More from the Homepage
Staff Directory 10645736

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
Tebow wants to try baseball

Tebow wants to try baseball

ESPN reported early Tuesday that Tim Tebow will work out for MLB teams next week in Los Angeles. And our own La Velle E. Neal…
Don't worry, Sid will return

Don't worry, Sid will return

The Sid Hartman statue outside of Target Center, commemorated in October of 2010 in honor of Sid's 90th birthday that year and other seemingly impossible…
Canterbury Park's Festival of Champions day celebrates Minnesota-breds

Canterbury Park's Festival of Champions day celebrates Minnesota-breds

The Festival of Champions — a day of racing that celebrates Minnesota-bred champions from throughout the year — has been up and running every year at Canterbury Park since 1995
Top Fuel racer Pritchett learns skills to keep team viable

Top Fuel racer Pritchett learns skills to keep team viable

Leah Pritchett talks like a full-time philosopher, a full-time marketer and a full-time drag racer, among other things.
Players facing suspension for lack of cooperation with NFL

Players facing suspension for lack of cooperation with NFL

If you thought the Al Jazeera investigation into athlete doping had gone away now that Peyton Manning has strolled into the sunset with another Super…
Ex-big league infielder Johnson trying a Saints comeback as knuckleball pitcher

Ex-big league infielder Johnson trying a Saints comeback as knuckleball pitcher

After a major league career spent mostly as a first baseman, designated hitter and pinch-hitting lefthanded bat, Johnson is with the St. Paul Saints as a pitcher trying to master the knuckleball.
Fan dilemma: Wild and Wolves share 41 game days this season

Fan dilemma: Wild and Wolves share 41 game days this season

The Wolves, who released their schedule Thursday, and Wild play on the same date a whopping 41 times this season — half the 82-game schedule for both teams. Included in that are 14 shared home dates, meaning they will directly compete during more than one-third of their home dates.
NBA trying to ease rookies into their pro careers with helpful tips

NBA trying to ease rookies into their pro careers with helpful tips

Training camp will come soon enough for Timberwolves rookie point guard Kris Dunn.But his real NBA education has already begun, and it has nothing to…
Former Gophers coach Pam Borton dishes on U years in upcoming book

Former Gophers coach Pam Borton dishes on U years in upcoming book

When I talked to former Gophers women's basketball coach Pam Borton in March about her upcoming book, "On Point," she said there were stories that…
Page 2: Up-and-down Buxton back at Rochester

Page 2: Up-and-down Buxton back at Rochester

The Twins announced Sunday they have demoted Byron Buxton to Class AAA Rochester, and at least part of the story line from that news was…
Vikings formula for Super Bowl win can't be all defense

Vikings formula for Super Bowl win can't be all defense

Incremental offensive progress for the Vikings in 2016 would be a step in the right direction. But in most cases, it wouldn't be enough to win a Super Bowl.
Ready for some … soccer

Ready for some … soccer

Wednesday's match between Chelsea and A.C. Milan was hailed as a major event on a couple of fronts: Two internationally known soccer teams were coming…
Under Bill Smith's watch, Twins signed Sano, Kepler and Polanco

Under Bill Smith's watch, Twins signed Sano, Kepler and Polanco

Bill Smith did plenty of things wrong during his tenure as Twins general manager, including questionable decisions on three trades — Johan Santana, Matt Garza…
Max Kepler's recent home run surge puts him in race for AL Rookie of the Year

Max Kepler's recent home run surge puts him in race for AL Rookie of the Year

For years, the steady drumbeat from the Twins has been: just wait. Wait for all these prospects. Wait until they get to the big leagues.…
Nunez deal didn't move needle, but that's fine

Nunez deal didn't move needle, but that's fine

Of all the players on the Twins roster, none was more of a "sell high" candidate than Nunez, a utility player — perhaps unfairly cast as such, but perhaps rightly so based on his body of work — who emerged to have a career year and represent the Twins at the All-Star Game.
Norm Green, Drew Pearson stand out on list of villains around here

Norm Green, Drew Pearson stand out on list of villains around here

With A.J. Pierzynski declaring that fans weren't booing him when he was playing for the Braves this week at Target Field, we can probably safely…
A lot of Wild fans say about Xcel: Let's Go Crazier

A lot of Wild fans say about Xcel: Let's Go Crazier

If pressing needs for the Wild are put in any kind of order, scoring goals is high on the list — and deciding what song…
A local Summer of Dealing becomes Summer of Duds

A local Summer of Dealing becomes Summer of Duds

This had all the makings of the summer of the deal, with three prominent Minnesota teams either publicly stating they were willing to trade or…
Page 2: Twins pay price for rushed decisions

Page 2: Twins pay price for rushed decisions

Broadly viewed, Terry Ryan's dismissal as Twins general manager a week ago came as a result of bad decisions in talent evaluation. You don't fire…
Dennis Green left a complicated legacy as Vikings coach

Dennis Green left a complicated legacy as Vikings coach

Green left us with an undoubtedly complicated football legacy, and his era in retrospect feels both quite long and quite long ago.
Green recalled as blustery, shrewd coach — and an influential mentor

Green recalled as blustery, shrewd coach — and an influential mentor

When in his element — talking, teaching and coaching football — Dennis Green was at the top of his peer group.
Vikings players get a peek at their home away from Dome

Vikings players get a peek at their home away from Dome

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen played high school football at Detroit Lakes and college football at Minnesota State Mankato. Like many football players growing up…

Timberwolves officially sign forward/center Jordan Hill

The Timberwolves officially signed forward/center Jordan Hill on Wednesday, the team announced. Terms were not disclosed, though it was reported last week that the deal…
GM situation brings up questions

GM situation brings up questions

The firing of Twins GM Terry Ryan on Monday caught many people off-guard — primarily because it just isn't the kind of thing the organization…
Favre still can sling it

Favre still can sling it

If only for 15 minutes, it was vintage Brett Favre. The NFL legend, who starred with the Packers for most of his career before an…
Insider? Outside hire? Here are possible replacements for Ryan

Insider? Outside hire? Here are possible replacements for Ryan

Here is your way-too-early, highly speculative list of candidates the Twins might consider as the permanent replacement for General Manager Terry Ryan, who was fired Monday:
RandBall: Thoughts on the British Open, weekend in sports

RandBall: Thoughts on the British Open, weekend in sports

When so many golf tournaments, particularly majors, seem to come down to which golfer can make the fewest mistakes and/or avoid an epic collapse, it was particularly refreshing to watch the amazing display from Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson in the British Open.

There are options for tickets to Vikings games

Seat licenses are becoming commonplace, and U.S. Bank Stadium is no different.
Martin brothers return to race on home motocross track

Martin brothers return to race on home motocross track

Alex and Jeremy Martin are in the top five overall, separated by just a few points as they head into this weekend's La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National in Millville
Minnesota State men's hockey applies to NCHC, mulls WCHA departure

Minnesota State men's hockey applies to NCHC, mulls WCHA departure

A timetable for a potential departure from the WCHA is unclear, though school president Richard Davenport said this is the "beginning of the process, while we explore possibilities with the NCHC."
What was the greatest game you ever saw?

What was the greatest game you ever saw?

The day after the MLB All-Star Game is traditionally the slowest sports day of the year, so naturally Wednesday I was thinking about … sports.More…
ESPN analysts rank Vikings high, Bridgewater not so much

ESPN analysts rank Vikings high, Bridgewater not so much

When numbers aren't really data, there is a need for caution. So let's start with a caveat when it comes to a recent offering about…
Should Mauer play less?

Should Mauer play less?

The Twins have had MLB's highest-scoring offense over the past three weeks. The Twins are also in the midst of a youth movement, and a…
Michael Rand takes his turn in Canterbury Park's announcer's booth

Michael Rand takes his turn in Canterbury Park's announcer's booth

A chance at calling a horse race turned out well once the guest announcer got over his nerves.
'Right balance for college athletes still off-balanced

'Right balance for college athletes still off-balanced

The vast majority of current and former college athletes I know would say playing sports in school is a wonderful experience. That said, plenty of…
This Wild signing is different

This Wild signing is different

Sports fans (and, well, humans in general) are cursed by a thing called recency bias. In real-life situations, it causes us to overvalue examples that…
RandBall: The Bears were Vikings' biggest rivals once, then Brett Favre came along

RandBall: The Bears were Vikings' biggest rivals once, then Brett Favre came along

A good sports rivalry is often defined by geography and history, cemented over the years by memorable moments, temporary bragging rights and (usually) good-natured insults…
Take a breath, and put some perspective on NBA frenzy

Take a breath, and put some perspective on NBA frenzy

What we need to remember when we get mad at the NBA spend-fest of 2016.
Holidays, like July 4th, are entrenched in sports

Holidays, like July 4th, are entrenched in sports

Follow sports long enough and you'll realize that the seasons are defined by holidays. On this holiday weekend, let's take a quick spin through the calendar for examples:
July means trade chatter in MLB

July means trade chatter in MLB

The MLB trade deadline might seem far off, but Friday is the first day of July — and the nonwaiver trade deadline is July 31.…
Wild's more likely to shine first, but Wolves' long-range future brighter

Wild's more likely to shine first, but Wolves' long-range future brighter

A recent long drive from Minneapolis to Denver, split over two days, gave the five guys in the vehicle plenty of time to embrace some…
Don't look for Wolves to make free agent splash

Don't look for Wolves to make free agent splash

NBA free agency begins Friday, when the clock starts ticking on the negotiating window with players. They can then be signed starting on July 7.…
Rand: Pitch clock in baseball has proven successful

Rand: Pitch clock in baseball has proven successful

A visit to a Class AAA ballpark showed the value of speeding up games.
Sunday Q&A: Hopkins star Marcus Williams, Jets cornerback

Sunday Q&A: Hopkins star Marcus Williams, Jets cornerback

The Hopkins High School and NDSU product has two camps in the Twin Cities this offseason.
Kalil, Peterson overpaid but still valuable

Kalil, Peterson overpaid but still valuable

We're in the midst of what is really the only quiet six-week period the NFL offers anymore. Things ramp up with the opening of training…
Twins armed but not dangerous

Twins armed but not dangerous

The Twins entered Tuesday with a 21-48 record — worst in the majors and seven games behind the next-worst American League team (28-41 Oakland). There…
Wild will open at St. Louis; Jets visit X for home opener

Wild will open at St. Louis; Jets visit X for home opener

The Wild will open the upcoming season at St. Louis on Oct. 13, the NHL announced Monday, an intriguing matchup considering the Blues added former…
Minnesota is due now that Cleveland's won

Minnesota is due now that Cleveland's won

Cleveland's seven-game NBA Finals triumph over Golden State was filled with enough story lines for a book. Among the biggest: The team with the best…
An unceremonious farewell for Oswaldo Arcia from Twins

An unceremonious farewell for Oswaldo Arcia from Twins

The news late last week that the Twins designated Oswaldo Arcia for assignment was met with some puzzlement among Twins fans. The basic premise is…
A Whiter shade of Purple?

A Whiter shade of Purple?

I stumbled onto a short video clip Thursday of former Falcons wideout Roddy White discussing his future and saying he'd love "to be a Viking."…
Taylor was right about Love

Taylor was right about Love

The months (years?) leading up to the Timberwolves trading Kevin Love to Cleveland in the summer of 2014 weren't exactly ugly.Messy is probably a better…
What if Ichiro had started playing MLB from the start?

What if Ichiro had started playing MLB from the start?

"Let me ask you this question" is how Pete Rose started his answer.We were in the midst of a 20-minute phone interview Monday, and I…
Rand: With Twins in a funk, season-ticket renewal time looms

Rand: With Twins in a funk, season-ticket renewal time looms

Twins President Dave St. Peter said the team, now 19-43 on the season, normally works on finalizing its next-year ticket pricing and strategy in July and August.
Vikings' Hill delaying sons' introduction to tackle football

Vikings' Hill delaying sons' introduction to tackle football

Vikings backup quarterback Shaun Hill has placed himself at the center of football's most important story: player safety.He's an employee of a league that has…
Rand: Let Target Center's $100M facelift begin

Rand: Let Target Center's $100M facelift begin

Inside the upgraded Target Center there will be improved suites, more comfortable seats, better bathrooms, better concessions and a new scoreboard.
Can Packers fans forgive Rodgers for ditching dairy

Can Packers fans forgive Rodgers for ditching dairy

Does Aaron Rodgers think he's too good to eat what the fine people of Wisconsin eat? One can only draw that conclusion from a recent…
If Wolves court Bull's Noah, KG could be odd man out

If Wolves court Bull's Noah, KG could be odd man out

From the moment Tom Thibodeau was hired as the Timberwolves' head coach and president of basketball operations (POBO is a great acronym, by the way),…
Gophers volleyball coach McCutcheon receives honor from Queen of England

Gophers volleyball coach McCutcheon receives honor from Queen of England

McCutcheon, a New Zealand native, received an e-mail recently asking him an important question: Would he be willing to accept an award as a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit?
Will Padres exec's rant help or hurt his players?

Will Padres exec's rant help or hurt his players?

Twins owner Jim Pohlad uttered the line of the year (so far) when he referred to the team’s struggles as a “total system failure.” General…
Who is the Twins' all-star?

Who is the Twins' all-star?

The Twins entered Wednesday with a record of 15-36 — a full 7½ games worse than any other team in the American League.But the rules…
Extra, extra: Read all about being a commercial extra

Extra, extra: Read all about being a commercial extra

If you've ever wondered how footage of sports fans in the stands is shot for commercials, I can tell you exactly how it happened in…
Rand: Judging Joe Mauer's highs and lows

Rand: Judging Joe Mauer's highs and lows

Suddenly, after struggling at the plate, Mauer is on pace to hit around 20 home runs (which would easily be the second-highest total of his career behind his MVP season of 2009, when he hit 28).
Page 2: Concessions for new Falcons stadium are downright cheap

Page 2: Concessions for new Falcons stadium are downright cheap

The new Atlanta stadium slated to open in 2017 — with multiple tenants, including the Falcons as the primary one — generated some positive press…
Wild helps raise funds for wildfire victims

Wild helps raise funds for wildfire victims

It's startling enough to see images of the fires that have raged through Alberta for the past month, roaring through towns and displacing thousands of…
Thunder can thank Wolves for showing how to beat Golden State

Thunder can thank Wolves for showing how to beat Golden State

Like the rest of the free world, I'm trying to figure out how the Golden State Warriors — after going an NBA-record 73-9 in…
The certainty of uncertainty in sports

The certainty of uncertainty in sports

Humans have a habit of comforting themselves with narratives driven by the past as a means to gain "control" over the future. It leads us…
Vikings' circumstances naturally put focus on Bridgewater

Vikings' circumstances naturally put focus on Bridgewater

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is about to enter his third season in the NFL. The first two were uneven, though they were marked by a…
Rand: Where would the Twins be without Eduardo Nunez?

Rand: Where would the Twins be without Eduardo Nunez?

Even after going 0-for-4 on Sunday, Nunez is hitting .320. No other regular Twins player is hitting better than .267, and many are hitting far worse than that.
Towns can do just fine here, despite what Sally thinks

Towns can do just fine here, despite what Sally thinks

It's been a busy past few days for indignant Minnesota sports fans.On Tuesday, Vikings fans were upset that a Facebook post on ESPN's account mistakenly…
Twins' mess is much like that of the '62 Mets

Twins' mess is much like that of the '62 Mets

When the Twins were 0-9, fans patiently waited for a turnaround — assuming their record could be passed off as a bad opening week. When…
Thibodeau already talking D

Thibodeau already talking D

One of the most interesting parts of Monday's news conference in which Karl-Anthony Towns was officially announced as this year's unanimous NBA Rookie of the…
They're not deaus guys: Exploring 'Boudreau and Thibodeau's Cajun Cookin' '

They're not deaus guys: Exploring 'Boudreau and Thibodeau's Cajun Cookin' '

I promise I'm not making this up because I'm not sure how I would have begun to make it up. I also gladly tell you…
Ben Blankenship: fast runner, straight shooter

Ben Blankenship: fast runner, straight shooter

The former Gophers runner not only won the TC 1 Mile on Thursday, he set a course record -- and projected a healthy amount of honesty and confidence.
Pitino says fixing Gophers basketball program is his job alone

Pitino says fixing Gophers basketball program is his job alone

Asked if he thought university leaders were building a case to get rid of him, Pitino said: "I certainly hope not. I want to be here for a long time.
St. Kate's wins D-III softball opener 1-0 over Simpson

St. Kate's wins D-III softball opener 1-0 over Simpson

This year's squad — comprised of all freshmen and sophomores except for two seniors, both of whom transferred in last year — will make history Friday as the first St. Kate's softball team to ever play in the Division III NCAA tournament.
More from Star Tribune