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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This set of nesting dolls from the 2009 Vikings is just sad now

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 18th at 12:07pm 275620351

Sigh. That was sent to us today by  on Twitter.

It’s a set of nesting dolls from the 2009 Vikings.

There’s Brett Favre, who couldn’t duplicate his 2009 magic in 2010, ending his career on a hard hit on the frozen TCF turf.

There’s Adrian Peterson, enough said with the recent news.

There’s Chester Taylor, who found no real trouble upon leaving here after 2009, but whose career sputtered while the Vikings never really replaced what he offered as a third down back/receiver.

There’s Percy Harvin, who forced his way out of Minnesota.

And there’s Sidney Rice, a 2009 Pro Bowler who caught exactly 114 passes after that season between the Vikings and Seattle before retiring this past summer.

Thursday (The sad final season of Derek Jeter) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 18th at 10:10am 275601421

jeterDerek Jeter will be a first ballot Hall of Famer five years after his retirement at the end of this season. He’s a beloved teammate, an accomplished postseason player and has generally avoided scandals save for incidents like this, which seems almost quaint in comparison to today’s sporting world.

His retirement tour has been well-earned. But it has also underscored the fact that Jeter overstayed his welcome in baseball, on the field, even if he didn’t want to end on the sour injury-plagued note of a season ago.

At the plate, Jeter just snapped an 0-for-28 skid last night. Even before that, it’s been a disastrous season for the Captain. Neither his on-base percentage (.298) nor his slugging percentage (.297) even top .300, giving him a dismal .595 OPS (more than 100 points below any other Jeter season and more than 200 points below his career average).

He has just 19 extra-base hits in nearly 600 plate appearances, which we would say is positively Punto-esque if that wasn’t an insult to Nick Punto (.646 career OPS). That slugging percentage of .297 ranks dead last among 150 qualified hitters in MLB this season, as Jon Heyman notes in a piece criticizing Yankees manager Joe Girardi for continuing to play Jeter and bat him second in the order despite his clearly diminishing skills.

In the field, he’s only made 10 errors … but that’s because he gets to fewer balls than any other shortstop in MLB. Of 22 qualified shortstops, Jeter’s range factor per nine innings, which measures the total number of putouts and assists a player records, is dead last.

The ultimate irony is that a player who helped the Yankees excel in the postseason in so many seasons hindered their chances in his final one. Sentiment got in the way of sense and led to a sad final season in a great career.

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

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 18th at 9:29am 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 18th at 9:48am 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.

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