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: Host Michael Rand isn't afraid to ask the tough questions, like this one: What did Vikings players think about the "buttpunt" that resulted in a safety on Sunday? Along the way, you might laugh. You might also gain a greater appreciation for special teams. 9:00: Vikings writer Ben Goessling joins Rand from London, where he is attempting to adjust his body clock in order to give you the best possible coverage of Vikings vs. Saints on Sunday. Maybe if defensive coordinator Ed Donatell is crankier, he'll call some blitzes? 29:00: Skiing legend Lindsey Vonn joins the show to remember her mother, Lindy Krohn Lund, who died last month after a battle with ALS.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand is not impressed by Aaron Judge's pursuit of the American League home run record, but he is VERY impressed by a possible triple crown. The main person standing in Judge's way? Twins infielder Luis Arraez, who is tied for the AL batting lead with Judge at .313. It's about the only drama left in the Twins' season, but it is intriguing. 7:00: Star Tribune Timberwolves writer Chris Hine joins Rand for a thoughtful discussion of Anthony Edwards' homophobic remarks, his apology and the work that still needs to be done. They also get into the main story lines for the Wolves in a season of big expectations. 27:00: The Vikings are in London, but will another NFL game be in Minneapolis on Sunday? Plus a contract extension for Emanuel Reynoso, just as the Loons push to hold onto an MLS playoff spot.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand wrote about how few innings Twins starters have thrown in 2022, making him wistful for 2019. And then Bailey Ober threw a gem Tuesday, making Rand wonder if 2023 could at least have a hint of optimism from a depth standpoint. 7:00: Gophers WR Mike Brown-Stephens joins Rand for a wide-ranging conversation. He's the nephew of music mega-star John Legend, and Brown-Stephens tells some great stories about his relationship with his uncle (and how he accidentally broke one of Legend's Grammy Award trophies). 23:00: Gophers writer Randy Johnson joins the show to set up Saturday's game against Purdue, which would push the No. 21-ranked Gophers to a 5-0 record. Can they slow down Purdue's passing attack? 34:00: A defensive schism to watch with the Vikings?
Introduction: Media day for the Timberwolves was Monday, and it served two purposes -- the first public, in-person comments from Anthony Edwards since his homophobic video surfaced and a big-picture outlook for what should be a team on a continued ascent. How Edwards and the Wolves grow this season will be stories to watch. 6:00: Vikings writer Andrew Krammer joins host Michael Rand for a film study on how the Vikings have -- and haven't -- been able to get other receivers aside from Justin Jefferson the ball. And how can Jefferson adjust after being shut down two games in a row? 22:00: Award-winning poetry -- Vi-kus, if you will -- are back. 37:00: New Twins scoreboard, new Twins uniforms.
Host Michael Rand and Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse marvel at the two big Minnesota football outcomes from the weekend. The Vikings were outplayed against Detroit and didn't have a lead until the final minute, but they stole an important 28-24 victory with some clutch late plays. The Gophers, meanwhile, looked completely dominant against Michigan State and are now ranked in the Top 25. Regrettably, we had to talk about the Twins as well.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand notes that the Gophers are a three-point favorite on the road against Michigan State this weekend -- a sign of respect for the program but an edge that might make longtime fans nervous about a letdown. We'll know more about just how good Minnesota is after Saturday's game. 6:00: Star Tribune Vikings beat writer Ben Goessling joins Rand ahead of Sunday's rather intriguing game against the Lions. Everything looked easy for the Vikings in a Week 1 victory over the Packers, but that changed in a hurry in a Monday loss to the Eagles. Now, on a short week they come back home to face a Lions team in a game that will test both their defensive scheme and their culture under head coach Kevin O'Connell. 28:00: Stop making Cooper Rush a thing.
Introduction: If Patrick Reusse is buying into the Gophers and P.J. Fleck, perhaps more of us should as well. On today's show, host Michael Rand helps you get to know one of the key members of the defense: linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin. He was an Ivy League recruit before signing with the Gophers, and his intelligence plays a big role in his success. Sori-Marin has a fascinating family history tracing back to his family's Cuban roots, and he also has used his love of food to take team bonding to a new level. 16:00: Jason Gurwin from The Streamable joins Rand for the latest on how we watch sports. The rights to NFL Sunday Ticket are up after this season, and where that lands will be interesting. Plus Bally Sports Plus -- the standalone $20 a month app -- is set to launch Monday. Will fans, including supporters of the Wolves and Wild, go for it? And how does the shaky financial situation of Diamond Sports -- which operates all the Bally regional sports networks and is owned by parent company Sinclair -- factor into the future of how we will access our favorite teams? 30:00: The Twins are officially an afterthought, but the Wild are taking their place.
Introduction; Before he dives into football talk, host Michael Rand notes that the Twins have been playing at a 91-loss pace since May 24, a span of nearly four months. That's a much larger sample size than their 27-16 start and should prompt a long look at organizational philosophy this offseason. 6:00: Andrew Krammer joins Rand for a Vikings film review. The big question after the Eagles went up and down the field on Minnesota during Monday night's game: Did it reveal a flaw in how the Vikings are trying to defend, with very little man-to-man coverage and a lot of soft zones? Or was the bigger problem in how Vikings defenders executed the game plan? 24:00: Vikings poetry remains undefeated. 37:00: Anthony Edwards fined $40,000.
Introduction: If you thought the Vikings had a chance to make a statement on Monday night against the Eagles, well ... they did in a sense. In letting the Eagles jump to a 24-7 halftime lead and then self-destructing with three Kirk Cousins interceptions in the second half, Minnesota showed it still has a long way to go if it is going to change its identity into a consistent winner under new head coach Kevin O'Connell. Host Michael Rand also has exclusive audio of what was going on inside Kirk Cousins' head Monday. 16:00: Gophers football beat writer Randy Johnson joins Rand to discuss the impact of Chris Autman-Bell's injury and the opportunity ahead for Minnesota as it enters Big Ten play. 28:00: Five players who you never would have thought would be playing in a meaningful September game were part of a sequence that sealed the Twins' fate Monday. That is all you need to know about this season.
Host Michael Rand is joined by Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse give a eulogy of sorts for a Twins season that isn't officially over but might as well be after they lost the first three games of a critical series against Cleveland. The opening game of the series was another dominant but short start -- this time by Bailey Ober -- wasted by a poor finish. The sum total of a 73-73 season-to-date has Reusse thinking the Twins need to re-evaluate and make some changes after the year is done. Plus Rand and Reusse talk about the dominant Gophers football team and set up the Vikings' Monday Night Football game, noting that both teams have a great opportunity against weak competition this season. And what has happened to Minnesota United?
Introduction: Host Michael Rand was ready for a clean break from the 2022 Twins after they were swept last weekend by Cleveland, but three wins in a row and the Guardians' loss Thursday breathed a little bit of new life into them. They are now four games back heading into a five-game series in Cleveland. Simple math tells us there's still a path to the playoffs over the last 20 games for a team whose best quality is resilience. 9:00: Ben Goessling joins Rand for an extended discussion about the Vikings. Monday Night Football in Philadelphia will be a significant test, but if Minnesota can go on the road and get another win, there will be a buzz around this team that hasn't been felt for years. 33:00: Scott Frost getting fired is a reminder of the relative calm in Minnesota.
Introduction: The Twins have received back-to-back starts of seven innings and no runs from their two most consistent rotation members, Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray. It's enough to make host Michael Rand look ahead to 2023 and think optimistically about what the rotation might look like with reasonable health and continued minor league development -- even if it is probably too late in 2022. 8:00: Rand welcomes new Timberwolves TV play-by-play voice Michael Grady to the show. They caught up at the State Fair a couple weeks ago, with Grady sharing his passion for basketball and his enthusiasm for his new job. 27:00: Brett Favre is in trouble; Patrick Peterson's PFF grade matched his play on Sunday.
Introduction: If you missed it Tuesday, Twins rookie Joe Ryan had a no-hitter going through seven innings and 106 pitches before being removed by manager Rocco Baldelli. These sorts of things happen frequently enough that they aren't huge debate points any more, but that doesn't change the "what-if" quality and disappointment. 6:00: A well-earned draw for Minnesota United, but some drama along the way. 10:00: How Gophers football players prepare for games and watch games, with perspectives from defensive lineman Thomas Rush and quarterback Tanner Morgan. Then beat writer Randy Johnson joins host Michael Rand to talk about the Gophers being No. 1 in total offense and total defense in FBS. 31:00: Revisiting the Monday Night Football finish.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand wants listeners to hit rewind on the Twins season before it gets too late and we all move on to other things. Sure, this past weekend against Cleveland was disappointing. But the AL Central race was shaped in June, with five excruciating bullpen meltdowns against the Guardians that kept the Twins from taking control of the division. 7:00: Star Tribune Vikings writer Andrew Krammer joins the show for the first Vikings film review segment of the season, helping Rand break down Justin Jefferson's big day. Plus, what better way to express feelings about the 23-7 victory over Green Bay than with poetry. 33:00: A curious ending to Monday Night Football and an apology from Anthony Edwards and the Timberwolves.
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a look back at an extremely busy weekend in sports. Like ships passing each other in the night, the Twins drifted toward irrelevance while the Vikings bolted into the spotlight with a 23-7 win over the Packers in Kevin O'Connell's coaching debut. The Twins getting swept by Cleveland provided a microcosm of all that has been hurting them lately -- injuries, ineffective pitching and a punch-less offense -- while the Vikings got about everything they could have hoped for and more. Plus thoughts on the Gophers being in prime position in the Big Ten West and the Loons suddenly stumbling.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand lays out why he is far more pessimistic about the Vikings' season than his colleagues. He predicts the Vikings will go 7-10 this season, while six other Star Tribune Vikings writers and columnists all think they will go at least 9-8. The bottom line: This team has perilously thin depth and too many unknowns to get the benefit of the doubt. 10:00: Star Tribune Twins beat writer Megan Ryan joins the show for a look at the home stretch. With 26 games left, the Twins are tied with Chicago and 1.5 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central Race. Do they have one good stretch left in them?
Introduction: Host Michael Rand runs through the latest frustrating night for the Twins, a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Yankees. They are now 1-15 against the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers this season, often playing a joyless brand of baseball in those games and others. We know what to expect from these Twins at this point, and even though they are still very much alive in the AL Central race it doesn't seem nearly as fun as it should. 11:00: Star Tribune columnists Chip Scoggins and Patrick Reusse join Rand for a discussion of their book collaboration on Reusse's life and career, "Tales From the Minnesota Sports Beat." Anytime Reusse starts telling stories, you want to listen. 30:00: An interesting moment from a recent Russell Wilson story; is Kirk Cousins really a top-10 quarterback?
Introduction: While host Michael Rand is feeling increasingly pessimistic about the upcoming Vikings season because of the team's lack of depth, he does acknowledge that those who are more optimistic are likely placing their faith in an improved relationship between quarterback Kirk Cousins and the head coach (now Kevin O'Connell, previously Mike Zimmer). Two stories this week underscored just what a difference it will be. 7:00: Gophers women's basketball coach and legend Lindsay Whalen joined the show to talk about the upcoming season and her impending induction Saturday into the Basketball Hall of Fame. You'll hear just how nervous Whalen was to ask her favorite player -- Charles Barkley -- to be one of her presenters. 31:00: A low-tech Spygate controversy in soccer.
Host Michael Rand is joined by Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse for a look at the week in Minnesota sports. The Twins have been decimated by injuries and have lost four of their last five games, but they have still managed to stay afloat in the AL Central race. But in any other division, they would be trailing by at least 10 games. What is the end-game here? Plus Reusse and Rand get into a Vikings/Packers preview of sorts. They both agree the Vikings have an alarming lack of depth, but Reusse makes it known that the Vikings have enough talent to be competitive in 2022 even if we don't know much about them yet.
Introduction: The Gophers showed they can run. They showed they can pass. They showed they have a stout defense. Head coach P.J. Fleck shook hands with Jerry Kill not once but twice. It was pretty much everything they could have asked for in an opener, including the convincing 38-0 result against New Mexico State. 7:00: The Star Tribune's Jeff Day goes in-depth on the Gophers volleyball program with host Michael Rand. It's a powerhouse program from the standpoint of both on-court success and increasing fan interest. But is there another level? That's the big question in 2022 and beyond. 29:00: The Twins are just one game out of the AL Central lead heading into a critical stretch of their schedule.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand can't help but be frustrated by the Twins' 6-5 loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday. The near-comeback was a good effort, but Nick Gordon's baserunning blunder in the eighth and disappointing at bats from Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa in the ninth cost the Twins a chance for a truly special night and an opportunity to gain a game on Cleveland. Now the schedule stiffens considerably. 8:00: Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins joins Rand for a big-picture look at the Gophers football program as head coach P.J. Fleck prepares to begin Year 6 against New Mexico State on Thursday. Will there be more balance on offense? And can the Gophers start to establish themselves as regular contenders? 24:00: Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulled off his fourth recent trade, this time sending a seventh-round pick and conditional fourth-round pick to Philadelphia for 2020 first round pick WR Jalen Reagor. It was another sign that the Vikings aren't happy with their depth nor impressed by the final draft of the Rick Spielman era as Reagor figures to replace Ihmir Smith-Marsette, a fifth-round pick in 2021 who was cut on Wednesday.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand takes note of the Vikings' roster cuts on Tuesday, which included six of the 11 players chosen -- three of them third-round picks -- during Rick Spielman's final draft as GM in 2021. Tuesday was the clearest signal of a regime change, and it was a reminder that rebuilding depth could be a multi-year process. Plus Rand looks at the Twins' five-game winning streak and where they stand. 10:00: Local baseball historian Dan Levitt joins Rand to talk about his new book, "Intentional Balk: Baseball's Thin Line Between Innovation and Cheating." 29:00: Is Gophers men's basketball coach Ben Johnson on the verge of landing a top-30 recruit?
Introduction: The Twins had an impressive win keyed by Gio Urshela's big hit and solid work from their bullpen on Monday to pull within 1.5 games of Cleveland. On the flip side, it sounds like Byron Buxton's return is far from imminent and that he won't go with the team on its upcoming road trip to Chicago and New York. In a similar vein, Minnesota United keeps winning but suffered a key setback when it lost Bakaye Dibassy for the season. 10:00: Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly joins Michael Rand from the Star Tribune's State Fair stage to talk about the offseason deal for Rudy Gobert, big expectations and more. 29:00: NFL cutdown day is coming.
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a look at the Twins, who have been buried and revived a few times already this year. They are in a comeback cycle after sweeping the Giants over the weekend to pull within two games of Cleveland. With some key players perhaps returning soon from injury, it should be a fun stretch run. Rand expresses pessimism -- perhaps prematurely -- about the Vikings after looking at their depth in the preseason. In a role reversal, Reusse is still in wait-and-see mode. And Reusse caught up recently with former Gophers football coach Jerry Kill, who brings his New Mexico State squad to town against P.J. Fleck's Gophers on Thursday.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand goes "micro" on a couple of fringe moves by the Vikings and Twins on Thursday. First, he takes note of the Vikings' decision to keep rookie punter Ryan Wright instead of veteran Jordan Berry. How does it impact kicker Greg Joseph, who had Berry as his holder all of last season? Plus the Twins signed veteran outfielder Billy Hamilton to a minor league contract. Rand wonders why the Twins didn't make any sort of outfield depth move even sooner. 10:00: Wild General Manager Bill Guerin joins the show with a free-flowing conversation from the State Fair. Guerin touches on the dicey offseason situation involving Kirill Kaprizov, how he and head coach Dean Evason have changed their postgame communication and expectations he has for young players trying to stick on this year's roster. 27:00: Wolves forward Taurean Prince was arrested Thursday; former Minnehaha Academy standout and No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren is going to miss the entire NBA season with a foot injury.
Introduction: One of the hardest things for an "expert" to admit is that they don't know something. But when it comes to the 2022 Vikings, we are dealing with such incomplete information heading into the season that anyone trying to predict how the year will go is ripe with overconfidence. The nature of everything that has transpired this offseason means we are in for surprises when the year actually starts. 9:00: Star Tribune Minnesota United beat writer Jerry Zgoda joins host Michael Rand for a look at the red-hot Loons. They've scored 25 goals in their past 10 matches, losing just once in that span, after averaging about a goal per game until that point. Can United sustain that going forward? 21:00: Rocco Baldelli wants the Twins to play loose. Is that the problem, or do they just not have enough talent in the lineup right now with all the injuries? 26:00: Patrick Beverley is on the move to the Lakers.
Introduction: Ejections were the norm during the Ron Gardenhire era, as the Twins manager either led the American League outright or tied for the league lead in ejections every year from 2006-2011. Rocco Baldelli has tended to be much more mild-mannered, but lately he has been positively Gardy-esque. On Tuesday he was ejected for the second time this month and fourth time this season after being tossed just six times combined in his first three seasons as a manager. 7:00: Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins joins host Michael Rand for a look at Byron Buxton and another stint on the injured list and thoughts on the Vikings' acquisition of Nick Mullens as their presumed backup quarterback. 28:00: Mullens met with the media on Tuesday and vowed to be focused on the task at hand.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand is disturbed by the latest Byron Buxton injury news on a couple of fronts. First, the fact that he had to leave Monday's game with hip soreness is a bad sign for the Twins as they try to hang around in the American League Central race. Second, if the Twins haven't been forthright about all of Buxton's injury problems this season they aren't doing anyone a favor. 9:00: Star Tribune Vikings writer Andrew Krammer joins Rand to dissect the Monday trade for quarterback Nick Mullens. Though nothing is official in the depth chart, Mullens presumably will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Kirk Cousins, ending an underwhelming camp battle between second-year QB Kellen Mond and veteran Sean Mannion. 26:00: Speaking of QBs, Tom Brady is back while Aaron Rodgers is still being himself.
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a look at the impotent Twins' offense. Minnesota was shut out 7-0 by the Rangers on Sunday, and a look at the lineup reveals a lot of players who just shouldn't scare opposing pitchers that much. With a tough slate of games coming up, the Twins will need to revitalize their hitting to stay in the AL Central race. Plus Reusse gives his pitch for why Cesar Tovar was such a deserving inductee into the Twins Hall of Fame and who else needs to get in soon. And both Rand and Reusse offer solutions to the Vikings' backup QB problem.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand rips into the NFL for the negotiated suspension of DeShaun Watson that will bring him back just in time to face his former team in Houston. And Watson himself doesn't seem to have learned anything given the nature of his contradictory words on Thursday. 6:00: Star Tribune columnist La Velle E. Neal III joins the show to talk through the potential impact of Tyler Mahle's shoulder problems with the Twins. Even after a clean MRI on Thursday, there is concern about his availability. Plus Neal has thoughts on Kirk Cousins and the Timberwolves. 27:00: Big money for the Big Ten.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand takes note of Twins starter Tyler Mahle's early departure from Wednesday's game. Mahle, acquired at the trade deadline, had a dip in velocity. And just before the Twins acquired him, Mahle went three weeks between starts with a shoulder strain. How concerning should this be for a team with a history of acquiring injured pitchers? 9:00: Gophers football writer Randy Johnson joins Rand for a breakdown of that team's strengths and weaknesses so far during camp. With just two weeks before the season opener, it sounds like the defense is ahead of the offense. 20:00: Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was feisty in his return to practice on Wednesday. 25:00: A new standalone Bally Sports app will be available to BSN customers starting Sept. 26, but is the $19.99 monthly price tag too steep?
Introduction: Even as the Twins have spent most of this season either in first place or contending for an AL Central title, the vibe has been negative. So let's spend some time after a 9-0 win over the Royals to highlight three players who have stood out for the Twins so far this season (and did so again on Tuesday). 7:00: Star Tribune Lynx writer Kent Youngblood joins host Michael Rand for a look back on a disappointing season. At 14-22, the Lynx missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Big changes are on the way with legendary center Sylvia Fowles retiring. How long will it take the Lynx to return to prominence? 23:00: The Lynx used to be the default pick for Minnesota team most likely to win a championship in the next five years, but that's no longer the case. Now? The Wild and Wolves are at the top of that conversation. 28:00: Sounds like Aaron Rodgers doesn't love his young wide receivers.
Introduction: You are forgiven if you had an impending sense of doom as the 9th inning unfolded for the Twins on Friday. After blowing Saturday's game against the lowly Angels, things were slipping away against the Royals. But this time, All-Star closer Jorge Lopez induced a huge double play to preserve a 4-2 win. Max Kepler had three hits, breaking a huge slump. And the scoreboard watching, which will be a feature of the rest of the season, continued. 8:00: Vikings writer Andrew Krammer joins host Michael Rand for a breakdown of Sunday's first preseason game. There was a lot to like, including a two-touchdown performance from QB Kellen Mond. Did Mond do enough to re-emerge in the backup QB race? Who else showed flashes? And what areas are still concerns as the preseason rolls on? 26:00: Rand takes note of a key pass rush stat that the Vikings will need to improve upon this season.
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a look back at the weekend in sports. They start with the Twins, who were one strike away from a win Saturday before a series of unfortunate events led to what Reusse called their worst loss of the season against the lowly Angels. Another loss Sunday dropped Minnesota to 1-4 on a disappointing road trip and left the Twins 2.5 games behind Cleveland. Plus Reusse and Rand get into the Vikings' first preseason game and Kellen Mond's performance at quarterback as well as the latest on Jerry Kill and the end of a career for Sylvia Fowles.
With Allianz Field set to host the Major League Soccer All Star Game on Wednesday, and with Minnesota United manager Adrian Heath slated to manage the MLS side, host Michael Rand caught up recently with Heath on a number of subjects.
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a look back at the big stories from the weekend. They started -- of course -- with the Twins' 3-2 loss to Toronto on Sunday, which was punctuated by an overturned call at home plate and an extremely rare postgame rant from manager Rocco Baldelli. He said the reversal "beyond embarrassing" and used even stronger language throughout his critique. Plus Reusse and Rand get into the Vikings' never-ending quest to solve their problems at center and Napheesa Collier's return to the Lynx lineup in a big Sunday win.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand declares Aug. 2 a sigh of relief day on two fronts in Minnesota sports. Twins fans (and probably players) who were desperate for upgrades to the first-place club watched the front office deliver three impact trades with the additions of relief pitchers Jorge Lopez and Michael Fulmer plus starter Tyler Mahle. And the Wild welcomed Kirill Kaprizov back to Minnesota on Tuesday after an uneasy offseason in which he was temporarily unable to leave Russia. 7:00: Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins joins Rand for a more thorough breakdown of the Twins trades plus a look at the big questions facing Gophers football with camp underway. 30:00: Saying goodbye to legend Vin Scully.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand collects up the swirl of negative energy surrounding the Twins at the trade deadline and exhales it as a positive sentiment: Even as fans get frustrated by inconsistency and a lack (so far) of substantive deadline moves, it's hard to stay mad at a team that has shown this much resiliency. Another example arrived Monday with a walk-off win over Detroit. 7:00: Star Tribune Vikings beat writer Ben Goessling joins the show, but only after he promised not to record video of practice. What's up with fans being asked not to post practice video on social media? Is that normal? Plus Goessling's thoughts on the secondary, the shift to a 3-4 defense and how he thinks the team will fare this year. 30:00: Vikings special teams coordinator Matt Daniels guaranteed a great season from Vikings kicker Greg Joseph. What could go wrong?
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a look at the Twins. With Tuesday's trade deadline approaching quickly, the organization seems stuck in a strange spot: Leading a weak AL Central, but having seen that lead dwindle; lacking enough depth in the minor leagues to make a major move; and perhaps not being good or bad enough to warrant a big move at all. So what will happen? Plus Reusse and Rand talk about Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's recent comments about Kirk Cousins and the paranoia of fans recording video at practice. And a tribute to Bill Russell, the Celtics legend who died Sunday at age 88.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand took note of comments Thursday from Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, who said he is trying to learn not just a new playbook but a new way of progressing through his reads under head coach Kevin O'Connell. How fast the two can get on the same page will go a long way toward determining the Vikings' success in 2022. 9:00: Rand caught up with several local high school athletes earlier this week at the All Metro Sports Awards and asked them this question: How do you watch sports? The answers were interesting and varied. 22:00: Revisiting the Twins' Brandon Kintzler deadline trade from 2017 with our internet friend Chiken Fingerz, who has never been angrier.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand did some unnecessary work to determine the same fact Phil Miller referenced at the top of his story from the Twins' 10-4 loss to the Brewers on Wednesday. The Twins, as Miller had already found, are now 2-10 against other first-place teams in MLB, and they have been outscored 80-41 in those games. Plus Rand looks at the difference between how Carlos Correa and Karl-Anthony Towns approach having input on their respective rosters. 9:00: Dan Whenesota joins Rand for a talk about his new book, "A Slap Shot in Time" about the old Minnesota Fighting Saints. When it comes to stories, you can't do much better than old time hockey. Plus, the book prompted Rand to think about his favorite sports movies of all-time. 27:00: Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson is entering an important year in his career.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand explores the dual legacies of Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, noting that Sano's return to the lineup Tuesday and these final two months of 2022 will probably mark the duo's last chance to do something special together. Plus Tuesday's 7-6 loss to Milwaukee was another example of the need for bullpen help. 9:00: Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns joins the show to talk about his new contract, the added pressure to win and faith being rewarded. 19:00: Three interesting takeaways from P.J. Fleck's appearance at Big Ten media day.
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a recap of Reusse's trip to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend. After plenty of adventure and conversations, a grateful Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat could probably use a little peace and quiet for the next couple weeks. Plus Reusse wonders about the timing of Byron Buxton's All-Star break procedure, considers the cost/benefit of Miguel Sano rejoining the team and once again expresses his disdain for the process of Vikings training camp.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand looks ahead to the second half of the Twins season with five predictions. Will anyone significant be traded? How about some bullpen help? Which current players are poised for big second halves? And will the Twins win the AL Central? Rand tackles all those questions. 11:00: Star Tribune columnist La Velle E. Neal III joins Rand in advance of Neal's trip to Cooperstown this weekend for the Hall of Fame induction of Twins connections Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat and David Ortiz. Plus the big future question: Is Joe Mauer a Hall of Famer? 27:00: Kyler Murray got paid like Aaron Rodgers, but he shouldn't try to emulate Rodgers in one key area.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand takes note of an ESPN assessment of the strengths of each NFL team over the next three years. If the evaluations of the panel of league experts is accurate, there is trouble -- or at least mediocrity -- ahead for the Vikings. While the Packers finished tied for third and were deemed to be top-10 in every category, the Vikings were No. 19 overall and weren't higher than No. 17 in any single marker. That could signal a more honest roster evaluation is still to come depending on how 2022 goes. 13:00: Star Tribune golf writer Jerry Zgoda joins the show ahead of the 3M Open, which begins Thursday in Blaine. With a field impacted by the new LIV Golf tour, who will emerge as the champion? And do we know enough about the PGA Tour event, now in its fourth year, to determine if there is a style of play best suited for the course? 25:00: Rand has no time for the All-Star Game MVP "snub" of Byron Buxton nor the ESPYs ... plus the Loons demolish a Premier League team and Kyle Rudolph joins forces with Tom Brady.
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a look back at the weekend in sports, which included the Twins getting steamrolled while losing three of four games to the White Sox heading into the All-Star break. This is still a first-place team through 94 games, but Reusse has never been a believer and is even less of one now. Plus Rand and Reusse share thoughts on the MLB Draft, British Open and more.
Introduction: In a jam-packed episode, host Michael Rand starts with the Twins' blowout loss to the White Sox. It's just one game, but with Sonny Gray pitching a dud and the offense sputtering it was a bad omen for an important series heading into the All-Star break. Plus Rand is joined by Twins prospect and Forest Lake native Matt Wallner, who was called up to St. Paul on Thursday after tearing things up at Class AA Wichita. 11:00: Former Wild goalie Cam Talbot met with the Ottawa media in the aftermath of being traded earlier this week. His message: Talbot didn't really want to be traded. But is that really the case? 15:00: The Lynx had a setback in their playoff push. But Minnesota Aurora is full speed ahead into Sunday's semifinals, and Rand caught up with forward Morgan Turner in advance of the game. 24:00: The Wolves added more depth with the signing of veteran Austin Rivers.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand welcomes in Twins beat writer Phil Miller for an extended look at Wednesday's big walk-off win over the Brewers, the upcoming series against the White Sox, Sunday's MLB draft and the trade deadline looming in a few weeks. 20:00: Minnesota native and Motocross legend Ryan Dungey joins the show. After retiring in 2017, Dungey has returned to action this year at age 32. He will compete on his home track in Millville, Minn., this weekend as he continues his comeback. 27:00: Minnesota United earned a draw with Sporting KC on Wednesday while Minnesota Aurora had a thrilling comeback playoff victory. 30:00: The Royals have a staggering number of unvaccinated players.
Introduction: Host Michael Rand breaks down the Wild's trade of goalie Cam Talbot, just a few days after the team signed Marc-Andre Fleury to a two-year deal and created the potential for drama with their two veteran goalies. Was it the right hockey move? And how much drama would there have been? 9:00: The Twins lost to the Brewers and Miguel Sano, the forgotten man, returned on a rehab assignment to St. Paul. 12:00: Star Tribune outdoors writer Bob Timmons joins Rand for a preview of his excellent upcoming Sunday story about "bikepacking" on gravel trails in Minnesota. 26:00: The Lynx stayed hot, winning one game seemingly three different times.
Introduction: The Twins are trudging into the All-Star break, but they can't afford a letdown even after a grueling first-half pace. They have six important games against the Brewers and White Sox starting Tuesday, and the results could set the tone for the second half and trade deadline. 7:00: Star Tribune college basketball writer Marcus Fuller joins host Michael Rand for a look at how the college sports transfer portal is impacting high school recruits. With some colleges looking at more experienced players in the portal, it is harder for younger players to get noticed. 26:00: We learned the official cause of death of Marion Barber III ... plus can the Lynx make a post-break playoff push?
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse joins host Michael Rand for a look back at the weekend in sports. The Twins salvaged a game against Texas, and it seems like no matter what they do they manage to maintain a reasonable lead in the weak American League Central. Plus they learned that Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton are All-Stars. Reusse weighs in on the team's biggest pitching need as the trade deadline approaches. Plus a look at NBA Summer League and the Wild's messy offseason.