Pointing you dear readers in a new direction

Posted on August 17th, 2009 – 12:11 PM
By Michael Rand

Hey all: RandBall has moved to a new server. You’ll notice a lot of new things over there, including a different picture, a different way to comment and a different way to read posts. Basically, we’ve kicked the WordPress habit. It was good for us for the better part of three years, but it was time for a switch. Don’t fear change! Just follow us over there and earn valuable reading prizes.

Click here and come on over.

Update: And yes, you will have to update your RSS … which we’re told you can do right here.

Monday (Tiger vs. Y.E.) edition: Wha’ Happened?

Posted on August 17th, 2009 – 9:26 AM
By Michael Rand

tigerturtle.JPGWe wrote for today’s paper about Tiger Woods’ tendency to play slow and steady rather than accelerate at this year’s PGA Championship after taking a four-shot lead through two rounds. It was an approach that ultimately cost him — and one that was punctuated by an apt metaphor when a turtle crossed his path on the 7th hole Sunday (pictured).

Tiger tried to wait out Y.E. Yang with pars, but Yang’s gutsy shot-making ended up turning many folks into the gallery Sunday into converted fans. They might have come to see Tiger, but a good many ended up cheering for the underdog. Our questions this morning are simple: Which camp did you find yourself in, and why?

Also, Newbie thinks we’re a jinx. Feel free to discuss that as well.

Weekend links with Jon Marthaler

Posted on August 15th, 2009 – 12:17 PM
By Michael Rand

tigerrandball.jpgJon Marthaler makes every Saturday even more pleasurable with links for some leisurely weekend reading. Other times, you can find him here and here.

A quick note before we get on with the links: RandBall will be moving over to a new server, probably on Monday. The look of the home page will be quite a bit different, and the logo is going to change as well. Thankfully — unless you disagree, and really why would you be here if you disagreed? — the content will be the same. We’ll put up a final post at this address when the conversion is final. Also: thanks to Sassbottom for passing along that screen grab from Friday’s PGA TV action. Subject of his e-mail: “Are you checking out his [redacted].” Stay classy, Sass.

Now, on with the links!

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Happy Saturday – and a fine Saturday it is. (If it’s not, where you are, then pretend. We’re all in this together, donchaknow.)

I’m sure you’re already aware of this, but today happens to be a rather auspicious Saturday; by the time you read this, the Premier League will have kicked off, and English soccer will be well and truly underway for another year. In honor of this, how about a soccer link: Why Patriots owner Bob Kraft refuses to buy Liverpool FC. You might be saying to yourself, “Boy, I’d sure be more likely to read that article if the lede involved Mike Lynn and Herschel Walker!” I can report, with some glee: it does, friends. It sure does.

On with the rest of the links (which have a distinct Twin flavor this week):

*Frustrated about the Twins? Well, it turns out that one Twins franchise – the Elizabethton Twins of the rookie-level Appalachian League – are pretty much a dynasty. I don’t know how we’ll blame Bill Smith for this, but I imagine that we’ll find a way. (Hat tip to Tenth Inning Stretch for that link.)

*In Circle Me Bert news: there’s no way this young lady isn’t off to St. Cloud State this fall.

*Seth Stohs has a Q&A with Twins minor league reliever Anthony Slama, who’s the current hot Twins prospect that’s making everyone excited. For more information, see pretty much any Twins blog, or just ask commenter Brandon.

*Jesse Lund at Twinkie Town throws down with a whole bushelful of numbers to make one point: Carlos Gomez might have the biggest range of any center fielder in the game. Now, if the Twins could teach him to hit the cutoff man … or hit…

That’ll do it for another week. If nothing up there looked interesting, try one of the following two links, from roughkat: an article about bacon-flavored beer, or directions on how to build an air hockey table.

Enjoy the weekend … and let’s go Arsenal!

Fantasy football team name draft

Posted on August 14th, 2009 – 11:10 AM
By Michael Rand

bacon.jpgWe’ll be heading out to Chaska soon, so we wanted a subject that could sustain throughout out the afternoon while we sweat like a [redacted] in church out on the course.

That subject, clearly, is fantasy football team names.

Everyone wants to be the most clever. But only some succeed. While talking to a friend of the RandBall Better Half last night, she misunderstood something we said and asked if we had said, “Victory Bacon.”

We said that wasn’t what we had said. But we also said that sounded like a splendid fantasy football team name for the RandBall League.

So: Let’s hear your best new fantasy football team names. Also: those in the RandBall (and RandBall Lite) leagues: when are we drafting and where? Roughkat is on the clock to solve this thing.

Friday (Tiger Woods and Minnesotans) edition: Wha’ Happened?

Posted on August 14th, 2009 – 8:46 AM
By Michael Rand

tigertree.JPGTake a good look at that photo by the Strib’s Jim Gehrz. That’s not at all uncommon while walking around Hazeltine following Tiger Woods. That picture, from Woods’ first round Thursday, is going to be used to illustrate a brief point and to ask a question.

Woods himself has said the galleries following him here are larger than anywhere else (at least for the practice rounds). We all know Tiger is the best golfer in the world and one of a handful of mega-stars competing in any sport right now. And yesterday, he played brilliantly and as part of a group that was, without a doubt, the one to watch at the tournament.

That said, does the Tiger obsession — and the obsession, really, with “stars” of any kind — reach a different level in Minnesota than it does in most other places? That is to say, is there something inherently Minnesotan about wanting to get a piece of someone famous — and, in turn, wanting that famous person to like us?

We would argue the answer is “yes,” but that could just be yesterday’s five hours in the heat and humidity talking. We definitely welcome your perspectives on the nature of Minnesota fans in the comments.