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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
RandBall: Wild's top 11 scorers almost all either have not reached or are past prime years

RandBall: Wild's top 11 scorers almost all either have not reached or are past prime years

The question starts with the Wild's roster construction, the core of which is an extreme mix of veterans and youth.
RandBall: Losing more won't help Wolves win longterm

RandBall: Losing more won't help Wolves win longterm

Should Minnesota be hoping to pile up as many losses as possible to enhance its odds of again finding lottery luck (and perhaps nabbing the deadeye shooter to fill a gaping roster hole). The answer is no.

Gophers baseball bequeathed $419,000 gift from fan

Coach John Anderson said part of the donation was used to renovate the team's locker room.
Rand: Struggling basketball teams show signs of hope

Rand: Struggling basketball teams show signs of hope

Both the Gophers and Timberwolves have played better recently even if the results don't show it.
Sunday Q&A: Twins president Dave St. Peter

Sunday Q&A: Twins president Dave St. Peter

With TwinsFest on the horizon next weekend, there's no rest even though it's the offseason.
Rand: For Vikings and Cavaliers, good is no longer good enough

Rand: For Vikings and Cavaliers, good is no longer good enough

A good professional team, for instance, is one that is likely steady enough to qualify for postseason play on a regular basis but not great enough to win a championship — a no-man's land likely to frustrate the modern fan more, even, than a total rebuild with the prospect of greatness on the distant horizon.
Rand: Vikings, Packers fans reach common ground along state border

Rand: Vikings, Packers fans reach common ground along state border

The two-week stretch of escalated tension between Vikings and Packers fans ended with common ground. Both got to watch their rivals exit the playoffs in excruciating fashion.
Ten Minnesota sports stories to watch in 2016

Ten Minnesota sports stories to watch in 2016

On the first day of the new year, let's start unwrapping 2016 to see what we think lies ahead. In no particular order, here are the top 10 stories to watch for in the next 366 days (yes, it's a leap year).

Rand: Counting down the top 10 Twin Cities sports stories of 2015

The biggest stories don't mean the "best" or "most positive" stories; rather, these are the ones that resonated the most with Minnesota sports fans
Outdoor Vikings games coming to an end

Outdoor Vikings games coming to an end

Sunday night likely marked the end of a brief era for Vikings fans: two years with home football games played outdoors.
Sunday Q&A: Scott Ellison, Gophers associate AD for facilities

Sunday Q&A: Scott Ellison, Gophers associate AD for facilities

The Vikings' stay at TCF Bank Stadium is coming to an end.
'Concussion' intensifies public's already-complicated relationship with a violent sport

'Concussion' intensifies public's already-complicated relationship with a violent sport

The more interesting narrative in the film has less to do with the discovery of CTE but what the knowledge of its existence means for the future of football.
Ratings up for Wild, Wolves despite TV schedule challenge

Ratings up for Wild, Wolves despite TV schedule challenge

With FSN carrying 75 Timberwolves games and 70 Wild games this season, the overlap has led to extended use of FSN Plus.
Gophers volleyball program spikes again

Gophers volleyball program spikes again

Hugh McCutcheon, who coached the U.S. men to a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics and the women to silver in 2012, has the Gophers in the Final Four this season, with a legitimate chance to win it all.
Rand: You'll probably end up watching the Quick Lane Bowl

Rand: You'll probably end up watching the Quick Lane Bowl

Three local thoughts from a weekend in sports in which the Big Ten Championship was clearly the best game that happened:
Sunday Q&A: Jared Spurgeon, Wild defenseman

Sunday Q&A: Jared Spurgeon, Wild defenseman

Starting small has paid off big for the 5-9, 176-pound blueliner.
Rand: Thoughts from the weekend (that have nothing to do with the Vikings)

Rand: Thoughts from the weekend (that have nothing to do with the Vikings)

Four thoughts that somehow didn't have anything to do with the Vikings/Packers game this weekend.
Rand: Savoring football rivalries on several levels

Rand: Savoring football rivalries on several levels

The Vikings and Packers meet Sunday for the first time this year. But there's more: Badgers at Gophers the following Saturday, as well as the possibility of St. Thomas and St. John's meeting in a Division III football playoff game.
Zimmer's answer was blowin' in the wind

Zimmer's answer was blowin' in the wind

The Vikings won the overtime coin toss and, instead of taking the ball, chose to give the Rams the ball and take the wind. Let's take a look at the factors and history relating to that decision by Vikings coach Mike Zimmer:
Rand: A pause for Flip, but games go on

Rand: A pause for Flip, but games go on

News of Saunders' death became official right in the middle of the Vikings' game, certainly influencing how many of us looked at the relative importance of things.
Rand: Fantasy sports faces regulation realities

Rand: Fantasy sports faces regulation realities

Hardly a day has gone by in the past month in which daily fantasy sports contests have stayed out of the news. Most of us…
Sunday Q&A: Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen

Sunday Q&A: Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen

The three-time WNBA champion says her offseason won't include surgery, or playing overseas.
Minnesota's most polarizing sports topics

Minnesota's most polarizing sports topics

In compiling a list of the 10 most polarizing/controversial subjects in Minnesota sports — with the much-appreciated help of some good reader suggestions — a theme emerged.
Farmington golfer wins amateur tournament, spot in 2016 Masters

Farmington golfer wins amateur tournament, spot in 2016 Masters

Sammy Schmitz, a two-time MIAC Player of the Year at St. John's and a three-time Minnesota Golf Association Player of the Year, nailed a hole-in-1 to help seal the match-play win.
Reality smacking daily fantasy football leagues

Reality smacking daily fantasy football leagues

Fantasy sports sites could very well be ripe for regulation, based on how much money is at stake, after "insider trading" accusations surfaced.
Take a multi-sport road trip to Phoenix in December

Take a multi-sport road trip to Phoenix in December

By some serendipity of schedule-making, the Vikings, Wild and Timberwolves are all playing road games against Phoenix-area teams in a four-day span between Dec. 10 and Dec. 13.
Where was Ragnar? Vikings and team's longtime mascot part ways

Where was Ragnar? Vikings and team's longtime mascot part ways

In the midst of a 26-16 victory over Detroit on Sunday, Minnesota Vikings fans at the team's home opener at TCF Bank Stadium noticed someone…
Oops! Vikings' stocking caps have typo

Oops! Vikings' stocking caps have typo

One "n" short, the Vikings gift to stadium workers will be replaced.

Training camp isn't what it used to be

Veteran Star Tribune NFL writer Mark Craig joins Digital Sports Editor Michael Rand and Vikings beat writer Matt Vensel to talk about this year's training camp battles and best moments from past camps they've covered.
Sunday Q&A: Curt Schilling, ESPN baseball analyst

Sunday Q&A: Curt Schilling, ESPN baseball analyst

The former MLB pitcher addressed his Kirby Puckett remark regarding Hall of Famers' character.

Training camp preview

Vikings beat writer Matt Vensel and Digital Sports Editor Michael Rand are joined by columnist Chip Scoggins as they preview the start of Vikings training camp by counting down the most important players on this year's team and debating which players have the most to gain or lose in 2015.
Rand: Development stages in local pro sports, rock bottom to rock stars

Rand: Development stages in local pro sports, rock bottom to rock stars

There are five stages of building a franchise, and the Twin Cities pro franchises represent all five of them.
Wolves land Apple Valley's Jones via trade

Wolves land Apple Valley's Jones via trade

The Timberwolves made a last-minute trade with Cleveland, dealing the 31st and 36th picks in the second round and a future second-round pick.
Sunday Q&A: Seimone Augustus, Lynx forward

Sunday Q&A: Seimone Augustus, Lynx forward

The longtime Lynx standout is part of a core of veterans hoping to lead the team to its third WNBA championship in five seasons.
Swarm lacrosse will leave Twin Cities market

Swarm lacrosse will leave Twin Cities market

The National Lacrosse League team will leave Xcel Energy Center and the Twin Cities. A new home for the Swarm has yet to be decided.
Wild will balance status quo with unknown this offseason

Wild will balance status quo with unknown this offseason

What can be done to improve on what has already been accomplished by the team?
Rand: Thinking happy thoughts from weekend

Rand: Thinking happy thoughts from weekend

Thoughts from a weekend of playoffs and optimism — two things that have been in short supply in Minnesota lately: After being pummeled 12-3 by…
Target Field's concessions lineup full of sluggers

Target Field's concessions lineup full of sluggers

As has become customary this time of year — and has also caught on with other local pro teams — the Twins offered the media a preview Tuesday of the new specialty food and drink items being offered up at Target Field this season.
MLS, from head to toe: A primer

MLS, from head to toe: A primer

Minnesota has been awarded rights to a Major League Soccer franchise, which begs the question from a lot of you, we imagine: What exactly is…
Minnesota soccer fans excited for promotion to MLS

Minnesota soccer fans excited for promotion to MLS

Major League Soccer, the top league in the U.S., is expected to announce Wednesday that Minnesota is getting an expansion franchise, most likely for the 2018 season.
Major League Soccer coming to Minnesota

Major League Soccer coming to Minnesota

The announcement was made Wednesday morning during a press conference at Target Field.
Rand: Wolves/Knicks a 'Battle of Who Could Care Less'

Rand: Wolves/Knicks a 'Battle of Who Could Care Less'

To get in the mood to write about Thursday’s Wolves vs. Knicks game, I dug back into my college music archives for a little Ben…
Cutting the cord: A sports fan's new breed of TV

Cutting the cord: A sports fan's new breed of TV

If you're an avid TV sports viewer looking to "cut the cord" on pricey cable or satellite subscriptions, it's possible — with a few trade-offs.
Rand: Stars align for Adrian Peterson to end up in Dallas

Rand: Stars align for Adrian Peterson to end up in Dallas

If we can think of the nuggets of information linking Adrian Peterson to a possible trade with the Cowboys as a line of dominoes waiting…
Rand: Peterson's trade value not high

Rand: Peterson's trade value not high

John Clayton of ESPN mused this week on 1500-AM radio that the best the Vikings could hope to get in a trade for Adrian Peterson…
Rand: Weekend revelations from around the Twin Cities

Rand: Weekend revelations from around the Twin Cities

Five thoughts from a few days in sports that had us thinking about Kevin Garnett and the various postseasons:
Rand: Cautionary tales of being cautious

Rand: Cautionary tales of being cautious

I’ve never run with the bulls in Pamplona, but there are enough stories out there to believe the annual event can be construed as a…
Sunday Q&A: Gophers running back David Cobb

Sunday Q&A: Gophers running back David Cobb

David Cobb can take a big step toward the NFL this week, when he takes part in the NFL scouting combine.

2day's 2 Cents: Somewhat shady, for sports deals

A Star Tribune editor presented a strange challenge/wish earlier this week: that Friday’s Page 2 feature would somehow play off the movie release of “Fifty…
Rand: A lot can happen in just one week

Rand: A lot can happen in just one week

The Super Bowl was last Sunday in Arizona. On Monday, hundreds of members of the sports media presumably filtered out of the Phoenix area. And…
Rand: Filling the air with Deflategate, the NFL's latest scandal

Rand: Filling the air with Deflategate, the NFL's latest scandal

We’re now less than a week from the kickoff of the Super Bowl, which means we are also now more than a week into the…
Sunday Q&A with Jonny Steele, Minnesota United midfielder

Sunday Q&A with Jonny Steele, Minnesota United midfielder

The success of United FC drew him here.
Rand: Big-losing Minnesota teams post a winning weekend

Rand: Big-losing Minnesota teams post a winning weekend

Less than a week ago in this space, we spent a great deal of time lamenting the misfortunes of four local teams. During a stretch…
Rand: Twin Cities sports scene starved for a winners

Rand: Twin Cities sports scene starved for a winners

Oh, for the optimism of the preseason again. Only a few months ago, the Wild was an up-and-coming team that had fans dreaming of deep…
Rand: Pick a conspiracy, any conspiracy, in NFL playoffs

Rand: Pick a conspiracy, any conspiracy, in NFL playoffs

It’s a great time to be a sports conspiracy theorist. Really, there’s never a bad time for it, but the NFL … oh, this league…
Rand: There's got to be a limit on what is reviewable

Rand: There's got to be a limit on what is reviewable

If 2014 in sports was all about trying to “get it right” (to borrow the phrase used repeatedly by the Vikings addressing the Adrian Peterson…
Rand: Stuart Scott made sure sports were fun

Rand: Stuart Scott made sure sports were fun

News Sunday of Stuart Scott’s death — only 49 years old, after a seven-year bout with cancer — led to many wonderful tributes to his…
Our 10 predictions for Minnesota sports in 2015

Our 10 predictions for Minnesota sports in 2015

Knowing what we know — and that ain't much — here's what we expect in the world of Minnesota sports in 2015.
Top 10 Minnesota sports moments of 2014

Top 10 Minnesota sports moments of 2014

From eye-popping plays to personalities causing a ruckus, 2014 was full of sports stories worth talking about.
Rand: Some stories turn out just as predicted

Rand: Some stories turn out just as predicted

One of the great joys of sports is the unpredictability they provide. Sometimes, though, off-field stories unfold in a manner that follows a predicted narrative…
Rand: Buffalo becomes NFC North's nemesis

Rand: Buffalo becomes NFC North's nemesis

There is no real shame, at least on the surface, of losing to an NFL team with an 8-6 record. What we are about to…
First look: Renderings of Vikings stadium outfitted for Major League Soccer

First look: Renderings of Vikings stadium outfitted for Major League Soccer

The Vikings on Tuesday evening showed off renderings of their new stadium outfitted for a Major League Soccer franchise.
A fitting day for Bud Grant Way

A fitting day for Bud Grant Way

The first day of December, with the temperature hovering in single digits, wouldn’t have been an apt setting for many outdoor news conferences, but for…
Wisconsin clarifies where Paul Bunyan's Axe will be Saturday

Wisconsin clarifies where Paul Bunyan's Axe will be Saturday

Wisconsin's Andersen, before clarifying, said the winning team won't find its prize until it gets to the locker room.
Rand: The long and the short of recent coaching searches

Rand: The long and the short of recent coaching searches

Four high-profile Minnesota men’s sports teams have conducted coaching/managerial searches since the start of 2013. Here is a quick look back at all of them:…
Sid Hartman nears 70 years as Minneapolis sports writer

Sid Hartman nears 70 years as Minneapolis sports writer

On Saturday, the Star Tribune will pay tribute to columnist Sid Hartman with a full-page advertisement to celebrate 70 years as a Minneapolis sportswriter.
Rand: Plenty ties Gophers hoops, Wolves together

Rand: Plenty ties Gophers hoops, Wolves together

The connections between the Timberwolves and the Gophers men’s basketball team are mounting, and it’s not just because both teams seem to be about the…
Rand: 2014 Vikings looking awfully familiar

Rand: 2014 Vikings looking awfully familiar

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Josh Freeman’s one and only start at quarterback with the Vikings. It was a desperate move in a desperate…
MLS meets with Vikings and United, which adds powerful help

MLS meets with Vikings and United, which adds powerful help

Twins owner Jim Pohlad sat down with United owner William McGuire, who also reportedly has Glen Taylor as part of group, ratcheting up competition for a major league franchise.
Rand: No refunds in baseball for big-name busts

Rand: No refunds in baseball for big-name busts

It is said that fortune favors the bold. If you printed out that expression and mailed it to members of the Tigers and A’s front…
Sunday Q&A: Wolves rookie Zach LaVine

Sunday Q&A: Wolves rookie Zach LaVine

When the Timberwolves chose Zach LaVine with the No. 13 pick in the NBA draft, it was with the idea that he could be a…
For Hazeltine, all eyes on the 2016 Ryder Cup

For Hazeltine, all eyes on the 2016 Ryder Cup

While most of the golf world was focused on Scotland on Sunday as the European Ryder Cup team polished off the U.S. squad, a contingent…
Rand: Wolves, Twins welcoming eras of change

Rand: Wolves, Twins welcoming eras of change

Timberwolves media day, an opportunity to interview players before the start of training camp, ended shortly before 2 p.m. Monday. An hour later and a…
Sunday Q&A: MLB Network's John Smoltz

Sunday Q&A: MLB Network's John Smoltz

John Smoltz amassed 213 victories and 154 saves in a 20-year MLB career spent mostly with Atlanta. These days, he works for MLB Network and…
Rand: Adrian Peterson ... voices raised

Rand: Adrian Peterson ... voices raised

The Adrian Peterson saga, and most notably Monday’s decision by the Vikings to allow him to play next weekend after sitting out this past weekend…
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