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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TFD: This Vine sums up Germany 7, Brazil 1

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 8th at 5:26pm

Per Deadspin, these were Brazil fans chasing the team bus before Tuesday’s epic meltdown against Germany. There are a lot of ways to sum up the day for the host country, but we don’t really want to use words right now. Just six seconds of moving pictures.

Nolasco probably headed to disabled list, Twins' Gardenhire tells MLB Radio

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 8th at 2:37pm

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire made an appearance on MLB Network Radio this morning, where he talked for nearly four minutes about Ricky Nolasco’s elbow, which is being examined today in Minnesota.

UPDATE: At 2:30 p.m., the Twins officially put Nolasco on the DL.

We transcribed a couple of the highlights, and you’ll find the audio of the entire segment on Nolasco via this link. (Also, this will make three consecutive posts within three hours on Nolasco. We promise we’re not obsessed. It’s just how things work sometimes).

Gardenhire:

On how long Nolasco has been dealing with an elbow issue: “He said he’s had it since spring training … He said, ‘I don’t want to make excuses for my performance or anything like that, but he said my elbow, I had this in ’07 and I think I can pitch through it. That’s when we said, you know, the best thing for us – we’ve got him signed to a pretty good contract here, and we need him down the road here — so let’s send him back, get this thing checked out.”

On the next steps: “In my opinion, and it’s just my opinion, if a guy is telling me his elbow is bothering him, there’s no way he’s going to make a start on Friday. But I think the big thing here is to find out what’s wrong with his elbow, give him the time he needs, and he’ll probably end up on the DL. That’s the best guess.”

Ricky Don't Lose that Ulnar: A Twins/Steely Dan tribute

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 8th at 11:38am

This is weird. Well, a lot of what happens in this space is weird, but hear us out:

This morning, we went for a run. That’s normal. We do that. It was fairly early, around 7:40 a.m., and we were trying to come up with ideas for blog posts for the day. That’s kind of how it works: sometimes we go into a day with one or two ideas. Sometimes we have zero. The one we tend to plan the most is the first one of the day, but we were tapped out when we woke up.

We started fiddling around with clever* ways to incorporate a song into a post about the woeful Twins, much as we did a few months ago with Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair.” We got too fixated on more Pavement songs, and we never made it past a Bert Blyleven joke early on in Shady Lane (they moved the runners over, Blyleven’s Dutch, Dutch, Dutch). We abandoned the cause in favor of a more straight-ahead post on Ricky Nolasco, Joe Mauer and big money players.

*not verified.

Follower Chris tweeted at us around 8:25, right when our run was finishing. We didn’t see it until after the first post, but it reads: “We’re going with ‘Ricky Don’t Lose That Ulnar’ for the blog post right?”

Somewhere in the space-time-Twitter continuum, Chris knew that we were searching for a song even though we hadn’t told anyone. And obviously, that is the absolutely perfect song right now as Nolasco has his elbow examined and Twins fans fret about possible damage to his ulnar collateral ligament and Tommy John surgery (even though nobody is suggesting such a thing yet). So a post late, and $48,999,999 short, here is Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” re-imagined as a song about Nolasco and his aching elbow.

We hear you’re hurting, that’s OK
I thought you were just wild in the strike zone
I guess you scared yourself, you turn and watch balls soar
But if you have a change of heart

Ricky don’t lose that ulnar
You don’t wanna call Dr. James Andrews
Rest and rehab — it could be the way to go
Ricky don’t lose that ulnar
It’s the best one you own
You might use it if you feel better
When you get home

I know Gardy’s worried, he’s heard your name
We can work on the fastball, work on command
We could shut it down and not play games, I don’t know
And you could have a change of heart

Ricky don’t lose that ulnar
You don’t wanna call Dr. James Andrews
Rest and rehab — it could be the way to go
Ricky don’t lose that ulnar
It’s the best one you own
You might use it if you feel better
When you get home

You tell yourself you’re not OK
But you don’t even know the severity of pain
And you could have a change of heart

Ricky don’t lose that ulnar
You don’t wanna call Dr. James Andrews
Rest and rehab — it could be the way to go
Ricky don’t lose that ulnar
It’s the best one you own
You might use it if you feel better
When you get home

Tuesday (Mauer, Nolasco and the curse of the contract) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 8th at 9:58am

mauerlame nolasco2Between them, Joe Mauer and Ricky Nolasco are making $35 million to play baseball for the Twins this season, eating up roughly 40 percent of the team’s payroll (it was even more before the mid-season acquisition of Kendrys Morales).

Even at slightly more modest salaries, those two would have to rank high among the biggest disappointments on this year’s team. It’s fair to say that if both were performing to at least career expectations — that is to say, at least close to providing the numbers that earned them those hefty salaries — the Twins, given everything else that has happened this year, would be around .500 instead of floundering now at 10 games below that mark. Indeed, even without much contribution from either player the Twins spent most of the first half of the season right around even.

Those contracts made Mauer and Nolasco obscenely wealthy, so do not mistake this as some sort of pity party for them. But we would say that there is a certain on-field burden that comes with a hefty salary, particularly when it comes to this, um, frugal market and fan base.

No longer are you simply underachieving … you’re underachieving and overpaid. No longer does a sentence simply say, “Nolasco needs to pitch better,” but rather: “For $12 million a year, Nolasco needs to pitch better.”

And when you get hurt — Mauer is on the DL, and Nolasco is having his elbow examined — you’re not simply injured. Your toughness gets called into question because of the money you make.

Salary does not guarantee results. Just ask the many other players aside from Mauer among the top-10 in salary this season who are struggling, injured, or both.

Criticism comes with the territory, and pretty much every one of us would accept these “burdens” if it meant making millions to play a game. But there’s no doubt a big contract changes perceptions, particularly when you play in Minnesota.

TFD: Twins at 500 to 1 odds to win World Series, worst of any team

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 8th at 7:13am

moralesWell, that escalated quickly. About a month ago, the Twins declared “why not us” when talking about making the playoffs after acquiring Kendrys Morales.

Now? They are nine games under .500, and even though nine teams in MLB have worse winning percentages heading into Monday’s games, the oddsmakers are not big believers in the hometown nine. According to an e-mail for SportsBettingDime.com, the Twins are 500 to 1 odds to win this year’s World Series. That’s tied with the Padres and Astros for the longest odds in baseball.

Here’s the full list:

World Series Champion

Oakland Athletics            4/1

Los Angeles Dodgers      4/1

Detroit Tigers                      8/1

San Francisco Giants     8/1

Washington Nationals  10/1

Milwaukee Brewers         12/1

St. Louis Cardinals            12/1

Los Angeles Angels          15/1

Atlanta Braves                   18/1

N.Y. Yankees                       20/1

Toronto Blue Jays           20/1

Baltimore Orioles           30/1

Seattle Mariners            30/1

Boston Red Sox                35/1

Cincinnati Reds              35/1

Pittsburgh Pirates       35/1

Kansas City Royals      40/1

Cleveland Indians      45/1

Miami Marlins             100/1

Texas Rangers              110/1

Tampa Bay Rays         120/1

Colorado Rockies       200/1

Philadelphia Phillies   200/1

Chicago White Sox      200/1

Ariz. Diamondbacks   300/1

N.Y. Mets                        300/1

Chicago Cubs                400/1

San Diego Padres      500/1

Minnesota Twins      500/1

Houston Astros          500/1

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Chicago WSox - WP: S. Carroll 6 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 2
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 11 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 6
NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: C. Tillman 0
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 2 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 10 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: V. Black 5
Boston - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Fields 3
Minnesota - WP: K. Correia 9 FINAL
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 3
Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 10
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 5 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
Washington - WP: R. Detwiler 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Wilson 6 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover 5
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 5 FINAL
Texas - LP: M. Mikolas 2
San Diego 0 Bottom 9th Inning
Los Angeles 0
Oakland - LP: J. Chavez 2 FINAL
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 6
Colorado 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Houston 2 FINAL
Toronto FC 4
Columbus 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
Chicago 1 FINAL
New England 0
Sporting Kansas City 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
Chivas USA 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 1
Real Salt Lake 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Winnipeg 34 FINAL
Montreal 33
Ottawa 11 FINAL
Edmonton 27
Calgary 34 FINAL
Toronto 15
Brt Columbia 26 FINAL
Saskatchewan 13
Atlanta 93 FINAL
Indiana 74
Washington 91 FINAL
Tulsa 74

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