WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers officially announce Garza signing
Milwaukee Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio says the team has as much pitching depth as he's seen in his nearly 10 years of owning the club. He announced at the "Brewers On Deck" fan festival yesterday that veteran starter Matt Garza wrapped up a four-year contract. It guarantees him 50-million dollars, with a million dollars in performance bonuses each year. There's also a vesting option for a fifth season that could pay him another 13-million. It was prematurely reported last Thursday that the 30-year-old Garza signed a free-agent deal with the Crew, after being traded from the Chicago Cubs to Texas last July. As it turned out, the two sides needed to agree on how much money would be deferred, and how the vesting option would work. The 30-year-old Garza is 67-and-67 in eight Major League seasons with a three-point-eight-four E-R-A. In a conference call with reporters, Garza called the Brewers the right fit -- and he was happy to be back in the National League Central. Milwaukee did not have to give up a draft pick to get Garza. Brewers' G-M Doug Melvin said he didn't want to lose any more picks, after losing one a year ago when signing starter Kyle Lohse. Manager Ron Roenicke said it's too early to tell what the Brewers' rotation might look like. He said it would depend on the health of the players going in-and-out of Spring Training.
A team-record 14-thousand-plus fans attended the "Brewers on Deck" fan festival yesterday. Admission was free, as the team continued its good-will efforts with the fans in the wake of Ryan Braun's admission of taking P-E-D's after two years of denying it. Still, folks had to trudge through snow-covered and bitter cold temperatures to get to the Wisconsin Center convention hall in downtown Milwaukee. Braun was among the highlights -- again sidestepping questions about his P-E-D use while discussing the challenges in dealing with the aftermath. Braun said the right-thumb injury that kept him out last June is now healed. He also said he would need time to get adjusted to right field, where he'll replace Norichika Aoki who was traded to Kansas City. Slugger Khris Davis will take Braun's old spot in left. In an off-field development, the Brewers said they would bring in Wisconsin Badgers' radio broadcaster Matt Lepay for 35 games on T-V this season, while play-by-play man Brian Anderson is away on national games for T-B-S. Lepay will continue his work in Madison as the lead broadcaster for Badger football and men's basketball.
Green Bay Packers' running back Eddie Lacy had seven carries for 14 yards at last night's Pro Bowl in Honolulu. He had also had one catch for nine yards, while playing for Deion Sanders' team that lost to Jerry Rice's squad 22-21. DeMarco Murray of Dallas caught a 20-yard touchdown pass with just under a minute left, and Mike Tolbert then scored on a two-point conversion to give Team Sanders the victory. It was the first time that the teams were not broken down by conference, as the N-F-L went to a fantasy-style draft with past stars as coaches to try and spice things up. Defensive players flied around much more aggressively than two years ago -- when opponents hardly tackled, and Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers complained about a lack of effort among the All-Stars.
The U-W Green Bay men's basketball team extended its winning streak to 12 games with a 62-to-52 home win over Detroit yesterday. Detroit led by three with 8:57 to go -- but the Titans never scored another field goal, and their final points came with 6:19 left when Matthew Grant made a pair of free throws. Detroit missed six shots and committed five turnovers down the stretch. It allowed Green Bay to win despite shooting just 28-percent from the floor -- the lowest percentage in the program's 45-year history. The Phoenix did make 20 more free throws than Detroit. Keifer Sykes led Green Bay with 22 points. Greg Mays had 11 points and a career-high-tying 10 rebounds, as the Phoenix improved to 7-and-0 in the Horizon League and 17-and-3 overall. Detroit only shot 31-percent. Evan Bruinsma led the Titans with 14 points, as they fell to 2-and-5 in the conference and 9-and-13 overall. Green Bay's next game is on Wednesday night at Valparaiso.
The Wisconsin women lost at home to Michigan yesterday, 60-to-44. The Badgers were down by five at the break, and they opened the second half with a 9-to-2 run to take a two-point lead. The game stayed close until the Wolverines went on a 10-0 run mid-way through the second half and pulled away. Wisconsin shot only 33-percent from the floor, hitting 5-of-24 from three-point range and making a season-low 50-percent of its 10 free throws. Michigan shot 45-percent for the game. Siera Thompson scored 13, as the Wolveries improved to 5-and-2 in the Big Ten and 14-and-6 overall. Michala Johnson scored 15 for the Badgers, who dropped to 2-and-5 in the conference and 9-and-10 overall. They'll play at Michigan State on Thursday night.
The Milwaukee Admirals blew a two-goal lead in the third period last evening and lost at home in overtime to Rockford, 4-to-3. Adam Clendening scored the game-winner with 20-point-two seconds left in the extra period. Admirals' goal-tender Marek Mazanec faced 43 shots, while filling in for the injured Magnus Hellberg and Scott Darling. The Admirals lost for only the second time this season when leading after two periods. They also fell to 1-and-6 in overtime games.
The Wisconsin women's hockey team completed a weekend home sweep of Minnesota-Duluth with a 2-to-nothing victory yesterday in Madison. It was a more physical game than most, resulting in 12 penalties between the two teams. Erika Sowchuk and Sarah Nurse scored for the second-ranked Badgers, which out-shot Minnesota-Duluth 38-17. Alex Rigsby had 17 saves in recording her fourth shut-out of the season.
The Level-Five Motorsports team of Madison won the G-T-D Class at the United Sports-Car Championship in Daytona Beach Florida during the weekend. It took a four-hour review to determine that the Madison team won. They were originally penalized for having avoidable contact with another vehicle driven by Markus Winkelhock -- and the Flying Lizard team was given the victory. Level-Five's team personnel charged toward Victory Lane to argue their case -- and officials looked at the replay monitors and saw no contact among the cars in question.