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: The Twins' Danny Santana isn't playing shortstop, and people are wondering why

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 17th at 4:47pm 275515021

Here’s the Twins lineup tonight against Detroit, which once again has possible shortstop of the future Danny Santana playing center field.

With Eduardo Escobar ailing, many assumed it meant Santana — who probably should be getting a lot of looks at shortstop regardless — would be in that spot pretty much regularly for the rest of the year.

Instead, Eduardo Nunez is playing shortstop. Our guy La Velle E. Neal III tweeted that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire addressed this pregame, saying Santana will get time at shortstop but he wanted to get Nunez at bats against David Price, against whom he has a good history (.805 OPS in 34 ABs, which qualifies as a good history vs. Price).

The only flaw in the logic, as Aaron Gleeman points out, is that Nunez has also played outfield for the shorthanded Twins this season. It would have been a pretty seamless move to have Nunez play left, Jordan Schafer (who is in left) play center and Santana play short.

Maybe it’s much ado about nothing and Santana will get a lot of time at shortstop down the stretch. Perhaps Gardenhire thinks this is the best possible lineup — offensively and defensively — against Detroit, and he’s respecting the fact that the Tigers are in contention.

Or maybe there’s something weird going on with Santana at short and the lineup in general.

Randy Moss, Herschel Walker trade part of ESPN's new '30 for 30' lineup

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 17th at 1:10pm 275481511

randymossThis hardly qualifies as anything close to the most interesting Vikings news of late, but ESPN announced the fall lineup for its acclaimed “30 for 30″ documentary series, and former Vikings receiver Randy Moss is slated to be a subject.

Per an ESPN news release:

“Rand University” will explore the enigma that is former NFL star Randy Moss by going back to where he came from — Rand, West Virginia.

We wholeheartedly look forward to viewing it when it debuts Nov. 11 and support the name of the documentary 100 percent.

In addition, however, there is a documentary we don’t really care to see. It’s not a full “30 for 30,” but …

The “Playing for the Mob” debut on October 7 will be immediately followed by a special premiere of a new 30 for 30 Short titled “The Great Trade Robbery,” directed by Stu Zicherman. Launching on Grantland the next day, this short film is a first-person account by Jimmy Johnson of arguably the most significant trade in NFL history—when the Dallas Cowboys built their Super Bowl dynasty 25 years ago by sending star running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings.

Set your DVRs and adjust your rage accordingly.

Wednesday (Jared Allen on Adrian Peterson) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 17th at 9:55am 275442361

allenpetersonWe had a chance to chat Tuesday evening with Jared Allen for a story very much NOT about football — his bull, Magic Train, is competing in a Professional Bull Riders event Saturday at Target Center. Afterwards, though, we also had a chance to chat about Adrian Peterson.

Allen, who is in his first season with the Bears, was teammates with Peterson from 2008-13 and offered these perspectives on the unfolding saga involving the Vikings running back:

*”It’s a sad deal all the way around. Obviously, the Adrian I know is a good-hearted man and I judge people on what I know. People make mistakes. I pray that everyone learns from this situation and it’s handled with dignity and integrity, and that he can become a better man out of it.”

*”I have my beliefs, but I also know the Bible says those without sin cast the first stone. We’ve all made mistakes in our lives, and the key thing is to learn from it, to move forward in a positive way. And also to be sensitive to who is hurting. There are a lot of people hurting in all this. It’s upsetting, but I just pray for an outcome that’s better for all those involved.”

*”I was very much surprised. I don’t know all the details, but I saw the pictures. It’s upsetting. But like I said I judge people on how they treat me, and Adrian was always a kind-hearted human being to myself, my wife and my daughter. He’s been to my house many times. It was a shock to everybody. There will be consequences. There are always consequences for every action.”

Allen made those comments around 6:30  p.m. Tuesday, a handful of hours before the Vikings reversed course (again) and announced Peterson was being placed on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list and kept away from the Vikings as his legal situation plays out.

TFD: Ex-Viking Fran Tarkenton blasts organization for handling of Peterson situation

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 16th at 5:22pm 275359091

Well, Fran Tarkenton has never been one to hide his true feelings. And the legendary former Vikings QB shared some of those strong words in an interview with Fox. A couple snips:

* “I’m embarrassed. And I was on the very first Vikings team that ever was. And I’m embarrassed.These are serious accusations. … This is way above winning or losing a football game. I strongly disagree with the notion of playing him this week.”

*“They have a better chance of winning with their best player, that’s the message they’re sending. That is the message that’s being sent by this action. Winning is more important than defending a 4-year-old child.”

You can read the full story here.

Twins' bullpen is predictably wearing down, melting down again

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 16th at 1:14pm 275317331

fienFor the first four months of the 2014 season, the Twins bullpen was among the team’s bright spots. Even as the starting pitching faltered yet again — outside of Phil Hughes and every other Kyle Gibson start — the ‘pen was holding things together and keeping Minnesota at least somewhat competitive.

The bullpen ERAs, by month this season:

March/April: 3.42; May: 3.86; June: 2.96; July: 2.53. The MLB average for the season is 3.58; the Twins were better than that mark three of the first four months, and certainly better than that overall number through the end of July.

But now we are seeing, yet again, the burden of an overtaxed bullpen. Early in the season, arms have an easier time compensating for the short starts (and therefore long bullpen nights) created by an underwhelming starting staff. But now? The Twins’ bullpen ERA soared to 5.09 in August and has ballooned to 5.70 so far in September.

Being overworked doesn’t explain all of it, since September callups can also contribute to a swollen ERA, but watching Casey Fien give up back-to-back homers in the ninth last night in his 71st game of the season (tied for third-most among pitchers in the majors) was another piece of anecdotal evidence that these lads are tired.

The same thing happened last year, with very good bullpen numbers through August before the ‘pen ERA bloated to 4.96 in September.

This year, Minnesota’s bullpen is tied for the second-most innings pitched in MLB. Last year, the Twins led the majors in that category, with the next-closest team a full 24 innings behind them.

It’s yet another reason the Twins need to figure out this rotation. Not only has another disappointing year from starting pitchers wasted an unexpectedly good offensive showing, it is helping to turn another positive year from the bullpen into a negative finish.

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Los Angeles - LP: C. Frias 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 16
San Francisco - WP: S. Romo 4 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 9
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 6
Washington - LP: R. Detwiler 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 3
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 4 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 3
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 2
Cincinnati - LP: D. Corcino 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks 3
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Sale 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 0
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 8
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 0 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 2
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: C. Wilson 5
Texas - WP: R. Ross Jr. 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Doolittle 1
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 5 FINAL
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 2
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

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Poll: Do you support Wednesday's decision to sideline Adrian Peterson again?

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