WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Cincinnati defender fined for hit on Finley
CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati defender who knocked Packers' tight end Jermichael Finley out of last Sunday's game has been fined $15,000 by the NFL.
Bengals' safety George Iloka says he and his agent have appealed the fine. Finley is getting over a concussion suffered on the play. He was diving to catch an Aaron Rodgers pass in the first quarter, when Iloka made contact with Finley's head as the defender tried to knock the ball out. The NFL called it a hit on a defenseless receiver, but Iloka disagrees. He said Finley was quote, "coming at me head-first, and I was just trying to make a play on the ball and knock it out with my hand." Iloka, a second-year pro, said Finley's head just happened to touch his bicep area -- and the defender claimed it caused the concussion.
Jeremy Ross has cleared waivers, but no NFL team has signed the receiver-and-kick returner who was cut by the Green Bay Packers on Monday. Ross was let go after he muffed a kickoff that the Cincinnati Bengals recovered last Sunday. That quickly led to a 14-nothing Bengals' lead, in a game that the Packers lost by four. The Packers have wanted to avoid using receiver Randall Cobb at the return slots -- but that's where he is at the moment. Green Bay's current depth chart shows Cobb as the No.1 returner for kickoffs and punts. Rookie Johnathan Franklin is listed second for kickoffs. Rookie Micah Hyde is the top backup for punt returns, followed by Franklin. Of course, everything could change next week, as the Packers make final decisions on what to do with their return game right now. The 1-2 Packers are on their bye week, and will host Detroit a week from Sunday.
The Milwaukee Brewers will open their final series of the year tonight against the Mets in New York. At least one Brewer, and maybe two, will sit out due to last night's bench-clearing brawl in Atlanta. Brewers' third baseman Aramis Ramirez twisted a knee during the pushing-and-shoving. He says he might have to miss the team's final four games. Also, there was no word by early this afternoon on a possible suspension for center-fielder Carlos Gomez. He argued with Braves' pitcher Paul Maholm and first baseman Freddie Freeman while running the bases after his first-inning homer. Gomez, Freeman, and Braves back-up catcher Gerald Laird were all ejected. The Brewers took 2-of-3 from Atlanta -- and they'll face a Mets team that's 5-1 in its last six contests, all on the road. Still, the Mets are 12 games below .500 while Milwaukee is 16 down. Right-hander Johnny Hellweg starts for the Crew tonight. He's 1-4 with an ERA of almost seven-and-a-half. Dillon Gee goes for the Mets. He's 12-10 with an ERA of just over three-and-a-half.
Carlos Gomez can expect a fine, if not a suspension, for causing last night's bench-clearing brawl in Milwaukee's 4-0 win at Atlanta. After he belted a long homer in the first inning, Gomez said he wanted to show up Braves' starter Paul Maholm for throwing at him during a game in June at Miller Park. Gomez was injured later in that game while trying to make a circus catch in center -- and he said Maholm plunked him for no reason that night. He said last night was his only chance to get back at the Braves' left-hander. Gomez said he wasn't too mouthy while going around the bases, but he did tell Maholm he was returning the favor from June. Even so, Gomez apologized after the game to reporters -- and later on Twitter. One Braves' player said he couldn't believe that Gomez had that long of a memory.
While many fans were thinking about last night's bench-clearing brawl, Kyle Lohse was quietly pitching one of the best games in Milwaukee Brewers' history. The veteran right-hander threw a two-hit shutout in the Crew's 4-) win at Atlanta. Lohse won his seventh career shutout, and his first since April of 2011 when he was with Saint Louis. Also, he was the first Brewers' pitcher to throw a shutout with less than 90 pitches since Chris Bosio did it in 1992. Lohse retired 20 in a row between the time he gave up his two hits -- a bunt single by Andrelton Simmons in the first inning, and a single by Evan Gattis in the seventh. Lohse had a longevity clause in his contract. He passed 190 innings for the season in the first inning, and that netted him a 350-thousand-dollar bonus. Lohse finished the year at 11-and-10, recovering nicely after a slow start. He had complete games in two of his final three outings.
There's a report that Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will retire when his current term ends in January of 2015. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says news of the retirement was starting to develop at mid-day. The 79-year-old Selig became the interim commissioner in 1992, when he owned the Milwaukee Brewers. In '98, he was elected as the full-time commissioner by Major League owners. He does most of his work at a downtown Milwaukee office. In recent years, Selig accepted two contract extensions after saying that he was retiring.
Former Milwaukee Bucks' center Andrew Bogut has finally declared himself 100-percent healthy -- and his coach and general manager at Golden State agree. Warriors' GM Bob Myers said the seven-foot Bogut looks like quote, "the player we envisioned when we traded for him." Coach Mark Johnson says that for the first time in a long time, there are no restrictions on his training or practice. Bogut played his first six-and-a-half seasons in Milwaukee before the Bucks traded him to the San Francisco Bay area in February of 2012. He missed the rest of that season with a broken left ankle which he had surgically repaired. Bogut missed 50 games last season due to the ankle, plus back spasms. Now, both Bogut and his superiors agree that he's moving without a hitch on the basketball floor. Local reporters agree that he looks more like the player who averaged a double-double for three straight years with Milwaukee, and was an all-NBA selection in 2010. The Bucks received shooting guard Monta Ellis and center prospect Ekpe Udoh in the trade. Ellis has since moved on to Dallas. Udoh is one of just four holdovers on the Milwaukee roster.
West Bend West is the Division 1 leader in the new state high school cross country poll from the coaches’ association. Madison West is second and Stevens Point third. In Division 2, Shorewood tops the rankings, followed by Wisconsin Lutheran and Monroe. Boscobel is No. 1 in Division 3. Chequamegon is second. Darlington and Marathon are tied for third. On the girls’ side, Hartland Arrowhead leads Division 1 with Neenah second and Whitefish Bay third. Dodgeville/Mineral Point rules the roost in Division 2, followed by Green Bay Notre Dame and Shorewood. Oshkosh Lourdes is the Division 3 girls’ leader. Boscobel and Darlington are tied for second.
Edgewood College's women's tennis team has won 28 matches in a row in the Northern Collegiate Athletics Conference. The Eagles clinched a share of their sixth straight regular season title this week -- and they can win the crown outright on Saturday with a victory over Alverno College in Milwaukee. The Edgewood tennis team has the school's second-longest run of conference championships. The Eagles won eight straight titles in women's soccer from 1994-2001.
Mike Bollinger has been named the new coach of the UW-River Falls men's-and-women's swimming and diving teams. He comes from the high school ranks, having been the girls' swim coach since 2009 at Simley High in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Bollinger was an assistant girls' coach at Simley from 2003-to-'08, and he's been an assistant with the boys' team there since 2001.