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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
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…
Dolphins still haunt Darius Rucker

Dolphins still haunt Darius Rucker

Tuesday did not start out as a day in which I planned to meet 2008 gold medal gymnast Nastia Liukin, Hootie and the Blowfish frontman…
Maybe Aaron Rodgers is slumping

Maybe Aaron Rodgers is slumping

If you're like me, you like to check out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from time to time to read their Packers coverage. Maybe you do…
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…
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),…
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