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Wisconsin Sports Briefs: Packers set financial records, Brewers hitless in All-Star Game…

The Green Bay Packers set new records last year for total revenues, net income and operating profits.

The NFL’s only publicly-owned team released its financial data Tuesday. Operating profits jumped by 26 percent, to $54.3 million for the year ending March 31.

Net income rose by 1 percent to $43 million. Total revenues increased 2 percent to $308 million.

Team president Mark Murphy said the increases were due mainly to their success on the field, including their fourth straight playoff appearance and their second consecutive NFC North Division title in 2012.

Murphy said the team also benefited from the collective bargaining agreement set two years ago with the players union. Player costs for the last fiscal year dropped by $19 million, to $136 million.

The Packers expect to take a hit in that department next year after signing Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews to mega-contract extensions.

Murphy also expects a louder and improved atmosphere at Lambeau Field this season, with 6,600 additional seats in an overhang in the South End Zone.

Stockholders will review the financial data at their annual meeting a week from Wednesday. Training Camp will begin two days later.

Rivera named All-Star Game MVP

The National League was held to just three hits last night in losing to the American League 3-0 at the Major League All-Star Game in New York.

Milwaukee’s two representatives – Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez – both went 0 for 1 at the plate.

Segura was a late entry at shortstop, and Gomez finished the game in right field. Both were victims of New York Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera, as Segura made the first out and Gomez the final out in a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

The 43-year-old Rivera, who will retire after this season, was named the game’s MVP.

Former Brewers’ shortstop J.J. Hardy of Baltimore drove in the final American League run on a groundout in the fifth inning. Former Wisconsin Timber Rattler Adam Jones of Baltimore scored on the play after he doubled to open the frame.

Hardy started at short for the American League and went 0 for 2. Ex-Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder tripled in his only at-bat.

Former Milwaukee prospect Nelson Cruz went 0 for 1 with a walk. Ex-Brewers reliever Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless inning with a walk and a strikeout.

The break continues for two more days. The Brewers will return to action on Friday night at home against the Miami Marlins.

Union fights disclosure of suspended players names

If the players union has its way, we won’t know which players are suspended in the Bio-Genesis performance-enhancing drug scandal until after all the players have their appeal hearings.

Union leader Michael Weiner said at the All-Star Game Tuesday that the appeal hearings probably won’t happen until September – and any suspensions most likely won’t be served until next season.

Baseball officials were planning to announce the suspensions within a month, as soon as their investigation is complete. Drug punishments are not normally made official until after the players’ appeals are exhausted.

Major League officials were planning to make the announcement sooner this time since many of the names of the involved players have already come out. That includes Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun.

Media reports say Braun could be suspended for up to 100 games after his name showed up on a list of suspected performance-enhancing drug customers at the now-closed Bio-Genesis clinic in Miami.

Bucks waive Gooden, pay him $13.4 million

The Milwaukee Bucks used their amnesty clause yesterday to waive veteran forward Drew Gooden. The team will pay him $13.4 million dollars for the two years he has left on his contract, but it will not count against the Bucks’ annual salary cap.

Gooden becomes the 20th NBA player waived under the amnesty clause, which was added to the league’s collective bargaining agreement in 2011. Teams can only use the clause once, and only on players who were on their rosters before the new bargaining agreement took effect.

Gooden is an 11-year NBA veteran who signed a five-year deal with Milwaukee in 2010. He averaged around 11 points and six rebounds in 107 games with the Bucks.

UW-Whitewater AD a candidate for Nebraska job

UW-Whitewater Athletic Director Paul Plinske is one of four finalists for the AD opening at Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers are looking to replace Jon McBride. He’ll resign at the end of the month for health reasons.

Plinske has headed Whitewater’s athletic programs since 2004. The other finalists are Northern Iowa associate AD Jean Berger, Bowling Green State University associate AD Mary Ellen Gillespie, and Bemidji State Athletic Director Rick Goeb.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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