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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Friday (Our last-minute application to be Badgers football coach) edition: Wha' happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated December 12th at 10:05am 285616231

barry alvarezBy all accounts, former Wisconsin assistant Paul Chryst is on the verge of returning to the school as the head football coach, quickly filling a vacancy that opened earlier this week when two-year coach Gary Andersen bolted for Oregon State.

But before Barry Alvarez makes a hasty decision, we wanted to suggest one other candidate: Us.

We were browsing the official application for the Wisconsin head coaching job, and it sounds as though we could be — as Alvarez calls it — a good fit.

Here are some of the highlights:

Qualifications: 

Bachelor’s degree required. Boom! University of Minnesota, Class of 1999, five great years. Keeping it in the Big Ten.

Minimum of 5 years of successful collegiate football coaching experience preferred. Division I head coaching experience is also preferred.Division I head coaching experience is also preferred. Preferred, yes, but not required. That’s fair, and that doesn’t take us out of the running. It seems as though Alvarez and Wisconsin know that it’s not fair to exclude newbies. How can you become a college football coach if you’ve never had experience … but how can you get experience if you’ve never been a college football coach? Chicken and egg.

Other qualifications include the ability to work cooperatively with diverse groups and administrators, faculty, staff and students. If the Star Tribune newsroom hasn’t prepared us for this, it hasn’t prepared us for anything.

The successful applicant must be able to develop and implement innovative approaches and solutions; work well independently and in teams; and be flexible in accepting new responsibilities. We’re not sure if Alvarez read yesterday’s guest post, but this blog has been around for eight years now. Innovative? You bet. Do we work independently? Sure! Do we collaborate? Of course! New responsibilities? Always adding something new! And that’s just a fraction of what we do at work.

Conditions of Appointment:

This is a Limited appointment. Salary will be assigned within the appropriate range, commensurate with the candidate’s qualifications and experience. An excellent benefits packageis also included. Anticipated start date on or after December 17, 2014

We’re totally flexible here, and we can assure you that the staff we would assemble — mostly RandBall commenters, lets be honest — won’t grouse about salaries. A full 60 percent would probably work for beer and chicken wings. One guy for sure would work solely for Replacements bootlegs. We have a vacation planned during national signing day, but we’d be willing to fly in for the news conference if necessary.

In any event, we hope Alvarez will give it some thought before rushing into anything with Chryst. He’s a fine candidate, but we’re not sure what he brings to the table that we don’t.

TFD: Ex-Twins pitcher Juan Berenguer files lawsuit alleging violation of privacy

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated December 11th at 10:38pm 285549501

Former Twins pitcher Juan Berenguer has joined a growing contingent suing local entities — many of which are law-enforcement agencies — for what they say is a misuse of the state’s drivers license database.

In a suit filed this week in U.S. District Court, it is alleged that “personnel from various entities in Minnesota illegally obtained Berenguer’s private, personal and confidential driver’s license information without a legitimate or permissible law-enforcement purpose or any other lawful purpose.” The suit says his private information was viewed more than 125 times between 2005 and 2011, in violation of the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.

More than 35 entities, including the City of Minneapolis, are listed as defendants on the suit.

Berenguer (pictured in a 2006 Star Tribune file photo)berenguer, who played on the 1987 World Series team with the Twins and remained in the Twin Cities after his playing career ended, is represented by Jonathan Strauss from Sapientia Law Group PLLC, which is representing more than 30 other people who have filed similar claims. Many plaintiffs in similar cases “are women and include former police officers, TV news readers, and ex-partners of public employees,” as noted in this February Star Tribune story.

“People were looking him up because they’re interested in him as a former Minnesota Twin,” Strauss said in a phone interview Thursday, noting that he believes Berenguer is the first plaintiff in these cases who is an athlete or former athlete. “He’s (also) had incidents of police following him for no reason, and he’s really angry about it.”

The last part of that quote from Strauss is in reference to a part of the suit that reads:

“On several occasions over the last decade, Berenguer has been followed by sheriff’s deputies from Carver County in their patrol cars. … In each of these instances, Berenguer was not pulled over or stopped by the law enforcement. These are examples of law enforcement having special interest in Berenguer as a local celebrity, not because he has violated any laws or needed law-enforcement assistance.” The suit says this made Berenguer feel “like a prisoner in his own home.”

The lawsuit seeks multiple forms of financial damages, including “at least $2,500″ for each of the more than 125 alleged violations of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.

Strauss said he anticipated the next move will come from the defense, which will attempt to have the case dismissed.

“We’ll see what the judge says,” Strauss said. “We think (Berenguer) has a very strong claim.”

Guest post: Jon Marthaler wishes RandBall a happy 8th blog birthday

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated December 11th at 2:55pm 285531911

randballUnofficial/official RandBall historian Jon Marthaler has taken it upon himself, once again, to write a guest post commemorating our blog birthday. It was eight years ago when we started RandBall. Where does the time go? No, really. We’d like it back. If you see it, send it to us in an unmarked envelope.

Every year Jon comes up with a different spin on the blog history. This year’s effort particularly amused us. Jon?

————-

It’s the eighth birthday of RandBall! EIGHT! I don’t know how many people are aware of this, but when Michael started writing this blog, he was just fourteen years old. He has aged in blog years, and now, at age 52, spends his days complaining about millennials, watching the Big Ten Network, and telling people off on Twitter.

Yes, Mr. Rand is truly on the way to becoming Sid, just like we’ve long predicted. He’s already started recording his interviews on an ancient tape deck; soon, he’ll give up on the blog, and assign his Twitter to some intern, and start breaking some REAL news on Page 2, the way that Joseph Pultizer intended.

With that in mind, we should probably enjoy RandBall while it’s still around. Here’s an increasingly-unlikely list of things we have to look forward to in 2015, the blog’s ninth – NINTH! – year:

  1. The comments get turned off, temporarily
  2. Stu starts writing the blog every day
  3. RandBall starts appearing in print advertisements holding a basketball, just like old times
  4. Rocket starts writing a new hockey-themed post, only to be banned by Star Tribune higher-ups due to some unfortunate and ill-timed comments about somebody’s mom
  5. Yet another argument about buffalo wings escalates into Aaron Gleeman smashing a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot sauce over Michael’s head
  6. The comments get turned off, forever
  7. After RandBall’s fourteenth consecutive day writing about the Wolves during a Wild winning streak, a caffeine-crazed Michael Russo cross-checks Rand into the wall during a newspaper happy hour
  8. Rand quits the paper to pursue his dream job: the 1am-5am weekend slot on The Current
  9. A physical altercation ensues over who is really responsible for the enduring delightfulness of Nuclear Wessel
  10. RandBall draws an ESPN-style three-week social-media suspension for calling Brian Stensaas a completely unprintable slur, relating to a 1985 UND-Wisconsin donnybrook at the Dane County Coliseum
  11. The RandCast makes its return to the airwaves
  12. The blog pauses for a brief but heartfelt celebration, following the Twitter identification of the 500th person who looks a lot like RandBall
  13. Jeff Brady calls back
  14. John Sharkman starts writing the blog every day
  15. Aaron Rodgers flips Stu’s hat off his head, a la Matt Kalil
  16. RandBall quits to, quote, “Spend more time with my four enduring loves: My wife, my daughter, my pug, and of course my nearly-worn-out cassette compilation of LFTR PLLR B-sides”
  17. Michael finally gets his own KFAN show, tentatively titled “The Brett Favre / Johnny Manziel Old-Timey Radio Hour”
  18. RandBall adopts Dana Wessel’s hairstyle
  19. Michael goes on sabbatical after being knifed by Manny Lagos in a Blaine back alley
  20. Ken Chia starts wearing a cardigan and writing a blog, leading to an unfortunate, “Single White Female”-style incident in which he unsuccessfully attempts to replace Michael’s Page 2 column and headshot with his own
  21. The Great Baseball Road Trip visits no baseball games, instead choosing to spend four days sitting in a parked car in front of Dale Murphy’s house
  22. There is another Redactular, anywhere in the Twin Cities
  23. Clarence Swamptown starts writing the blog every day

It should be a great year! Happy birthday, RandBall! Here’s to years more of tremendous entertainment!

Ervin Santana is tweeting quotes from Kirby Puckett, other famous players from interested teams

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated December 11th at 5:57pm 285502411

santanaFree agent pitcher Ervin Santana, who the Twins are said to be pursuing heavily, has had a very productive morning on Twitter.

His verified account is mostly inspirational quotes anyway, but this morning four different quotes have been posted on his feed: One from Willie Mays (Giants), one from Ernie Banks (Cubs), one from Joe DiMaggio (Yankees) and one from … Kirby Puckett (Twins, in case you were wondering).

Coincidentally (or not) all of those teams are said to have some level of interest in Santana.

Stay tuned … we’ll see if he takes his trolling to another level.

Thursday (Losing is not the new winning) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated December 11th at 5:57pm 285496171

magicIt’s sad, maybe even a little heartbreaking, to see as fierce a competitor as Magic Johnson endorse the terrible notion of tanking (or at least the idea that losing is a good thing).

“I hope the Lakers lose every game,” Magic said, adding, “If you’re going to lose, lose.”

This mentality is borne out of some logic — twisted logic in some ways, but smart (on paper) logic in others. The more you lose, the better chance you have to get a good draft pick, of course. So if the choice is between winning 30 games and getting the No. 11 pick or winning 20 games and perhaps getting the No. 1 pick, why wouldn’t you just go all out and try to get that better player?

Listen: we have no problem with the notion of a youth movement and doing what the Wolves are doing right now (partly by choice, a little more so by necessity). Developing players is probably the best way for a team like Minnesota to ever become a true contender (though it should be noted that on the best Wolves team in franchise history, exactly one of the top nine players in terms of minutes played was a Wolves draft pick).

But the idea of it being good to lose? Never.

First, it has the ability to create bad habits with players and bad situations in locker rooms.

More than that, though, it’s a symptom of a greater ill: a sort of societal depression springing from growing recent phenomenon that if there is no means for instant gratification, what’s the point?

If a team (or fan) can’t get the instant satisfaction of having a playoff contender, the mentality quickly shifts to a distant, pie-in-the-sky fantasy that it’s all OK because losing now means winning later. It makes people think that losing is the key to winning — that losing IS the new winning. And that’s just so wrong.

Nobody wants to think about the in-between. Not enough people want to put in the work — or really understand that 40 wins is a lot closer to 60 wins than 20 wins.

Win big or lose big. That’s the mentality, and that’s what Magic is saying. It’s just so very sad.

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Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
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Arizona
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Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
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Loyola-Chicago 83
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Memphis 83
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Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
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Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
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SMU 67
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Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
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Baylor 66
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Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
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Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
UNLV 75
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Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
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Louisiana
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Texas-El Paso
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Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60

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