Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
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We wrote a couple weeks ago about the lucky souls who put money on Auburn to win the BCS title before the season started, at staggering 1,000-to-1 odds. That means that if they bet $100, they will win 100K if the Tigers beat Florida State.
Not a bad payoff.
But ESPN's Darren Rovell tracked down someone who put down that size of a bet on 500 to 1 odds ... and he's doing the smart thing (if not the really fun thing):
In the hours after the game, Skiba contemplated his options. He could go all or nothing, hope that Auburn wins the title and he would take home $50,000, or he could be guaranteed money by hedging and placing a bet on FSU, which is favored by nine points.
Ultimately, Skiba decided he will close the loop on his bet by heading to Vegas with a couple of buddies -- including a friend who is an accountant -- and place a bet on the Seminoles that he says will maximize his winnings and take some of the risk off the table.
That's a pretty sweet bet, regardless.
We are all RandBall now.
For the first six years, these birthday posts have focused on the difference between RandBall (the blog) and traditional media; when the blog started seven years ago, it was a breath of fresh air that cut through the stale cloud of 2006's newspaper industry.
Seven years on, RandBall is everywhere. The blog is just one small part of RandBall Industries; it stands alongside Page 2, the online videos, and an entire community of Twitterers and blogs and podcasts that can be traced, at least indirectly, to the group of goofballs that used to gather in the comments section of RandBall posts.
It's almost foolish to continue to celebrate these birthdays; we might as well celebrate the anniversary of all of the people who signed up for Twitter, or of the first of the long-since-discontinued Redactulars, or any number of other milestones along the way. Don't get me wrong, RandBall is great, as a blog -- but it's grown beyond these virtual blog walls. What started as something different than traditional media has itself become traditional media. We are all RandBall now.
I suppose the credit you can give to Rand is that he never, ever tried to wrestle this thing to the ground and control it. He let go and trusted us all to not ruin everything, and it - I would like to think - has paid off. As for me, on this auspicious yearly occasion, I offer my thanks to Rand for kicking all of this off. He didn't know where it was going, either, but it's spawned friendships beyond counting and fun beyond measure, and what else can I ask for?
So wish RandBall a happy birthday! Use the comments, or Twitter, or your blog, or your podcast, because the way this thing is going, those all make perfect sense.
We'll buy that. Revenues at Target Field are giant compared to what they were in the Dome, and the team's payroll at Target Field has generally reflected that.
But if Nolasco and the subsequent Phil Hughes signing for $8 million a season were products of that increased internal money, the Twins' pursuit of even more high-priced free agents in an attempt to shore up their pitching staff and other holes is presumably fueled by the sneaky asset all teams have in 2014: a massive increase in TV revenues.
Each team is projected to get about $25 million more in 2014 than in 2013 from national TV money.
Our guy La Velle E. Neal III reports that the Twins are looking at Matt Garza, one of the highest-priced free agents on the market. They have also made runs at A.J. Pierzynski and are looking at some other pitchers and possibly position players, too.
Thanks, TV money.
Yes, he really did this. Our guess would have been Aaron Gleeman if any Hardball Talk writer was going to tackle this burning question, but that's just not true.
In any event, he has Brad Ausmus and Mike Matheny 1-2 in his rankings.
But that's not really what you care about. Where did he have poor Ron Gardenhire, who would have at least scored in the top 50 percent if the RandBall Better Half was judging?
Ron Gardenhire: The jowls of Rick Renteria, the facial hair issues of Fredi Gonzalez and the troubling inner rumblings of Terry Collins. Just a bad combination.
And now, let us never speak of this again.
h/t to e-mailer Nathan for the link.
TwinsFest, that annual Winter event, has a new twist this year as it will be at Target Field for the first time. That's a great thing in terms of the niceness of the facility, since the Metrodome always felt like a cave. That said, the charm of the Dome was that admission seemed to be almost limitless and inexpensive -- advance tickets last season were $9 for adults and $5 for kids 14 and under.
This year? Well, tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and if you missed earlier announcements there might be a little shock in terms of prices and availability.
Per the Twins:
The Minnesota Twins and the Twins Community Fund today announced additional details for "TwinsFest at Target Field," a new twist on a longstanding Minnesota baseball tradition. "TwinsFest at Target Field" will run from Jan. 24 through Jan. 26, 2014 and will provide a much more exclusive and intimate experience for fans in comparison to the event's storied Metrodome history.
The fundraising event will feature numerous new interactive activities and behind-the-scenes fan experiences that celebrate Twins baseball and Target Field. Based on the event's move to Target Field, TwinsFest '14 tickets will be much more limited than in previous years and will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. Ticket sales will be capped for each day and a sell-out is expected. Tickets will cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids 14 and younger.
The Twins are promising new activities and a "chance to reinvent" the tradition of the event, according to Twins President Dave St. Peter. Among the new twists: The option to purchase a "white glove" tour of the Twins Archive Room, the chance to take batting practice in the Twins batting cages and an opportunity to enjoy the signature food and beverage options which have made Target Field baseball's best dining experience.
Also: No live National Anthem auditions.
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