Jul 31, 2009

Adam LaRoche Comes Back to Atlanta

The Braves weren't expected to be big players at the trade deadline, since they retooled their outfield with trades earlier this year. But they made a deal for more power at the first base spot with a familiar name coming back to Atlanta: Adam LaRoche.

The Braves acquired LaRoche for 1B Casey Kotchman, who had been acquired in the Mark Teixeira deal with the Angels. It's a little surprising since the Braves saw Kotchman as their long-term first baseman, but with their lack of power, LaRoche brings the long ball back to 1B.

The Braves line-up looks a lot different now than it did opening day. With the team still in the NL East and Wild Card race, it will be interesting to see if they can keep pace with the frontrunners.

RealGM doesn't really like the deal from the Braves standpoint and gives them a D+ for this move.

Hornets continue making moves

After weeks of sitting idle during the offseason, the Hornets have made their 2nd big move just a day after trading Tyson Chandler for Emeka Okafor. The team has added power forward Ike Diogu to back up David West. While the move won't take the NBA by storm, it's a good move for depth and improves the team.

Diogu is a former 9th overall pick and has battle injuries and team depth during his career to limit his experience. With the Hornets, he'll be one of the first options off the bench and will help spell All-Star West.

Jul 29, 2009

Saints Sign Two Draft Picks

The Saints have signed Chip Vaughn and Thomas Morstead to four-year deals, according to the Times Picayune. This is good news, and they'll be in camp on time. Now the focus turns to signing 1st round pick Malcolm Jenkins, but don't look for that deal to get done right away.

Jul 28, 2009

Hornets Trade Chandler for Okafor

I sit around all offseason waiting for the Hornets to make a move. Brandon Bass? Nope. Glen Davis? Nope. Jennero Paro? Nope? For a while it was looking like the Hornets would enter next season with the same group of injured players that they went with last year, save their two draft picks.

But while I take my summer vacation, the Hornets were working the phones. I get up this morning and flip on the TV to see Hornets acquire Okafor for Chandler on the SportsCenter crawl. Wow. There's no way they only gave up Tyson for Emeka Okafor? I see it again and it's a straight up deal.

Great move for the Hornets, but I'm still not sure why the Bobcats made this deal. Sure, the two players aren't that different, but Chandler is an 8 and 8 guy, while Okafor is a 13-10 player every night and he's been healthy the past two seasons. Chandler, to say the least, has not.

I applaud the Hornets for not standing pat and going out and making a move. Fans have heard rumors that they were looking to make a few moves, but we thought the move would be for expiring contracts and to save money. This one is not a money saving move, but one that should improve the team.

It is unfortunate to see Chandler traded, again. He was a fan favorite when he suited up and his alley oop dunks brought fans to their feet, but he still should have been able to do more. I always thought he should be averaging 15 points and 10 boards in his sleep, but he never put it all together in New Orleans. Hopefully, this new start in Charlotte will help him. The East is now a tougher conference than its been in a while and he'll be battling Shaq and Dwight Howard instead of Tim Duncan and Yao Ming. Good luck to you and thanks for the few years of memories in the Big Easy.

Jul 26, 2009

Lost Comic Con Video

Start Analyzing:

For more on the Lost Comic Con panel check out JOpinionated and DarkUFO or many of the other Lost sites. DocArzt has the commercials with Hurley and Kate.

Lost Rewatch: Week 9

We continue the Lost Rewatch in season 2 with "The Other 48 Days," "Collision," "What Kate Did," and "The 23rd Psalm" ... all episodes that give us a glimpse further into the lives of our tail section survivors and one that answers a burning question around our favorite island fugitive.

The Other 48 Days (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashback focuses on the first 48 days on the island from the perspective of the tail section survivors.
  • In a great story-telling move, Lost fills the audience in on all the major points of the tailies time on the island: Goodwin, the Others taking some of them, the list, good people, the "Arrow,", Eko's stick, etc. What's the real deal with the lists anyway?
  • Even knowing what we know about Goodwin, Nathan still seems fishy. He went to the bathroom a lot both on the island (for 2 hours) and on the plane (he said no one saw him on the plane because he was in the lavatory). More curious, he even said that he was from Canada. Remember someone else said they were from Canada.
  • Inside the Arrow, the tailies find a Bible (which we later learn is hollowed out and containing more of the Orientation video), a glass eye and a radio. Questions remain today about why the eye was there and who it belongs to? Why was the orientation film stashed in the Arrow inside a Bible?
  • Goodwin said the children were better off after the Others took them. What does he mean by this? We are still in the dark about why the Others took them (other than they were on the list) and what they did with them.
  • We see the other side of Boone's "We're the survivors of Flight 815" conversation. Funny how Ana Lucia is so paranoid that she assumes its the Others.

Collision (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Ana Lucia returning to her job as a police officer after having been shot. She ends up killer her shooter, after filling him in on the fact that she was pregnant when he shot her.
  • This episode units the tail section survivors with the original 815 survivors. We see the events immediately after Ana Lucia killed Shannon.
  • Staind's "Outside" is playing in the bar in Ana Lucia's flashback with the lyrics "I can see through you, see to the real you." Really fits in with Lost how the characters' true selves are revealed through flashbacks and island events.
  • Sayid told Ana Lucia, "What good would it be to kill you, if we're both already dead?" ... fueling the purgatory speculation at the time.
  • Rose and Bernard together at last. Remember how surprised everyone was when we learned that Bernard was white?
What Kate Did (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Kate and what she did to become a criminal on the run: kill her father.
  • Was Ji Yeon conceived in this episode?
  • Jin finally gets his handcuff removed in this episode.
  • Kate's black horse, just a horse of smokey?
  • Don't miss Sayid on the television when Kate goes to see her step dad at the Army recruiting office.
  • Why was the part about communicating with the outside world cut from the Orientation film? How would communicating lead to another incident? Who was Michael really communicating with? Was it Walt?
The 23rd Psalm (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Eko's life in Nigeria leading up to his brother being shot and taken away in the beachcraft, yep, the same one we see on the island.
  • We also get the origin of the Virgin Mary statues and the heroin that was found in the beachcraft, along with why the deceased bodies were dressed as priests. We won't learn (but probably still don't really understand) how a plane from Nigeria ended up on the island until season 5.
  • Why did Eko's friend kick him off the plane? He helps Eko load up Yemi and then pushes Eko out. Eko acknowledges to Charlie that this man saved his life, but it's unclear why.
  • Eko comes face to face with the smoke monster and it seems to scan his memories. Images appear in the smoke (not as clear as Ben's memories of Alex in season 5), these are more like flashes/snapshots. Why did Smokey scan Eko and then leave? From what we saw Smokey do to Eko later, why did he spare him this time?

Jul 24, 2009

Wedding Video, Youtube Sensation

This has been going around for the past few days and the couple was even on Good Morning America today. If you haven't seen it yet, don't be the only one not talking about this wedding video:

NFL Draft Moves to Three Days, Primetime

The NFL Draft will have a different feel next year. Instead of starting Saturday afternoon and taking up the whole day on Sunday, the draft will start in primetime on Thursday with round 1, rounds 2-3 will take place in primetime on Friday and the selections will finish up on Saturday with rounds 4-7.

I think this is a good move in that the draft has become the biggest offseason day of the football year and viewership/buzz rivals the Superbowl. I will miss having an entire weekend devoted to the draft, but with it spread out, there will be more time for analyst to look at picks and maybe later round draft picks will get discussed more than they do now.

Jul 23, 2009

Lost University

Looks like this is the new Lost alternative reality game: Lost University. Look for more information to come out of this week's Comic Con, where this is being handed out. DocArzt and DarkUFO have a little more info.

Update: Doc Jensen pops in on EW.com with a little more about Lost University.

Jul 20, 2009

Meet the New Doctor Who

Matt Smith will officially take over the reins of Doctor Who from David Tennant next year, but with filming already taking place, fans have been able to get a sneak peak at the new Doctor and with him the new TARDIS. More pictures can be seen on the Daily Mail's Web site.

Lost Rewatch: Week 8

Season 2 is in full swing this week in the Lost Rewatch. The hatch is explored and we learned more about the still somewhat mysterious DHAMRA Initiative. There also the matter of the tailsection survivors, who only a few short years later, don't seem as important in the grand scheme of things.

Before getting to this week's episodes, be sure to check out the results of Doc Jensen's poll to see what lingering mysteries fans want solved in season 6. You can check that out here.

Orientation (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's Original Recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Locke and his new relationship with Helen.
  • This episode packs a punch: Kelvin, the Orientation video, Turn of the Screw, the DHARMA Initiative, Hanso Foundation, the Incident ... this episode outlined much of the island mystery that fans have debated for years. After this episode, fans agreed with Locke and watched Orientation again.
  • We meet Ana Lucia once again and learn a little more about the people that Jin thought were Others.
  • Jack vs. Locke continues, they disagree over pushing the button and if the whole premise of the Swan is real or not. Locke is great in making Jack push the button.
  • Desmond mentions that every time he walks past the cement wall his fillings hurt. Kind of like this guy?
  • Sayid is so awesome here. He just comes in and starts working on the computer without knowing anything about the weird place he just entered.
  • See you in another life brotha! You bet you will.

Everybody Hates Hugo (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's Original Recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Hurley, just after winning the lottery. We see him working at Mr. Cluck's for Randy, the same Randy who was Locke's boss at the box company.
  • Hurley's dream includes a guy in a chicken suit (Mr. Cluck's), Jin speaking English (freaked out a lot of fans in the previews before this episode), Hurley speaking Korean and Walt's picture on a milk carton.
  • We are officially introduced to the tail section survivors including Eko (not called by name yet), Bernard and Libby and the Arrow station is seen for the first time.
  • Jack and Sayid explore the hatch and discover its electromagnetic properties and Sayid compares the amount of concrete poured over everything to Chernobyl.
  • Hurley decides to blow up the food with dynamite. Funny that he has he wiring and fuses to do this since it was inferred in Exodus Part 2 that they had used up all the wiring. Kate carries the stringer and says that's as far as it'll go, but in this episode Hurley has a stringer full of wiring.
  • Claire found the message bottle that was on the raft (a sign that the raft didn't make it), and she gave it to Sun, who decided to bury it instead of worrying everyone else.

... And Found (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's Original Recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Sun and Jin and the events leading up to them meeting.
  • Sun's parents were trying to set her up with Jae Lee. Here he's in love with a woman in America, but he'll be back in Sun's life soon, and fans won't look at her the same way. (See The Whole Truth).
  • At the beach camp Sun lost her wedding ring. Jack's marriage is touched upon again, but viewers were still left to ponder how it ended. Kate finally spots the ring after they dig up the raft message bottle.
  • At the tail section survivors area of the island, Ana Lucia is bossy, and its clear that they've had a lot more encounters with the other people on the island. Libby mentions they have "trust issues." Man, do they ever.
  • Michael goes after Walt, starting a trend that will shape the survivors future.
  • Goodwin is "introduced," but fans had to wait a bit longer to get to know him. Knowing his whole story (pretty much) now with Ben, Juliette, Harper, etc., it shows classic Lost that fans first get to meet him as a corpse. Lost is so great at getting fans interested in something first, then filling in the blanks later, even if its blanks that no one wanted to be filled (Jack's tattoos anyone?).
  • The Others are first seen (besides Goodwin and Ethan), and only showing them from the knees down left lots of mystery and debate.

Abandoned (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's Original Recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Shannon, and the time surrounding her father's death.
  • Walt appears to Shannon again, soaking wet in her tent and trying to tell her something. Later he appears to both Shannon and Sayid.
  • Why did the Others take certain people and why did they focus on the tail section survivors and not the fuselage ones?
  • Cindy disappears during the tail section survivors trip to meet up with everyone else. We saw her again briefly in season 3 with the Others, but she still remains one of the show's big mysteries.
  • This episode is Shannon's farewell to Lost, shot by season 2's most despised character, Ana Lucia. But the taillies and our Losties are united at last.

Paula Abdul May Leave Idol

American Idol fans, your wishes are about to come true. It looks like Paula Abdul may not be returning to American Idol this year.

I'll admit, I watch American Idol, but that doesn't mean I love it. I find myself complaining more about the show each and every week. And a main part of that complaint has been the judges, specifically Paula Abdul. What does she add to the show? She repeats others' comments and rambles on about nothing. Simon has made a living out of poking fun at her, and she has turned into a character on the show.

Sure American Idol is the top show on television every year, but NEWSFLASH, viewers aren't tuning in to see you Paula. They enjoy seeing underdogs make it each and every week. They enjoy being a part of the process of unearthing new, undiscovered talent. The judges are just a sideshow and the only one that ever says anything relevant is Simon.

Coach Payton MMQB Writer

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton is the fill-in writer for SI.com's Monday Morning Quarterback today, since Peter King is out on vacation. Coach Payton (and Greg Bensel) wrote a witty, enjoyable column today. Check it out here.

Jul 16, 2009

My Take on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Saw Half Blood Prince yesterday as it opened nation-wide, and I have to say, despite the changes from the novel, I thought it was a good movie.

I've seen mixed reviews from fans of the books (here's one from Erika Olson on Redbox) and many dislike the changes and what was left out, but with books as large as the latter in the series, it's hard to get all the details into a 2 1/2 hour movie. Wikipedia has a good summary of the differences from the book to the movie.

There were a few changes that seem to have been made just for the sake of changing something, but I think it's best to hold judgment until we see the finished product, as in the end of the movie franchise's two-part Deathly Hallows. With adapting the movies from the novels, there are a lot of considerations that are made and with similar action coming in the last two movies, the director/producers didn't want the last three movies to seem repetitive. Once we see their vision for the end of the series, our view of Half Blood Prince may change.

One thing that I did note in the film was that the ending felt rushed. No spoilers here, but once we got to the climatic ending, it just happens and boom that's it. This is the best part of the book, and it just seems too rushed on the big screen. My other concern was that the entertaining Half Blood Prince plotline (who was he? how was he so good at potions? why did he choose that name?) was sort of put on the backburner. Even the reveal of who the Prince is was quickly put out there and then dropped.

The major bright point of the movie was its humor. From Ron to Slughorn to Harry, this film was big on laughs. Overall it was a good Potter film, but like those before it, the quality of the books is hard to duplicate on the big screen, and the details of the novels win out as usual.

Jul 14, 2009

Lost Tidbits

Lost fans, want to know what's the real story behind Libby being in a mental institution? Do the producers really have a plan? What are team Darlton going to be doing when the finale airs?

Check out this new video interview from Digital Spy with the creators of Lost. The only really big revelation is more details with Libby's backstory, which seems to be the biggest fan beef since Libby was killed off a few seasons ago. There seemed to be a lot more to her character and fans have speculated her having ties to The Others, DHARMA or the Hanso Foundation. The answer that Damon Lindelof gives isn't as interested, but does provide some closure.

In other Lost news, Doc Jensen popped up with a short blog about season 6. There will be some sort of Lost news coming out of Comic Con and of course, the Lost Rewatch project continues.

Jul 13, 2009

Lost Rewatch: Week 7

The Lost Rewatch has hit the end of season 1 and the beginning of season 2. Good thing for you, there's no year layoff between the seasons. You can just pop your season 2 DVDs right in and find out what's in the hatch. Check out the previews of "Exodus," "Man of Science, Man of Faith" and "Adift" below:

Exodus: Parts 1 and 2 (Zap2It Recap: Part 1, Part 2)
  • LongLiveLocke's Original Recap: Part 1 and Part 2.
  • Flashbacks focus on a number of characters and how they got about Flight 815. As much as Hurley struggles to make his flight, was he supposed to be on the plane?
  • New characters introduced: Ana Lucia, Aaron (not introduced, but finally given a name), The Others (particularly Mr. Friendly); characters who depart: Dr. Arzt.
  • Sawyer finally fills Jack in on the fact that he'd met his father in Australia, which is still a great scene after all these years.
  • Rousseau mentions that Montand lost his arm in the Dark Territory, fans who've seen season 5 know exactly what she's talking about. Rousseau also says that the monster is the island's defense system. Fans are still trying to figure that one out.
  • Black Rock is revealed to be a shipwreck slave ship. The question still remains of how it got so far inland on the island.
  • The smoke monster is seen and tries to drag Locke underground. Where was he taking him (underground tunnels? Temple?) and why? Why was Locke so eager to let it take him?
  • Claire says, "I don't know what Aaron means." Is there more to that statement than we are left to believe?
  • The Others are finally shown on screen when they ambush the raft and steal Walt.
  • The cliffhanger of season 1 is Locke, Jack, Hurley and Kate blowing open the hatch. They look down the dark tunnel revealing a broken ladder, not sure what this structure is or what's inside.
Man of Science, Man of Faith (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's Original Recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Jack meeting his future wife, Sarah, when he operates on her following a car accident. The other person involved in the accident is Adam Rutherford, Shannon's dad. Did Jack surgery fix Sarah or was it a higher power?
  • Desmond makes his first appearance on Lost as the occupant of the hatch. The opening scene is one of Lost's patented bait and switches, as the audience has no idea who or what location they are watching, as Desmond performs his morning routine. Jack had previously run into him when he went jogging after Sarah's surgery ... one of the many "coincidences" in Lost's characters' backstories. When Desmond is revealed in the hatch, Jack realizes he knows him.
  • Walt creepily appears (all wet and dripping water) to Shannon and warns, speaking backwards, not to push the button. Was this an island manifestation or was Walt really able to project himself to her?
  • The Swan Station and everything involved with it from DHARMA logos to the electromagnetism to entering the numbers to the food storage is introduced. It's curious that the "sickness" and the injections that Desmond gave himself hasn't been fleshed out further.
  • Jack and Locke continue to bicker about destiny, on of the many such conversations the two have over this issue.
Adrift (Zap2It Recap)
  • LongLiveLocke's Original Recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Michael and his battle to try to gain custody of Walt. In the end, he gives in and let's his mother take Walt, but give him a toy polar bear as a goodbye gift.
  • In the hatch, we see the same events from "Man of Science, Man of Faith" but from Locke and Kate's points of view instead of Jack.
  • Desmond asks Locke the famous question, what did one snowman say to the other snowman?, in all likelihood to find out if Locke was his replacement.
  • The events immediately after Walt was taken from the raft are shown, and Michael and Sawyer end up back on the island. They do encounter a DHARMA shark, that caused quite a stir in the fan community at the time.
  • The episode ends with Michael and Sawyer meeting back up with Jin who is running from a group of people, who he thinks are Others. Who could they be?

Jul 10, 2009

Jul 8, 2009

LSU Jersey Tweak

LSU has added the letters L-S-U to the front of their football jerseys. Lke the change? Vote in the poll to the right.

New Lost ARG?

For the past few offseasons of Lost, there's been alternative reality games that tease details of upcoming seasons. These included the Lost Experience, Find 815 and DHARMA Initiative Recruiting. These usually revolve around a launch at Comic Con.

This year, DocArzt & Friends have launched http://thelostpendium.com/. Not sure what this is all about, but I'm sure more information will be available at or around Comic Con. I know the ABC ARG, DHARMA Initiative Recruiting, was canceled due to budget concerns, so DocArzt may be working on their own version gearing up for the final season. We'll see what happens with this.

Jul 6, 2009

Lost Rewatch: Week 6

We're now onto Week 6 of the Lost Rewatch. These three episodes gear up for the season 1, two-part finale, Exodus, which many Lost fans still rank in the top 5 best Lost episodes. I thought it would be fun to post another link to recaps of the episodes this week. My favorite Lost blog, Long Live Locke, started recapping episodes way back in season 1 as part of an email chain to her friends. These later turned into Long Live Locke. I'm going to go back and include her recaps on my earlier Rewatch posts as well.

I'm going to post the link to her original recap and they are interesting read now. Seeing how she questions where the show is going and what to think of different clues. With everything we know now, it's fun to look back at someone's first responses to these episodes. As always, the episode titles link back to the Lostpedia page on those episodes and I've included a link to Zap2It's Lost rewatch from last summer.

Do No Harm (Zap2It Recap)
  • Long Live Locke's original recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Jack, to the events around his wedding weekend to Sarah.
  • Boone's in need of a blood transfusion, but Charlie only finds four people who even knew their blood type. Too bad Kate was preoccupied with delivering Aaron, she's a universal donor.
  • Crazy doctor Jack is in full force this episode. Christian sure was right in telling Jack that he can't let go. Good thing Boone lets him off the hook.
  • Kate delivers Aaron. This scene is brought up another notch after the events of recent seasons and the different perspective Sawyer saw in season 5.
The Greater Good (Zap2It Recap)
  • Long Live Locke's original recap.
  • Flashback focuses on the events that brought Sayid to Australia.
  • The survivors hold a funeral for Boone and Locke shows up covered in Boone's blood. Not the best choice of funeral attire.
  • Charlie nicknames Aaron Turniphead, since Claire hadn't given him a name yet.
  • Locke reveals that he was the one who knocked out Sayid in The Moth.
  • Did Sayid cause Shannon to miss shooting Locke or was it the island's work?
Born to Run (Zap2It Recap)
  • Long Live Locke's original recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Kate and her trying to see her mother who is dying of cancer. An unanswered question from the flashback: who sent Kate the letter that she picked up as Joan Hart?
  • Dr. Arzt is subtly or no so subtly introduced, stepping out as a "background character." But don't get too attached to him.
  • Another character is introduced in Kate's flashback, the man she loved/killed, Tom Brennan, i.e. her childhood friend and original owner of the toy airplane. Kate and Tom's time capsule is the New Kids on the Block lunchbox that Jacob purchased for Kate.
  • Jack learns about the hatch, all of the survivors learn that Kate was a criminal ... some of the group's secrets are getting out in the open.
  • Walt's warnings still stand out, even years later after everything we know about the hatch. He warned Locke not to open that thing and told Michael that they need to go. How much does Walt know/see? Things weren't so bad once they got in the hatch. It was dealing with the Others that caused so much trouble and that started on the raft. So why was he so against opening the hatch?

Jul 2, 2009

Hornets Summer League Team

The Hornets announced the roster for their summer league team, which will play July 10-19 in Las Vegas. The team include this year's draft picks, undrafted players and those with minimal NBA experience.

Here's the Summer League roster:
  • #55 Earl Barron C Memphis
  • #11 Earl Calloway G Indiana
  • #20 Jaycee Carroll G Utah State
  • #2 Darren Collison G UCLA
  • #34 Brian Cusworth C Harvard
  • #10 Terry Martin G LSU
  • #50 Luke Nevill C Utah
  • #25 Larry Owens F Oral Roberts
  • #8 Marc Salyers F Samford
  • #44 Courtney Sims C Michigan
  • #5 Marcus Thornton G LSU
  • #35 Anthony Tolliver F Creighton
  • #15 Quinton Watkins G Dominquez H.S.
  • #32 Julian Wright F Kansas
  • Head Coach: Rob Werdann, St. John's