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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
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…
Vikings flying under the national radar despite 4-0 start

Vikings flying under the national radar despite 4-0 start

The big national story to emerge from the Vikings' 24-10 victory over the Giants on Monday wasn't the fact that Minnesota is now 4-0 (one…
Page 2: Dozier's power could have high trade value

Page 2: Dozier's power could have high trade value

Derek Falvey was officially named the Twins' new chief baseball officer on Monday. He is all of 33 years old — and he has at…
Technology and Tiger different, but crowds at Hazeltine same as always

Technology and Tiger different, but crowds at Hazeltine same as always

We've known officially for 14 years that Hazeltine National would be host to three magnificent golf tournaments: the PGA Championship in 2002 and 2009 plus…
Michael Phelps drives like he swims but his short game needs work

Michael Phelps drives like he swims but his short game needs work

Phelps on the golf course looks like a regular guy (albeit a tall guy with a clear swimmer's build). He crushed his drive down the middle on the first hole — prompting one fan to remark, "He does everything right" — but Phelps' approach was beyond the green and his putt missed the mark.
It was especially wet at Target Field this year

It was especially wet at Target Field this year

If you've been paying attention at all this summer in Minneapolis, you've noticed two things: an unusual amount of rain and an extraordinary amount of…

Optimism as usual, except that others agree

Thursday marked the fall equinox and Monday is the Timberwolves' media day … which means we're inching toward NBA season … which means it's time…
Approval ratings for local sports entities

Approval ratings for local sports entities

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal presidential poll came out Wednesday, and for some reason I've decided to take one of the most important decisions…
Sam Bradford-Teddy Bridgewater comparison impossible, so let's do it

Sam Bradford-Teddy Bridgewater comparison impossible, so let's do it

The comparisons between Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater are as natural as they are unfortunate.They're natural, of course, since one was supposed to be the…
Makeshift Bradford jersey stands out above the (many) other Vikings QBs

Makeshift Bradford jersey stands out above the (many) other Vikings QBs

So many past quarterbacks. So many jerseys spotted outside U.S. Bank Stadium.
Sunday Q&A with Lynx guard Anna Cruz

Sunday Q&A with Lynx guard Anna Cruz

She returned to the Lynx once the Olympics were over.
U of M debuts new model to care for former NFL players

U of M debuts new model to care for former NFL players

The health of former NFL players has only become a real front-burner issue in recent years, but it’s been on the mind of Dr. Archie…
Ryan Longwell got a kick out of playing for both teams

Ryan Longwell got a kick out of playing for both teams

Ryan Longwell kicked during some of the most interesting years of the Vikings/Packers rivalry — for the Packers from 1997-2005 and the Vikings from 2006-2011,…
RandBall: Disturbing trends continue in September

RandBall: Disturbing trends continue in September

The last few days offered a continuation of some issues that you might have thought were on their way to being solved or resolved.
What's the over-under on these Vikings numbers being right?

What's the over-under on these Vikings numbers being right?

This week's Access Vikings podcast is naturally heavy on the discussion of new quarterback Sam Bradford. Even though Mike Zimmer on Wednesday was coy about…
Dozier blasting 'em like Babe

Dozier blasting 'em like Babe

Brian Dozier has been on a home run tear that is not just impressive but legitimately historic.The damage: 31 home runs in the 70 games…
Laboring through details from the weekend

Laboring through details from the weekend

A few thoughts to tie together a long holiday weekend:
Bradford: the good, the bad

Bradford: the good, the bad

The Vikings didn't waste much time trying to move on from Teddy Bridgewater's devastating knee injury, announcing Saturday — four days after Bridgewater went down…
Not all veterans offended by Kaepernick

Not all veterans offended by Kaepernick

Some Armed Forces personnel support QB's right to free speech.
Thursday's local sports event options seem endless

Thursday's local sports event options seem endless

A look at options for entertainment Thursday night in the Twin Cities.
RandBall: For the Twins, it's not great when you need 48

RandBall: For the Twins, it's not great when you need 48

They're still throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, which in a lost season is not a bad short-term plan. In a mostly lost decade, it's not a good long-term plan.
Rand: Oh yeah, about that Vikings game

Rand: Oh yeah, about that Vikings game

Even as the building played a starring role Sunday, here are a few observations from the day that are mostly about football:
Rotten rotation remains at heart of Twins' troubles

Rotten rotation remains at heart of Twins' troubles

The term "outlier" is so useful that it tends to get overused. At the risk of doing so, let's try it on in a couple…
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…
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