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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A decade ago, a Love/Wiggins deal would pretty much be dead

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 25th at 9:11pm 268619952

wigginsAnyone frustrated by the NBA rule that says draft picks can’t be traded for 30 days after they sign — and count us among those, since we’re eager to see a Kevin Love/Andrew Wiggins deal and move on with our lives — should note that it could be worse.

A decade ago, this deal would pretty much be dead — and not because Love was 15 and Wiggins was 9, though we suppose that would pretty much kill any NBA deal as well.

We found this nugget from a Cleveland AP story interesting:

There have been restrictions placed on trading newly signed rookies dating back at least to the 1998-99 collective bargaining agreement. At that time, rookies were lumped in with all free agents into a rule that prevents any newly signed player from being traded for three months or before Dec. 15 of the next season – whichever is longer.

The rule was modified in the 2005 CBA, separating rookie contracts into a different category with the shorter, 30-day timeline between signing date and trade eligibility.

In the case of Wiggins, Dec. 15 would have been the date in question, or about 45 days into the NBA season. In other words, no deal, since it appears his salary being on the books is important to making this trade happen and his salary is only on the books now that he has signed.

What’s the point of the rule, anyway? Why can’t teams just trade players, including rookies, whenever they please?

It was designed to prevent teams from circumventing salary cap rules.  … The spirit behind the rule is that if a rookie is traded immediately after he signs, it gives the appearance that the acquiring team is the one that is in fact signing him.

That doesn’t make a ton of sense to us, but then again the NBA collective bargaining agreement is a tangled web from which few people escape fully unscathed.

Just be happy, we suppose, that a trade is still possible, even if it will take until the end of August to be official.

Friday (Another interesting social media day for Sam Ponder) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 25th at 12:31pm 268601742

Christian Ponder and his wife, Samantha, shared with the world a picture of their daughter, Bowden Sainte-Claire, via Instagram the other day. They largely escaped the court of public opinion unscathed, save for folks who couldn’t resist taking pot-shots at Ponder’s QBing or their choice for a baby name.

Friday is a new day, as they say, and Sam Ponder turned the page by offering up a tweet late last evening that said this:

She has a point, of course, and a good one at that. While having a sports web site or constantly supporting a sports web site filled with “hottest women in sports” slide shows or “lovely ladies of the day” does not mean you participate in or condone physical abuse of women, it is certainly part of a culture of objectification and at best diminishes your authority on any hot takes about abuse and at worst contributes to a collective way of thought that makes abuse possible.

You can imagine, though, the Twitter replies mostly did not agree. You can read them for yourself, and we won’t pretend to be the morality police here, but we dare say the majority of them reinforce the very point Ponder was making.

Some of the challenges to her point were thoughtful and enhanced the discussion.

The one in which she was asked to fix someone a sandwich before being called a degrading word … that did not enhance the discussion.

TFD: Josmil Pinto was a much better Twins DH than Kendrys Morales

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 24th at 5:14pm 268514932

When the Twins acquired Kendrys Morales in early June, most of us figured two things: 1) it was probably a rental and 2) in spite of that, it was worth the money and gamble because he would probably help out a stagnant offense.

As part of that, Josmil Pinto, who had been getting at-bats as DH, was shipped back to the minors to work on his catching. That’s a good thing. But as it turns out, the Twins missed Pinto’s bat. And that’s a bad thing.

Morales was traded to the Mariners today, as you probably knew. Here are the comps between he and Pinto this season with the Twins:

Morales: 162 ABs, .234 BA/.259 OBP/.325 slugging, 1 HR, 18 RBI.

Pinto: 158 ABs, .222/.323/.407, 7 HRs, 16 RBI.

It’s not as though Pinto was lighting the world on fire, but his 7 home runs are still tied for third-most on the team. Morales was a rental, but an unproductive one. He slugged .325; Nick Punto, in his Twins career, slugged .324.

Vikings' Charlie Johnson's T-shirt: 'Yeah, no. Don't put me down for cardio'

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 24th at 2:31pm 268496632

charliejohnsonThe best part about Vikings O-lineman Charlie Johnson’s T-shirt — and there were many to choose from, including the color and that he chose to wear it on the day the team reported to training camp — is that we actually saw him still wearing it around 2:15 as he, two other linemen and Adrian Peterson rode their bikes to what we presume was their 3 p.m. conditioning test.

Hope there wasn’t any cardio. Just lifts and water breaks.

Thursday (The Twins through 100 games) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 24th at 8:21am 268438412

As noted on Twitter on Wednesday by Aaron Gleeman, the Twins are now at the 100-game mark of their season, and this is how their record in 2014 compares to their records at that milestone each of the past three years (all of which, of course, ended in 96 losses or more):

2014: 46-54

2013: 44-56

2012: 42-58

2011: 47-53

We don’t believe his intent to was to demonstrate that the Twins have been improving over the past couple of years. Rather, we imagine it was designed as a warning to those of us trying to extrapolate and figure out where this team might wind up at the start of the year.

None of those 100-game records are good, but combined they add up to a .448 winning percentages and paces to win about 73 games. Again, not good. That means 89 losses. But far better than what happened over the final 62 games each of the last three years:

2011: 16-46 (final record 63-99)

2012: 24-38 (final record 66-96)

2013: 22-40 (final record 66-96)

That adds up to 62 wins and 124 losses after reaching the 100-game mark each of the past three seasons. That’s one win for every two losses, or a .333 winning percentage. So you can see that whether by injuries, a stiffening schedule or just the general malaise that can befall a team with nothing left to play for but pride, bad Twins teams have turned into historically awful teams right at this magic mark each of the last three years.

How important is it for the Twins to avoid a similar fate this year? It depends on how you look at it, we suppose. The difference between finishing with, say, 68 wins (going 22-40 down the stretch) or 75 wins (going 29-33) means more to perception than anything else.

It’s been our belief that while 75 wins would not be a “good” year, it would at least be some measure of progress from the putrid finishing marks of the past three seasons. It would allow fans to say, “That wasn’t as bad as it has been, and it should be getting even better.” How they finish could play a role in how they evaluate their front office, their manager and their coaching staff.

So yes, we’d say these final 62 are very important. Maintaining at least their current pace wouldn’t be great, but it would be an improvement. Sliding back would mean nothing has changed — and might mean a lot of things have to change.

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