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.

Follow Randball on Twitter

261271731

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:

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Nashville
ULM 11:00 AM
Robert Morris
Santa Clara 11:00 AM
Tennessee
Oklahoma 12:00 PM
Butler
Austin Peay 1:00 PM
Brown
Princeton 1:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Coastal Carolina 1:30 PM
Chattanooga
Kansas 1:30 PM
Rhode Island
Wisconsin 2:30 PM
Georgetown
FIU 2:30 PM
USC Upstate
Long Island 3:00 PM
Stony Brook
San Diego 3:30 PM
Xavier
Illinois 4:00 PM
Indiana State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cal State Fullerton 5:00 PM
Wright State
Michigan State 5:30 PM
Rider
UCLA 6:00 PM
North Carolina
Marquette 7:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Long Beach State 7:30 PM
Western Mich
Stephen F Austin 8:00 PM
Prairie View
UAB 8:30 PM
Florida
Rice 8:30 PM
Mercer
San Jose St 10:00 PM
Washington
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
Ohio U 24 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 21
LSU 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 12:00 PM
Furman
Clemson 12:15 PM
Ohio State
Idaho State 1:00 PM
San Diego State
East Carolina 1:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Santa Clara 2:30 PM
Texas-El Paso
Florida State 2:30 PM
Washington
Wichita State 2:30 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Wisconsin 3:15 PM
(1) South Carolina
BYU 5:00 PM
BYU-Hawaii
Kansas State 5:00 PM
LSU
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Montana
Illinois 5:00 PM
(9) Kentucky
Central Michigan 7:00 PM
Richmond
Oklahoma 7:15 PM
South Florida
Princeton 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
(19) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Butler

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which NFL game do you most want to sneak away to watch on Thanksgiving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT