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: July 23, 2014

Howard_T has posted 34 links and 2661 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

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

Hockey HoF Selects 4: Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic, and Matts Sundin are the newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sakic and Sundin were in their first year of eligibility, while Bure waited 6 years. For Oates, who was in his 5th year of eligibility, it was quite a day, as he was named head coach of the Washington Capitols shortly before his selection to the Hall.

posted by Howard_T to hockey at 09:03 PM on June 26 - 14 comments

Recent Comments

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

What are they Espys?

The Espys, or more properly, the ESpys, pronounced E Spies, are members of a super-secret group of intelligence gatherers who specialize in the electronics industry. The acronym of course means "Electronic Spy". The group is quite benign, gathering its data from news sources, research papers, professional journals, and interviews with those in the electronics industry. No cloak and dagger stuff here. The work of the ESpys has been critical in developing countermeasures against the electronic capability of nations that are hostile to world peace. As part of the effort to keep this group out of public exposure, ESPN has cooperated by naming a phony awards ceremony after the group, thereby giving good cover to the name.

In other words, if you don't have a good answer, make something up.

posted by Howard_T at 09:07 PM on July 17

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 4

There is something wrong here. First of all, I'm getting my picks in 2 days before the kickoff. Second of all, I'm shown as tied with the eminent Dr. John for first place. This is strange, since Dr. John lives in Canada where they play these games, and my only connection to Canada is my Nova Scotian father. Well, he did teach me the words to "Oh Canada" and "The Maple Leaf Forever", so that's something. Now on with the business at hand. That is, it is time to disabuse myself of any notion that I really know what I am doing with these picks.

Edmonton at Winnipeg: Two teams at 3-0 meet in an early season attempt to establish the pecking order. Wait a minute, the only team that has anything to do with pecking is the Alouettes, and Winnipeg took care of that last week. Eskimos look like they would gladly exchange a peck on the cheek with Bombers, but might experience a slap in the face instead. Winnipeg by 3.

Toronto at Ottawa: Here is one at the opposite end of the structure. Argonauts are 1-2, while the Redblacks are winless in their 2 attempts. While Toronto would seem to enjoy the advantage of having done this a time or two, Ottawa is playing before their home crowd for the first time in the regular season. Home cooking will mean a lot here. Ottawa by 4.

Hamilton at Calgary: Stampeders have been doing just that to their opponents so far, while the striped kitties are hurting. The running quadruped herd should have little difficulty with the cats. Calgary by 16.

Montreal at BC: The birds stumbled out of the gate in week 1, but that was against Calgary, and says more about Calgary than it does about Montreal. Alouettes did manage to outfly the big cats at home, but now they have had to make the long trek to the left coast. The 2500 or so miles is a long way to expect a lark to fly without wearing down its wings. Meanwhile, the cats would lie to feast on birds before their home fans. BC by 12.

posted by Howard_T at 09:21 PM on July 15

Germany Wins World Cup

It is quite obvious that FIFA needs to do something about concussions before there is a fatality or a court action for damages instituted by players. There have been a couple of suggestions in the comments so far, and I will add my own take on them.

Allow a temporary substitution while an independent physician conducts a concussion protocol. This makes clear sense, but could it be used to get a late game rest for a tiring star player? This is not likely, but a layer of video review could be added to the evaluation just to make sure there really was contact that could have produced injury.

Allow a "free" substitution (not counted in the allowed 3), but not allow the injured player to come back in. Again, this could be abused, but if it's one of your better players that is supposedly injured, you would not be likely to try this.

No substitution, temporary or otherwise, for the injured player, but temporarily sit a player on the opposite team for as long as it takes to make the medical evaluation. Once the inured player either returns or is substituted for, both sides return to full manpower. The player who sits for the non-injured team must be of equivalent position to the injured player, e.g. striker for striker, midfielder for midfielder, and so on. This could be awkward, but would not give either side a great advantage. What to do if a keeper is injured would be another story.

Better minds than mine can come up with ways to do this, and ways to "bullet-proof" them against abuse. There is any number of problems in FIFA, but this one needs to be looked at right away.

posted by Howard_T at 05:19 PM on July 14

Blackhawks Sign Toews, Kane Through 2023

Dynamic duos, all.

to be a "cup contender," a team has to roll four balanced lines, or at the very least, three

Being old enough to have watched them play, I can say that the Bruins teams of Orr and Esposito not only had 2 superstars, but also had 3 solid lines, solid defense, and above average goaltending. I don't believe any element of a team can be given short shrift and still have a chance at a Stanley Cup. If you are to pour a significant percentage of your salary cap figure into two players, your front office had best include some top notch talent evaluators. As your second level performers approach free agency, they may demand a higher salary. One of the facts of life in the NHL is that a forward's stat line is usually a bit inflated by playing with the top level centers and wings. Thus, a player who has had a great year approaching the end of his contract could cost you more than you can afford. The solution is to have a supply of young talent coming in from the draft and in development in the minors. If you can do this, your salary structure will remain within the cap, you will have room to add a couple of mid-level free agents to fill holes, and your next generation of stars is coming along.

Trying to win quickly through free agents is a losing proposition. There are many examples of players who put up gaudy numbers while playing alongside a superstar, but then are no better than pedestrian when put into a different situation. Granted there are some who do not play well for a particular team, but will blossom when put into a system that better suits their game. Tyler Seguin is an example of this. If you look at the 4 teams tahoemoj has identified, each of them has a solid development program in place that will be able to turn out serviceable NHL players and the occasional superstar.

posted by Howard_T at 02:58 PM on July 13

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

Dammit, I wish people would quit calling him LBJ. There isn't but one of those, for better and for worse.

There was another LBJ, actually in Viet Nam for a while -- the Long Binh Jail.

posted by Howard_T at 07:16 PM on July 11

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 3

Here we go again. Better late than never. I have 1 minute to kickoff of Winnipeg at Montreal, so I have to be quick.

Here goes:

Winnipeg at Montreal: The little larks turned out to be tough old birds vs the Lions. This time they get to try the Blue Bombers. The Bombers show up with an empty bomb bay and fall to the suddenly nasty Alouettes. Montreal by 16.

Ottawa REDBLACKS at Edmonton Eskimos: The Eskimos are hanging out at their own ice floe, and the color confused from Ottawa are trying to find their way. Look for the Eskimos to turn the REDBLACKS into seal blubber. Edmonton by 12.

Calgary at Toronto: The Argonauts have shown some talent so far, but the Stampeders look to be too strong. The stampede will rumble through the big city, and the Argonauts better head for the lake. Calgary by 13.

BC at Saskatchewan: Lions were unexpectedly clawed last week by a bunch of tiny birds. They will be angry. The trouble is they will come up against a group of Roughriders who might just ride all over them. Poor kitties will need some extra kibbles to get over this one. Saskatchewan by 4.

posted by Howard_T at 07:12 PM on July 11

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Today is the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's debut with the Boston Red Sox. No, people, I was not there!

posted by Howard_T at 04:40 PM on July 11

Liverpool Sells Luiz Suarez to Barcelona

Don't cry for Liverpool. They still have some good pieces on the field (Sturridge, Sterling, et al), and 75 Million pounds will go a long way to replacing him. I don't expect decline unless management just pockets the money, and in that case a lynch mob would be in order.

posted by Howard_T at 04:39 PM on July 11

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

I never was a fan of LeBron the man, but could not help but admire his skill as LeBron the basketball player. My son and I talked about this at lunch over a couple of good microbrews and burgers at The Flying Goose in Newport, NH. Our consensus was that Cleveland would accept him back, but only if he were to make some sort of statement acknowledging that he left for his own personal gain, but that he now realized his error. His statement was exactly what he needed to say. I take it as a sign of increasing maturity that might be a bit late in coming but is nonetheless genuine. He still has my admiration as a player, but he is gaining some of my respect as a person.

posted by Howard_T at 04:32 PM on July 11

Argentina Faces The Netherlands for Spot in World Cup Final

I would like to be a fly on the wall at the World Cup viewing party of the King and Queen of Holland. Seems that the Queen was born and raised in Argentina. She says she'll be rooting for Holland, but I'll bet she has her fingers crossed behind her back.

posted by Howard_T at 04:07 PM on July 09

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Bill Speros, writer of the Obnoxious Boston Fan blog, posted in today's Boston Globe, shows that the club has had a nearly exact .500 record over its last 500 games. That span includes the late-season collapse in 2011, the disaster of 2012, last year's unexpected World Series win, and this year's rather putrid start.

By the way, yerfatma, old movies on Turner Classic Movies have become my refuge from Red Sox (so-called) baseball.

posted by Howard_T at 04:21 PM on July 08

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 2

The match fixing people must have been involved. How else could have so many of us fallen into such mediocrity? OK, so nobody from the Cameroons football team has sneaked into the CFL, so I'll give it another go. Please understand I am in the wilds of northern NH, I have not looked at any results, so I am being honest about tonight's game. Besides that, there is a pretty good thunderstorm raging right now, so if I were to lie, I will be struck. Of course, you all believe me.

Ottawa at Winnipeg: The Redblacks meet the Blue Bombers. This means that one should keep his coloring between the lines. It also means that someone named Red will be black and blue. I'm going to guess that Red will be in a black mood while the Blue Bombers prevail. Winnipeg by 8.

OK, now that is done, ande I can peek at the CFL web site to see how it goes. Shows you how smart I am, Ottawa is up by 14. Oh well, at least no lightning strikes.

BC at Montreal: Big kitties go to see little larks. Little larks want to fly all over big kitties, but it looks like big kitties will cause larks' peckers to fall in the dirt. BC by 12.

Hamilton at Edmonton: Eskimos are back in their own habitat, so that is a plus. Now the problem is that they will have to hunt Tigercats instead of things like seals and whales. This will be a problem for Eskimos, and they may get clawed. Hamilton by 14.

Saskatchewan at Toronto: The Roughriders head for the big city to face the Argonauts. Argos had some tough sailing last week, but this week will be a different story. The Roughriders will indeed have a rough ride and will fall to the Argos. Toronto by 4.

posted by Howard_T at 09:26 PM on July 03

Mexico Faces The Netherlands in Round of 16

My Trini-Bajan (Born in Barbados, lived in Trinidad) cousin now lives in Holland. She's been on Facebook all day posting pictures of her husband drinking toasts to the victory and rooting for the Orange. Now that Portugal is out (my ancestry on my mother's side), I'm down to the US and The Netherlands for a rooting interest. I did have a bit of a soft spot for Mexico, though.

posted by Howard_T at 09:44 PM on June 29

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Me and the internet just haven't been getting along well with each other of late. Went to TD Garden Thursday night for the Celtics' Draft Party with the hope I could comment as the draft went along. Alas, TD Garden's wireless sucks, couldn't get my wife's tablet to work, so no luck. Today I'm up in the mountains (Lincoln, NH), and the wireless here in the place where we're staying is just a little bit slower than dial-up. Mostly the wireless routers don't have a very strong signal where we are, so it's touch and go.

The good news is that wife and I have just returned from the New England Brewfest, an annual event where craft brewers from New England and elsewhere come to pass out samples. It's amazing how much drinking can be packed into a 5 ounce glass and 4 hours. There were some really good things here.

Back to the NBA draft, Philadelphia taking Embiid at #3 was greeted with some sighs of disappointment in Boston. There had been hope that Ainge might trade up or that Embiid could have fallen to #6. Alas, it was not to be. When Marcus Smart was announced as the Celtics' pick, there was a bit of WTF? followed by bye bye Rondo commentary. Looking at it after a day or 2, it does not seem to be that strange a pick. To start with, Avery Bradley likely will not be tendered for his restricted free agent status. Smart will swing between the point and 2 guard positions, and if he shows that he can handle the point, Rondo is gone at the trading deadline or before. Smart's size alone makes him better than either Rondo or Bradley as a defender. His shooting is questionable, but so was Rondo's when he came into the league. Bradley is a better shooter, but is not able to get his own shot, and while he is a good defender, his size limits what he can do against a shooting guard who runs more than 6"4" or so. The nickname Mahcus "Wicked" Smaht has already been applied to him.

Being able to get Young at #17 is a real plus. This kid will be a scorer in the NBA. It might take a year or 2, but he is big enough to post up most 2 guards and quick enough to handle a lot of small forwards. The kid is about 6'8", so he could be a real problem for people to handle.

Many are saying that unless something big happens over the summer months, this season will be a repeat of last year's futility. It may be so, but last year produced some fun, if losing, basketball. It will be an interesting time to watch the team try to build around the 2 new guys plus the youngsters like Olynyk and a finally healthy Sullinger.

posted by Howard_T at 07:31 PM on June 28

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Going to Celtics draft uparty tonight. Will try to comment as things go. Using wife's tablet. Please excuse typos.

posted by Howard_T at 06:29 PM on June 26