RandBall

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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TFD: Eddie Guardado spending Thanksgiving with Torii Hunter, trying to recruit him to the Twins

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 26th at 6:10pm 284021841

guardadoWe had a good chat with former Twins pitcher and new bullpen coach Eddie Guardado today on a number of subjects for a future Page 2 story, but one nugget stood out as relevant for both amusement and news:

Guardado is spending Thanksgiving in Texas with old teammates LaTroy Hawkins and Torii Hunter. Guardado and Hawkins have remained close for years, and both are clearly still pals with Hunter. The interesting thing, of course, is that the Twins are said to be in pursuit of Hunter in free agency. So we naturally had to ask Guardado if he would be doing any recruiting while he was hanging out with his old teammate, and he didn’t shy away from the notion.

Said Guardado: “I’m trying. I’m trying. All we can do is try, right?”

Hunter’s defense has slipped in recent years, leading to questions about how much bringing him in would help (or hurt even more) a team that struggled mightily with outfield defense a year ago. It would clearly be a move based on offensive production and that intangible of clubhouse leadership.

“We have to start with the foundation,” Guardado said of the Twins, after talking about how much it hurt him to watch the team lose 90-plus games each of the past four years. “We have to get some leadership in that clubhouse — maybe a little bit more vocal. I’m not saying go in there and be a correctional officer, but what I’m saying is we need a couple of vocal guys. … That’s how you get better. It starts in the clubhouse. With a young team, it starts on the inside and works its way out. That’s how we did it.”

That sounds a lot like Hunter, we mentioned to Guardado.

“Oh, he’s definitely all about that. We’re trying to get him over here to be vocal, too. … Absolutely. That’s what we need.”

Wednesday (Revisiting Vikings, 2012 draft with RGIII benched) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 26th at 12:06pm 283986331

griffinRobert Griffin III is healthy enough to play on Sunday, but instead Colt McCoy will play for Washington against the Colts.

Let that sink in for a moment … and then think back to the end of the 2011 season and the 2012 draft for some revisionist history involving three teams.

*As you’ll recall, the Vikings defeated Washington late in the season that year thanks to Joe Webb’s heroics. Had they lost the game, the Vikings would have had the No. 2 pick in the draft and would have had a very interesting decision to make: trade the pick for a haul (which St. Louis eventually did, to Washington) or draft Robert Griffin III even though they had already taken Christian Ponder a year earlier in the first round. As it turned out, the Vikings wound up with the No. 3 pick … which they swapped with Cleveland for the No. 4 pick … with which they took Matt Kalil. Griffin and Kalil were outstanding as rookies in 2012, but things have been a steady downhill progression since then.

*Imagine if Washington hadn’t made the trade with the Rams, for which they gave up the No. 6 pick in 2012, two more first round picks and a second round pick. There’s no way they have the success they did in 2012, when Griffin led them to the playoffs, but there’s also no way they don’t have a deeper team right now.

*The Colts, of course, came out of this the best. They had the No. 1 overall pick, they stayed the course and took Andrew Luck. He looks like he’ll be a great starter for the next dozen years, giving Indianapolis a legacy of consistently great quarterbacking only rivaled in this era by the Packers going from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers.

TFD: Rodgers says he wasn't trolling Vikings fans with Grape Crush, calls people 'idiots'

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 25th at 4:28pm 283889251

rodgersgrapeSome Vikings fans thought Aaron Rodgers was trolling them by drinking Grape Crush after Green Bay’s 24-21 victory. Indeed, it would have had the potential for a double-troll: grape because of the stupid grape salad controversy and crush because, well, the Packers won.

Alas, the commercial actor and occasional QB said on his weekly radio program Tuesday that there was no trolling. None at all. It was just his preferred choice in post-game beverage. Per the report from his co-host on the program, Jason Wilde (screen grab from Packers.com):

Seven years. To all the idiot trolls out there, seven years,” Rodgers said of post-game snacking tradition. “PBJ and Grape or Orange Crush. It’s been grape for the last five, the first couple years it was orange or grape. Seven years.”

Although Rodgers was smiling and chuckling throughout the conversation, he was clearly annoyed that some people thought he was taking a shot at the Vikings.

“Anybody who knows, any of the local media or anybody who’s seen me after a game, I’m always carrying that around with me. That’s probably the only soda that I ever drink – right after the game, when you’ve got to get those nutrients back with you,” he said with a laugh. “So that’s my post-game (snack) – PBJ and the Grape Crush. I do like it, contrary to anybody who thinks I was trolling anything. It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s comical.”

Vikings to show renderings of new stadium outfitted for soccer next week

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 26th at 1:40am 283874241

The race for a Major League Soccer franchise is quite possibly nearing the finish line, and ahead of that one of the Minneapolis groups vying for a franchise is making one more push for visibility.

Two different Minnesota groups — the Vikings’ group led by the Wilf family and the Minnesota United group led by Bill McGuire — joined groups from Sacramento and Las Vegas last week in New York to make pitches to bring an expansion MLS franchise to Minnesota.

The United group would build a new soccer-specific stadium; the Vikings’ group would have a team play in its new under-construction stadium, and next Tuesday the Vikings are having an event at which they plan to unveil renderings for how pro soccer would look in a reduced-capacity version of that stadium.

The event — which is not open to the public — is at their stadium preview center, which is across the street from the new stadium site.

Also making an appearance at the event is ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman, who will “discuss the 2014 MLS season, preview the Dec. 7 MLS Cup and share why Minnesota should be excited about a potential MLS franchise,” per information from a media invite about the event.

The MLS Board of Governors will discuss expansion on Dec. 6, the day before the MLS Cup, and a decision to award an expansion franchise could come from those meetings.

Tuesday (Bridgewater "a good backup quarterback") edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 25th at 3:22pm 283841971

teddyListen to sports talk radio for long enough — or really, usually, just for a segment — and you will hear what has derisively become known as a “hot take.”

On ESPN Radio recently, former NFL QB Tim Hasselbeck had the hottest of hot takes about Vikings rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater.

I don’t believe he’s a starter in the NFL,” Hasselbeck said. “I believe that Teddy Bridgewater – and this isn’t meant to be a shot on him, I was a backup quarterback — I think he’s a good backup quarterback. I think he’d have a nice long career as a backup.”

Hasselbeck noted Bridgewater’s struggle with longer throws downfield against Green Bay — indeed, a concern.

For the season, and therefore his career, Bridgewater has played in eight games. He’s completing 60.3 percent of his passes, with six TDs, 7 INTs and a 75.7 passer rating.

Hasselbeck may very well be correct about Bridgewater. But we would also say these two things: 1) It’s too soon to tell with Bridgewater. Even if there are some troubling signs emerging, there are also some positive ones (such as his ability to run an efficient offense at the ends of halves and games). 2) Those types of hot takes are the epicenter of talk radio programming (and yes, to a certain extent, sports blogs). It’s a controversial statement that cannot be proven one way or the other — the perfect talker.

Indeed, the local ESPN affiliate, 1500, picked up on it for both its web site (linked above) and now for the counter-argument: talking to former Vikings QB Sage Rosenfels, who disagrees with Hasselbeck. That’s no knock on them. That’s the nature of the business.

All of it will be forgotten in a day, then revived in two months, then forgotten in a day, and so forth.

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Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 4th Qtr 7:20
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 70 2nd Half 0:29
Prairie View 61
UAB 45 2nd Half 4:54
Florida 44
Rice 48 2nd Half 8:11
Mercer 53
San Jose St 0 1st Half 17:01
Washington 4
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53

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