Bulls

NASCAR announces Contenders Live event

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NASCAR announces Contenders Live event

NASCAR announced Friday the launch of NASCAR Contenders Live, an interactive fan event that willallow fans to directly interact with the 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contenders at the House of Blues on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 1:30 p.m.. The event is sponsored by Toyota and Sprint.
The event will signify the start of the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The 12 Chase contenders will, for the first time ever, interact with fans, answering questions and sharing insights on their own style and techniques of racing.
The first NASCAR Contenders Live Sweepstakes also kicked off Friday, giving gans a chance to win an ultimate package that includes a 2012 Toyota Camry SE, two tickets to the NASCAR Contenders Live fan event, two VIP tickets and two VIP passes to attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 16.
The package also includes a one-year subscription to SiriusXM Satellite radio and 500 cash.
Fans can visit NASCAR.comContendersLiveto enter the Sweepstakes until August 30 at 2:00 p.m. CT. Fans can also purchase tickets to NASCAR Contenders Live, beginning July 27.
NASCAR has the most passionate fans in all of sports, Norris Scott, NASCAR vice president of partnership marketing and business solutions, said in a press release. What better way to kick off the Chase than with an event that gives fans exclusive access inside a room with the sports top 12 drivers. This also serves as a unique program for Toyota and Sprint who support the sport heavily.
Contenders Live on September 12 provides Toyota with an exceptional platform from which to partner with NASCAR, and the visibility to interface with the sports enthusiastic fan base,Toyota National Manager of Motorsports and Engagement Marketing Keith Dahl said. Toyota has connected with fans in many different ways since we began competing in NASCAR in 2004, and this event will provide still another opportunity for fans to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes.

Just as we all predicted, two rookies stole the show in L.A.

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USA TODAY

Just as we all predicted, two rookies stole the show in L.A.

There's not often hype surrounding a game between two of the NBA's worst teams, but Tuesday's Bulls-Lakers matchup was intriguing to many because it offered a chance to see a pair of top rookies compete. 

Oh, but you didn't think we meant Lonzo Ball and Lauri Markkanen, did you?

Nah, it was two different, less-touted first-year players that ended up stealing the spotlight at the Staples Center. 

Kyle Kuzma and Antonio Blakeney may not be household names, but they sure played like they were in the Bulls' 103-94 loss. 

Kuzma, the Lakers rook drafted 27th overall, has been a spark for Luke Walton's squad all season long. Boasting a terrific scoring arsenal, the Utah product carried the load for the Lakers' offense in the first half, dropping 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting. He finished the game as L.A.'s leading scorer with 22 in 40 minutes. But if you still need a more in-depth scouting report on Kuzma, just let Lonzo break it down:  

More importantly for Bulls fans, though, was the play of their undrafted guard who's signed to a two-way deal. 

Blakeney, the unofficial Summer League MVP, came off the bench on Tuesday and immediately left his mark on the game. The 21-year-old out of LSU posted 15 in the first half, finishing through contact as well as connecting on outside jumpers. 

Blakeney's shooting isn't reliable quite yet, but his energy has clearly influenced Hoiberg's rotation. The guard went from playing one NBA minute in the Bulls' first 11 games to playing 75 in the last four. Given that his two-way deal allows him to only spend 45 days with the team, it'll be fascinating to see how creative Gar Forman and John Paxson will get with his contract if this type of production continues. 

In a season that's obviously going to have its share of rough moments, an offseason flyer hitting is a huge plus for the rebuild. 

As for the recognized rookies, Lonzo's shooting woes persisted and Markkanen had maybe his worst offensive performance of his young Bulls career. Combined, they finished 7-for-30 with 21 points. Not ideal. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.