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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Imagining a world with pro football, but without the NFL

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 18th at 4:01pm 275651161

Bill Barnwell has an excellent piece at Grantland.com about what professional football might look like in the future without the NFL.

Before you think the NFL is too big to fail, consider that it could also tumble like a house of cards for reasons Barnwell outlines. A brief portion of what he wrote:

Suppose for a moment the NFL collapsed as part of a lockout when the vast majority of its players agreed to go play in a newly formed league with new franchises,3 all of which are suspiciously similar to NFL franchises that would then be left without players. NFL fans have failed to support secondary leagues like the XFL and UFL in the past 15 years because the quality of play was inferior and the leagues lacked star-caliber talent, but what if that weren’t the case? To use modern-day players as an example, would fans in Wisconsin support the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, or would they root for Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, and Clay Matthews suiting up in green-and-yellow jerseys for the Green Bay Football Club at Camp Randall Stadium on Sundays?4Perhaps more important, which team would they want to watch in the comfort of their homes? My suspicion is that the stars would win out over the laundry in most cases.

It’s also worth noting that Barnwell scoffs at the notion of getting upset at the NFL’s non-profit status, saying it barely does the league any good. Read the whole piece. It’s worth your time, and you’ll learn things.

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.

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Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 8
Los Angeles - WP: C. Perez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5
Texas - WP: S. Tolleson 2 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Street 1
Philadelphia - LP: M. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Doolittle 8
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: C. Bergman 8
Cincinnati 3 Top 8th Inning
St. Louis 2
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 16 3rd Qtr 11:02
Carolina 3
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Washington 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Calgary 1 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Edmonton 0 3rd Prd :08
Calgary 1
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35

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