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: Former USMNT star Claudio Reyna and the EPL trophy were in Minnesota

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 9th at 5:18pm

epltrophy reyna - CopyA modest gathering at Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis was getting prepared for Wednesday’s World Cup semifinal between the Netherlands and Argentina.

Soccer fans lazily sipped beers in the afternoon sun, chatting about Tuesday’s 7-1 Germany stunner over Brazil, when a large black SUV pulled up and two icons of the sport emerged to bring them to full attention: former U.S. men’s national team star Claudio Reyna and the English Premier League trophy won this year by his former professional team, Manchester City.

Reyna was in the Twin Cities to promote an Aug. 2 match at TCF Bank Stadium between Manchester City and Olympiakos. You’ll find here a couple photos we took to mark the occasion.

Here's an e-mail from a happy, bargain-hunting baseball fan

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 9th at 12:26pm

We got an e-mail last night from reader Joe, which isn’t unusual. We get all manners of e-mails, still, even as social media and the comments section of stories often provides more instant feedback.

What was interesting about this e-mail is that Joe really just wanted to tell us about a good, inexpensive time he had at a ballgame in Chicago. Much of what we get is anger — something we wrote, something negative about a local team — and so we wanted to share Joe’s baseball tale (and yes, he couldn’t resist a dig at the Twins at the end, but still). One could argue that the Twins offer giveaways and other such things, but we’re just going to let Joe have the floor.

So here we go with Joe’s e-mail, with some minor spelling/grammar cleanup:

Hi,

I enjoy reading your articles in the StarTrib.  I wanted to tell you about my 1st-time experience at US Cellular Field.  I hope you will write about it.

I went to see my first game at US Cellular Field on July 4th.

 At noon, I went to the Sox ticket office & purchased the least expensive ticket — $7.00.

At the stadium they had special hot dogs — $1.00.

They had a Sox/Miller Light flag game giveaway (flags seem to be very popular in Chicago!). 

After the game, there was a spectacular firework show that lasted about half hour.

 Chris Sale pitched a complete game & won 7-1 over Seattle.

Because there was a Sox HR in the 4th inning (only this inning qualified), fans with a ticket received a free small Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee.

Since the Sox won, all the fans received a free McDonald’s medium fries coupon.

Finally, at the Sox Pro Shop, I purchased two Sox Majestic Dunn jerseys (home & away jerseys) with the Sox logo, letter & number sewn in, on sale (he switched his uniform number to 44 from 32). They were originally $99.99, but I got them for $10.93 each (tax included).

Also, there were some guy name Jesse Crain 2012 All-Star Majestic jerseys for $10.93 (tax included).  I passed on it; not a Crain fan.  I asked about A.J. Pierzynski jerseys; they sold out quickly!  There were many other great deals at the Sox Pro Shop!

I had a blast (no pun intended) at US Cellular Field on July 4th!  What a great place to see a ball game.  After the game, I headed to Chinatown for a delicious, inexpensive dinner!

I hear the Sox have $5.00 tickets on Sundays & family of four for $44.00 (4 tickets, 4 sodas & 4 hot dogs)!   What does a losing team like the Twins do — they have premium prices on the weekend or special days like the 4th of July!

[Note: In fairness, the Twins have promotions such as Our Family Section, U.S. Bank Value Pack and dollar dog night].

Baseball fans should head out to US Cellular Field or Wrigley Field for a great time & an affordable, fun time too!  Lastly, Chicago is a great place to visit, there is a lot fun things to do!!!

Wednesday (How will Brian Dozier fare in the HR Derby) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 9th at 10:06am

dozierBrian Dozier is in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby. He’s not a prototypical slugger as a rather svelte middle infielder, but Dozier does have 16 homers this year and 27 in approximately the last calendar year (since last July 6).

It made us curious about a little bit of a deeper look into his home runs — particularly those at Target Field, since that’s his home ballpark and obviously the place the derby will be held. All these numbers are for 2013 and 2014 combined:

*In that span, per Hit Tracker, Dozier has 17 of his 34 home runs at Target Field. All of them have been to left or left-center (in fact, every home run he has hit in the majors has been to the left of straightaway center). Because he is such a dead pull hitter, we imagine he might have some success in the derby.

*All but one of his homers at Target Field has traveled less than 400 feet. The longest was a 412-foot blast on Sept. 23 last season. (Here’s video of it). So he’s not hitting the prodigious homers of his peers. For instance, Jose Bautista has 15 home runs of more than 400 feet this season.

*Some hitters worry about the derby messing with their swing, but perhaps the derby will get Dozier back on track. He’s hitting just .190 with a .238 slugging percentage and one home run in his last 84 at bats.

TFD: This Vine sums up Germany 7, Brazil 1

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 8th at 5:26pm

Per Deadspin, these were Brazil fans chasing the team bus before Tuesday’s epic meltdown against Germany. There are a lot of ways to sum up the day for the host country, but we don’t really want to use words right now. Just six seconds of moving pictures.

Nolasco probably headed to disabled list, Twins' Gardenhire tells MLB Radio

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 8th at 2:37pm

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire made an appearance on MLB Network Radio this morning, where he talked for nearly four minutes about Ricky Nolasco’s elbow, which is being examined today in Minnesota.

UPDATE: At 2:30 p.m., the Twins officially put Nolasco on the DL.

We transcribed a couple of the highlights, and you’ll find the audio of the entire segment on Nolasco via this link. (Also, this will make three consecutive posts within three hours on Nolasco. We promise we’re not obsessed. It’s just how things work sometimes).

Gardenhire:

On how long Nolasco has been dealing with an elbow issue: “He said he’s had it since spring training … He said, ‘I don’t want to make excuses for my performance or anything like that, but he said my elbow, I had this in ’07 and I think I can pitch through it. That’s when we said, you know, the best thing for us – we’ve got him signed to a pretty good contract here, and we need him down the road here — so let’s send him back, get this thing checked out.”

On the next steps: “In my opinion, and it’s just my opinion, if a guy is telling me his elbow is bothering him, there’s no way he’s going to make a start on Friday. But I think the big thing here is to find out what’s wrong with his elbow, give him the time he needs, and he’ll probably end up on the DL. That’s the best guess.”

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Los Angeles - LP: Z. Greinke 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 4
San Diego 3 Top 5th Inning
Colorado 3
Toronto 1 Top 4th Inning
LA Angels 3
Miami 0 Top 6th Inning
Arizona 0
Washington - D. Fister 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - J. Tomlin
Atlanta - E. Santana 6:10 PM
NY Mets - D. Gee
Chicago Cubs - D. Beeler 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - A. Simon
Chicago WSox - C. Sale 6:10 PM
Boston - R. De La Rosa
Kansas City - Y. Ventura 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb
Houston - D. Keuchel 7:05 PM
Texas - Y. Darvish
Philadelphia - R. Hernandez 7:10 PM
Milwaukee - K. Lohse
Pittsburgh - B. Cumpton 7:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
Minnesota - K. Gibson 9:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Oakland - J. Hammel 9:15 PM
San Francisco - M. Cain
Winnipeg 7/11/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 7/11/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Washington 72 FINAL
Chicago 65
Seattle 34 3rd Qtr 0:40
Phoenix 61
New York 7:00 PM
San Antonio

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