Howard_T's profile

Howard_T
11820
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 03, 2015

Howard_T has posted 36 links and 2907 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

Montreal Canadiens Jean Beliveau dead at 83: Montreal Canadiens have reported that Hockey Hall-of-Fame member and Montreal legend Jean Beliveau has passed away at age 83. Beliveau played 20 seasons for Canadiens, winning 10 Stanley Cup Championships, 5 of them coming when Beliveau wore the captain's C. He also served as a member of the team's management, earning 7 more cups along the way.

posted by Howard_T to hockey at 12:26 AM on December 03 - 2 comments

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

Recent Comments

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Phil Kessel traded

So now all of the players/draft picks that were part of the original trade between Boston and Toronto are no longer with their original post-trade team. Seguin is in Dallas, Hamilton is piling up the Loonies in Calgary, and now Kessel goes to Pittsburgh. At the time, it looked like Boston had committed highway robbery. Now this appears to be a trade that truly benefited neither team, at least for the long term.

posted by Howard_T at 10:03 PM on July 01

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Two

When I looked a the scoreboard of last week's games, I was certain I was destined to flirt with the Costanza. Then I looked at the Pick 'Em standings, and I see things certainly could be worse. So brimming with confidence, we go bravely to the keyboard. We're on vacation this week. My wife and I try to get away around the end of June every year. It gives her a chance to unwind after another year of working with special needs kids in the schools, and believe me, with the class she had this year, she needs it. So here I am in New Hampshire's White Mountains, and it's raining. I can't even see the ridge on the other side of the Kancamagus Highway because of the low-hanging cloud. It's a good day to work on the picks.

Hamilton at Winnipeg: The Kitties were just about to dine from the cat food dish when it was rudely pulled away from them. This makes for a very angry kitty, and since they have not yet been declawed, they could do some damage. Blue Bombers would like to fly away out of range of the Tiger Cats, but can they get off the ground in time? The most useless things in the world are runway behind you and altitude above you. Hamilton by 6.

Calgary at Montreal: Stampeders managed to prevail by a whisker (pun intended) at the last minute over the aforementioned Tiger Cats, while Montreal lost at the last minute to the checkerboard guys. Will the home cooking help Alouettes make it through he full 60 minutes? Little larks will avoid the rampaging quadrupeds, but it won't be easy. In another close one, Montreal by 3.

BC at Ottawa: Now that Ottawa has thrown the ladies who kick things out of town, the big guys can take over the field. No yellow or red cards, no nets, just red flags and lots of contact. RedBlacks pulled off a significant win last week over an unsuspecting Montreal team. Now they have to take on a bunch of roaring lions who have yet to compete. BC has a decent offense and a supposedly tough defense. Ottawa won with an excellent air attack and a late pick. Lions should be able to keep the Ottawa guys from getting that close. BC by 12.

Toronto at Saskatchewan: Argonauts sailed past a bunch of Eskimos last week, but perhaps the Wood Buffaloes in the national park had something to do with it. Meanwhile the Roughriders had a rough ride against the Bombers. Look for the Argonauts to enjoy their western swing. Toronto by 7.

Before I forget, happy Canada Day to all.

posted by Howard_T at 03:41 PM on July 01

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Champion: Cixelsyd

Ah yes, comfortable mediocrity once again. The old saying is that the nail that sticks up feels the hammer. Perhaps a better ability to pick results will make me the hammer. Of course, by that time we will be using screws instead of nails. Thanks, rcade, for another fun time. The pick 'ems are one of the better parts of SpoFi.

posted by Howard_T at 11:15 PM on June 25

The 11th Annual chicobangs Memorial SpoFi CFL Pick 'Em

In the words of Donald Rumsfeld, "...as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know."* One thing I know I do not know is a lot about the CFL. I know this because I often have embarrassed myself in the past few years of the Dr. John Classic. I will not let these unknown things that I know prevent me from trying once again to prove my ignorance. To paraphrase an old saying, "It is better to be thought a fool than to take to the keyboard and remove all doubt." Here goes:

Ottawa at Montreal: The colour-confused team from the Capitol City should be better than last years 2-win club. This will not be one of the games they win. Montreal found a QB last year, have improved in other areas, and look to challenge for the top of the East. Allouettes by 9.

Hamilton at Calgary: Is it deja vu all over again? Didn't we see this matchup in last year's Grey Cup? There's nothing to be feared more than a hungry Tiger Cat, and the Cats have just missed feasting on the Cup. Trouble is that Stampeders look to be as loaded as they were last season. I will go with the home team in this, but it will be close. Calgary by 4.

Edmonton at Toronto: Fort McMurray is between Edmonton and Wood Buffalo National Park. This has absolutely nothing to do with my prediction other than to recall the phrase "don't take any wooden nickels". I guess wood buffaloes are the Canadian equivalent of wooden nickels. Back to the game. Argonauts are without someone to handle the rudder with Ricky Ray recovering from shoulder surgery. The defence (please note the use of 'c' in place of 's') was also suspect last year, and might not have been improved. Edmonton last year was my "contrarian" team. If I picked them to win, they lost, and the converse was true. Eskimos promise to be better by a bit than last year, and with the injuries to Toronto they should prevail. Edmonton by 12.

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan: Bombers were Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde last season. To help the situation they have tried to improve the offensive line as well as give Drew Willy some security and continuity. Roughriders too had their problems late in the season, but these were the result of injury to a key player. This has been addressed by the signing of a proven backup QB. This early in the season picking a winner between these two is more a guess than any sort of prediction. The coin flip came down for the Bombers. Winnipeg by 5.

*Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in a press conference on Feb 12, 2002.

posted by Howard_T at 10:14 PM on June 23

Max Scherzer Has Perfect Game Through 8 2/3, But Hits Tabata

It's the judgement of the umpire that determines whether a hit batsman is awarded a base or not. The general guidelines involve an attempt to avoid getting out of the way, the location of the pitch (in or out of the strike zone; in a place where the batter had no chance to move, such as the feet), swing or no swing. At the MLB level, the umpires are aware of a batter's ability to see the pitch in time to attempt avoidance. dfleming accurately states that possibility. In this case the hit batsman decision was likely correct.

What bothers me is the batters who do not try to get out of the way, or worse who try to make it look that way while actually making sure they get hit. This is not called often enough for what it is. The call should be a dead ball, pitch called a ball or strike as applicable, runners returned to their bases unless they had advanced a base prior to the pitch, and the batter kept in the batter's box. I don't want to say it is a lack of testicular development on the part of umpires, but I do feel they have become too comfortable in awarding the base when not justified.

posted by Howard_T at 12:31 PM on June 21

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Norwegian national team players talk about how much they suck at football.

Pure gold, goddam. My wife is in the other room yelling at me to find out what I'm laughing at. I love the bit about the offside rule, but really, this has to have been rehearsed. Still funny anyway.

posted by Howard_T at 09:54 PM on June 19

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Has a member of the losing team ever won Finals MVP in the NBA?

Jerry West, LA Lakers, 1969. He had a game 7 vs Boston (42 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists) that was as enormous as any of James' efforts. LA lost by 2 after coming back from a 15-point deficit entering the 4th quarter. Don Nelson hit a desperation 18-footer to beat the shot clock when John Havlicek had the ball batted away, but it went directly to Nelson. A free throw for Boston and a late 2-point shot for LA determined the final margin. For the series, West averaged 37.9 ppg, while playing 43.9 minutes.

posted by Howard_T at 11:07 PM on June 15

Warriors Win Game 5, Need One More for NBA Championship

I do not understand playing Mozgov for 9 minutes last night

I believe the theory is that if you have the biggest and best "small" guy on the floor, you should have an advantage. This would hold true if your other 4 small guys were a match for the other team's small guys. It is pretty obvious that they are not, and why Blatt persisted in the strategy for so much of the game is beyond me. In his defense, perhaps he realized that Mozgov could actually be a defensive liability despite his length and shot blocking ability. Golden State has the ability to penetrate down the lane, and Mozgov, when he moves to help, is not quick enough to get back and cover a pass to another Warrior underneath. Once Golden State is making its 3-point shots, packing the defense in down low is not a solution. It's sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation for Cleveland now.

posted by Howard_T at 10:52 PM on June 15

Golden State Exposes Cleveland in Game 4 Rout

Way back when Cleveland swept Boston in the opening series of the playoffs, I made the comment that Boston's bench was better than Cleveland's. This when Love and Irving were healthy. It does not surprise me that the Cleveland starters are playing heavy minutes and are beginning to wear down. Dellavedova in particular seems to be affected by having to play more minutes than he is used to playing. His play in games 2 and 3 was very effective, but last night seemed to be lacking some of his usual energy. The extra day of rest will help, but will not be enough.

It seems to be LeBron's sad lot to have found another team that does not have enough behind him to win a championship. I know it's not over yet, but all the signs seem to indicate the ultimate outcome. This time it is the fault of the injury spirits rather than team management or any other circumstances. In a way I feel badly for him, but at the same time, being no fan of his, I enjoyed his tribulations last night. Over time I will mellow towards him as I did with Kobe Bryant, and recognize that his talent far outweighed his early immaturity and apparently self-centered behavior. Thank ESPN for much of that.

posted by Howard_T at 05:34 PM on June 12

NBC Sports to NHL: Hey Good Lookin', Shave Those Playoff Beards

Young and attractive? Get their faces out there? How long will it be until the first closeup of a clean-shaven, generously scarred face that smiles broadly -- revealing some serious dental deficiencies? You want clean-shaven? Switch to something a bit more genteel. Swimming might be an alternative. The beards tend to slow down a swimmer.

posted by Howard_T at 09:52 PM on June 09

James Scores Triple-Double as Cavs Even NBA Finals at 1

Isn't that exactly what they're doing Howard?

It is, but it will take time for it to work. It is now a 5-game series, LeBron is single-handedly carrying his team, and has succeeded, at least for game 2. As you correctly point out, Golden State suffered from uncommonly bad shooting in game 2, and I'm not sure Cleveland's defense had all that much to do with it. Curry got the touches he needed, but Dellavedova (interesting that spell check says that "Dellavedova" should be "levelheaded") was sufficiently disruptive to put Golden state's offense off of its usual efficiency.

posted by Howard_T at 04:53 PM on June 09

Football Coach Creates Rivalry Game Without Rival's Knowledge

But I couldn't come up with a name. I needed a river that divided us.

No rivers, but how about the Llano Estacado (Staked Plain) "Stakeout, or the Jornado del Muerto "Death Trip"? This latter terrain feature is a bit too far north to be in between the 2 schools, but the Llano Estacado area around Amarillo, TX, is sufficiently bleak to serve as a terrain feature.

posted by Howard_T at 04:45 PM on June 09

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

A new take on switch-pitchers.

posted by Howard_T at 04:37 PM on June 09

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

And on Sunday I saw something happen in a MLB game that I had never seen before.

It's a first for me at the MLB level, but I have had 2 or 3 arguments with coaches at the Babe Ruth or interscholastic level over this rule. The coach of the team on defense will always argue that interference must be called, even though the judgement call is that the runner was in contact with the base and did not interfere deliberately. The coach of a team on offense will always plead that it was not intentional when his runner interferes with a fielder, and will argue that interference should not be called. One call that I truly hate being faced with is interference on a batter with a catcher attempting a throw in order to put out a runner at a base. If the batter does not move into the catcher's path, there's no interference, but when the batter has swung at the pitch and falls into the catcher's path, it is really difficult to judge. I usually go by the rule "when in doubt, call them out". The rule is clear, the determining factor involves umpire judgement, and coaches are always wrong. Just ask the umpire about that last statement.

posted by Howard_T at 04:06 PM on June 08

James Scores Triple-Double as Cavs Even NBA Finals at 1

It is time for Golden State to use "The Formula". This is the way the Boston Celtics of old (Russell, Cousy, Sharman days) would defeat teams that had the best player on the floor. The idea was that this "best player" was going to get his points. You could not stop him, so do not waste a lot of extra effort. Instead, make sure that no one else is able to go off for points, rebounds, or any other offensive statistic well above his normal output. At the same time, you exert enough offensive pressure on the "best player" to make him play full-time defense, thus tiring him somewhat. Note that this formula must be applied over a series; it does not work for just one game. In the case at hand, LeBron James, having to play minutes in the 30s game after game, will, if the formula is properly applied, be worn down by game 7 of the finals.

What did in Golden State last night was their inability to hit much from the 3-point arc and the ability of the Cleveland defense to pack it in down low to prevent the Warriors from attacking the rim. Give full marks to Dellevadova for his defensive work. It was not so much any ability to stop or influence shots. Rather, he was able to exert the defensive pressure needed to disrupt Golden State's offensive timing.

posted by Howard_T at 03:53 PM on June 08