Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Weeks named Brewers nominee for MLB's Clemente AwardWisconsin Sports
-- Rickie Weeks was named today as the Brewers’ nominee for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award. The honor goes to the player who best represents the game both on-and-off the field through sportsmanship and community involvement.
MILWAUKEE - Rickie Weeks was named today as the Brewers’ nominee for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award. The honor goes to the player who best represents the game both on-and-off the field through sportsmanship and community involvement.
Each of the 30 big league teams chooses a nominee – and fans can vote online for the national winner at MLB-Dot-Com-slash-ClementeAward. The fan winner gets one vote in the selection panel that chooses the final honoree. The award pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character. He died in a New Year’s Eve plane crash in 1972 while delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Weeks, the Brewers’ second baseman, supports a number of causes. Among other things, they benefit child dental care, diabetes treatments, fostering fatherhood, a YMCA swimming program, and free Brewers’ tickets for youth groups. Weeks will be recognized as the Brewers’ Clemente Award nominee on September 29th at Miller Park.
The Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates will send their aces to the mound tonight, when they square off in the Steel City. Brewers’ right-hander Yovani Gallardo has won his last seven decisions, and he’ll face Pirates’ right-hander A.J. Burnett. Both teams are just two-and-a-half games back for the final National League Wild Card spot. But the Brewers have all the momentum, while the Pirates have been slipping. Milwaukee has won 20-of-its-last-26. Pittsburgh has dropped 18-of-25. And while the Brewers were off yesterday, the Pirates played in Chicago until 1:30 a.m. this morning before they pulled out a 3-0 win over the Cubs at a rain-soaked Wrigley Field. Gallardo is 15-8 this year with an ERA of almost 3.34. He gave up two runs in seven innings last Wednesday, when he got the win over Atlanta. Burnett is 15-and-7 with an ERA of 3.23. The Pirates have lost each of Burnett’s last five starts. Last time out, he pitched well enough to win, giving up two runs in six innings – but Burnett still took a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati. The Brewers are opening a 10-game road trip which includes visits to Cincy and Washington.
Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy said receiver Greg Jennings would practice in a limited manner today, as the Pack gets ready to play at Seattle on Monday night. Jennings missed last Thursday’s win over Chicago, after he suffered a groin injury the preceding Sunday in the Pack’s loss to San Francisco. McCarthy also said running back James Starks would practice this week – but it’s not known yet what his role will be following his turf-toe injury. The Packers are getting ready for their first road game of the season – and McCarthy says it will be a loud atmosphere. The coach said the Seahawks played with energy and enthusiasm on Sunday when they beat Dallas 27-7. McCarthy said he was impressed with former Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson, who won the Seahawks’ starting job over ex-Packer Matt Flynn. McCarthy said Wilson defies the notion that 5-foot-10 quarterbacks are too short to succeed in the NFL. The coach said Wilson makes plays with his speed and his foot agility.
The UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team will spend its Thanksgiving holiday in Cancun, Mexico. The Phoenix will play James Madison, Missouri, and Richmond in the Cancun Challenge November 22nd-through-24th. It’s part of a 30-game schedule announced by Green Bay and coach Kevin Borseth. The Phoenix will play six non-conference opponents which made the post-season last spring. They’ll open on the road November 10th at Northern Iowa, the runner-up of the Women’s Basketball Invitational. Green Bay will play its home opener on November 17th against Central Michigan, which made the WNIT last March. The Phoenix will try to extend their winning streak over Wisconsin to four games on December 23rd at home. UWGB will open its Horizon League schedule on January eighth at home against Detroit.
Three unsigned NBA players are working out with the Milwaukee Bucks. Informal workouts are taking place at the Bucks’ training facility, in advance of the team’s official camp which begins two weeks from today. The Bucks have one open spot on their roster as they get ready for camp. Among those working out are former Boston Celtics swingman Marquis Daniels, ex-Toronto forward Rasual Butler, and guard Rodney Carney – who played in China last season. Daniels was a reserve with the Celtics a year ago, and has averaged eight points a game in his nine-year pro career. Butler has been in the league since 2002 with Miami, New Orleans, Chicago, and the LA Clippers. Carney played in the NBA with Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Golden State before going off to China a year ago. Bucks’ players have been arriving on a staggered basis for the informal workouts. Guard Monta Ellis is expected to come in later this week.
Former Green Bay Packers’ running back Ryan Grant is apparently getting a second look from the Detroit Lions. The 29-year-old Grant auditioned with Detroit this summer. And CBSSports.com says he’ll work out again for the Lions this week – even though they’ve got five other running backs on their roster. Grant spent five years in Green Bay before the Packers let him go as a free agent this spring. He ran for just four-thousand yards in his Packers’ career, with 25 touchdowns. In early August, when the Packers needed a running back, they chose Cincinnati free agent Cedric Benson over Grant. CBSSports.com says the Lions are also getting a look at former Houston Texans’ running back Steve Slaton.
Players from Wisconsin swept the weekly football honors in the Midwest Conference. Receiver Tyler Ostrander of Carroll was named the performer-of-the-week on offense. Defensive lineman Petr Bohacek of Saint Norbert was the honored defensive player. And Carroll punter Matt Traub took the honors for special teams. Ostrander, a junior, caught nine passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns in Carroll’s 48-6 rout of Knox College. Bohacek, a senior from the Czech Republic, had two sacks and a fumble recovery in Saint Norbert’s 35-31 victory over Ripon. Traub, a junior, averaged 29-and-a-half yards on four punts in Carroll’s win over Knox. He twice pinned his opponents to within their own 10-yard line. Also, Cassie Burke and Keli Muchowski – both of Lawrence in Appleton – won the weekly Midwest honors in women’s soccer.
Lauren Straehler of Concordia-Mequon has been named the women’s soccer player-of-the-week in the Northern Athletics Conference. Straehler, a senior midfielder, scored four goals for the Falcons in a trio of games last week. She scored twice in a 4-nothing shutout of Concordia-Chicago. Xavier Carrillo of Aurora won the men’s weekly honor. The NAC also recognized Kyle Bruce of Marian in men’s golf – Nina Puch of Concordia-Mequon in women’s golf – Kristen Boone of Edgewood in women’s tennis – and Erin Greenfield of Wisconsin Lutheran in volleyball.