Keep informed about sports news and trends in Minnesota, and laugh along the way, with Michael Rand and other Star Tribune writers and special guests each weekday morning.
Introduction: Minnesota sports fans believe two things in the very fabric of their being. One: Referees are out to get their favorite team(s), to the point that questionable calls don't even out over time. Two: If the Gophers hire a competent coach, there is a need to worry immediately about that coach leaving for a better job. That second point brings us to rumblings this week that P.J. Fleck could be a candidate for the suddenly vacant USC job. Host Michael Rand reminds you that Fleck almost certainly isn't going anywhere, and that this is probably just a means to get another contract extension. 5:00: 60 years ago the Vikings played their first game. They won big, then lost a bunch of games the rest of the year, setting fans up for the rest of their history. 7:00: Star Tribune Vikings/NFL writer Mark Craig joins the show for our weekly picks segment. A listener wrote to Mark after last week's picks thanking him for his Week 1 selections because he took the opposite of that advice and won a lot of money. We'll see if this week's slate of games is any kinder to our picks (and the Packers). 24:00: Jon Marthaler joins the show for an update on Minnesota United, which has fallen out of playoff position but might be getting some important offensive players back this weekend for a key match with the L.A. Galaxy. 30:00: History was made on Thursday when the Gophers and St. Thomas played in volleyball, the first time those schools have met as Division I programs.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand declares there is a new contender this summer for most disappointing Minnesota team, which is hard to fathom considering how bad the Twins have been. But consider: After a 4-0 drubbing at Sporting KC on Wednesday, Minnesota United's season record stands at 8 wins, 8 losses and 7 draws. It doesn't get much more mediocre than that, and there's one more particularly alarming eight: The Loons, who had championship aspirations at the start of the year, are now in eighth place in the Western Conference -- and only the top seven make the playoffs. 5:00: The Wolves introduced all of their offseason acquisitions to the media on Wednesday, with perhaps the most interesting voice coming from veteran guard Patrick Beverley. He has played in 59 career playoff games and he said accountability is the biggest thing the Wolves will need in order to succeed this season. 8:00: Star Tribune columnist La Velle E. Neal III joined Rand to talk about a number of subjects, including which NFC North team should be most alarmed about its Week 1 loss. Neal's answer: The Vikings, even though the Packers lost 38-3. Topics also covered: His upcoming weekend in Colorado and Arizona to cover the Gophers and Vikings; Joe Ryan's injury scare; and soccer Twitter. 27:00: Wild prospect Marco Rossi is back on the ice and feeling great after a scary year of COVID complications. That's great news for him -- and the Wild, which will need all the young talent it can get after buying out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
Intro: When Twins pitcher Joe Ryan was hit in the hand by a batted ball on Tuesday, fans -- and Ryan himself -- immediately feared the worst. But the rookie, who seems to have a flair for drama, sounds like he is actually OK even after he left the field and didn't return to the Twins' 3-1 loss to Cleveland. 5:00: Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins joins host Michael Rand for a look at his debut Football Across Minnesota column, a weekly feature highlighting moments from all levels of football in the state this fall. He shares his thoughts on the Vikings' offensive line, the Gophers' defensive line and a story from the northern part of the state that puts it all in perspective. 22:00: Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns tweeted on Tuesday about the silliness of vaccine skeptics, a nice contrast to the spotlight often put on athletes who are against getting the spotlight for their anti-vaccine stances. 25:00: The standings are tightening up for the Lynx and the Loons. Here are some things to watch for in the next week for both Minnesota United and the Lynx.
Introduction: Anyone can be a Monday Morning Quarterback and come in hot with the next day's takes. Not everyone can let the football stew for an extra day, then analyze it through a different lens – all while incorporating one of Canada's pre-eminent rock bands. That's what Tuesday Morning Nickelback, a new weekly feature on Daily Delivery during the football season, is all about. You'll get four standard components to the show every week. For example, this week: 2:00: Vikings writer Andrew Krammer joins to help break down one of the biggest moments in the Vikings' 27-24 loss to the Bengals on Sunday: Joe Burrow's 50-yard TD pass to Ja'Marr Chase late in the first half over Vikings corner Bashaud Breeland. How did Chase get so open? How rough was Breeland's debut? Krammer has all those answers. 11:00: Host Michael Rand's longtime friend Keith Richotte joins to break down the Vikings' loss from a more casual and visceral perspective in a segment we call My Least Favorite Team is My Favorite Team. Richotte likes to watch Vikings sped up after they are all over, meaning he saw a penalty flag once very 12 seconds on Sunday. The key takeaway: Every fear about the Vikings, except for the kicker, has come true so far. 24:00: Gophers football beat writer Randy Johnson takes a look back at a closer-than-expected Gophers win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday and notes that the defense -- which has yet to produce a sack in two games -- will need to improve at Colorado this coming weekend.
Host Michael Rand is joined by Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse for a scathing dissection of the Vikings' 27-24 overtime loss to the Bengals in Sunday's season-opener. If you were worried about the Vikings' offensive line, their vibe, their continuity and their depth coming into the season, none of those fears were alleviated in a game marred by penalties, big plays allowed on defense and a late fumble by Dalvin Cook. About the best thing that happened was some solid work in the kicking game. After a dismal training camp, the Vikings couldn't just flip a switch. And it as Reusse wondering if the Vikings have simply tuned out their head coach -- or of Mike Zimmer's time has merely run its course. 20:00: The Gophers got their first win of the season, but they had to sweat a little in the end. After taking a 21-3 halftime lead against Miami (Ohio), Minnesota hung on for a 31-26 victory. If P.J. Fleck's team is going to compete in the Big Ten West, the defense must show improvement and consistency. 26:00: Reusse temporarily had a case of the Bens, getting Johnson and Simmons confused. But eventually he made his point: He doesn't like Rand's constant stumping for the 76ers' Simmons.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand woke up Friday morning, looked at the date and came to the realization that two huge issues that seemed to be in the distance are much closer to a needed resolution; Whether the 76ers are going to trade Ben Simmons (to the Timberwolves) and a contract extension for Wild wing Kirill Kaprizov. With the Wild's preseason opener 15 days away and NBA training camps opening in 18 days, these two looming stories that have occupied our thoughts for a lot of the summer are overlapping now with football season. 5:00: Rand welcomes Vikings/NFL writer Mark Craig onto the show to talk about his season outlook and his Week 1 picks. He has the Packers winning the Super Bowl, so prepare yourselves accordingly. Rand, meanwhile, has the Vikings going 7-10. 29:00: Mike McCarthy botched another game for Dallas in its 31-29 NFL opener loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand breaks down Twins rookie Joe Ryan's second MLB start, which included 6 1/3 perfect innings -- and a much more consistent mix of his four pitches than he used at the outset of his debut last week. If he can continue to throw his fastball, slider, changeup and curveball for strikes and in various counts, Ryan has a very bright future. 5:00: The Lynx had a chance to move into prime playoff territory on Wednesday, but a blowout loss at Las Vegas dimmed those hopes. Still, the rest of Minnesota's schedule is forgiving and a top-four regular-season finish is well within reach. 7:00: State Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, joins the show to talk about the future of sports wagering in Minnesota. With Iowa already having legalized sports wagering and Wisconsin on deck, where do we stand in Minnesota? And how did we get here in the first place, with countless states legalizing sports wagering and the public sentiment toward it shifting almost by the minute? 29:00: The U.S. men rallied for four second-half goals to defeat Honduras 4-1 in World Cup qualifying on Wednesday, much to the surprise of the doom and gloom soccer crowd on Twitter.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand notes that Twins closer Alex Colome has rebounded from a disastrous start to this season and now -- somehow -- has his ERA for the year under 4 after another clean inning and save on Tuesday. It's too little, too late but if we're going to rip Colome for how he pitched early on we at least need to acknowledge that he has been much better since mid-June. 3:00: Gophers football beat writer Randy Johnson joins the show to provide an update after a 45-31 season-opening loss to Ohio State in which star running back Mohamed Ibrahim was lost for the year with an injury. Where Minnesota goes from here largely will be determined by its running back depth and how well its defense adjusts to competition not as stiff as that offered by the Buckeyes. 12:00: My least favorite team is my favorite team with Keith Richotte -- the last preseason installment before the Vikings season begins finds us talking about three things: Will you be rooting for the Vikings' season to go REALLY bad if they aren't really good? Is Warren Moon the best comparison to Kirk Cousins when it comes to Vikings' all-time QBs? And how much should we be concerned about yet another midstream switch on special teams? 30:00: Huge game for the Lynx on Wednesday against Las Vegas with significant WNBA playoff implications.
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand and immediately gets going on one of his favorite gripes: That the Twins are doing a disservice to their young pitchers, particularly Bailey Ober, by limiting his innings in 2021. His point is a good one: Sometimes you have to look at situations case-by-case, and if Ober seems like he's strong enough to go deeper into games (and the season), let him. How else are you going to find out about what he can do in 2022? Reusse and Rand then dive into the Gophers' 45-31 loss to Ohio State, the impact of the loss of Mohamed Ibrahim and P.J. Fleck's performance. And a check-in on the state town ball tournament, which Reusse reports had its best attendance since 1959.
Wolves coach Chris Finch and beat writer Chris Hine joined host Michael Rand at the State Fair recently to talk about the offseason -- including the revelation that Anthony Edwards, according to Finch, has grown an inch or two since the Wolves drafted him. What should we expect this season, and did Finch ever go and get that beverage?
Gophers women's basketball coach Lindsay Whalen and beat writer Kent Youngblood joined host Michael Rand at the State Fair recently to talk about the upcoming season, how much Whalen misses playing and whether she could have capitalized on her name, image and likeness if the rule was in place back in her time with the Gophers.
Intro: Host Michael Rand gives his thoughts on the Gophers' season-opening 45-31 loss to Ohio State at Huntington Bank Stadium. In the end, it was about what most of us expected -- a competitive loss, but a loss nonetheless. Still, Rand couldn't help feel like an opportunity was missed based on how the game unfolded. 5:00: Chip Scoggins joins Rand with more breakdown of the game. There was plenty to like, including the emergence of a receiving group and the play of the offensive line. But there was also plenty of concern -- first and foremost the health of star running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who left with a leg injury in the second half and did not return. The defense also showed its weak spots in allowing several long second-half touchdowns. 20:00: Rand is back on his obsession thanks to the 76ers' Ben Simmons reportedly saying earlier this week that he won't report to training camp as discord escalates between the two sides. Will that finally shake loose a trade? And could the Wolves be the team to make that deal? 26:00: The Lynx keep winning even through adversity.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand finds an interesting statistic that helps explain how perception matches reality with Vikings QB Kirk Cousins. In terms of expected points added in the final four minutes of the first half and end of game, Cousins lags near the bottom of NFL quarterbacks both in the last two years and 10 years. But so do several other former Vikings QBs. Is it an offensive line problem? A quarterback problem? A little of both? Regardless, not being able to make a play when it matters most is frustrating. 8:00: Can the Gophers beat Ohio State on Thursday? Rand thinks they can, and he will be disappointed if it at least isn't at least a one-score game deep into the second half. 10:00: A new weekly segment debuts with Rand's longtime friend Keith Richotte Jr. titled "My Least Favorite Team is My Favorite Team" -- an homage to a Vikings book Richotte wrote several years ago. This is the preseason edition, which delves into past pain and triumph, plus future pessimism and optimism. 28:00: Joe Ryan looked good in his Twins debut on Wednesday, but he will need to work on his pitch mix if he is going to succeed long-term.
Intro: Host Michael Rand walks through the Vikings' roster cuts on Tuesday, which didn't reveal a whole lot of surprises but did clarify their quarterback situation. It sure seems like rookie third round pick Kellen Mond is the backup to Kirk Cousins, and it's hard to imagine that changing this season. 4:00: Edina native Jenny Taft joins the show to talk about the upcoming college football season. Taft, who works for Fox Sports 1, will be doing sideline reporting from Thursday's Gophers vs. Ohio State game at Huntington Bank Stadium. She gives her thoughts on the game, the upcoming college football season, her increasing role at FS1 and a viral moment a few weeks ago with "Undisputed" co-host Skip Bayless. 22:00: Gophers football beat writer Randy Johnson checks in with updates on the Gophers on the eve of their season opener against Ohio State. 30:00: How does a 3-1 regulation baseball game last 3 hours, 34 minutes?
Intro: Host Michael Rand takes note of another good pitching outing by Twins rookie Bailey Ober. If he has a solid September on top of a standout August, you can at least pencil his name into the 2022 rotation (even if the other four spots are TBA). Plus we should get a first look soon at Joe Ryan -- maybe as soon as Wednesday -- and another look at Randy Dobnak during the final month of the season. 3:00: Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve joins the show to talk about the turnaround this season from an 0-4 start to the team's current 15-9 record. Layshia Clarendon has played a big role as has Sylvia Fowles and better continuity after a tough training camp, according to Reeve. She also delves into what she deems an ongoing lack of respect from the league for Fowles' accomplishments and revisits a recent free throw disparity. 21:00: Star Tribune high school sports writer Jim Paulsen comes on to discuss his recent story on the configuration of the largest football teams in the state and what impact that will have on their seasons. Most importantly, after last year's strangeness, we should be able to crown champions in 2021. 29:00: Vikings injury news is a mixed bag, with no timetable for Irv Smith Jr.'s return yet but some Mike Zimmer optimism on Anthony Barr.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand is joined by columnist Patrick Reusse for a look at the Twins. on Sunday, manager Rocco Baldelli said the quiet part out loud: the Twins are rebuilding, and their roster decisions the rest of this year and heading into the offseason will be focused on player development. Fellow columnist Jim Souhan wrote on Monday that the Twins can't afford to be in that position, while Reusse challenges the idea that they have to rebuild even as a mid-market team. 15:00: The latest "dings of concern" has Rand and Reusse talking about the injury to tight end Irv Smith Jr., which reportedly will keep him out for the start of the season. Not much has gone right for the Vikings since the start of training camp. The news was offset somewhat by a contract extension for safety Harrison Smith. 22:00: Patrick Cantlay's thrilling six-hole playoff win over Bryson DeChambeau was a reminder of golf's great theater -- and what an excellent villain DeChambeau has become.
Intro: Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle is a man of few public words, but he recently sat down with several members of the Star Tribune sports staff for a question and answer session. Host Michael Rand found three things about the interview particularly enlightening: Where the department is with Gophers football season ticket sales, its policy on COVID and the final tally on the financial damage from the last year. Rand examines all three and notes that college football, like the NFL, will need to be nimble this fall. 7:00: Star Tribune Timberwolves beat writer Chris Hine joins the show to talk about new team owner Marc Lore. Hine spent time with Lore recently in Las Vegas for a long profile story that will be online Friday and in the Sunday Star Tribune. How did Lore make his fortune? What might that tell us about how he will eventually run the Wolves? Plus Hine and Rand discuss the Patrick Beverley trade and ponder any further offseason moves. 27:00: It was an immaculate inning in a far from immaculate Twins season, plus former Vikings great Alan Page sure seems "notable" even if Twitter disagrees.
Introduction: Enough happened in Wednesday's Twins game for host Michael Rand to make several notes and for columnist Patrick Reusse to urgently text late at night with the message "call me." Turns out he just wanted to cackle about Alex Colome, Hansel Robles and all that unfolded late in the game when Colome blew a save but Robles returned the favor. Other items of interest: The Twins are now 11-2 in extra inning games since starting 0-8. And Miguel Sano launched the longest home run in the majors this season (495 feet), leading Rand down a path of wondering what to do about the inconsistent slugger next season. 8:00: Vikings QB Kirk Cousins spoke for the first time since Everson Griffen was re-signed by the Vikings and had a pretty short -- but smile-filled -- answer when asked about Griffen's social media posts earlier this year. You can hear the audio for yourself. 10:00: Minnesota United's Ethan Finlay joins the show and discusses a number of subjects, including: the Loons' rebound after a slow start this season; the identity of this year's team beyond "get the ball to Reynoso"; the joy and stress of being a new father; whether being born in Duluth but moving away at a young age makes Finlay "one of us"; and the Loons' fantasy football league. 28:00: A Little League World Series performance for the ages by a Sioux Falls 12-year-old.
Intro: Lynx center Sylvia Fowles had one of the greatest games in WNBA history on Tuesday, scoring 29 points to go with 20 rebounds, four steals and three blocks -- without committing a foul or a turnover along the way. Her dominant performance helped Minnesota to a 76-70 win over Seattle and provided a platform for Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve to point out that Fowles is still one of the WNBA's best players -- and that she's underappreciated even after a storied career. 6:00: The Twins, on the other hand, are not among the greatest of all time. Their improved recent play was short-lived as they have now lost four in a row to the Yankees and Red Sox. In a lost season, there's only one thing host Michael Rand cares about: 2022 and the development of players. 8:00: Drew Magary of Defector Media joins the podcast to help Rand preview the Vikings season as only Magary can. Kirk Cousins, the coordinators and a lot of other people associated with the Vikings are on notice -- though Magary, a noted Vikings fan, still has optimism for the year. Magary has a memoir coming out in about a month that should be fascinating as well. 28:00: An NBA player is suing his agent, and Rand is amused.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand takes a look at the Vikings' decision to bring back defensive end Everson Griffen from a number of angles -- a couple of them unsurprising and one of them fairly surprising. He's the fourth former member of the defense to return in 2021, joining Mackensie Alexander, Sheldon Richardson and Stephen Weatherly. He's part of an overall defensive upgrade in the offseason that has seen the Vikings dole out more than 200 times as much guaranteed money to that side of the ball than to outside free agents on offense. And Griffen has the potential to be a disruption in the locker room after social media comments critical of Kirk Cousins. 8:00: Columnist Chip Scoggins joins the show to talk about his recent story on the big business of charitable gaming and how it funds a lot of youth sports initiatives in Minnesota. Youth sports organizations in the state generated more than $100 million in net receipts -- no, that's not a misprint -- in 2020, and the number could go up this year. Scoggins discusses how we got to this point, where the money is doing and what the potential problems are with all of this. 28:00: Is there finally good news for people trying to watch the Twins, Wild, Wolves and other teams on Bally Sports North? That's the message from a recent report. Also, a brief Kirill Kaprizov update and an appreciation of the St. Paul Saints.
Host Michael Rand is joined by Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse for a look at where the Vikings stand with just one preseason game left before a critical 2021 season. The offense hasn't scored a touchdown in eight quarters of preseason football, which included three shaky drives (and five short completions) from starting QB Kirk Cousins in a 12-10 loss Saturday to the Colts. While the preseason doesn't technically matter, it is contributing to an overall negative vibe on the team, Reusse says. And he is of the belief that Cousins is under more pressure now than at any other point in his career. 15:00: A look at Twins prospect Jose Miranda, who has been written about by both Reusse and Rand in the last couple months. Miranda is hitting a combined .342 with 25 home runs between Class AA and Class AAA this season and should warrant a look with the Twins down the stretch. The problem is that he figures to be a third baseman in the majors. The Twins are paying Josh Donaldson a lot of money to play that position and have other options there as well. 28:00: Appreciation for Tigers all-time great Miguel Cabrera, who hit his 500th home run on Sunday -- and a vintage Reusse rant about "groups."
Intro: A listener asked host Michael Rand to rank the three best and worst Timberwolves trades in that franchise's history, so he took a swing at it. The usual suspects are on the list, but did Rand put the trade to get Jimmy Butler on his best or worst list? You'll have to listen to find out. 7:00: Longtime Star Tribune soccer insider Jon Marthaler joins the show to talk about Minnesota United past and present. It's been five years since the franchise announced it was launching in St. Paul, and the trajectory has been mostly positive since then. But the historical marker gives a chance to look back at what might have been: What if the franchise had folded when it was a second-division club, something that was very possible? And what if the Vikings' ownership group had won the bid to get the MLS franchise instead of the current group? Plus Marthaler and Rand will look at the current team's identity heading into a big match vs. Kansas City and a big U.S. Women's match coming in October. 27:00: The Lynx were quite mad about the free throw discrepancy in recent games against Connecticut, and let it be known in an unusual postgame news conference. Plus, do you remember Byron Buxton the baseball player? He's starting another rehab stint with the Saints starting Friday in St. Paul.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand gives a near-daily appreciation of Jorge Polanco, who produced a walk-off run batted in for the third time in four games as the Twins won another series. It will be interesting to see if Polanco stays at second base in 2022, when the Twins don't have any other clear options at shortstop, or if he returns to that position. 4:00: College football podcaster and writer Spencer Hall joins the show for a whirlwind tour of several subjects. Rand and Hall dive into the new rule governing name, image and likeness -- agreeing that it's a good thing but not nearly enough as players look to gain their fair share of the revenue they generate. They also discuss the impact that an expanded 12-team college football playoff could have on a team like the Gophers and assign a superpower to P.J. Fleck. 29:00: Can Kirk Cousins learn to improvise? Is that the new "is this the year Adrian Peterson catches more passes?"
Intro: Host Michael Rand breaks down the Timberwolves' trade for Patrick Beverley with three main points. First, the trade makes sense for the Wolves and Beverley's shooting plus defensive acumen will bolster their roster. Second, giving up Juancho Hernangomez and Jarrett Culver isn't a huge haul to send back, but it is an admission that the Wolves missed when they drafted Culver No. 6 overall just two years ago. Third, the Wolves still don't have a starting caliber power forward. 6:00: Star Tribune Twins beat writer Phil Miller joins the show to talk about the team's recent improved play and what it means in the context of this year and next year. Plus, what do we make of the Twins' young players -- those already here like Bailey Ober and the next wave that could include Joe Ryan and Jose Miranda. 27:00: Everson Griffen reportedly will work out for the Vikings on Wednesday, which is interesting on multiple fronts -- the primary one being that Griffen ripped QB Kirk Cousins on Twitter just eight months ago.
Intro: Host Michael Rand goes down a rabbit hole of numbers to determine that the Timberwolves have only reached their preseason Las Vegas victory total three times in 17 seasons since their trip to the Western Conference finals in 2003-04. Do with that information what you will, but it does speak to the disappointment, even relative to expectations, that the team has encountered. Will this season be any different? 7:00: Wild general manager Bill Guerin spoke with members of the media Monday to give his perspective on Kevin Fiala's one-year deal and ongoing negotiations with Kirill Kaprizov. You don't want to get into a poker game with Guerin. 11:00: Gophers football defensive coordinator Joe Rossi joins the show to talk about the upcoming season, key newcomers and his path from Division III football to the Big Ten. 25:00: The Twins had another walk-off win on Monday, this time over Cleveland, and reached a key milestone in the process: Since that dreadful 14-28 start, they have gone 39-38. That's not going to spark any parades, but it should lead to perspective on this season. 28:00: The Lynx have been on a serious roll since their 0-4 start, while the NFL's Raiders are mandating vaccines for fans to attend home games this season.
Columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a look at two of the more interesting figures who have led Minnesota teams: Tom Kelly and Mike Zimmer. Reusse wrote a great longer piece on Kelly and the tragic loss of his son, humanizing the former Twins manager ahead of this past weekend's celebration of the 1991 Twins World Series team. On the podcast, Reusse went deeper on Kelly -- trying to drive at what made him a successful manager, who he is as a person and what made him walk away from the job at the relatively young age of 51. Rand and Reusse also talked about Mike Zimmer, who was very unhappy about the way his team played in a 33-6 loss to Denver in Saturday's preseason opener. Zimmer seemed upbeat at the start of training camp, but that has given way to a more consistently sour mood as the team has dealt with issues on and off the field. The pressure of a win-now season and the still-looming threat of a COVID disruption have to be factors.
Intro: Let's try a new segment called "Dings of Concern," where host Michael Rand runs down some things about this year's Vikings that have him concerned about their overall big picture. It even has sound effects. From two separate major COVID stories to injuries -- the latest being a second surgery for first-round offensive lineman Christian Darrisaw -- Rand is concerned, to say the least. 8:00: Twins President Dave St. Peter joins the show to talk about a number of subjects. Rand notes that Twins TV ratings have plummeted by almost 50% this season over last year and wonders how much of that is because of a losing record and how much is because of the ongoing impasse between Bally Sports North and several streaming services. St. Peter also addresses concerns about the uptick in COVID cases and notes some pleasant surprises in a tough season. 27:00: The Field of Dreams game in Iowa was a smashing success, and it provides a reason for a list that everyone can get upset about: Rand's top 5 sports movies of all-time.
Intro: It's hard to believe that it's been nearly five years since that fateful day in practice when Teddy Bridgewater suffered a catastrophic injury that changed the course of his career and the Vikings' trajectory. With Bridgewater back in Minnesota and participating in joint practices as he battles for the starting QB job with the Broncos, memories of that day are still fresh. Hear from Bridgewater about his perspective on that journey, while host Michael Rand tries to sort out the still-lasting impact on the Vikings. 8:00: Columnist Chip Scoggins joins the show to talk about his latest piece on the Wild and negotiations with budding star Kirill Kaprizov. Scoggins tries to talk Wild fans down from whatever level of concern they have, laying out all the practical reasons why a compromise deal should get done relatively soon. But he and Rand also delve into the uncomfortable question: What if it doesn't work out? 24:00: Rand blazes through a bunch of good reader questions, with topics that take his mind everywhere from the Twins pitching future to baseball in the Grand Canyon.
Intro: Host Michael Rand wasn't a big believer in Griffin Jax, but he's starting to come around to the idea that the Twins pitcher at least deserves a longer look in the rotation after another strong start Tuesday against the White Sox. That's four in a row for Jax, the 26-year-old rookie who doesn't have overpowering stuff but has found a way to be effective when given the chance recently. 5:30: Adam Fromal, founder of the website NBA Math, joins the show to talk about the site's exhaustive recently released NBA player rankings. A panel of 15 NBA experts ranked every player who played at least one minute in the league last season -- an exercise that yields a pretty good aggregate indicator of where each player stands. It yielded some interesting results for the Wolves and could reframe how we think about their chances going forward. 27:00: The Vikings had just 69 punt return yards last season. Something needs to change this season, and the team is trying to address it.
Intro: Host Michael Rand takes a look at the latest reporting on Wild star Kirill Kaprizov and the possibility that he could play next season in Russia. A report says he has a one-year deal for more than $10 million on the table to play there next year, but it's likely just a negotiating ploy to get more favorable terms with the Wild on a long-term deal 5:00: Columnist Patrick Reusse joins the show to talk about MLB's desperation, as evidenced by a New York Post report that the league is considering a streaming partnership with Barstool Sports. Want to attract a younger audience? That's one way, though it would be at the detriment of a large share of existing fans who note Barstool's misogynistic principles. Reusse also weighs in on the Kaprizov situation. 25:00: Wolves Summer League highlights included more quips from an apparently healthy Anthony Edwards and some strong play from big man Nathan Knight. 29:00: Is the "all-important" NFL preseason game changing?
Intro: Host Michael Rand takes a big-picture look back at the Tokyo Olympics, which will be remembered in Minnesota for a long time as quite possibly the most successful summer games in state history. Even just listing off all the medalists from this state takes a long time. 5:00: The Vikings kicking competition has flown under the radar with other big stories taking a lot of the spotlight. But the battle between two relative unknowns is fascinating. Rand explores that with the help of Mark Craig's recent story. 12:00: The Twins have pivoted to a season of prospects instead of contention. Which of the young pitchers could we see this year -- and who has the best chance to help? 18:00: Some pretty disappointing Twins TV rating numbers came out recently. Rand wants to dive into them in more detail, but he tries to provide some early context about what he is seeing. 21:00: Some good news? Minnesota United is on a roll.
Intro: Guest host Christina Long talks Olympics, as Minnesota's own gold medalist Suni Lee and gymnastics teammate Grace McCallum returned home Thursday to a welcoming committee of adoring fans. Lee became the newest American gymnast to be a household name, especially after her square-tip acrylic nails, which were designed locally, went viral after her big win. Plenty of other Minnesotans have continued to compete in Tokyo, including Gopher wrestling star Gable Steveson. The Apple Valley native won gold in heavyweight wrestling early Friday morning as he knocked off the three-time champion from Georgia. USA women's basketball, which features Lynx stars Napheesa Collier and Sylvia Fowles, will play for the gold Saturday night. 9:00 Lynx guard Kayla McBride joins the show to talk everything from baking to basketball. McBride and the Lynx are in the midst of the WNBA's month-long Olympic break but will return to play Aug. 15. Minnesota entered the break on a seven-game win streak and will look to continue its upward trend in the second half of the season.
Intro: Guest host Christina Long talks name, image and likeness after news that local star Paige Bueckers has trademarked her nickname, “Paige Buckets.” Bueckers stands to make $1 million in the next year. With another Minnesota superstar heading to college in Suni Lee, it's possible that two Twin Cities natives could be making a sizable amount from their name, image and likeness while in school -- a huge change for amateur athletes under this brand new rule. Big names like Bueckers and future Ohio State quarterback Quinn Ewers have made headlines for their potential earnings, but what might new NIL rules do for athletes without their star power and name recognition? 7:00: Former Gophers women's golf coach Michele Redman joins the show to talk about the Land ‘O' Lakes Legends Classic, which starts Thursday with a pro-am before the two-day tournament tees off Friday. The tournament is a brand-new event that Redman helped start in order to bring the LPGA's senior tour to Minnesota. 13:00: Gophers beat writer Randy Johnson returns to Daily Delivery for a college football preview. The Gophers held media day Tuesday and started fall camp Wednesday as they prepare to open the season Sept. 2 against heavyweight conference foe Ohio State. After a successful 2019 and a lackluster 2020 that was heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, coach P.J. Fleck and the Gophers are looking to get back to their pre-pandemic form. Plus, players such as Mo Ibrahim and Tanner Morgan last week sought to spread the NIL love to some of their less recognized peers: the offensive line.
Intro: Host Michael Rand takes a look at Tuesday's big Vikings news, with 2020 first round pick Jeff Gladney indicted by a grand jury and later released by the team. We can acknowledge that the Vikings did the correct thing in quickly condemning and moving on from Gladney while also pointing out that their recent history with first-round picks -- outside of the fantastic Justin Jefferson -- has been pretty suspect. ... You'll also hear from Wild head coach Dean Evason in the opening segment as he comments on the buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. 6:00: Columnist Chip Scoggins joins the show to provide his thoughts on the other big Vikings story of the week: the continued absence of Kirk Cousins from camp as he is sidelined due to COVID protocols. A report in the Washington Post says the Vikings have the lowest vaccination rate of any NFL team. Why is that, and how much of an impact will it have this season? Scoggins also weighs in on why the Jose Berrios trade is nothing to celebrate and expresses some Gophers football optimism. 28:00: The Twins have been bad this season, but it's not Jorge Polanco's fault. And keep the Wolves in the Western Conference, I always say.
Intro: Host Michael Rand notes the tone of Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who again Monday was without three quarterbacks -- including starter Kirk Cousins and third-round pick Kellen Mond -- as they are sidelined by the league's COVID protocols. Zimmer's exasperation with players who don't get the vaccine was on plain display and for good reason. First and foremost it's a matter of public health. Beyond that, and perhaps more urgent in a direct way for Zimmer, unvaccinated players could have a serious impact on wins and losses this season. 5:00: Timberwolves beat writer Chris Hine joins the show to look at NBA free agency. Monday's opening was quiet for the Wolves as several mid-tier players jumped to new teams. Minnesota figures to think both small and big, though, along the way -- and could be poised to make the kind of splash President Gersson Rosas covets. 27:00: Rand is worried about the hamstring of Josh Donaldson, who hasn't played since Wednesday.
Intro: Host Michael Rand is joined by Patrick Reusse for a look at the latest Vikings' trip up, which has landed three of their quarterbacks in the NFL's COVID protocols and made head coach Mike Zimmer plenty mad. Vaccinated QB Kellen Mond reportedly has COVID, while presumably unvaccinated starter Kirk Cousins is a close contact. That forced Jake Browning into heavy duty at a recent night practice and has the Vikings scrambling for camp bodies this week. It could be worse -- like, say, this happening during the season -- but it underscores what's possible when players aren't vaccinated. Maybe the extra $100 being offered by the state of Minnesota will convince Cousins to get his shots? 14:00: Reusse and Rand, who disagree somewhat on just how good Jose Berrios is, examine the blockbuster trade from Friday from the standpoint of what the Twins gained and lost. 23:00: Soccer talk, which is rare on this segment! The Loons were robbed. Team USA takes the Gold Cup in men's soccer but loses in the Olympic semifinals to Canada in women's soccer.
In this special edition of Daily Delivery, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune joins Michael Rand to break down a very active trade deadline for the Twins. The headline move was a trade of two-time All-Star pitcher Jose Berrios to the Blue Jays for two top prospects, but the Twins made four deals since the beginning of last week -- receiving seven players, six of them pitchers, in return. What do the deals for Nelson Cruz, Berrios, J.A. Happ and Hansel Robles tell us about the Twins? When might we see some of the new players debut for the Twins? And just how excited should we be about the haul from Toronto, which consisted of top-100 MLB prospects in outfielder Austin Martin and right handed pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson?
Intro: Host Michael Rand dissects the Wolves-related events Thursday -- namely the trade (again) of Ricky Rubio and the decision not to jump into an NBA Draft in which they held no picks at the start of the evening. While the Rubio deal for Taurean Prince, a second-round pick and some cap room is hardly a blockbuster, it has benefits for the Wolves. And let's face it: Rubio was a subpar player for a lot of last season and wasn't going to be here much longer regardless. 12:00: Alex Goligoski, the headliner among three defensemen already signed by the Wild in free agency, joins the show to talk about returning to Minnesota to play professionally and how excited he is about the Wild's prospects this season. And happy birthday to Goligoski, the former Gophers standout, who turned 36 on Friday. 25:00: Another look at the MLB trade deadline, which is fast-approaching at 3 p.m. Friday. The Twins have only made one deal so far. That figures to change as the day goes on.
On this special episode of Daily Delivery, host Michael Rand checks in with Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan, who is in Tokyo along with Rachel Blount covering one of the biggest stories in Minnesota sports history: Suni Lee, the 18-year-old gymnast from St. Paul, won the Olympic gold medal in the women's all-around competition on Thursday morning. You'll hear Souhan's perspective on just how amazing this is, how it fits into the context of Minnesota sports history and how Lee's bravery in competing at the highest level sits side-by-side with Simon Biles' bravery in pulling out of the competition. Rand is then joined by Star Tribune reporter Zoe Jackson, who was in Oakdale with about 300 Lee supporters for a watch party early Thursday. You'll hear audio of the moment Jackson was talking to Lee's sister when Suni called on FaceTime from Tokyo, sending the watch party into an eruption of cheers. And Star Tribune Olympics editor Naila-Jean Meyers talks us through just how Lee was able to pull off a nearly flawless set of routines, and the strategy involved in bringing home Olympic gold.
Intro: The Twins lost 17-14 to Detroit, becoming the first team in MLB history to outhomer an opponent by a margin of seven (7-0 in this case) and lose. When you give up 17 runs, naturally host Michael Rand wants you to ... trade your best pitcher? Wait, what? Yep, now more than ever Rand is convinced that Jose Berrios -- with rumors heating up that teams are interested -- should be dealt before Friday's deadline. 5:00: Want some better news? Minnesota United came back for a dramatic draw against LAFC on Wednesday, pulling even late in stoppage time on Hassani Dotson's absolute rocket from 18 yards out. 7:00: The Wild was active early in free agency, signing three players on Wednesday -- highlighted by 36-year-old Minnesota native Alex Goligoski to anchor the defense. Rand has a question, though: Why spend $5 million on Goligoski even for one year after buying out another 36-year-old defenseman, Ryan Suter? 10:00: Star Tribune outdoors writer Bob Timmons joins the podcast to preview his special report on the Cuyuna State Recreation Area and all the good things happening there with mountain biking, other outdoor activities and -- perhaps most crucially -- economic development. 27:00: The NBA Draft is tonight, but the Wolves enter the evening without a first-round pick for the first time since 2012 and the second time since 2004. 29:00: Aaron Rodgers still sounds unhappy!
Intro: Host Michael Rand offers perspective on Simone Biles, the dominant U.S. gymnast who pulled out of the team and individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics this week while citing her mental well-being as the reason. Jim Souhan had a very good column in Wednesday's paper on the subject, and Rand echoes the need for empathy as we watch athletes compete at the highest level. That extends to the Twins, too, who had another spectacular defeat in a difficult season Thursday. 7:00: Star Tribune Editorial Editor Scott Gillespie joins the show to talk about all things Wisconsin sports -- including, primarily, Aaron Rodgers and his return to the Packers. Gillespie, a known fan of teams across the border, had good thoughts on how fans feel about all this and what his hopes and dreams are for this season. 28:00: NHL free agency begins Wednesday, with the Wild perhaps pursuing an upgrade at center. Rand outlines one key stat that suggests reinforcements are very necessary.
Intro: In a drama-filled 24 hours, we needed to get to one important story at the beginning of the show. Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay QB who has been unhappy with the Packers for months and looked to be on the brink of sitting out training camp, arrived in Green Bay late Monday and appears headed toward at least a one-year truce to play for the Packers in 2021. That's a big deal across the NFL and particularly for the Vikings. 6:00: Gymnastics and swimming drama at the Olympics stole the show Monday night and very early Tuesday morning. 9:00: Star Tribune summer intern Christina Long joins the show to talk about Lakeville swimmer Regan Smith and all the support she is getting from her club team while swimming at the Olympics. Long also discusses the challenges of intern life and her journey from Arkansas to Minnesota. 23:00: The latest rumblings before the MLB trade deadline suggest that the Brewers are interested in Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson. If the Twins end up moving Donaldson, it will be another signal about how they feel about 2022. 29:00: A Mitch Garver quote you don't want to miss.
Patrick Reusse joins Michael Rand for a look back at the weekend and a look ahead to some huge story lines in the next week. Intro: Cameron Champ lived up to his name by winning the 3M Open over the weekend in Blaine, blasting his way to a 15-under finish and his first tour win in almost two years. Reusse said TPC Twin Cities has exceeded his expectations as a good test of golf for the tour's best players. 8:00: What is the likelihood Jose Berrios is traded before this week's MLB deadline? Reusse started his answer to that question thinking it was about 50-50, then shifted to 60-40 in favor of a trade. By the time he and Rand were done talking about it, he was even more convinced that Berrios made his last start for the Twins on Saturday. And while Byron Buxton doesn't figure to be dealt at the deadline, he could be out the door this winter in a trade if negotiations with the Twins don't improve. 21:00: Most NFL training camps open this week. Reusse weighs in on what he thinks will happen with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay and breaks out a pretty big opinion about what Rodgers' decision will mean for the Vikings.
Intro: Host Michael Rand breaks down the Twins' trade of Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay in a number of ways: What Cruz meant to the Twins will be hard to replicate, and as much as someone who played just 258 games here can define an era, Cruz did that. He was a lineup presence and the leader of the Bomba Squad. That said, the Twins did well to get two Class AAA pitchers in return for Cruz, and it was clearly a trade that makes sense. It's hard to remove the emotion from the trade, but if you can do that you will find a lot of good. 14:00: Gophers football beat writer Randy Johnson joins the podcast from Big Ten media day in Indianapolis where the talk has focused on players being able to profit off their name, image and likeness as well as what impact COVID will have on 2021 after the major disruptions of 2020. One thing is for sure: Gophers coach P.J. Fleck can't call his team young this year. The veteran group is intriguing and could be a contender. 28:00: It's draft night for the Wild, and with two first-round picks Minnesota is in good shape to draft key pieces that will be essential roster replacement in years to come.
Intro: Host Michael Rand runs through a few Twins items, including another piece of bad news in a season full of them -- rookie Alex Kirilloff is done for the season and will have wrist surgery. Rand also marvels at Shohei Ohtani, the pitching and hitting sensation for the Angels who is coming to Target Field starting Thursday. We've never seen anything like him in this lifetime. 6:00: Chris Hine joins the show for a spirited debate about whether the Wolves should pursue Ben Simmons in an offseason trade now that the year is over and off-the-court matters are going to start heating up in the NBA. Hine doesn't think Simmons is worth it; Rand acknowledges Simmons' flaws but thinks he would be a good fit with the Wolves. Hine also provides an update on the Wolves' ownership situation. 27:00: The NHL expansion draft was Wednesday, and the Wild took another hit to its blue line after Seattle selected defenseman Carson Soucy. That leaves the Wild with just three defensemen under contract after last week's buyout of Ryan Suter. Hear from GM Bill Guerin about losing Soucy and what comes next.
Intro: Host Michael Rand opens today's show with a nod to the Bucks, who claimed their first NBA title in 50 years behind a 50-point, 14-rebound, five-block mammoth performance from star Giannis Antetokounmpo in Tuesday's 105-98 Game 6 win over Phoenix. It's OK to like a Wisconsin team. The Bucks are likeable. Just try not to focus too much on how the Wolves could have drafted Giannis in 2013. 4:00: Rand is joined by Star Tribune Wild beat writer Sarah McLellan for a deep look at the Wild's plan going forward after last week's stunning news that they had bought out the contracts of not only Zach Parise but also Ryan Suter. It means savings this season but a lot of dead money on their salary cap in a couple of years. How do they navigate that challenge while still trying to build a competitive team -- particularly since they stand to lose another key affordable player in Wednesday's expansion draft? 29:00: Aaron Rodgers reportedly turned down a contract offer from Green Bay that would have made him the highest-paid player in the NFL. Where does that leave things with training camp set to open next week?
Intro: Host Michael Rand takes a look at the Jose Berrios situation with the Twins and comes to the conclusion that if the Twins are being smart they will look at how they have maximized Berrios' value -- under MLB's flawed economic system, mind you -- and continue to do that by trading him instead of attempting to re-sign him at a price that could reach $25 million a year. Twins beat writer Phil Miller then joins the show to talk about his reporting on Berrios and what might happen in the final 10 days before the trade deadline. 20:00: Game 6 of the NBA Finals is Tuesday night, with the Suns trailing 3-2 and needing a road win at Milwaukee to fend off elimination. One thing is for sure: Losses in Game 4 and Game 5 were not Devin Booker's fault. The Phoenix guard had 40-plus points in both games and needs more help from his teammates, particularly Chris Paul, in Game 6. 23:00: Minnesota United had a huge win over Seattle on Sunday, and it's worth revisiting. 26:00: Rand is officially worried about the reportedly "minor" calf injury to Vikings interior lineman Michael Pierce because he knows how these things go.
On Monday's episode, Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand as they catch up on all the biggest stories from the weekend and beyond. First up, Reusse and Rand tackle last week's huge decision by the Wild and GM Bill Guerin to buy out the contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter -- a move that will save the Wild on the salary cap in the short term but has plenty of long-term implications. Reusse wants Wild fans to remember that Parise and Suter, though coming well short of delivering a championship during their nine seasons here, did help revive a sluggish franchise. With the Bucks one game away from winning the NBA title, they also examine this question: Why don't Minnesota fans, who tend to loathe Wisconsin teams, seem to hate the Milwaukee Bucks? Quite the contrary, they actually seem to like the Bucks. And the poor Twins. If they thought they could do something special coming out of the All-Star break, as slugger Nelson Cruz said, getting shut out twice and being swept in Detroit probably wasn't the version of special they had in mind. But it does sharpen the focus even more on the impending trade deadline, including what to do with Jose Berrios. The Loons beat Seattle for the first time? Reusse wants to see more.
It's a special week at Daily Delivery as host Michael Rand takes a look back at five high-profile sporting events that took place in the Twin Cities within a one-year span 30 years ago. On today's episode, the finale of this five-part chronological series, Chip Scoggins joins Rand for a look back at the 1992 Final Four at the Metrodome. Yes, they awarded a Final Four to the same city and same site that had the Super Bowl just a couple months earlier. Duke won the title, but the lasting impact might have been Michigan's Fab Five freshmen, led by Jalen Rose, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard.
It's a special week at Daily Delivery as host Michael Rand takes a look back at five high-profile sporting events that took place in the Twin Cities within a one-year span 30 years ago. On today's episode, former Star Tribune editor Tim McGuire joins Rand for a look back at the Super Bowl hosted at the Metrodome in 1992, won 37-24 by Washington over Buffalo. The game and the run of Minnesota sports was memorable, but the story of the time might have been protests over the "Redskins" nickname that Washington only dropped last year.
It's a special week at Daily Delivery as host Michael Rand takes a look back at five high-profile sporting events that took place in the Twin Cities within a one-year span 30 years ago. On today's episode, Twins great Kent Hrbek offers his memories and perspectives from one of the greatest World Series ever played -- the dramatic 1991 series won in seven games by the Twins over Atlanta. Hrbek and Rand -- a huge Atlanta fan at the time -- even have a little battle over Ron Gant.