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: May 07, 2021

Howard_T has posted 43 links and 4,211 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

Recent Sports Necrology: Over the past day or two the sports world has lost some notable people. Stirling Moss, passed away at the age of 90. He was one of the legendary racing drivers in what some might call the golden age of racing. Moss competed against the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio (a teammate) when Ferrari, Maserati, and Mercedes ruled.

posted by Howard_T to general at 10:28 PM on April 13, 2020 - 2 comments

Rusty Staub Dead at 73: A sad note on opening day, Le Grand Orange has passed away. His career spanned 23 seasons, mainly with the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets.

posted by Howard_T to baseball at 09:28 PM on March 29, 2018 - 3 comments

Roger Bannister has Passed Away: Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes has died. The feat was accomplished in 1954. We had a small black and white TV, and film of it was shown on the sports news. I also remember seeing it in the newsreels at the movies. It was a really big deal then, but now even high school kids are running under 4 minutes

posted by Howard_T to other at 04:05 PM on March 04, 2018 - 4 comments

...and Maybe the Dynamite Fizzles: Cleveland is having second thoughts about the Thomas-Irving trade after Isaiah Thomas took his physical. What's up here?

posted by Howard_T to basketball at 03:47 PM on August 26, 2017 - 10 comments

Boom goes the dynamite.: After promising off-season fireworks for the past few years, the Boston Celtics have delivered. A trade of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Anton Zizic, and the unprotected first round draft pick from Brooklyn in exchange for Cleveland's Kyrie Irving has been announced. Does this put Boston into the NBA finals? What is Cleveland thinking? 2017-18 will be an interesting season.

posted by Howard_T to basketball at 08:49 PM on August 22, 2017 - 7 comments

Recent Comments

Wild thangs: Double-A team draws 13 walks in an inning

Sounds a lot like one of my middle school games.

posted by Howard_T at 08:14 PM on May 07, 2021

NBA Pickem Week 20: Pittsburgh Pisces Edition

My picks:

Mavericks by 8
Clippers by 12 (slam dunk)
Celtics by 11 (slam dunk)
Trail Blazers by 5
Celtics by 2
Knicks by 9

This season has been a disappointment to me. I just haven't been able to get my full starting roster on the floor. Actually, the floor belongs to our 3 cats, and while they are great athletes, none of them can stick the 3-ball.

posted by Howard_T at 01:05 PM on May 06, 2021

Orioles Pitcher Retires 27 Batters But It Isn't a Perfect Game

Once again proving that "beisbol she is a funny game".

posted by Howard_T at 12:59 PM on May 06, 2021

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

So what happens today? I had the plate, there were runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1out, the pitch was ball 4. As is the usual case, the catcher returned the ball to the pitcher who was standing in front of the mound; that makes him an infielder, not a pitcher. The runner on 3rd was 3 or 4 steps toward the plate; he did not notice the 3rd baseman near the base; the throw over was quick, runner is out. My partner made the call, and the runner insisted that time was out because of the base on balls. Wrong answer: The ball remains in play during the award of the base, and time out cannot be allowed until the award is complete. The ball continues in play unless time out is requested. I'm not surprised when a middle school kid doesn't understand the fine points of the rules, but I would really like to have them get better coaching in the rules.

posted by Howard_T at 09:08 PM on May 04, 2021

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Time for your Sports Filter resident umpire to check in. First of all, let's discuss what makes a base line. It is not the direct path between bases. When a fielder has the ball, and he's attempting to tag a runner, the base line is established as a direct line from the position of the runner to the base. The runner must stay within 3 feet of this line. Even if the runner is in right field when the fielder has the ball, he is not out of the base line as long as he runs straight toward the base. In the video the runner not only stays within 3 feet of the base line, had there been a chalk line between 1st and 2nd, he would have remained on it.

The failure to recognize a dead ball situation and to allow play to continue is egregiously bad. It is basic baseball. The rule book even explains the situations in which a ball goes dead and how it should be placed back in play. Yours truly was nearly caught on this, but I recognized the situation and stopped play. With runners on base an uncaught foul ball was hit The runners do not have to retouch their base. The ball was returned to the pitcher who noticed the runner on 1st with his back turned to the field talking to the coach. The pitcher threw to 1st, a tag was applied, and since it would have been the 3rd out, the fielders began to leave the field. I yelled at them until they stopped, explained that the ball had not been in play, and had them all go back out to the field. The coach tried to argue, but I had to explain that the ball is not in play until the umpire says so. Watch a plate umpire after an uncaught foul. You will see him point to the pitcher. That gesture, sometimes accompanied by the word 'play', means that the ball is in play.

Umpires make mistakes, but those that relate to rule interpretation are rare and really inexcusable. Judgement calls are generally not reviewable, but if plays at the bases and calls at the boundaries can be reviewed, then everything should be. My opinion is that nothing should be reviewed. All that review accomplishes is to lengthen the game. If an umpire gets a rule wrong, that is grounds for appeal. The team that had the runs scored against them when the ball was dead should have appealed. I would have upheld it.

posted by Howard_T at 11:43 PM on May 03, 2021

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

MLB Umpire Marty Foster tries to explain a really bad call, but he seems to get the explanation wrong too. Rule 5(a)(11) states that a batter is out when he runs outside the 3-foot running lane in the last 45 feet before 1st base, and in so doing interferes with a fielder making a play. Obstruction is the act of a fielder not in possession of the ball impeding the progress of a runner. What we have here appears to be a conflict between 2 rules. A fielder in the act of fielding the ball has the absolute right of way. In this case the fielder has completed his play and has made a throw to 1st base. He does not appear to impede the runner, although the runner seems to make a slight step to one side, and if the runner had been running within the lane, no avoidance would have been necessary. Foster claims that the obstruction was a judgement call,and that it cannot be reviewed nor overturned. He is correct in this, but in making the call should have looked at the entire play. The runner was clearly outside the 3-foot running lane, if he made any move to avoid the fielder, it was slight, and the play at 1st base was not at all close. There should have been no obstruction call on the play, and it ultimately cost a team the win.

posted by Howard_T at 05:42 PM on April 29, 2021

Aaron Rodgers Wants Out of Green Bay

Tom E. Curran, talking head and New England Patriots beat reporter for NBC Sports Boston, uses the metaphor of a "quarterback tree" in the back yard, from which quarterbacks drop like ripe fruit into the hands of teams wishing to partake. He uses this to illustrate the movement of quarterbacks in the pre-draft weeks, the number of quarterbacks available via the draft, and those who might be moved after the draft. Would Aaron Rodgers be one of the tastiest plums to fall?

posted by Howard_T at 04:55 PM on April 29, 2021

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

NoMich, the screwball is still being thrown, but nobody calls it a screwball anymore. Rather, it's called a cutter or a cut fastball. The circle change-up has a similar action to the screwball, breaking toward the arm side of the pitcher. In Japan, the pitch is called the "shuuto". Nice videos; batters were muttering some very bad words.

posted by Howard_T at 11:26 PM on April 28, 2021

NBA Pickem Week 19: Knicks on Fire Edition

My picks:

Warriors by 8
Lakers by 6
Suns by 9
Warriors by 14 (slam dunk)
Clippers by 10
Bucks by 7
Pelicans by 8
Nuggets by 12 (slam dunk)

posted by Howard_T at 10:25 PM on April 26, 2021

NBA Pickem Week 18: 7 A.M. at a Strip Club Edition

My picks:

Nets by 11
Knicks by 6
76ers by 8
Mavericks by 12 (slam dunk)
Celtics by 5
Nets by 9

posted by Howard_T at 11:40 PM on April 22, 2021

NBA Pickem Week 18: 7 A.M. at a Strip Club Edition

Missed tonight's games because I was doing all sorts of things. Oh well, let me try to get something out of the week.

posted by Howard_T at 11:38 PM on April 22, 2021

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

This part Irish, part German, part Portuguese, mostly English umpire is sad today. My games are raining out faster than we can play them. I lost another one today to predicted rain, and my game for tomorrow was canceled last week. The bad part is that the weather is supposed to move in about 5:00, it was a 3:30 game, I had the plate, and I know I would have had those little monsters off the field before the rain. Strike zone? How about dugout corner to dugout corner, top of the backstop to the ankles. That'll get 'em swingin' the bat. So far I have done 2 games and had 3 canceled

I will attend my first Celtic game since March 13, 2000 on the 30th of this month. I was able to get tickets for 3 games with the reduced attendance rules, but with Massachusetts limiting travel from New Hampshire, I let my son have the games. I've had both my shots, I only live about 3 miles from the armed border between MA and NH, but the ban was there nonetheless. MA has opened up since, so the problem has really gone away. Maybe I'll go to church and pray for good weather and some common sense when dealing with the virus.

posted by Howard_T at 03:15 PM on April 21, 2021

Will a 'Super League' blow up global soccer? Here's what we know after bombshell announcement

Howard: Don't forget the WHA trying to step up against the NHL

Thanks, grum, I did indeed forget that one. I blame it on old age, but I can't keep using that excuse for much longer. You are correct that the result was the same. The point is that I have found no precedent for teams in leagues that are covered by an overarching organization attempting to form another league that will fall outside that organization. In some ways there is similarity; a rebel group is trying to pressure the existing authority to accept the change. This one does not appear to offer the type of solution that was found in the cases I referenced (as well as grum's addition). It will not end well.

posted by Howard_T at 01:45 PM on April 20, 2021

Will a 'Super League' blow up global soccer? Here's what we know after bombshell announcement

I have been searching through some history trying to find some precedent for this. I have come up with 4 obvious times when major US professional sports leagues were threatened with competition. However, in none of these cases did teams threaten to join another league. The obvious cases were the National Football League challenged first by the All-America Football Conference and then by the American Football League; The National Basketball Association versus the American Basketball Association; and finally Major League Baseball facing the Federal Baseball League.

Like the proposed Super League, all of the upstart leagues appear to have been driven by money, but this is unique because it involves teams trying to break out of an established relationship. The AAFC and AFL efforts in football were the result of the NFL denying the opportunity for expansion franchises to the founders of the competing leagues. This was also the case in the ABA-NBA situation as well as the baseball situation. The AFL is the only competing league to gain a nearly complete win of its objectives. The others had only partial success. So if history is any guide, the Super League will be in for a rough time, and full success is unlikely.

If I were an investor in any of the proposed Super League teams, I would be very worried. The possibility of being expelled from one's National professional league or having some players leave in order to maintain eligibility for their country's national team could more than offset any financial gains from the move. This announcement almost seems to be a premature, ill-considered attempt to head off speculation based on leaked information. In any case, I really don't want it to succeed.

posted by Howard_T at 02:50 PM on April 19, 2021

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

And I either don't watch or catch the end

My DirecTV subscription has a "Scoreguide" feature that gives scores and schedules for all of the major professional sports, including MLS and the more familiar of the European and Mexican leagues. College football and basketball are included. Schedules are given 3 or 4 days in advance, and channel information is included. My complaint is that college ice hockey, lacrosse, and any women's sports are not included. I find the feature handy in determining if there is something worth watching available. We will also record the occasional event that we cannot watch in real time.

posted by Howard_T at 06:29 PM on April 14, 2021