WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Bucks officially fire Drew, haven't announce Kidd's hiring yet
The Milwaukee Bucks announced the firing of coach Larry Drew last night -- but the team Web site has not posted a word yet about his replacement, Jason Kidd. That's because it's not final yet, although it is getting closer. Media reports said Kidd has tentatively agreed to a three-year contract worth a total of 12-to-15 million dollars. The Bucks apparently believe Kidd can use his 19 years of N-B-A playing experience to teach the team's young roster. He leaves the Brooklyn Nets, after just one year of his four-year deal as a head coach. As compensation, the Nets will reportedly get Milwaukee's second round draft picks in 2015 and 2019. Yahoo Sports says Kidd plans to bring Nets assistants Sean Sweeney and Eric Hughes with him. Yahoo also says the teams could work out a player trade. There were reports soon after the season ended that the Nets could trade Brook Lopez and Mirza Teletovic to Milwaukee for troubled center Larry Sanders and forward Ersan Ilyasova. Also, free agents can start negotiating with N-B-A teams today. Meanwhile, Drew has not commented on his departure. He leaves the Bucks after just one season in which the team battled a host of injuries and finished a franchise-worst 15-and-67.
The Bucks might lose back-up power forward Ekpe Udoh. The Journal Sentinel said the team declined to make a qualifying offer, so Udoh officially becomes an unrestricted free agent today. The Bucks acquired the 6-10 Udoh from Golden State in 2012, in the deal that sent Andrew Bogut to the Warriors. Injuries dogged Udoh last season. He missed all of Training Camp after having surgery on his right knee. Later, he missed eleven games with a sprained ankle and knee swelling, and was shelved for the final 26 games last season. Udoh played in 42 games for the Bucks last season, starting 14. He averaged around three-and-a-half points and three-and-a-half rebounds per night.
It's a national holiday in Canada, and that's why the Milwaukee Brewers have a noon game today in Toronto. The Crew is opening a two-game Interleague series against the Blue Jays, who have a three-game losing streak but still lead the American League East by a game over Baltimore. Milwaukee still has a six-and-a-half game edge over Saint Louis in the National League Central, after both those teams were idle yesterday. Cincinnati fell to third place at seven games back, after dropping a 1-nothing game at San Diego. Today, the Brewers will see their former teammate Juan Francisco, who was let go by the Crew in March after almost one season with the team. Francisco is batting .236 with 12 homers and 30 R-B-I's. On Sunday, he filled in at third base for another prominent ex-Brewer -- former top prospect Brett Lawrie, who's on the disabled list with a broken right index finger. Right-hander Marco Estrada will start for the Crew today against Toronto right-hander Drew Hutchison. The first pitch is at 12:07 as Canadians celebrate Canada Day, the anniversary of when the country became self-governing.
Central Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann improved to 5-and-0 lifetime against Colorado, as the Washington Nationals scored a 7-3 home victory over the Rockies last night. The former U-W Stevens Point standout from Auburndale gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings. Zimmermann struck out five, as he improved to 6-and-4 on the year.
Former Brewers' shortstop Alcides Escobar had two doubles and four R-B-I's for Kansas City in the Royals' 6-to-1 victory at Minnesota. Escobar spent all or parts of three seasons with Milwaukee, and he was billed as the Brewers' shortstop of the future after they traded away J-J Hardy. Escobar was traded to K-C after the 2010 season in the deal that brought Zack Greinke to Milwaukee for almost two seasons.
The Lakeshore Chinooks won the South Division title on the final day of the Northwoods League first-half. Blake Butler hit a walk-off homer in the 12th inning, as the Chinooks defeated the expansion Kenosha Kingfish 5-to-4 in Mequon. They were supposed to play a second game in Kenosha last night, but it was rained out. Meanwhile, the second-place La Crosse Loggers dropped a pair to Madison, 2-to-1 and 4-to-3. The Loggers finished three-and-a-half games behind Lakeshore. Madison ended up third, five-and-a-half back. Wisconsin was fourth, Kenosha fifth, Green Bay sixth, and Wisconsin Rapids ninth-and-last in the South. Green Bay coach Darell Handelsman won his 600th Northwoods game, as his Bullfrogs swept Wisconsin 15-6 and 12-5. In the North, Willmar clinched the division crown over the weekend. Eau Claire, the only Wisconsin team in the North, placed sixth. All Northwoods teams are off today. They'll open the second half of their season tomorrow.
The Green Bay Packers have sold out their annual Family Night, even though it's been scaled down from a scrimmage to a practice. Almost 73-thousand ten-dollar tickets were purchased for the August second event at Lambeau Field. The Packers are trying to cut down on injuries -- and they saw Family Night as one way to do it, after tackle Bryan Bulaga went out for the season with a knee injury at last year's event. The Packers still promise periods of full contact between the offense-and-defense. They also promise a game-type atmosphere, plus live music and a fireworks show. It's the 14th year of Family Night, and the eighth time it's been sold out.