding whether to keep Adrian Peterson at his current salary or letting the soon-to-be…
Injury prevents Wolves from figuring out LaVine

Injury prevents Wolves from figuring out LaVine

Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine had surgery Tuesday to repair the torn ACL in his left knee, an injury he sustained Feb. 3 against Detroit.That much…
Reaction to former players' first game back against local team is mixed bag

Reaction to former players' first game back against local team is mixed bag

Kevin Durant returned to play against Oklahoma City for the first time Saturday since signing in the offseason with Golden State. He was booed (predictably).…
RandBall: For OKC's Westbrook, doing it all can be too much

RandBall: For OKC's Westbrook, doing it all can be too much

If you have a little (or a lot) of alpha dog in you, maybe you start trying to do too much.
At least for a night, we got the calls

At least for a night, we got the calls

Wednesday was another one of those nights where consuming local sports was akin to drinking out of a fire hose.The Wild and Timberwolves both had…
Wild is state's best men's team since 1998 Vikings

Wild is state's best men's team since 1998 Vikings

The Wild had played 52 regular-season games entering Wednesday's showdown with Chicago. There's a lot of season left, and it's good to keep that in…
Here's some baseball projections bound to soothe Twins fans

Here's some baseball projections bound to soothe Twins fans

Baseball Prospectus released its PECOTA projections for MLB teams and players Tuesday — basically, the projected records for teams and stats for various players based…
Yet another dramatic finish in The Big Game in the past year

Yet another dramatic finish in The Big Game in the past year

If you strip aside rooting interests, most sports fans would agree that when it comes to a major team sports championship game or series, the…
Numbers show that Wolves are better than last season

Numbers show that Wolves are better than last season

The Timberwolves endured their most lopsided loss of the season Wednesday, a 125-97 humbling at the hands of the Cavaliers. So naturally, this is a…
Hey P.J., how about saying 'darn good' instead of elite?

Hey P.J., how about saying 'darn good' instead of elite?

New Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck used the word "elite" 27 times Wednesday as he talked for nearly an hour about the Gophers recruiting class…
These pros are our current greatest unsung heroes

These pros are our current greatest unsung heroes

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday — not by choice, never by choice — but it provided the extra time to create the sports…
No jinx to identifying Wild as Stanley Cup favorites

No jinx to identifying Wild as Stanley Cup favorites

The Wild at the NHL All-Star break is the team with the best betting odds to reach the Stanley Cup Final. And according to Hockey…
Big-time tennis, while overshadowed by team sports, can be compelling

Big-time tennis, while overshadowed by team sports, can be compelling

Somewhere along the way, the United States forgot about tennis.Maybe you, specifically, didn't. And maybe collectively we didn't forget about it completely. But in a…
Carew, Dozier among top Twins Diamond Award honorees

Carew, Dozier among top Twins Diamond Award honorees

The Twins' annual Diamond Awards gala was held Thursday at Target Field — with proceeds benefiting the University of Minnesota's neurological research.
The race for eighth is on in the West

The race for eighth is on in the West

Going into this season, there were two schools of thought about the Timberwolves and how they might fare: 1) Their young core would take some…
Consider these Rubio trades

Consider these Rubio trades

It's sure looks like Ricky Rubio's time in Minnesota is running out. You don't have to love Rubio's game or hate it to come to…
Not many NFL teams end season satisfied

Not many NFL teams end season satisfied

By my count, there were six NFL teams who satisfied their fans this season with their performances — with the possibility of a seventh joining…
What if Randy Moss would've forced his way out?

What if Randy Moss would've forced his way out?

When Randy Moss joined fellow Minnesota sports legend Kevin Garnett on TNT last Thursday, it was must-see TV for a lot of local fans.It quickly,…
Doubts persist on whether Sam Bradford can take Vikings to Super Bowl

Doubts persist on whether Sam Bradford can take Vikings to Super Bowl

If you're a Vikings fan with the stomach to watch this weekend's NFL playoff games, you will probably see two pretty entertaining games.You will most…
Since Paul Molitor mentioned it, here are some free agent suggestions

Since Paul Molitor mentioned it, here are some free agent suggestions

If you don't think the Twins have done anything so far in free agency … well, that's not true.They did sign catcher Jason Castro, which…
Great regular season carries little weight during playoffs

Great regular season carries little weight during playoffs

We're more than halfway into a Wild season, and there have been no swoons, dips or slumps. Sure, there have been times when Minnesota hasn't…
Twins banking on Hector Santiago

Twins banking on Hector Santiago

In a relatively quiet transaction heading into this past weekend, the Twins made a pretty significant pitching decision.Hector Santiago, acquired from the Angels in a…
Let's see two! United at TCF adds to Twin Cities sports binge options

Let's see two! United at TCF adds to Twin Cities sports binge options

When Minnesota United's first Major League Soccer schedule was announced, the natural inclination was to inspect it thoroughly for not only the best chances to get to a home match or two but also dates in which United matches coincide with other local sporting events — creating the opportunity for a grand day of Minnesota sports.
Any way all four NFC playoff teams can lose this weekend?

Any way all four NFC playoff teams can lose this weekend?

So it has come to this: not only did the Vikings tumble from 5-0 and on top of the world to 8-8 and not even…
It's hard to tell Brewster and Fleck quotes apart

It's hard to tell Brewster and Fleck quotes apart

First, as always, the disclaimer: The comparisons between current Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck and former Gophers coach Tim Brewster start and stop with their…
The thing about U coaches: They don't actually leave, despite all the rumors

The thing about U coaches: They don't actually leave, despite all the rumors

One of the greatest items from the satire masters at the Onion came via a headline boldly announcing, "Elvis Dead." Below it, in slightly smaller…
Former St. Thomas Academy player Schmidt loves being USC holder

Former St. Thomas Academy player Schmidt loves being USC holder

A week ago, the Inver Grove Heights native and multisport standout trotted out on the field for one of the biggest moments of his life.
Coyle, Kaler picked fiery salesman to help change Gophers culture

Coyle, Kaler picked fiery salesman to help change Gophers culture

The University of Minnesota has entrusted 36-year-old P.J. Fleck with bringing a "culture of excellence" to the on-field and off-field performances of the school's most-visible team.
Ski-U-Mah, Fleck mantra have something in common

Ski-U-Mah, Fleck mantra have something in common

Fleck is hoping to shout Row the Boat and Ski-U-Mah at new job.
Next football coach will be getting best Gophers job since 1942

Next football coach will be getting best Gophers job since 1942

There's no clear-cut answer as to who will be the starting quarterback for the Gophers football team next season. Recruiting is a giant question mark…
The press box is a strange place to watch a game

The press box is a strange place to watch a game

The inevitable questions that come from working in the Star Tribune sports department are these two: 1) Do you know Sid Hartman? 2) Does being…
Ride the Vikings roller coaster season one more time

Ride the Vikings roller coaster season one more time

The Vikings finished their season Sunday with an 8-8 record, suggesting there were an equal number of good and bad things that happened. Raise your…
Rand: Predicting the unpredictable: 2017 in sports

Rand: Predicting the unpredictable: 2017 in sports

Guesses about the year ahead are the best we can do.
What you need to know about the Gophers football controversy

What you need to know about the Gophers football controversy

The case goes back to an incident that took place the night of Sept. 1.
Parallel universes: an update

Parallel universes: an update

In the span of a couple of weeks during a whirlwind spring, the Timberwolves and Wild pulled off what looked to be coaching coups. Both…
Joel Maturi Sports Pavilion? Naming process draws fire

Joel Maturi Sports Pavilion? Naming process draws fire

Tucked away as part of the final business at last Thursday's U Board of Regents meeting, a significant change was voted on and approved:The Sports…
Tuesday's talker: Are the Timberwolves following the Twins' path of disappointment?

Tuesday's talker: Are the Timberwolves following the Twins' path of disappointment?

The 2016 Twins started the year with so much promise. Front-office types and fans, encouraged by an 83-79 finish in 2015 that included a realistic…
Local soccer fans a-Buzz over new stadium

Local soccer fans a-Buzz over new stadium

The vision of Buzz Lagos, the co-founder of the Minnesota Thunder and the longtime head coach of the now-defunct amateur-turned-professional club, was instrumental in bringing Major League Soccer to the Twin Cities and soccer getting its own stadium.
Vikings find one more way to win

Vikings find one more way to win

Wait, the Vikings still won that game Sunday? ¶ Yes, yes they did. ¶ At times they seemed to do everything in their power to…
Ticketing may exacerbate Wolves' turnout troubles

Ticketing may exacerbate Wolves' turnout troubles

The Timberwolves will carry one of the NBA's worst records and the NBA's lowest average attendance into their next home game Friday against Detroit. Those…
Vikings have been overfull of surprises in odd season

Vikings have been overfull of surprises in odd season

If you feel like three seasons worth of drama already have been crammed into 12 Vikings games so far in 2016, you're not alone. It's…
A Minnesota meet-up: Mauer, Whalen finally cross paths

A Minnesota meet-up: Mauer, Whalen finally cross paths

Until Tuesday, despite all their similarities and accomplishments in Minnesota, Joe Mauer and Lindsay Whalen had never met.
Thin margins, once a friend to Vikings, now getting thinner

Thin margins, once a friend to Vikings, now getting thinner

When you scrape away all the injuries and other problems the 2016 Vikings have encountered, you still find a team that — despite going 1-6…
More of the same from Gophers football, Vikings, Wolves and Wild

More of the same from Gophers football, Vikings, Wolves and Wild

The Vikings, Wild, Wolves and Gophers football teams change each year, so why do things not seem to change?
Draft-day decisionmaking hasn't benefitted Vikings O-line

Draft-day decisionmaking hasn't benefitted Vikings O-line

There is a definite gap in commitment to choosing linemen in the top of the draft between some teams and the Vikings.
RandBall: Comparing Vikings' Blair Walsh, former Twin Ron Davis

RandBall: Comparing Vikings' Blair Walsh, former Twin Ron Davis

If you are a Twins fan of a certain age, you never will forgive Ron Davis. You still have nightmares about his glasses. You will…
Five steps to a better 2017 for Twins

Five steps to a better 2017 for Twins

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have an uphill climb when it comes to remaking the Twins after five 90-loss seasons in a six-year span —…
Fans seem disinterested in Gophers' showdown with Nebraska despite winning streak

Fans seem disinterested in Gophers' showdown with Nebraska despite winning streak

This tends to be a pro sports market. Gophers football hasn't exactly lit the world on fire for the past half-century. Minnesota's current four-game winning…
Relying on numbers doesn't always add up

Relying on numbers doesn't always add up

The site FiveThirtyEight.com is in the numbers game, building a business out of the types of predictive analytics that have become so seductive in recent…
Is leadership art or science?

Is leadership art or science?

Twins President Dave St. Peter talked Monday about the organization striving to achieve "the balance between the art and science of baseball" with the new…
RandBall: Sunday's game among most 'Vikings-esque' in recent memory

RandBall: Sunday's game among most 'Vikings-esque' in recent memory

Watching Vikings games for more years than I care to admit (not because I’m ashamed but because it makes me feel old) puts me in…
Who can Theo Epstein help end a drought next?

Who can Theo Epstein help end a drought next?

Theo Epstein is 42 years old and he's already built World Series champions for arguably the two longest-suffering (or at least loudest-suffering) fan bases in…
Norv Turner not totally to blame, but ugly numbers don't lie

Norv Turner not totally to blame, but ugly numbers don't lie

Norv Turner is out as Vikings offensive coordinator after 2½ years on the job. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer described it Wednesday as a true…
Recent Super Bowl champs show it's not yet time for Vikings to break out the white flags

Recent Super Bowl champs show it's not yet time for Vikings to break out the white flags

About the only good thing to happen in Chicago on Monday night, if you're a Vikings fan, was that legendary Vikings receiver Randy Moss dressed…
Getting an early read on the 0-2 Timberwolves

Getting an early read on the 0-2 Timberwolves

It's far too early to draw any hard conclusions about this year's Timberwolves, particularly in relation to disappointing Wolves teams in the past. That said,…
Wolves, Wild fans ... relax (Gophers fans ... give team some credit)

Wolves, Wild fans ... relax (Gophers fans ... give team some credit)

You can tell how much fans care about the Timberwolves this season by how much they're losing their minds over two road defeats to start the year.
Sunday night's Cardinals-Seahawks tie offers points to ponder

Sunday night's Cardinals-Seahawks tie offers points to ponder

NFL TV ratings are down this season, which was probably a good thing for the league Sunday night. It meant fewer people saw the Cardinals…
Bad-call curse afflicts Lynx

Bad-call curse afflicts Lynx

It's a tradition that goes back more than a half-century, and probably even longer: Minnesota teams being on the wrong end of questionable (or flat-out…
Among Carson Wentz's fans, loyalty lines are turning blurry

Among Carson Wentz's fans, loyalty lines are turning blurry

Brent Tehven is a former North Dakota State football player, part owner of an NDSU-themed bar in Fargo, an acquaintance of Bison-turned-Eagles QB Carson Wentz…
Thomas Vanek looking like a better fit with Red Wings ... so far

Thomas Vanek looking like a better fit with Red Wings ... so far

It's early, and it's not like the Wild (12 goals in three games, two of them victories) has been missing Thomas Vanek.But it's also worth…
Rare pair of Nikes a big kick

Rare pair of Nikes a big kick

Aaron Borland is a bit of a shoe collector, with more than 40 pairs to his name. And he's also had his share of luck…
Record D-III football crowd sought when St. John's, St. Thomas meet at Target Field

Record D-III football crowd sought when St. John's, St. Thomas meet at Target Field

News emerged Friday that St. Thomas and St. John's will play their 2017 regular-season football game at Target Field, and more details emerged Monday during…
RandBall: Like local climate, local sports teams run extremely hot or cold

RandBall: Like local climate, local sports teams run extremely hot or cold

We're in a time of extremes in Twin Cities sports, and we could be for quite a while. Here's a team-by-team look.

Target Field to host MIAC rivals

One of the best rivalries in local college football is moving to a baseball field in 2017.Multiple sources confirmed MIAC rivals St. John's and St.…
A Chicago weekend calls

A Chicago weekend calls

Gophers-Illini, World Series and Vikings-Bears are the lures.
If Cubs can break their curse, then there's hope for Vikings

If Cubs can break their curse, then there's hope for Vikings

As a society, we are very busy these days. We bounce from thing to thing — sometimes from four things to five other things. I…
Minnesota teams love to recycle No. 1 overall picks

Minnesota teams love to recycle No. 1 overall picks

It must be rough: lose a player to a major injury … and then go out and get a player who was once highly regarded…
Asking new coaches to work magic with old rosters not always successful

Asking new coaches to work magic with old rosters not always successful

Coaching changes typically don't happen because everything is going great. Sure, there are rare occasions when a coach leaves a team on a winning note…
RandBall: October's madness is more than a match for March

RandBall: October's madness is more than a match for March

In October, we had or will have games by the Twins, Gophers football, Gophers men's and women's hockey, Gophers volleyball, Vikings, Lynx, Timberwolves and Wild … and more.
Carmelo Anthony is Puerto Rico's soccer savior

Carmelo Anthony is Puerto Rico's soccer savior

Carmelo Anthony's purchase of an expansion franchise in the North American Soccer League was announced in 2015, and Puerto Rico FC began play in this year's fall season.
Can't ignore that these Vikings rival the 1998, 2009 squads

Can't ignore that these Vikings rival the 1998, 2009 squads

It's too early to make Super Bowl plans. Even the mere mention of it scares Vikings fans. Deadspin's Drew Magary chided me for even saying…
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