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: After more than 5,000 words, Bill Simmons concludes Kevin Love is underrated

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 8th at 2:37pm 270511421

loverubioThis Bill Simmons column has it all:

*Unbearably long? Check.

*Heaping rips of the Wolves and David Kahn? Check.

*Undeniable nuggets of basketball truth and very good writing on the sport? Check.

You will need to sort through more than 5,000 words to see the answer to his question: Is Kevin Love overrated, underrated or properly rated?

He concludes underrated. It’s worth a read, or at least a skim, as Simmons almost always still is.

In Toronto, they're already plotting to get Andrew Wiggins from the Timberwolves

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 8th at 1:38pm 270494011

sadwigginsThe Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins trade is still two weeks away from even possibly happening, and already a writer in Toronto has loaded up the hottest of hot sports takes: He sees this trade as a boon to Toronto, which will surely be able to pry native son Wiggins away from cold, desolate Minnesota in the future.

No, really, this is an actual thing:

No one from the organization can or will talk about the potential impact of Wiggins and fellow Toronto-born No.1-overall pick Anthony Bennett being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal that will send Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even Drake wouldn’t want to pay those fines. … Who knows what getting Wiggins out of Cleveland would have been like after he’d been to the NBA mountaintop alongside LeBron James? Getting Wiggins out of Minnesota first chance? Easy as pie.

Do tell, sir!

The soonest that Wiggins could begin to make noises about leaving Minneapolis would be in the summer of 2017, which is the earliest he can be offered an extension on his rookie scale contract. If he begins to balk then, it would likely kick-off a lengthy auction for what will hopefully be an emerging NBA star at that point. If he takes the safe route and signs an extension he’s likely in Minnesota until 2021.

But for all the restrictions on player movement in the NBA, history has shown that when a player really wants out of one place and has a preferred destination in mind, things tend to get done.

And why would Wiggins want to go to Toronto, a team that can match the Wolves’ on-court futility brick-for-brick? Well, it’s not just that he’s from Toronto. It’s that MINNESOTA IS COLD AND LAME.

Whee!

When NBA free agents come up with their list of things they’re looking for as a potential destination, the Timberwolves have none of them. Weather? Minneapolis is the coldest major city in the United States. Its average December-to-February temperature is 18 F, or -8 C. That’s average. Even last winter, during the Polar Vortex, Toronto’s average temperature was -3.3 C. Typically, Toronto winters come in at a balmy 0 C. … It’s got one of the highest state income tax rates, and as for culture? Well, Fargo was filmed and set in Minnesota. So was Grumpy Old Men. And The Mighty Ducks. You get the picture.

A cold sports city take is about as hot as a sports take can get, but doubling down on the flamethrower with a Fargo reference? BRAVO!

Listen: We’ve been to Toronto. It’s a great city. One of our favo(u)rites. But so is Minneapolis.

Plotting a move from one freezing, basketball wasteland to another in three OR POSSIBLY SEVEN years when nobody knows anything about how either team or conference will look then? It might make for good theater, but it’s the theater of the absurd.

Friday (Wild, Wolves, Twins and Vikings youth movement) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 8th at 9:59am 270463831

keyskidsOutside of FSN broadcaster Anthony La Panta’s hair, there is nothing in this sports world more seductive than potential.

We see it every year with hope — realistic or not — that a 0-0 team might just take that clean slate and run with it all the way to a championship. It keeps us clinging to games far longer than we should.

The Twins are down 6-1 in the eighth, but there are two men on with one out. A homer here …

The Vikings are down 24-7 in the third quarter, but they just got the ball back and they’re driving. One score here …

And so on.

Where we potential most generously ladled out into our bowls of optimism, though, is with young pro players — the ones who show flashes of brilliance early on or carry reputations for excellence, enticing you to believe they will just keep getting better and better.

We are in the midst, then, of a potentially exciting time in Minnesota sports — and most definitely an exciting time when it comes to potential. The Wild, Wolves, Timberwolves and Twins are in various stages of building, but we cannot recall a time when the four collectively had this many exciting young players or were all best suited to go the route of Clarence Swamptown and “give the keys to the kids” — essentially trusting the youngsters to lead and seeing how far it takes each team. (And yes, that’s a picture of our daughter, Anabel, in this post. She is driving us to work today just to prove how much we believe in keys/kids).

The Wild has a mix of veterans and youth, but the development of that young core was an undeniable reason for the team’s success last season and will determine if and when the team takes more steps forward. And there is more youth on the horizon.

The Wolves are on the verge of trading for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, the last two No. 1 overall picks in the NBA draft. They also drafted the super-athletic Zach LaVine, while second-year guys Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad are intriguing. Their best course of action will be giving those guys as much run as possible.

We’ve seen promise from Kyle Gibson and Danny Santana for long stretches this season. Kennys Vargas is intriguing. Oswaldo Arcia is intriguing. And much of the best for the Twins is still, theoretically, still yet to come from the minors.

The Vikings had seven first-round picks in the past three seasons, many of whom look to be blossoming. They very well could hand the QB job to a rookie this season. They will succeed or fail largely on the backs of youth.

It’s a state-wide youth movement. It guarantees nothing in the future, but it sure does seduce us in the present.

TFD: Minneapolis is either one of the best or worst sports cities in America

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 7th at 7:09pm 270399231

vikingstcf

Here’s a list from October saying Minneapolis is the greatest place to be a sports fan.

Here’s a list from today saying it’s one of the worst sports cities.

Lists, man!

Ex-Vikings owner Red McCombs looking to buy another NFL team?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 7th at 3:49pm 270384641

mccombsmossIt wouldn’t be the NFL if Red McCombs wasn’t involved with California and the possible leveraging of a threat to move!

McCombs met with Raiders owner Mark Davis last month and spoke to the San Antonio Express-News about the meeting on Wednesday:

In his first public comments after his 90-minute meeting with Davis, McCombs told the San Antonio Express-News his family would be interested in buying into the Raiders “if that’s what it would take to get them here.”

McCombs, though, was quick to add he isn’t sure whether Davis would want local investors. “But I told him if he wanted some, they wouldn’t be hard to get,” said McCombs, who owned the Minnesota Vikings from 1998 through the 2004 season.

With the Raiders’ lease in Oakland set to expire after the 2014 season and stadium talks stalled in the Bay Area, Davis’ visit to San Antonio sparked speculation he is using the city to gain leverage back home. But McCombs said he believes there is a “definite possibility there may be a relocation” and that “it’s a myth that San Antonio is a bargaining chip.”

PURPLE PRIDE, PURPLE PRIDE, PURPLE PRIDE!

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Washington - LP: T. Clippard 3 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Giles 4
St. Louis - LP: S. Maness 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 5
Tampa Bay - LP: G. Balfour 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Brach 4
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 11 FINAL
Toronto - LP: C. Janssen 7
NY Yankees - LP: B. McCarthy 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 5
Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 3
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wood 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto 0
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 6
Minnesota - LP: G. Perkins 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 2
Oakland - LP: L. Gregerson 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Fields 4
Los Angeles - WP: R. Hernandez 9 FINAL
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 5
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 2 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 4
Texas - LP: N. Martinez 0 FINAL
Seattle - WP: J. Paxton 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 0 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 3
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 81 FINAL
Atlanta 80

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