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: October 15, 2021

Howard_T has posted 43 links and 4,265 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

Dodgers Beat Giants in Deciding Game 5

Just don't make the call if it's this dang borderline.

When the plate umpire points at you and yells "did he go?", you have no option. You have to make a call; shrugging your shoulders and saying that you aren't sure will have you umpiring in a T-ball league. Right or wrong, sure or unsure, you give it your best judgment and sell the call like you are absolutely certain. The checked swing call usually appears perhaps 2 or 3 times in a game. Rarely does it happen in the circumstances of Dodgers vs Giants. To make it a reviewable call would eventually lead to some sort of review of balls and strikes. Perhaps an electronic strike zone with a chip in the ball and bat could be done. I hope not. Baseball is played by humans and should be officiated by humans. Neither players nor umpires are perfect, and that is as it should be. A game played by robots, or even worse, played by images on a screen is no game at all.

posted by Howard_T at 06:19 PM on October 15, 2021

Dodgers Beat Giants in Deciding Game 5

Looking at the play from the side, it's easy to see that the swing was checked. I would like to see what Flores saw. He was (or should be) 15 or so feet behind 1st base and a foot or two in foul territory. It's the only practical place from which to call swing or no swing, it's far from ideal. The plate umpire's vision is directed to the ball and the strike zone. Judging the swing, unless it's fairly obvious, is very difficult for him. So it's up to the 1st base blue, and his judgment.

Let's first look at what determines a swing. Back in the day, if the batter "broke his wrists", it was a swing. As video analysis became more common, one could see that the bat would be well into the zone where contact might be made before the batter's wrists snapped. Thus the criteria changed from wrists to whether or not the bat head crossed the plate. This is more difficult to judge than a batter's wrists. Flores could see that batter's shoulders moved toward the ball and were in a position such that arm movement alone would bring the bat to the hitting zone. Flores would also have seen the arms continue moving in the swing. How well he could see the bat makes the difference. To Flores it appeared that the bat was far enough over the plate to constitute a swing. Right or wrong, it's a judgment call.

It's the final out of the last inning of an elimination game. Do you change your criteria for a call because of the situation? All I have been taught tells me that if in my judgment it's a swing in the 2nd inning, it's a swing with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th. You shouldn't apply situation to judgment. Once you do that you need to build yourself a table of how much you change your call versus the game situation. Since the situations will have subtle differences, you will soon find yourself questioning every call you make, based on your feeling for the situation rather than the accepted interpretation of the rules. Yes, I know that the strike zone tends to expand or contract depending on the count, but the immediate consequence is another pitch. This gives both pitcher and batter the chance for a satisfactory outcome. It doesn't end an at bat nor a game or even a season.

Will the call by Flores go down in baseball history as one of the worst ever? Probably not. First of all, the call was difficult to make. You are 100 feet away, trying to determine the position of a moving object, and you have only a few milliseconds to do it. Compare it with Don Denkinger's call at 1st base in the 1985 World Series. The play happened right in front of him and wasn't close. He still got it wrong, and in the days before replay had to live with it. He admitted his error, and all players and knowledgeable fans understood and forgave him. Flores said that he saw the play as a swing. Given the difficulties involved in the call, it is easily understood. Can it be forgiven? That's not up to me, but I will bet it already has been.

posted by Howard_T at 02:43 PM on October 15, 2021

NFL Pickem Week 6: Chucky Got Chucked Edition

My picks:

Buccaneers by 9 (lock)
Jaguars by 6
Bears by 7
Bengals by 12 (lock)
Colts by 16 (lock)
Giants by 6
Chiefs by 13 (lock)
Panthers by 9
Ravens by 7 (lock)
Cardinals by 3
Raiders by 6
Patriots by 3
Steelers by 10
Bills by 16 (lock)

posted by Howard_T at 12:43 PM on October 14, 2021

Raiders Fire Gruden Over Bigoted Emails

One interesting Twiiier comment I saw on a news site mentioned that the emails all were written while Gruden was employed by ESPN. Makes one wonder about ESPN's email policies.

posted by Howard_T at 10:59 AM on October 12, 2021

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The umpiring nazi in me has been aroused. It's not the umpiring, the crew on the field at Fenway got it right, but the broadcasters and post game analysts were misleading at best.

First the situation. With a runner on 1st base, the batter hits a long line drive to right field. The ball bounces on the ground in front of the low wall, hits the wall, deflects back toward the fielder, hitting him, and then caroms off the fielder's body and over the wall. At this point the ball has gone out of play. What is your ruling? The announcers and almost every fan call this a ground rule double, and while this accurately describes the result of such a play, it does not describe why it is ruled. The play in last night's game confuses the ruling because the ball hit the fielder before going out of play. Here's where the analysts mislead everyone.

First of all, there's no such thing as a ground rule double. When a ball in play goes out of play, there are rules that specify the placement of any runners. If a fair batted ball crosses any boundary after touching the ground, the batter and all runners are awarded 2 bases from their position on base at the time of the pitch. There is no umpire discretion involved. Two from the time of the pitch, that's it. It doesn't matter that the ball went out of play after contacting a fielder. As long as the baseball was not thrown out of play by the fielder, it's still 2 from the time of the pitch.

What if the ball had been thrown out of play in an attempt to stop play and deprive runners from further advancement? Here the rule is clear, but there is still some limited umpire discretion involved. If the throw was intentional, it is still a 2 base award, but the award is given from the position of the runners at the time of the throw. The umpires must now determine where the runners were when the ball went out of play and place them correctly. Other than being aware of where the runners are when the ball became dead there is no discretion available to the umpires. The analysts on the post game were insisting that the umpires could place the runners, but I don't think they understood the subtle difference between an award from time of the pitch and time of the throw and when each applies.

I could give you another 500 words defining time of the pitch, but I will pass before rcade drops the banhammer. I will say that you should pay attention; there will be a quiz.

posted by Howard_T at 04:23 PM on October 11, 2021

NFL Pickem Week 5: Urban's Daily Grind Edition

My picks:

Seahawks by 6
Falcons by 12 (lock)
Bengals by 10
Vikings by (lock)
Steelers by 14 (lock)
Buccaneers by 13 (lock)
Saints by 6
Panthers by 10
Titans by 5
Patriots by 14
Raiders by 8 (lock)
Chargers by 9 (lock)
Cowboys by 13 (lock)
Cardinals by 10 (lock)
Chiefs by 6
Ravens by

Cure or kill week. 8 locks selected. If I go down, the flames will be bright.

posted by Howard_T at 09:43 PM on October 06, 2021

NFL Pickem Week 4: 66 Yard Edition

My picks:

Bengals by 13
Falcons by 6
Bills by 18 (lock)
Bears by 9
Cowboys by 10
Colts by 7
Browns by 3
Saints by 9 (lock)
Titans by 11 (lock)
Chiefs by 13 (lock)
Rams by 14 (lock)
Seahawks by 6
Ravens by 4
Steelers by 3
Buccaneers by 10 (lock)
Chargers by 6

posted by Howard_T at 11:36 AM on September 30, 2021

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Nine

Edmonton by 11 The BPOE lodge travels east to hit the roulette table. Betting red or black doesn't matter, the result is the same.

Winnipeg by 16 Lions don't have enough anti aircraft weapons to shoot down Bombers of any color.

Hamilton by 12 In his quest for the Golden Fleece, Jason never had fierce Tigercats to deal with.

Saskatchewan by 9 Roughriders refuse to be stampeded.

posted by Howard_T at 04:29 PM on September 27, 2021

NFL Pickem Week 3: Cardiac Cardinals Edition

My picks:

Panthers by
Bills by 14
Bears by 7
Lions by 4
Titans by 8
Chiefs by 12 (lock)
Patriots by 7
Giants by 6
Steelers by 13
Cardinals by 15 (lock)
Broncos by 11 (lock)
Raiders by 9
Buccaneers by 8
Vikings by 10
49ers by 13
Eagles by 3

posted by Howard_T at 06:31 PM on September 23, 2021

Ben Simmons Gives Philadephia All the Sads

But drafting Simmons, Okafor and Fultz and trading Nerlens Noel...there's no award for that.

It's all about the process. We must understand that.

posted by Howard_T at 11:17 AM on September 23, 2021

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Eight

I checked my email early on Wednesday, and my wife and I did some sightseeing on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Got back to email after a late dinner, and there I was, confronted with a CFL pick 'em that's already in progress. Prime Minister Trudeau, what kind of government are you running in Canada? How can any responsible official allow the CFL to play on Wednesday? It's an outrage and a crime against humanity.

Calm down, Howard, it's only one pick that you probably would have missed anyway. Let it pass and get on with your life.

Toronto by 16 The sailors of mythology roast little birds for dinner.

Saskatchewan by 11 Can a Roughrider stay in the saddle on the back of a Lion?

posted by Howard_T at 11:13 AM on September 23, 2021

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Oh the humanity.. Gus Johnson might have been a bit excited, but according to the Vikings radio announcer, the kick was good.

posted by Howard_T at 03:00 PM on September 20, 2021

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Seven

Hamilton by 13 The question is, "Can a Broadway musical survive panic stricken, uncontrolled quadrupeds?" Answer to be determined.

Toronto by 9 Those who use uncomfortable transportation succumb to mythological sailors.

Montreal by 18 Larks feed on the corpse of the Lion.

Winnipeg by 18 Manitobans disrupt peaceful BPOE meeting with a blue bomb.

posted by Howard_T at 06:05 PM on September 16, 2021

NFL Pickem Week 2: Pay Chandler Jones the Money Edition

My picks:

Giants by 7
Bears by 9
Browns by 13 (lock)
Rams by 6
Bills by 3
Patriots by 9
Eagles by 4
Steelers by 8 (lock)
Saints by 10
Jaguars by 7
Cardinals by 12 (lock)
Buccaneers by 16 (lock)
Chargers by 6
Seahawks by 5
Chiefs by 13 (lock)
Packers by 3

posted by Howard_T at 01:38 PM on September 15, 2021

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Six

Must move quickly. Almost forgot.

Hamilton by 13 It's the Argo NOTS in this one.

Saskatchewan by 3 I ought to go with the home team, but the Regina Rowdies will prevail.

Edmonton by 11 The BPOE have another meeting and lick some Stamps.

BC by 16 The color confused group will not tame any Lions.

posted by Howard_T at 07:22 PM on September 10, 2021