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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Report that Vikings won't trade or release Peterson during suspension doesn't mean a whole lot

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 19th at 2:21pm 283239561

petersonBart Hubbuch of the NY Post tweeted on Tuesday that according to a source the Vikings have no plans to release or trade Adrian Peterson during his suspension.

That’s a fine piece of information to get and dispense, but it doesn’t really amount to much when considering where Peterson and the Vikings stand long-term.

They couldn’t trade him this season even if they wanted to because the NFL trade deadline has passed. Next year? Peterson’s suspension is until April 15. There’s no reason or incentive for any team to try to trade for Peterson before then, nor is there any reason for the Vikings to trade him while he’s still suspended.

Release him? Again, there’s really no need to do that now. He’s being paid what he’s being paid this year (and not being paid for any games for which he is officially suspended and not just on the exempt list).

They can wait until after April 15 to cut them if they want to and still save big on the salary cap. Peterson is set to make eight figures again next season and technically has three years left on his contract, but that money isn’t guaranteed. The Vikings can cut him and have it count just $2.4 million against the cap.

Really the only reason to cut him now would be as a PR move. But even that would generate its share of backlash from fans who are in Peterson’s corner. While it would surprise us, the Vikings could end up keeping Peterson, we suppose.

And, as always, there is this: the Vikings could change their mind, or the source from the report could be wrong.

Wednesday (MLB patience and Torii Hunter's return to the Twins?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 20th at 7:10am 283205241

hicksAaron Hicks has 538 plate appearances over the past two seasons with the Twins, and in that time he has shown very little in terms of production. In 2013, as a rookie, he hit eight homers, but more than one of every four trips to the plate ended in a strikeout. Last year, he boosted his walks, cut down a little on the strikeouts, but any semblance of power basically vanished as he fluctuated between switch-hitting and going from just the right side.

It adds up to a .606 career OPS. He’s a gifted centerfielder, but many Twins fans question whether he will ever be a quality everyday player, let alone a very good one.

The answer they might not want to hear is this: patience, still, is key. That notion was hammered home by a very good recent piece in the Providence Journal about MLB prospects these days. While some arrive and have quick success (like Danny Santana), others require more time than ever to make the leap from the minors to the majors. There are multiple reasons for this, per the article:

The gap between Triple-A and the big leagues has never been larger,” Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said. “You hear it from scouts. You hear it from major-league guys. You hear it from minor-league guys. That’s our biggest challenge — that gap becomes readily apparent when you see guys who have been dominant in Triple-A come up and struggle in the big leagues.”

Also:

More information than ever is available about prospects and their performance at various minor-league levels, boosting to unrealistic levels the expectations for their performance once they reach the major leagues — at which point more information than ever is available about their tendencies and weaknesses.

That’s not to say Hicks, or any other Twins prospect, will turn some magic corner in 2015 or beyond. It’s easier to believe in this happening with someone like Oswaldo Arcia, who has shown more flashes of competency and even downright brilliance at the plate than Hicks.

But it’s also a reminder that these things take time, perhaps now more than ever. Remember: Torii Hunter had about the same number of plate appearances in his career when he got to Aug. 1, 2000. He had just turned 25 — just like Hicks — and was hitting .190 with a .503 OPS in that season at the end of that day. For the rest of the year, he hit .355 with a .912 OPS. And from 2001-07, he was a lineup mainstay.

The Twins are said to be courting Hunter aggressively for a late career return to Minnesota. Our guess is that he would be brought in not only because he can still hit but because he can tell Hicks, Arcia and co. first-hand stories of turning a corner. It doesn’t always happen, but patience rewarded is a beautiful thing.

TFD: Most states disagree with NFL ruling against Peterson; Wisconsin doesn't

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 18th at 6:34pm 283112531

ESPN’s SportsNation poll breaks down how voters in each state feel about the punishment levied by the NFL against Adrian Peterson. Voters overall — and in most states, including Minnesota — said they don’t agree with it.

But a few states, including voters in Wisconsin, agreed with it.

Here’s a link to the full poll.

espnpeterson

The strangely changing status of the Wolves' Nikola Pekovic

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 18th at 6:33pm 283098901

pekSomething weird is going on with Wolves center Nikola Pekovic. Now, it might just be a series of strange coincidences or circumstances, but whatever it might be it strikes us as strange. Let’s follow the bouncing ball (or, more aptly, the big man not bouncing a ball):

That was during the Dallas game Saturday, after Pekovic had just two points (and zero field goals made) in 12 first-half minutes an then sat the entire second half in what appeared to be a benching. That followed a four-point, minus-24, 19-minute appearance in Friday’s blowout loss to New Orleans.

But after that Dallas game, Pekovic said his ankle had been bothering him — yes, the same one that kept him out of 28 of Minnesota’s final 38 games a season ago.

On Monday, Pekovic missed practice because of what was deemed a “personal situation” by head coach Flip Saunders, though the notion that he had an ankle injury was still being offered up.

On Tuesday at practice, Saunders reportedly said Pekovic hurt his wrist during the Dallas game and that the ankle isn’t the issue.

So we went from Pek being fine to play Saturday, per trainers and that tweet from the Wolves’ official PR staff … to Pek saying postgame his ankle was still hurting … to him missing practice Monday but for a personal situation while his ankle still hurt … to Tuesday, where we learn he apparently had a wrist injury in that Dallas game that will keep him out until next week.

Weird. Again, not sure what to make of it. But definitely strange.

We will say this: We had concerns about how Pekovic would fit into a Kevin Love-less team, and how his style of play would fit with the new Wolves in general, and there have been games this season where those concerns have been validated. He has a hard time passing out of double teams. He doesn’t protect the rim. He scores down low and works the offensive boards like a beast, which are valuable things, but he hasn’t topped 20 points in any game this season for a team that could use established scorers.

If he’s hurt, that could be an explanation, but it would be nice if the pieces added up in a more tidy fashion.

Jose Canseco says he is going to sell his severed finger on eBay

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated November 18th at 6:32pm 283087361

Jose Canseco shot his finger accidentally recently. (There’s a sentence we’ve never typed, but not one that we completely expected to never have to type).

Canseco’s mangled finger then fell off during a poker game. (Again, never typed it … but never ruled it out).

But this? this we never imagined: Canseco is planning to sell his severed finger on eBay and also wants it known that he will sell you the gun that did the deed. We’re just going to leave these two tweets from Jose right here:

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NY Jets 3 FINAL
Buffalo 38
Baltimore 27 4th Qtr 6:33
New Orleans 20
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
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Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
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Minnesota
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Kansas City
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Philadelphia 104
Orlando 74 FINAL
Cleveland 106
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Toronto 104
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Houston 91
Indiana 111 FINAL
Dallas 100
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Utah 95
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Philadelphia 0 FINAL(SO)
NY Islanders 1
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Minnesota 4 FINAL
Florida 1
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Weber State 59
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Grambling St 46 FINAL
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IUPU-Ft Wayne 89
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Maryland 78
Santa Clara 52 FINAL
Michigan State 79
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Oakland 79
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Tenn Tech 81
Bucknell 65 FINAL
Toledo 92
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Wake Forest 75
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Winthrop 64
Murray State 62 FINAL
Xavier 89
Villanova 77 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 53
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Indiana 86
Stephen F Austin 51 FINAL
Baylor 67
Lipscomb 77 FINAL
Belmont 82
Brown 68 FINAL
Illinois 89
Pepperdine 61 FINAL
Iowa 72
Rider 60 FINAL
Kansas 87
Prairie View 49 FINAL
Memphis 77
Clayton State 46 FINAL
Miss State 59
Miss Valley St 53 FINAL
TCU 106
TX A&M-Int 83 FINAL
Incarnate Word 105
Oregon State 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 66
Hawaii 73 FINAL
San Francisco 88
Seton Hall 72 2nd Half 1:21
Illinois State 64
NJIT 53 2nd Half 1:52
Marquette 56
Stetson 68 FINAL
New Mexico St 88
Florida A&M 45 FINAL
Wyoming 66
Pittsburgh 81 FINAL
Chaminade 68
Alabama 68 2nd Half 3:54
Iowa State 74
Colorado Christian 49 2nd Half 3:47
Northern Colorado 80
Chadron State 35 2nd Half 2:42
South Dakota St 77
Michigan 52 2nd Half 7:11
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Western Mich 38 2nd Half 17:37
San Diego 42
SIU Edwardsville 60 2nd Half 15:46
Portland State 62
Tulsa 6 1st Half 15:46
Auburn 7
BYU 10:30 PM
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Delaware State 71
NC State 51 FINAL
Tulane 60
Harvard 43 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 97
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Chattanooga 76
Brescia 68 FINAL
Morehead St 98
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
(4) Tennessee 97
Troy 65 FINAL
Florida A&M 59
Sam Houston St 49 FINAL
South Dakota St 60
UNC Greensboro 70 FINAL
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Rhode Island 69 FINAL
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Western State 37 FINAL
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