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: April 24, 2014

Howard_T has posted 34 links and 2614 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

Yankees' Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar on Neck

Red Sox manager John Farrell was asked prior to last night's game whether or not he expected Pineda to use pine tar again. He said something to the effect that he thought Pineda would be a little more careful. Ya think???

posted by Howard_T at 05:18 PM on April 24

Canadiens Complete 4-Game Sweep of Lightning

Should Boston get by Detroit -- and It's beginning to look like this could happen -- it will be another classic Bruins vs Canadiens war. We fans of the Bruins have too many memories of playoff losses to Montreal to be comfortable with the match up. Still, when the rivalry is as intense as this one, you know the series will be wonderfully entertaining.

posted by Howard_T at 09:26 PM on April 23

Yankees' Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar on Neck

New York Yankees' pitcher Michael Pineda has been ejected from the game vs Boston for having an illegal substance on his person. There was an obvious stain on the side of Pineda's neck. Red Sox manager John Farrell requested the umpire to take a look, he did, and ejected Pineda. this raises the question why Pineda would be so dumb. A substance was observed on his hand during a previous start against Boston in New York, so it had to be evident that Boston might be looking for it. Further, the substance tonight was in a highly visible spot. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. No shame on John Farrell this time.

posted by Howard_T at 08:05 PM on April 23

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Lucic was fined $5,000 for intentionally spearing Dekeyser in the crotch

I don't understand why that should merit a fine. Lucic was doing DeKeyser a favor by making sure DeK's cup was being worn correctly.

Second time Lucic has done this during this season. Perhaps opponents might begin looking over their shoulder when he is behind them. It could also cause some rather odd skating as players try to skate with their knees clamped together.

It appears that wide receiver Chad Johnson, aka Chad Ocho Cinco has signed to play with the Montreal Alouettes in the coming season. Does this mean he wiil be forced to change his name to Chad Quatre Vingt Cinq?

posted by Howard_T at 08:43 PM on April 19

Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play

rcade, I'm unsure whether to tell you that there's a great career before you, or to tell you not to quit your day job. Not bad, buddy.

posted by Howard_T at 02:44 PM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

Perhaps he's praying, as in a line from Psalm 23: "My cup runneth over".

Pardon the sacrilege, I know it's Good Friday and all, but I couldn't resist.

posted by Howard_T at 02:41 PM on April 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I have the urge to do a bit of writing tonight, so please bear with me while I bore you for a few minutes. By way of background, last night was the final game of the season, a rather dismal one, for the Boston Celtics. I'm a season ticket holder, a fan since around 1952, and my adult son and I went to the game. There were a few extra attractions going on, it was the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, but we really wanted one final chance to watch live NBA basketball.

We scheduled our departure from home based on a 7:30 scheduled start, and the idea that we wanted to be a bit early. About the time I rolled the truck out of the driveway, the realization hit that it was an 8:00 game and we would be way early. This is not a problem. North Station, which houses the TD Garden as well as commuter rail, is equipped with a small but good beer garden featuring Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr beers from Munich. These happened to be my son's preferred brands at Oktoberfest last fall, so stopping for a short one before going upstairs to the game was in order. We were still a bit early, but while I stood in line for a couple of "thank you" gifts, my son went for a couple of Sam Adams Summer Ales. "You can't fly on one wing", my mother always said. Fortified as we were, we settled into our places in Section 315.

Pre-game we were treated to a few words from Jared Sullinger, thanking the fans for regularly turning out dressed as something other than an empty seat. An aside here, even with a 25 - 47 record, the team still drew 90% capacity every night. Next, the post-season Red Auerbach Award was handed out. This award is given to the Celtics' player or coach who best exemplifies what it means to be a Celtic. If you know anything at all about Boston sports, you understand how much tradition means to the fans. This year it was Brandon Bass who was honored, and my son and I, and a sizable majority of the fans, agreed with the selection. The final pre-game activity was perhaps the best rendition of the National Anthem that we had heard all season. It was done by a quartet from the Massachusetts Army National Guard, they sang well, kept the tempo quick, put no extraneous notes or flourishes into the music, and looked really sharp in their "dress blues".

Now we move into the first quarter as Washington takes an early lead. My son and I begin a discussion of Kelly Olynyk and what it will take for him to maximize his potential and just how far that potential may take him. We agree that his biggest need is to work on his defense, add some upper body muscle, and put a few more offensive wrinkles into his repertoire. I say he can be a frequent member of all-star squads, while my son says he will make an all-star team or two or three, but will not be an annual selection. We move on to Phil Pressey's game. We agree that he shows a great amount of hustle, a high IQ for the game, and good passing ability. His limitations are inconsistent shooting and lack of size. 5-11 (perhaps an exaggeration) point guards rarely succeed in the NBA.

The end of the first quarter draws near, and my son volunteers to make another beer run. He takes a bit of a scenic route out of the row in order to get a bit closer look at the blond sitting several seats to our right. His assessment is that it was worth the trip.

As the Washington lead gradually increases in the third quarter, we begin a discussion of Christianity, including the evolution of the Nicene Creed, the Nestorian heresy, Manichaeism, Gnosticism, and the nature of the Trinity. The discussion grows deeper, and we begin to draw some curious looks from neighboring fans. Most of the looks reflect a "do I hear what I think I hear?" thought. The game continues as we watch, and our theological discussion is interrupted briefly but frequently to admire one or another really good plays and individual efforts.

Now we get to the fourth quarter. Our theology has exhausted itself, and we begin a discussion of the alienation of younger voters in the USA. My son claims that it doesn't matter whom we elect, it is still the same bunch of old men. I counter that the important thing is not individual or even party, but the entire philosophy of government must be considered. You must discover what sort of governing philosophy you prefer and support those who would place the same into effect. This discussion becomes a bit more heated than theology, but still respectful. The curious looks become brief stares, but I think our neighbors have figured out that we might just be having some fun with this. At least the language used is not too offensive to ladies and minors, and the dreaded F-bomb has been kept in the holster.

The end of the game is at hand. As the final seconds expire, the crowd rises with a warm round of applause and we head for the exit. Our timing on the T is perfect, catching an Orange Line train as the doors close and getting to Downtown Crossing just as a Red Line train rolls in. We are first in line to roll through the exit barrier from the Alewife parking garage, and even the traffic on the way home is lighter than usual. The ride is mostly silent until I remark on the nearly full moon and suggest we howl at it. My son counters with the idea that we should wait until we are home, grab my wife, and all 3 of us go out on the lawn and howl. This would serve only to have our neighbors believe that we really should be committed to a mental health facility, so we refrain.

As we finished the ride home, I thought about what it means to have a 25-year-old son who has grown into a very mature individual. He is now well past the time when you should be his father but not be his friend, and is at the time when he's a really good friend and companion to have. As happened with my father and I, our mutual love of sports has been part of the bond between us. It's a pretty good place to be.

posted by Howard_T at 10:47 PM on April 17

Steinbrenner: We Don't Need Stephen Drew

If Drew gets the $14M per year he wants, then good luck to him. I somehow feel he is rather overvaluing himself. True, he has a very reliable glove, excellent range, and good arm, but do not his deficiencies with the bat, especially against left-handed pitching make his total package worth somewhat less than what he wants?. Scott Boras has been using Drew as a test case to get rid of the rule that requires the forfeiture of a draft pick for signing a tendered free agent. If Drew comes out behind on the deal, does Boras make up whatever difference there might be in compensation? I don't begrudge anything Drew might merit, but he is allowing himself to be used as a pawn by Boras. Boras is interested in increasing his own earnings potential and is doing so by claiming it is doing a good thing for all players.

posted by Howard_T at 03:04 PM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Trying to decide who's the most heart warming underdog out of Liverpool and Man City is adorable.

I watched the second half of the Liverpool - Manchester City match when I got home from church on Sunday. I found I had a warm sensation in my heart, but I think it might have been heartburn from the onion bagels.

To be serious, watching that match was perhaps the most involved I've ever been in a soccer match. The tension and drama were coming close to a playoff NHL hockey level.

posted by Howard_T at 03:15 PM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

Yes, Mathis' leg is in the baseline before the ball gets to him, but it's while he's in the process of making the catch.

The basic mantra always has been "the runner has the right to the baseline, but he must not interfere with a fielder in the act of making a play on the ball". Take the example of a runner going from second to third as the shortstop settles under a pop-up. The runner, to avoid contact, must deviate from his direct line, even though the shortstop has not yet caught the ball, and indeed might be a second or two from actually making the catch. Why should there be a difference for a play at the plate? If the catcher puts himself into a blocking position, but such a position is not necessary to making a clean catch of a throw, then the runner should be called safe. For example, putting one's leg out into the baseline when one could remain upright should be called obstruction. On the other hand, a catcher forced to the third base side of the plate and into the runner's line by an errant throw should not be considered as obstructing a runner. The rule is an attempt to codify what should happen on plays at the plate in order to minimize injuries. As such, like most well-meaning attempts to legislate things, it takes a lot of time and experience for all to understand how to interpret it.

By the way, the "baseline" with respect to the runner is not the direct line between the bases. Rather, it is the direct line from the runner to the base he is trying to reach as the play is made.

posted by Howard_T at 03:04 PM on April 15

Video: Ball Girl Saves Run in Baltimore

Oriole broom gals

I've not been to an O's game since they moved out of Memorial Stadium, but I do indeed remember some of the antics of the broom girls. They would bring water out to the umpires between innings on the hot days, which I'm sure was not unappreciated, and I remember the occasional sweeping of the tops of the umpires' shoes. Remember, these things were done between the innings. In most parks anyone who interferes with a ball in play is met by the security guys and invited to watch the game on TV from a nearby bar. I may not be remembering this correctly, but I believe at least one ball boy/girl somewhere was relieved of his/her duties on the spot after mistakenly fielding a ball in play.

Ball kids are in a vulnerable spot, since most are stationed not too far beyond the bases. They often also have a stool that needs to be moved, thus slowing their retreat from being involved in a fielding play. I'm waiting for the day one of them is clocked by a line drive or run over by a fielder going hard for a foul pop-up. Teams would be better off using adults, training them, and using a loss of future employment as a means of keeping them in the game.

posted by Howard_T at 08:01 PM on April 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

It was a nice send-off

Too bad Martin Brodeur was undecided about his future. Had he declared for retirement prior to Sunday's game vs Boston, I would bet the send-off would have been similar to Smyth's, if not more so. As it was, the New Jersey fans were loud and enthusiastic in their recognition of what Brodeur has meant to the team, the league, and indeed the game as a whole.

posted by Howard_T at 03:11 PM on April 14

Video: Ball Girl Saves Run in Baltimore

Oooh, did I just make such a great play.

Oooh, I am so fired.

posted by Howard_T at 03:03 PM on April 14

Red Sox Manager Rips Replay After Ejection

The question I have is "who provides the replays to those who interpret them?". If it is anyone connected with the home team, it would be very easy to make sure that a replay showing an adverse result to the home team would never reach the eyes of the judges, while making sure those that show the favorable result are featured. In other words, MLB has to take control of all the video feeds that are in use, look at all of the feeds, and only then make a ruling. This now becomes the time consuming nightmare that all have feared. The alternative is to have only one "official" source of video, and this must have an MLB representative supervising not only the actual video feed but also the camera locations, selection of operators, and all other aspects of the system. I'm not holding my breath until that happens.

To me the best solution is to go back to the good, old human eyeball. Yes, umpires will miss calls, but these will tend to even themselves out over time. The 2 disputed calls in NY are a good example. The things that are really necessary for keeping the human-only system are to have better umpire training, a system of discipline for umpires who miss calls due to poor positioning or lack of hustle, and more accountability to the fans concerning poor performing umpires. Sadly, the union will not let this happen easily, so for now we are stuck with a system that is still flawed and might be worse than what we had previously.

posted by Howard_T at 03:01 PM on April 14

Shanahan to Toronto

Players who had been subjected to the heavy hand of Shanahan's disciplinary verdicts are likely to be enjoying this news. It's on the order of "How do you like adversity for a change?".

posted by Howard_T at 12:25 PM on April 13