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XF Jul 12
SEATTLE -- Mired in a slump for the past month, the Seattle Mariners optioned first baseman Dae-Ho Lee to Triple-A Tacoma on Friday. Max Scharping Womens Jersey .Seattle recalled Stefan Romero from Tacoma to take Lees spot on the roster and the Mariners put him in the starting lineup for Friday nights series opener with Milwaukee. Seattle also activated reliever Steve Cishek from the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Joe Wieland to Tacoma.The move with Lee was not a surprise as the slugger has been unable to shake his recent slide thats seen the South Korean star hit .109 with one home run and four RBI in his last 20 games.Its been a pretty significant slide since the All-Star break and trying to get his timing going, Seattle manager Scott Servais said. Confidence-wise hes down. Ive met with him a couple of times. (Hitting coach) Edgar (Martinez) has tried to get some things going, the timing with his swing, just hasnt happened.Lee was a revelation the first half of the season, earning his way into a regular platoon situation at first base as Seattles primary option when facing left-handed pitching. But he injured his hand around the All-Star break and said for a few weeks he was unable to keep up his regular hitting routine outside of games. Servais noted that Lee has been struggling with timing and hoped the decision to send him down will allow Lee the opportunity to rediscover his swing but without the pressure of Seattle being in a playoff race.Lee said his hand is healthy now.It was on and off missing some pitches and a little bit I lost a little confidence of my batting, Lee said through an interpreter.For the season, Lee is batting .246 with 13 home runs and 41 RBI. He has just six hits since the All-Star break and is hitless in his past 14 at-bats.Cishek went on the disabled list on Aug. 4 with a labrum tear in his left hip. The injury did not require surgery and Cishek gives Seattle another right-handed option in the bullpen, but he wont go back to the closer role he had earlier in the year. Cishek was 25 of 31 in save opportunities, but took a blown save and a loss in his last two appearances before landing on the disabled list. Lonnie Johnson Womens Jersey . The Oilers come in having lost five in a row (0-4-1) and 16 of their last 20 games, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. Max Scharping Youth Jersey . - Blake Griffin had 30 points and 12 rebounds, J. http://www.texansrookiestore.com/Texans-Donta-Foreman-Jersey/ . John Lucas, signed as a mentor for rookie Trey Burke, showed he can score if required, scoring 12 points of his 16 points in the second quarter as Utah built an 18-point lead. BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Dave and Dana Sparrow pulled their RV into the campground off Volunteer Parkway on Tuesday, raised their Virginia Tech flag and cracked open a few beers. Theyd spent a week camping in Hillsville, Virginia, then made their way to Bristol with their dog, Ziggy, and a pair of tickets for the biggest game -- in terms of attendance, at least -- in college football history when their Hokies take on Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday (8 p.m. ET on ABC).Theyre Virginia Tech lifers. The met there in 1971, and when they found out about the game, Dave paid the entry fee for eight of his friends in hopes of hitting the ticket lottery. One did, and now theyre here.But none of that is why they arrived five days early.I wanted to see the show, Dave Sparrow said.That show has slowly coalesced around them. Down on Volunteer Parkway, a parade of vendors has set up shop. Theres a mobile cocktail bar, a shop selling alligator heads and a food tent whose sign features a pink donkeys exposed posterior between the words Big and Tacos.Down the hill from the Sparrows, three campers from New Jersey are sipping beers. Theyre not rooting for Tennessee or Virginia Tech. They just wanted to see a football game played at a NASCAR track. Some NASCAR fans, Sparrow said, had simply left their campers here since the race three weeks ago and paid the extra storage fees. Most of them have Tennessee flags flying above their RVs and orange and white checkerboard awnings sprawling out over their campsite.But the star of the show, at least at this campsite, is the garbage truck.Donald Greene got the idea about eight years ago. The company he works for, Waste Connections, had retired a fleet of residential recycling trucks, and he thought it would be fun to retrofit the whole thing to serve as a tailgating vehicle. They sandblasted the interior, stripped down the exterior and painted it bright orange. Inside the rear, theres bench seating with a TV hanging on the back wall and air conditioning throughout. Outside there are kegs for beer, a steam table and grill for food and giant goal posts attached to the roof.Price tag on the renovation?Unknown, Greene said.In other words, its best not to ask.Its been a smart investment though. The company takes the truck to every Tennessee home game and hosts clients for tailgates. Fans passing by always want to stop and take a look, and Greene is happy to give tours. Its a show-stopper, which makes for good advertising for the company. Their locations in Oregon and Nebraska are building similar vehicles now, too.In the circus that is the Battle at Bristol, Greenes Tennessee trash truck fits right in.Holston River Brewing, a rustic building tucked between two churches, behind a mountain and adjacent to a campground, just a quarter-mile from the racetrack, has been here for two years. The building used to be a garage for monster trucks, but it was ramshackle and covered in dirt and grease when Sue Doherty bought it in 2013.Doherty has always loved beer, and she liked the history of the building, so she decided to open the brewery here. Now all that remains of the garage are the oversized doors rolled up to create an open-air feel. Theres a stage in the far corner -- karaoke on Wednesday was a hit, and multiple bands are playing through the weekend -- a pingpong table and shuffleboard in the back room. Given its humble beginnings, its a rather upscale affair.Building a customer base has been an ongoing project, though. Disputes over signage make the place tough to find from the highway, and in truth, NASCAR fans havent quite caught on to the burgeoning craft beer experience.They tend to be more of a Bud Light and Mich Ultra crowd, said Deanna Cole, co-owner of the brewery.For those folks, theres the Ale Jr.: a light pilsner named after one of NASCARs most popular drivers, which Cole says is a good gateway beer for the uninitiated. But for the college football fans here this week, theres no need for training wheels.This group is predominantly craft beer drinkers, Cole said of the incoming college football crowds.Thats actually what drew Christian Laourdakis here. He snagged tickets for the game and put his friend in charge of finding a campsite. The campground with the craft brewery was the logical choice.My uncle is coming from Michigan, and he loves microbrews, and we love microbrews, Laourdakis said. So this is a great place to camp for the weekend and get some beers.Thats a boon for Doherty and Cole. The crowds for NASCAR events at the track have dwindled in recent years, but an influx of 150,000 or more college football fans is a needed injection of money into the coffers. Cole guesses this weekends take at Holston River Brewing will exceed the two race weekends combined.Its not just good for us, she said, Its good for all of Bristol.Marla Edwards has been zipping her golf cart up and down the rolling hills surrounding the speedway for 16 years.She gives a quizzical look when asked for her job title, as if its never occurred to her that her role required definition. She started volunteering here 25 years ago and has been an employee overseeing the Medallion Motorcoach Community since 2000, and her job simply boils down to being a veteran of the experience.Ive just been here long enough to answer a lot of things, she said.Edwards was in a bluegrass band when she moved to Tennessee, and the lead singer hooked her up with her first job at the track and she never left. Away from the track, she farms 20 acres of cattle, and her hands are blistered and cut from putting up fence wire last week.This is a break to me, she said. The joke we have is, were ripping the speedway off because wed all work here for free. We love our jobs.Edwards is old-school. She calls NASCARs top circuit the Winston Cup Series, even if that sponsorship has changed twice since 2003, and she prefers to hire older volunteers for race weekends because the kids spend too much time glued to their cellphones. She takes the job seriously, and its easy to see why. As she zooms around the Medallion lot in her golf cart, theres not a guest she doesnt know by name.Theres Beverly Stewart, decked out in Tennessee colors, here to see her team play in personn for just the third time in her life. Lonnie Johnson Texans Jersey. She comes up from North Carolina for every race though, and she keeps Tootsie Rolls in her RV because she knows Edwards loves them.Edwards stops to pat the heads of the dogs staying with Pam and Dave Norton and their friends. Theyre not college football fans, but theyd made a deal with friends to attend the game in exchange for the rest of the group coming to a NASCAR race. Because their friends have split allegiances, one dog will spend the weekend wearing a Virginia Tech bandanna, the other Tennessee.She makes plans with Don Reynolds, whos been cooking for the Food City hospitality center on race days for 32 years. Hes the real deal, Edwards said, and before she pulls away in her golf cart she reminds him to check in with her when the ribs are ready Saturday.The lot offers space for 200 RVs, but for Edwards, this is like family, and Saturdays game is a unique reunion.Adam Rust has been here since 2005 in myriad roles with the speedway.Ive had no other job, he said. Ive just kind of evolved here.His job now is head of purchasing, which means if the track spends money on something, hes had a hand in acquiring it.For Saturdays game, more than half-million beers were purchased -- a few hundred thousand bottles of water, too. There were custom stools for the locker rooms, mobile showers for the players, tents for VIPs and a few thousand other details that had to be just right.And then there were the really tough items.The infield seating was particularly problematic. The permanent seating capacity is 150,000, but Rust wasnt interested in simply beating the current college football attendance record. He wanted to demolish it, so the quest to install temporary accommodations began. They did sightline studies and crunched the numbers and the plans wavered from as many as 15,000 extra seats down to the current footprint of 5,000 seats. We tweaked it until it couldnt be tweaked anymore, Rust said.The field itself was a feat of engineering, too. For NASCAR races, the infield slopes inward to drain water. That needed to be filled with rocks and leveled off before the turf could go down for the field. At its midpoint, more than 3 feet of rocks were deposited. More than 450 dump trucks were required to deliver the full payload. When Tennessee sent out its engineering crew to finally inspect the field, it measured to within a millimeter of perfection for field quality. Even now, crews are out on the field with scissors, clipping any uneven fibers.Above the field, however, is Rusts biggest accomplishment. Its called Colossus: a four-sided, 700-ton video board that is the rough equivalent of a 13,000 square foot, three-story house hoisted over the playing field by cables as thick as a linebackers arms.Its the center of our universe, Rust said.Given the size of the track, creating a video board capable of bringing fans in the worst seats close to the action was a priority, but it took nearly three full years for the project to come together.Up in the tower along the front stretch, Adam Vahl is monitoring the Colossus technology. Hes actually spent a bit of time inside Colossus itself, hoisted up in a basket 200 feet into a structure he said is actually pretty homey. His company, GoVision, created Colossus, with about 75 percent of it being built on premises at the racetrack, but its the upkeep in the control room that was the real chore. Wires run from one box to another, and lights blink frenetically along a wall of servers and processors. Somehow Vahl keeps track of it all.Its higher than HD, so we had hurdles on the technical side to get through, Vahl said. Its 72 fibers, making sure everything is plugged in correctly. Theres over 3 miles of cable inside there.On game day, a GoVision employee will be up inside Colossus, in constant communication with Vahl to make adjustments or repairs as needed, and the eyes of more than 150,000 fans will be fixated on their work.Fifteen miles away, at a biker bar called Tulips in Johnson City, Tennessee, Robert Hardin sits at the bar and wonders about the prospects for his beloved Tennessee Volunteers after a sloppy Week 1 performance, a 20-13 win over Appalachian State. Hes not planning to attend the game. Its more comfortable to watch from his couch at home. But as the speedway has transformed from racetrack to football stadium, hes tracked the progress online, just to see what it all looks like.Of all the massive accomplishments, this might be the most impressive. The die-hards and the race fans, the tailgaters and the bikers -- theyre all excited just to see how this all turns out.Marcus Smith and Jerry Caldwell have been here nearly their whole lives. Smith is the son of Bruton Smith, who started pushing this idea 20 years ago. Caldwell is the GM of the speedway, whos led the charge on what this game could become.Back in the 1960s, the Eagles and Redskins played an exhibition game at the speedway, and the idea of putting on another football game here has existed in some form ever since.In the mid-1990s, Smith pushed for the game, but the schools werent interested. By the early 2000s, the roles had reversed, but the track couldnt accommodate the game at the time. But the dream never dissipated.The fans wouldnt let us forget it, Smith said. They wouldnt let it die.Now, the campgrounds are filled with RVs. The streets are lined with souvenir shops selling Hokies and Vols gear. Downtown Bristol has been a constant party. Colossus looms over a football field that, for two decades, seemed like a pipe dream.This is Super Bowl-esque, Smith said.Theyre in the business of big events, Smith said, but this one was a little different. It took a little more time, a lot more engineering, a will to make it happen from the fans and the schools and the volunteers around the track and the contractors doing the work to get every little detail just right.After so many years of waiting and planning and dreaming, its a little surreal, Caldwell said, to finally see a finished product.For 20 years its been talked about, he said. And the stars just aligned. Wholeslae Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys Cheap Football Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Baseball Jerseys ' ' ' 
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