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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers' Maldonado suspended for Easter brawl in Pittsburgh

MILWAUKEE - ESPN says Milwaukee Brewers' catcher Martin Maldonado will be suspended for five games for throwing a punch that cut Pittsburgh's Travis Snider in the face last Sunday.  

Major League Baseball did not announce its discipline as of early this afternoon.  ESPN cited a source as saying that Maldonado's punishment was complete -- and he'll be fined 25-hundred dollars in addition to his suspension.  Unless he appeals, Maldonado would lose five games of salary but not necessarily five games of playing time -- since he's the backup catcher to Jonathan Lucroy.  There was no immediate word on a punishment for Carlos Gomez, the Brewer who was accused by Pirates' starter Garrit Cole of showing him up by celebrating a triple on Sunday.  After the words, Gomez swung his helmet and ran toward Cole.  Both benches emptied.  The Maldonado punch left a cut and bruises around Snyder's eye due to the sunglasses he was wearing at the time.  The Brewers will host San Diego tonight, after a 4-3 victory last evening.  


Former Brewers' first-round draft choice Jeb Bradley has been named the pitcher of the week in the Upper Class-"A" Florida State League.  The left-hander threw six scoreless innings for Brevard County in a game last week, giving up two hits and no walks while striking out five.  It was his first scoreless start since last May fifth.  Bradley is in his third straight year with the Manatees, after missing the first three-and-a-half months of last season with shoulder problems.  He's 2-1 so far this year with a 4.70 ERA in three starts.  Bradley has only given up two walks in 15-and-a-third innings.  He was one of two first-round draft choices for Milwaukee in 2011.


The Milwaukee Brewers may have the best record in baseball, but it's been far from easy.  The Crew still has a losing 1-2 record against its nemesis of recent years, the Saint Louis Cardinals.  And the Brewers have won each of their last three games by just one run.  Still, Milwaukee has become the first big league team to go ten games above .500, as it gets ready for game 2 of its home series against San Diego tonight.  Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start for the Brewers against Padres' right-hander Ian Kennedy.  The ace of the Milwaukee staff is 2-0 in his contract year, with an ERA of 1.46.  Gallardo failed to give up a run in his first two starts, but has surrendered a pair in each of his last two.  He escaped with a no-decision last Thursday at Pittsburgh, giving up a two-run homer in six innings of an 11-2 Brewers' defeat.  Brewers' closer Francisco Rodriguez has had four saves in as many days.  He's 8-for-8 in save conversions this year, while failing to give up a run in 11 innings.  Kennedy is 1-3 with a 4.13 ERA.  Last Thursday, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up three runs in a loss to Colorado. 


Bob Uecker's second statue at Miller Park will be unveiled on Friday.  An afternoon ceremony is planned for special guests.  Fans will get to see the new statue on Friday night, when a pre-game ceremony honors the Brewers' Hall of Fame radio broadcaster.  Uecker already has a statue outside Miller Park next to Bud Selig, Hank Aaron, and Robin Yount.  The new one immortalizes his role in the old Miller Lite All-Star commercials, where he got booted to the nose-bleed seats after famously saying "I must be in the front row."  Brian Maughan designed the new statue.  He also created the four outside the home plate entrance to the ballpark.______________________

In the Midwest League, the Beloit Snappers will play their second consecutive mid-day contest at Kane County.  The Snappers beat the division-leading Cougars 5-3 yesterday.  Tonight, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers play at Burlington again.  That's where the Rattlers lost to the Bees 5-1 last evening.  ______________________

The UW-Whitewater baseball team remains fourth in the new national Division III rankings from  The Warhawks are 21-4 overall, after splitting a home double-header against UW-Stevens Point last Friday. The Pointers dropped five places to ninth, with a mark of 18-7.  Linfield of Oregon remains at No. 1 at 29-4.


Ripon College shortstop Michael Polcyn made the national Division III Team of the Week from  Polcyn, a junior, homered in three straight games last week.  He batted .611 in four contests with ten RBI's and eight runs scored.  It also gave him the Midwest Conference weekly honors as the league's top position player.  Also, the conference recognized Alexander Reid of Carroll University in Waukesha in men's tennis -- Taylor Pasterski of Saint Norbert in men's outdoor track -- and Randy Hill and Nicole Vanderlin, both of Saint Norbert, in field events.


If you plan to see the Green Bay Packers in person this year, you'll want to start paying attention.  Pro Football says the NFL regular season schedule will most likely come out tomorrow or Thursday.  It was reportedly supposed to be announced today, but everything's later this year.  Players cannot technically begin their off-season practices until today, and the draft -- which is normally this weekend -- has been pushed back to early May.  Fans are not the only ones eager to learn the schedule.  Green Bay area hotels get swamped with reservation calls within minutes after the home schedule comes out.  We already know who the Packers are playing this fall -- it's just a matter of when.  Besides the usual division opponents, Green Bay will host New England, Carolina, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and the New York Jets -- and they'll play at Seattle, New Orleans, Miami, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay.