Stop Making Sense

New Address –
August 20, 2011, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As many of you have noticed in the past, “” is not a very good blog address. It began as an inside joke many years ago about who could create the largest web presence with the most unpronouncable name. I think I won that little wager handily.

However, as in life, all good things must end, and so I’m changing the address of the site to “”. And yes, I tried and first. Damn you, early blogging adopters.

The old address WILL continue to work. I’m not sure if it will update at the same time as the new one, and if it doesn’t, I’ll just leave this post up at the top so it’ll be easy to switch over.

Hope you enjoy the new, exact same Stop Making Sense we’ve all grown to love.


So… how ’bout them Yankees?
August 20, 2011, 5:01 pm
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Hey everyone. It’s been FOREVER since I posted, but I’ve been enjoying the hell out of the season so far (Brew Crew – 20 for 23? Really? That Grienke trade was a gooooood move). Sadly, I was thinking that I’d have to stop or severely limit the amount of posting I do on this site – I was thinking of ending it, really. I had a good run, got to wear Reggie Jackson’s World Series MVP ring (and no, I will NOT stop talking about that), met Al Leiter, Robbie Cano, ARod, Jeter, Michael Kay, Joe Girardi, et al, plus a number of other really awesome people in the Yankee organization like Ray Negron (do a search for his name on the old if you don’t know him – he got me my backstage tour and is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet).

The reason? LAW SCHOOL. Started Tuesday. Apparently I’ll be at school 70 hours a week for the first year, and I need to maintain a top 20% GPA to maintain my scholarship. So, yeah.

But THEN I realized that I do this to relax, and they have internet access in the library, and fuck all that noise. THE SITE IS COMING BACK, BABY! I hope you’re all suitably excited. I know I am. So join me, won’t you, as we head down the stretch run and see if CC can win like 25 games so he has a shot at the Cy Young, or see Jesus Montero make his debut in the Fall.

I love you guys, you make this all fun. Go Yanks.

It’s been a while…
December 22, 2010, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

… and truthfully, I don’t have much to say. Nothing about the Yankees, anyway. Everything proceeding pretty much according to plan. We got Cliff Lee, right? We didn’t? He signed WHERE? For HOW MANY YEARS? GODDAMN YANKEE TAX MOTHERFU#(&(())*ER  #(&&@)!))!__!

Well, we’ll be fine. We have a smart GM and there’s always some magic in the offseason. We’re due this year after the complete fiasco that Javy Vazquez turned into last season. I had such high hopes, Javy. You broke my heart.

I’ve been on a Godfather binge recently. Don’t know why. I reread all the novels and watched the first two movies back-to-back yesterday. I love those movies so much. I only have DIVX rips of the DVD cut, which sucks because I actually purchased the box set a few years ago and lost it in a move. Still, it’s interesting to watch The Godfather Part II, which, if you haven’t seen it (my fiancee is one of three people on Earth who hasn’t), is half in Italian. Seriously. When was the last Academy Award winning film that was written and performed by a mostly American cast in an entirely different language? It’s amazing, De Niro’s performance specifically (which he won the Academy Award for, not coincidentally). I don’t have the option to turn subtitles on with the DIVX rips, so I watched them completely in Italian – no translation. Still, I’ve seen the movie so many times that I know exactly what’s happening in every scene. It makes for a really cool / interesting experience – it’s like virtual reality for non-Italian speakers. The momentary glimpse of being able to speak and comprehend another language.

In other news, the main reason I wanted to post today is because I saw this piece of brilliance linked on Will Leitch’s Twitter feed. I dig Leitch and this is really an amazing find. I encourage you to watch it immediately, because it WILL be taken down. It’s a dark, Godfather-esque ending to the new Yogi Bear CGI animated film, created by one of the lead animators in his spare time over the last few months. I can’t imagine the studio will be happy when they see it, so watch it while you can. It’s really, really funny.

Bundle up for the Holidays – even if you’re in LA, it’s fucking miserable here – and make a silent prayer for Brian Cashman.

Love from SMS. See you next year.

I know I’ve been out of the loop…
December 5, 2010, 1:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was pretty bummed about the way the season ended, even though I thought we had a really good team that played with heart (minus a few people… AJ COUGHCOUGH). As a result, I’ve been trying to take a step back from the blog for a bit, get my life together, and prepare for next season. I’m currently trying to get my self-run business back up and going while simultaneously applying to law school and trying to get a job that pays well enough to support myself and my future wife for the next few years while I’m off in intellectual cloudcukkooland.

— The Cloudcukkooland reference is a bit later in the song (2:22), but check it out, it’s great

That doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop writing here at SMS. I love all my readers, and it’s pretty cool to even HAVE readers, so I hope I haven’t chase you all away with my last absence. I promise to try and get more posts up soon, it’s just been a really crazy time in my life. Writing can be a release from tension or can add to it, so I’m trying to choose to use it as a release, because Lord knows I need one.

Anyway, just so everyone knows: I’m still here, and I’m going to try my best to stay up-to-date with the snark and sarcasm you’ve come to expect over here at SMS.

And thank you, EVERYONE, that reads this site on a daily basis. I’m no River Ave. Blues, but I have a fairly good following these days, even though I haven’t really posted anything in months. It’s good to know that there are still some people that are interested.

GOALS: for next season-

1) I’d like to do game wrap-ups for every game, or at least as many of them as I can humanly have time to do.

2) More stuff about the VVVIP experience at Yankee Stadium. That was by far my most talked-about post of the year and I’m 99% sure that Ray Negron,  Reggie Jackson, and Curtis Granderson all invited us back for another go of it. I live in LA, but was born in Manhattan and most of my family still lives there, so I’m there an awful lot – at least twice a year, more than enough time to check out some other cool stuff over at the new Stadium and dig deeper into the bowels of the amazing new structure. I want to know that place inside and out, and I want to show you all the pictures. It’s my first undercover reporting assignment!

3) I’d like to get some more involvement with you, the readers. Have some great ideas for SMS? Let me know, and I’ll do my best to implement them. I want to write the stories that you want to hear, as well as the stories I think you’d want to hear (I got a pretty positive reaction of the Reggie Jackson / Ray Negron VVVIP tour piece, so more of those are definitely on the table).

Anyway, let me KNOW! Blogs are sweet because they’re interactive. My email is leutbneot at gmail dot com, just let me know if you have an idea that I’m missing that you’d like to see me try. This could become a Yanks’ blog by the people and for the people, if that’s what the audience demands.

Alright, gotta run. Xmas shopping.  Have a safe and happy Holidays, everyone.

Re: JoePo’s post about the use of closers
December 5, 2010, 12:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Firemen VS Assassins: The New Wave of Bullpen Construction.

Joe’s article, “The Age of the Setup Man”, which is an excellent read, discusses how the system in place right now with the relief heirarchy seems to be a close, but not perfectly implemented way to utilize your best relief pitchers in the most high-leverage situations. “Closers” have become people who pitch the 9th inning and try to accumulate “Saves”, a meaningless stat that has nonetheless managed to infiltrate its way into arbitration hearings and contract negotiations all across the sport. The best reliever invariably wants to be the closer, because racking up saves is currently the quickest way to a big paycheck.

I propose we can fix this with two steps that seem pretty easy to implement. Obviously, before we implement either of these steps, we have to start working on shifting attitude both on and off the field – most fans (and players, and coaches) seem to think that having a relief stud to pitch the 9th is the best way to make use of resources. It ISN’T. Plenty of “Saves” come from easy, 2-runs up, nobody on, 1-2-3 ninth innings where almost any other reliever could have done the same thing. This concept needs to be explained to the teams and the public. There are much, much more important situations in which to use your dominant relief pitchers, and that’s fairly obvious if you’ve watch baseball for more than a few games.

First, I propose we start calling the alpha dog in the bullpen by a new name. It has to be awesome sounding, instantly conferring an air of badassery and invincibility on the player who takes up the mantle. Fireman. Assassin. I don’t know. Something really cool, something that has higher cache than “closer”. A closer, after all, is just someone who ends games. The guy that comes in two innings before with the bases loaded and then throws three straight Ks to keep the other team from scoring is a much more important role in actuality, and we need a marketing solution to fix this problem. We need more Goose Gossages. That guy was the Fireman – he’d go in whenever his team was in the shit, and he’d clean up. Everyone knew he was the leader of the ‘pen, even if he didn’t collect the most saves. [Note – he probably did also collect the most saves, but that’s sort of an incidental point to the one I’m trying to make]

Which leads me to the second change I’d make. Saves are a useless stat, and they should be phased out as the be-all, end-all judgment of how much a player is worth to his pen and his team. I’m not proposing that much of a radical change here; I just think that if you could find a way to keep these guys egos in check by giving them cool titles like “The Assassin”, and then simultaneously start moving in the direction in contract negotiations where actual performance, rather than some arbitrarily gathered statistic like Saves (or even worse, Holds) counts for everything. I will use my team, the Yankees, as an example. Mariano has always been good about being a “fireman” type reliever – willing to work multiple innings and go into bases-loaded, high-pressure situations to try and get the team out with as little damage as possible. He might not get a “save” here, but no one will doubt that he’s still by far the best reliever on that team. He doesn’t need to be the closer. He can be the Assassin. Or the Fireman. Or just the Bullpen Leader. Closer, then would be relegated a step or two down the heirarchy, as I firmly believe that most major league ballclubs have at least a couple of pitchers that are capable of handling the 9th inning. It’s only three outs and you start with the bases empty. Mariano, in his time, has proven that sometimes you need to have your best pitcher in if you’re having a hairy 7th and clinging precariously to a 1-run lead. He might not get a save, but he’ll certainly have done more to help the Yanks win that evening than if he had let Sergio Mitre pitch the bases-loaded, up-by-1 situation in the 7th and just waited until the 9th, when they Yanks are now down by 3, to come in.

It all has to do with balancing egos and checkbooks. Find the best reliever on the team. Give him a title. Sometimes he closes, sometimes not. You have him pitch whenever you need to get some friggin’ outs, and you need them NOW. I think, as long as we could get Saves a bit more downplayed in the contract realms of things and allow mediators and lawyers to look at other, more advanced stats, this will work itself out. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who the best reliever on the team is, and if that guy is playing a fireman role instead of a dainty modern closer role, I think people won’t have trouble seeing with their own two eyes which is more valuable.

What do you guys think? Am I wrong?

This Makes Me So, So Happy
October 13, 2010, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Vin's Domain

Vin Looks Out Over His Fiefdom

Per Bleacherreport, Vin Scully has announced that he will indeed be back for the 2011 season of Dodger Baseball at Chavez Ravine, putting an end to the heart palpitations of thousands of Dodger faithful. Vin, of course, is the best sportscaster of all time and one of the most legendary television personalities of all time. He started his career with the Dodgers back when they were in Brooklyn, and has remained the one constant through years of turmoil, amazing success, crushing failure, and disappointing mediocrity. Now, with a great young core in place in Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Furcal, Billingsley, Broxton, and Kershaw, it’s a good time to be a Dodger fan, and I know that Vin wants to see this group of kids live up to their unlimited potential.

Thank you for coming back, Vin. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was listening to each game this year like it could be his last, and having a whole new year of memories to store in the bank is such a blessing. No one will ever come close to taking that crown off your head, Vin, so just do what you do best and let the city of LA bask in your perfection one more time.

Ughhhh… Another in a long line of nerdy obsessions
October 13, 2010, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


This is my Motorola Droid. I bought it the day it came out, which was 11/17/09. I remember because that’s my birthday, and the Droid was my birthday present to myself. If you’ve never used one, a Droid is a lot like the iPhone’s older cousin that smokes cigarettes and sneaks beer from his dad’s fridge when you spend the night. It does things, naughty things, that you shouldn’t be able to do with your phone. But they just feel so right. I paid for the damn thing, why SHOULDN’T I have root access, dammit? I know my UNIX code. I’m not going to screw anything up.

Anyway, this is turning into an obsession now. I’m trying so hard to squeeze every last drop of performance out of this little pocket computer that I literally will stay up nights overclocking the stupid thing if Slahyer releases a new kernal or if Liquid Frozen Yogurt updates their bootloader.

It’s starting to become a problem. Does anyone else have this?