Afternoon News Brief - Brewers Ryan Braun expected to play Giants tonightWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants both have stars who are struggling, as they get ready to face each other tonight at Miller Park.
The Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants both have stars who are struggling, as they get ready to face each other tonight at Miller Park. National League MVP Ryan Braun left in the 10th inning of last night’s Brewers’ loss with tightness in his right groin. After the game, Braun said it’s not as serious as a similar strain he had during spring training and he expects to play tonight. Meanwhile, Giants’ outfielder Angel Pagan hopes to return tonight from a stomach virus. He has an 11 game hitting streak in which he’s batting .439. And Pagan has had at least one hit in all but one of his last 32 contests. Braun’s been hot as well. He has a 10 game hitting streak, and has batted .410 during that stretch. And Braun has driven in nine runs over his last four games. The Brewers are just 10-12 at Miller Park this season, and they’re eight games below .500 overall. San Francisco comes in at 22-20, winning three of its last four. Right hander Shaun Marcum starts for the Brew Crew this evening against Giants’ right-hander Matt Cain.
Mat Gamel’s knee surgery was a success today and it involved more than originally thought. The Brewers said Gamel had the ACL ligament in his right knee repaired. And he had treatment on a lateral meniscus in the knee. Gamel, who took over the first base job after Prince Fielder left, is out for the season.
The Green Bay Packers held their first public practice of the year today. A couple hundred fans were on hand to watch the first of three open workouts as part of the voluntary organized team activities leading up to the June mandatory mini-camp. The small crowd was treated to a couple of nice looking plays. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers hit receiver Jordy Nelson in a perfect stride. And Sam Shields intercepted Rodgers with a flashy over the shoulder catch on a ball intended for Nelson. Safety M.D. Jennings might have scored some points for a job with an interception of Rodgers during a team blitzing drill. The Packers will have two more OTA’s open to fans a week from tomorrow, and on June fifth, as long as the weather stays dry. Otherwise, the team practices in the Don Hutson Center, which is closed to fans.
Former UW Green Bay women’s basketball guard Heather Golden is returning to the Phoenix as the team’s director of basketball operations. Golden played in 95 games for Green Bay before a series of knee injuries ended her career early. After getting away from basketball, Golden said she wanted to return to the game in some form and she asked the coach who recruited her, Kevin Borseth, for ideas. And he suggested that Golden try to replace Jessica Abitz who recently left the basketball operations post. Golden says she appreciates that Borseth is taking a chance on her. Her responsibilities include the arrangements of travel, hotels, and meals for the team plus whatever can make the coaches’ jobs easier. Also, former Michigan assistant John Barnes has joined his old boss, Borseth. He’ll be Green Bay’s associate head coach.
The associate head baseball coach at Ripon College has been promoted to the top spot. Eric Cruise has been named to replace Bob Gillespie, who retired this spring after 23 years leading the Red Hawks’ baseball program. Athletic director Julie Johnson says Cruise should provide a seamless transition and the players should know him well. Cruise has been at Ripon 11 years, the first nine as an assistant before being promoted to associate head coach two seasons ago. He was also a coaching assistant at Oshkosh West High School, and he spent two years managing the Oshkosh Giants’ semipro team.
The Class-“A” Midwest League has the night off. And both Wisconsin teams are pulling away at the top of the Western Division for the first half of the season. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers lead the division at 28-17, after beating third place Kane County 7-4 last night. Beloit is one game back in second place. The Snappers are 27-18, after a 4-2 victory over Burlington. Kane County is now five games off the pace. Quad Cities is fourth at six and a half back. In the Eastern Division, Lansing appears to be the runaway first half winner. The Lugnuts are up by seven and a half over South Bend and Bowling Green.
Former Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Stan Van Gundy is looking for a new job today. The Orlando Magic fired Van Gundy yesterday after he spent five years with the Magic. The team said general manager Otis Smith “mutually agreed to part ways” with the organization. CEO Alex Martins says the main reason for the moves was Orlando’s failure to get past the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. And Martins says the front office believes quote, “Our momentum towards winning a championship has paused.” Van Gundy spent one year as the head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers in the 1994-’95 season, At Orlando, he had a 259-135 regular season record with three NBA Southeast Division titles. But Van Gundy’s final season was awash with controversy especially over the status of center Dwight Howard, who becomes a free agent this July. After leaving Madison, Van Gundy also coached the Miami Heat for two years.
A former assistant at UW Green Bay will stay on as the head women’s basketball coach at Detroit. The school has announced a three year contract extension for Autumn Rademacher. She’s been at Detroit for four years. And last season, Rademacher led the Titans to their first 20 win campaign since 1997, when she played guard for Detroit and led them to the NCAA Tournament. Detroit went 20-14 this past year and finished second in the Horizon League, after the preseason poll projected her team to be #7. Rademacher spent four years as an assistant at Green Bay before taking the head job at Detroit in 2008. Her team’s biggest victory this year was at Green Bay. It ended the Phoenix’s 40 game regular season winning streak, and it was Detroit’s first ever road win over a nationally ranked team.