Howard_T's profile

Name: Howard Titus
Location: Nashua, NH
ZIP: 03062
Gender: Old Alpha Male, hoping no young stud steals the herd.
Member since: April 08, 2006
Last visit: November 24, 2014

Howard_T has posted 35 links and 2743 comments to SportsFilter and 3 links and 265 comments to the Locker Room.

Sports Bio

Native Bostonian, with all attendant baggage still attached. Braves fan until they left for Milwaukee (yes, I'm that old), then it was the BoSox by default. Love all sports, but the favorites are baseball, hockey, football, and hoop, in that order. Used to umpire baseball at the Babe Ruth, Legion, and High School level. At my age, there are too many sports memories to really pick a favorite. Maybe it is Bill Russell's first game in Boston Garden. Another is the time when I was just back from Viet Nam and my dad took me to a Bruins game. This was in the glory days of Orr. Toronto was the opponent, they started 5 defensemen (really), and the fight started within the first minute or so.

Recent Links

The Big Guys Get Their Way: The NCAA Board of Directors has given the 5 big conferences what amounts to near autonomy to set their own rules. It appears that football teams will now be ranked from Division 3 through FCS and FBS, with the largest 5 conferences in a new division called the Juggernaut Division.

posted by Howard_T to general at 11:26 PM on August 07 - 0 comments

Celtics Guard, Lakers Exec Bill Sharman Dies: Bill Sharman, high-scoring guard for the Boston Celtics, and later coach and executive with the Los Angeles Lakers has died at age 87. In the championship years with the Celtics, the mantra "Russell to Cousy to Sharman", describing the Boston fast break, was the equivalent of baseball's "Tinker to Evers to Chance".

posted by Howard_T to basketball at 03:15 PM on October 25 - 0 comments

The Bridgetown Senators?: This from Christopher Stuart Taylor of the Huffington Post tries to explain a possible bit of Canadian tax evasion on the part of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. The dodge involves setting up business relationships between Canada and Barbados. The businesses will then be taxed at the 2.5% Barbadian rate rather than the 30% Canadian rate. While the author leads with a Senators' connection, the actual investigation conducted by the CBC has nothing to do with the team. I'm sure Melnyk is clever enough to keep purely Canadian businesses out of the "Bajun" connection. Note: No matter which side (Canadian or Barbadian) is puling a fast one here, I'm on the bad side. My dad was from Nova Scotia, my mom from Barbados, and I still have family in both places.

posted by Howard_T to hockey at 01:32 PM on October 11 - 0 comments

Johnny Pesky, 1920-2012: Boston Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky died today at 92 years of age. He had been associated with the team in one capacity or another nearly continuously since 1942. Pesky, nee Paveskovich, is most remembered for the right-field foul pole that bears his name in Fenway Park.

posted by Howard_T to baseball at 05:12 PM on August 13 - 6 comments

Big deals at the deadline; help or hurt?: Here is a team-by-team sampling of the in-season trades that had an effect on that year's pennant race. This year's deadline was about 15 minutes ago. Who did well, who did poorly, and who did nothing? I disagree with at least one of the author's selections, but I'll add that as a comment later.

posted by Howard_T to baseball at 04:14 PM on July 31 - 18 comments

Recent Comments

Red Sox Sign Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez

They really don't give themselves much of a "down cycle" in Boston.

They don't dare. One talking head -- a particularly annoying one -- insists that this is all part of a PR campaign to make the team "appealing". His story is that the ownership wants to move into radio by buying a station, and that they would need "attractive" players to help sell it. My take is that the younger players they were trying out last year have not measured up (Middlebrooks, Bradley Jr.) and the young pitching is not quite ready. One other consideration for free agent pitchers is to look at the team and determine whether or not you have a chance of winning there. Lester did not have a choice when he was traded to Oakland, and trading one of their better hitters for pitching led to poorer results for the Athletics. Of the several teams that will be interested in John Lester, I would suggest Boston has a bit of an advantage, although it's not a sure thing by any stretch. The length of a potential contract seems to be the big item. Boston wants to keep it as short as they can, while Lester would like it to be 6 years.

posted by Howard_T at 12:10 AM on November 25

Former NHL player, coach and executive Pat Quinn dies at age 71

I always thought Pat Quinn was indestructible. I guess not. Love him or hate him, he was a giant of the game. RIP.

posted by Howard_T at 04:14 PM on November 24

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Finals Edition

Weather a factor in CFL Football? You're kidding, of course. Do you think Canadians are a bunch of wimps who play only when the temperatures are moderate, the sun is shining, and when neither condition exists they move to a dome? To quote BGEN Terry McAuliff from December of 1944, "Nuts!"

Montreal at Hamilton: The worst weather is to the east of Hamilton, on the other lake. It should not be a problem here. Tiger-Cats are 8-2 in their own litter box this year, while Alouettes are 4-5 on the road, including a 14 point loss in Hamilton. Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly*, and I gotta think Tiger-Cats will just run, throw, block, and tackle. Hamilton by 17.

Edmonton at Calgary: Eskimos are 5-4 on the road this season, but they were beaten by 15 in their only regular season visit to Calgary. Stampeders are tough (7-2) at home. The numbers lean heavily in Calgary's favor. One stat that stands out is the success of Calgary's running game against Edmonton. The axiom in that game south of the 49th parallel is that the colder the weather, the more the running game is needed. Edmonton's QB will be going against the excellent Calgary defensive backfield. I have to go with the rampaging quadrupeds in this one. Calgary by 18.

Passing yardage is one of those things that is very dependent on opponent, weather, game plan, and the like. For example, Calgary has a very good QB, but they are more likely to run a lot. Calgary's DBs will keep Edmonton from throwing the ball all over the place. Thus, we have to look to the east to find the gunslinger. I will go with Collaros to edge Crompton. Passing yards: Collaros.

Go west for the defensive leaders. Calgary has allowed fewer sacks than Edmonton, not that Eskimos' front line is at all porous. Both teams in the east have decent defenses, otherwise they would not be where they are, but I look for the sack leader to be in the west. Most sacks: Calgary.

*"Can't Help Lovin' dat Man", lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, from "Showboat", 1927.

posted by Howard_T at 09:37 PM on November 22

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

How about the title of this thread be changed to "The Dark Confessions of Secret Alcoholic SpoFites"?

One of my more horrific memories is of liberty in Pusan, Korea, on a very cold evening in early March. We were walking Green Street (think of the Reeperbahn in Hamburg or De Wallentjes in Amsterdam) -- just window shopping, mind you -- keeping warm with a bottle or 3 of Oscar Wine, the Korean equivalent of Boone's Farm. If you ever get to Korea, I strongly suggest you avoid this stuff like the plague. This was the night when I crawled across the quarter deck after having helped carry the Battle Group Chief-of-Staff up the ladder about 10 minutes before they pulled the brow (walkway between the ladder and the ship).

posted by Howard_T at 03:25 PM on November 22

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

2008 Lions uncorked the Boone's Farm

No one will ever beat 3 Monks Muscatel. When I was in college (early 1960s) this 55-cent per gallon stuff was the go-to choice for a cheap buzz. The problem was finding an appropriate brown paper sack and a comfortable curbstone.

posted by Howard_T at 05:23 PM on November 21

Blind-sided: Blue Jacketsí Jack Johnson is bankrupt; who led him there is biggest shocker

The story goes about the father who taught his son about business. He took the son to the warehouse, got a tall stepladder, and told the son to climb up to a high shelf to get an item. The son did so, but could not reach the item while he was still on the ladder.

"Crawl from the ladder to the back of the shelf", said the father. The son did so, but as soon as he was off the ladder, the father took it away from the shelf. "Jump! I will catch you", said the father. "It's a long way down, and I'll be hurt", said the son. "Just trust me" said dad.

The son jumped, the father moved to one side, and the son crashed to the floor, badly hurt. "Dad, why did you let me fall?"

"That was your first lesson. In business you trust nobody, not even your own family".

I believe teams and even leagues in other sports are giving some sort of education about finances, among other things. I wonder why the NHL has not done this yet.

posted by Howard_T at 05:17 PM on November 21

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Nice read, owly. My 'Bajan mom would not be happy about a thrashing of the West Indies team, but then it's still cricket. While I should not be, I was a bit surprised that the women's game is popular in Australia. Is this true in the rest of the world?

posted by Howard_T at 10:26 PM on November 20

Penny-pinching, no more!

If anyone is old enough to remember Dick Stuart's days as the Boston Red Sox 1st baseman, they might also recall that Coleridge's words were also applied to him for his lack of prowess with the glove:

"There was an ancient mariner and he stoppeth one of three."

Only on SpoFi can one write a comment containing references such as these and actually find that most readers actually understand it. I love this place!

posted by Howard_T at 05:13 PM on November 18

Penny-pinching, no more!

Too long? Too expensive? There are some who would say:

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.*

But perhaps enough of a team might be built around Stanton so that:

The self-same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.*

There are a few, and have been many in the past, who not only deserve such a contract but also can play so as to deserve it. Stanton seems to be one, as is Trout. The big worry is injury, but I'm sure there are injury clauses built into these contracts, and insurance is available.

* Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

posted by Howard_T at 03:20 PM on November 17

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

This is no "Old Gray Mare". Jonas Gray carries 38 times for 199 and 4 TDs for NE against the Colts. Old Gray Mare is a HORSE.

posted by Howard_T at 11:33 PM on November 16

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Semi-Finals Edition

Nearly missed this. I'm in Maine for the weekend for a getaway with my wife. WiFi at the hotel sucks, so I nearly gave up on the web. Fortunately it did not happen. Wife is glaring at me trying to get me interested in going out for dinner, so I'll be forced to keep this short.

BC at Montreal: "The Lion in Winter" was one of the better films ever made, but Lions in Montreal during the late autumn might not be so good. Larks seem to have made some repairs to their wings, have turned their season around, and have momentum on their side. Never sell an old cat short, but I don't think their claws are sharp enough. Montreal by 9.

Saskatchewan at Edmonton: Ah the joys of winter on the prairie. The weather says they should take off the pads, put on the skates, and go play some hockey. Eskimos have a wounded lead dog, but is this critical? Roughriders will give this a good shot, but they will fall short at the end. Edmonton by 11.

Kickers are a necessary evil. I miss the old substitution rules that meant the kicker had to play a position. Nonetheless, they are like a parasitic presence that has invaded us and is here to stay. I'll have to pick one of the booters in the Montreal game, since the condtions in Edmonton aren't likely to favor the foot brigade. Whyte.

Once again the weather conditions enter into the picks. This is the time for black and blue football, not the wide open game. I'll take the under here.

posted by Howard_T at 06:16 PM on November 15

CFL Pick 'Em, Final Standings

Ah well, I missed the podium, but a somewhat respectable 4th place is OK by me. The real winner here is Dr. John for running this once again. It's always fun, even when you have absolutely no idea what you are doing.

posted by Howard_T at 10:41 PM on November 11

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 20

Missed the Friday game. Had to do the weekly grocery shopping, then wife and I took our son out to dinner to celebrate his new job. If you are anywhere near Manchester, NH, I strongly recommend "Cotton" for a great meal. The place ain't cheap, but their food and service are excellent. In that spirit, let's look at the rest of the menu for this week. The appetizer is gone since we were late for dinner.

Calgary at BC: The choice here is western beef against Pacific Coast seafood. Both are excellent, but which to choose? Seafood is best when less than 24 hours out of the water, but beef when aged slightly is good too. I'll have my steak medium rare, please. Calgary by 6.

Montreal at Hamilton: We need something to go along with our steak. Perhaps a nice salad with some cheese will be nice, or could it be some mussels from the lake. Salade-aux-chevre-chaud sounds very appetizing, but Mussels in Tomato-Garlic Broth has my mouth watering. We are near the lake for this one, so the Mussels are a better choice here. Hamilton by 11.

Edmonton at Saskatchewan: Cereal grains, wheat, and cattle on the one side and a diversity of crops on the other. Saskatchewan has a good-sized fruit industry with a number of species of berries being grown. We've already had a good Alberta steak for our main course, so we'll forego that option. Perhaps a basket of fresh, warm bread will complement this feast we are building. Even better, let's use some of that flour to make a nice pie crust and bake up some of those Saskatchewan berries. Dessert sounds like the perfect finish here. Saskatchewan by 4.

Can anyone recommend a nice brandy and perhaps a good cigar to end this?

posted by Howard_T at 10:56 PM on November 07

The End of Daisy Buchanan's

Derek Sanderson's autobiography has some harrowing tales from when he owned the place. I never went there, since I was overseas for most of the '70s and married when I got back to New England, but I always wanted to check out the place.

posted by Howard_T at 10:16 PM on November 07

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Last night the Boston Celtics lost a game in which they committed 28 turnovers, yet they lost by only 3, and were in position to tie the game with a last-second three. The game could have been a Celtics blowout; rebounds, points-in-the-paint, shooting percentage, assists, all favored the Celtics. It led me to think about what sort of metric could be attached to turnovers, particularly turnover differential.

Last night's differential was around 18. My thought about how much it cost Boston is this: Multiply the turnover differential by the shooting percentage of the team with the negative differential (in this case Boston), round off, and add the result to the team's score. Do the same for the team with the positive differential, round off, and subtract the result from that team's score. This should give an approximate idea of what the score would have been with an even number of turnovers. Of course, turnovers will never come out even. Some adjustment should be made for steals, the assumption is that all of the scores that result will be 2 pointers, and there is no accounting made for free throws, but over all, this might be a useful metric.

grum will probably come up with something much more accurate, or probably tell me that I have re-invented the wheel but made it elliptical, but I'm still curious as how to apply some metric to the turnovers.

posted by Howard_T at 10:20 PM on November 06