Saturday, April 07, 2012

Shitty X 2

That was such a crappy game, that on top of the fact that we gave up 10 runs and scored none and Beckett gave up FIVE dongs, we also couldn't do the little things right while they did. Those things didn't even matter since it was a blowout, but it just made things look even worse. I guess it's good to have the "got asses kicked" game and the "nothing's going our way" game on the same day. That way you only get one loss.

I've always liked Prince Fielder. It really stinks to see him going deep repeatedly against your team. Too bad we couldn't gotten him to stand out in right field and never catch any balls but hit 50 home runs. Was cool to see him taking BP off Tito as a kid, though. I'm glad Fox was able to break out that clip.

I had the first half of the game on mute (always recommended with Buck/McCarver anyway), so I missed the Verlander interview. It seemed like hell, though. He seemed to be on forever, as the Tigers pounded dong after dong, and he just kept smiling. You don't wanna have a guy on the other team as an essential announcer during an inning like that.

And damn you, Beckett, for doing something with such a negative connotation right after I wrote that post saying there's not much a guy can do in his pre-first-home-game outing to affect the way the crowd reacts to him on home Opening Day. "Five home runs" is something people tend to remember. I'm sticking to my opinion that nobody's gonna boo one of our top pitchers for the last six years after never having booed him before and after he had a great year, but still, screw you Pete Abe. I'm sure he's beaming at the story possibilities today. But I wouldn't know because I don't read shit. Meaning, I don't read stuff that is excrement.

Yanks/Rays, just starting up. Tomorrow we play at 1:05.

Is it weird that I'm planning on doing a Boston-parking-situation dry run in a few days? Gotta be prepared for the season, gotta know if any meters have been added or their times changed, right? Hey it's only 50 minutes away. And I'm only doing it because I'll be in Boston anyway. Then again, I'm only going so I can get Anna's Taqueria.

[Boston media: No team that lost game 2 10-0 while giving up 5 home runs has ever won the World Series and they all have always gone 0-162 every single time always ever also we fuck shetland ponies on lunchbreak.]

The Great (Big) Satan

The following quote by Pete "Dishonest Abe" was brought to my attention by Joy of Sox friend and international man of mystery "9casey." (I had to hear it from him since I pretty quickly learned not to ever read Abe for stress-related reasons--my Abe boycott is at Level DirtDogs: Never ever read.)

The Rays are at the Red Sox on April 13 for the home opener. So at least somebody will get booed louder than Josh Beckett.

He said this on February 29th. I wanted to respond to this before Beckett pitches a game (today at 4:05 in Detroit). Whatever Abe is doing, it pisses me the fuck off. He's either completely out of touch with fans, or he's trying to push his agenda on them, when he's supposed to be reporting on the team.

The guy's been to Opening Day before, right? Opening Day is when everybody comes out from hibernation and gets to see the team they love for the first time in months. Everybody's in a happy mood, watching a ceremony, and thinking about the possibilities of glory. The highlight--no matter what else happens in the pre-game celebration--is the moment when the home team takes the field, first the scrubs and the staff, and then one by one, the starting lineup. These are the guys who are the fans' favorites. These are the guys who, no matter what has happened in the past, no matter what team they used to play for, are the guys are now representing you in front of your eyes, the guys you want--need--to be their best. And listen to this next part because it's something apparently some people don't get: Even if a guy had been booed at the end of the previous season, even if you yourself had been booing him--and that's okay!--, it's a new year! If you have a problem with a guy on Opening Day, well, you're still in a happy, cheer-for-your-team mood! You cheer louder for some guys, sure, but "loud booing" for your starting pitcher?

And Beckett isn't even a guy who was getting booed in the first place! A player getting booed is an organic thing. As he starts to shit the bed, there are grumbles. If it gets really bad, you hear an audible boo or two amongst the grumbling. It rarely gets to that point with a home player. If it does, it's big news. Now, let's think back to 2011. Josh Beckett HAD A GREAT YEAR. Nine earned runs in 57 innings against the Yanks and Tampa. He ended with two bad starts, one of which was at home. I was at that game. And I was pissed. But when Josh Beckett came off the mound, it was "Goddamn, this guy's who's been so good for us started well in this game and then shat." That was the last game he pitched at Fenway. You're telling me at his next one, on Opening Day, 37,000 are going to be BOOING HIM? And louder than the other team even? (Which Abe also is clueless about--we're not playing the Yankees that day. I'm not even THINKING about the other team. Will I cheer Evan Longoria? Of course not. But will I be thinking, "Oh yeah, here come the Rays, get your guns out everybody!" Hell no. I'll be more like, "Let's get these guys over with so we can get to OUR team.") Again, even if Beckett had been steadily booed over the last several games of 2011, it wouldn't lead to boos the following Opening Day, what with him being a guy a lot of people love and who won us a World Series. No matter what the media made up about him in the off-season.

Abe is so locked up in his own e-world that he's left to think the people who call into talk shows and their online spawn are the actual fans, the ones who go to the games and understand that the media is full of shit and comes right out and admits they do things first and foremost for ratings/readers.

Either that, or, like I said, he knows full well how many people read his stuff online, and is casually saying something as if it were fact, causing people to do what he says they're going to do. To me, that's even worse than being completely out of touch. That's just evil. We need to do some booing at Fenway this year all right. And it needs to be in the direction of the media.

[Like I said, I wanted to say this before Beckett pitched in 2012--just in case something so crazy happens in his pre-Opening Day start that affects how he's thought of on April 13th. But the odds of that are remote.]

Friday, April 06, 2012

Mo Adds Another One To His Legendary Blown Saves List

Yanks up one, bottom 9, they go to Mo, and....single, triple, we're tied. Then two intentional walks. Then a strikeout to finally get the first out. Then Pena skies one deeeep to left center--and that's your ballgame! Yanks lose! And it's a completely satisfying Opening Day after all...

Video I made earlier in the game illustrating why I hate Michael Kay so much:

He plays right into the Yanks' new slogan: "Heroes remembered. Legends born." I'll have to add that one to the list, along with the new Astros one: "Root. Root. Root."

CC Slammed

I love it. CC gives up a grand slam in the first inning. As a bonus, it's to one of the "good" Rays, Carlos Pena.

By the way, the Yanks' starting pitching doesn't scare me. Apparently they're this team with all this depth in the rotation, but other than the guy who just gave up that grand dong, and with Pineda out for a while, they don't have any proven rock-solid types. Kuroda was good in the NL but come on, this is the real world now.

And another thing, which applies to both the Red Sox and Yankees: don't forget how bad most of baseball is. Even in years where I'm sure the Yanks will "stink" (since the late '90s), they're still not gonna be as bad as the bulk of the league, so they pretty much make the playoffs every year anyway. It's similar with us--anybody who thinks the Red Sox are "bad" or that it's "gonna be a long year" are forgetting that MOST teams have a "long year," and the Red Sox as they are assembled will beat that team 3 out of every 4 times.

Whoops, there I go again, acknowledging the people who judge a 162-game season on one game.

And I as I finish this, I see the Yanks scored 2 in the next inning. Scored on a ground out and a wild pitch, starting out the season in classic Yankee style.

A Pretty Good After-Loss Day

Yanks@ Rays, 3-ish.

So we hoped to avoid the "full day of having to think about losing the first game" feeling, but it's here. However, like I said yesterday, it's not all that bad, as there were no disasters or anything like that. And if you were thinking going into the season that our bullpen is our weakpoint, and you want to use that game to prove your point, well, terrible job. It wasn't like we had the game but the bullpen imploded and we lost it. A couple inches either way on several plays and we're in the good day-off zone right now.

And yes, I'm a person who doesn't understand why the Red Sox would recognize they have one of the greats at the closer position and pay him whatever he wants without a second thought as literally the top priority of the entire roster, but hey, bullpens are funny things. Every team really just has a bunch of guys not quite good enough to be starters, any of whom could put up a solid week, month, or year before becoming human again. The key is to not overwork these guys, and Lester pitched 7 strong yesterday (while the offense did end up scoring enough runs to take the game to the bottom of the ninth) against a team considered to be a lock to win their division.

It's a shame we live in an EEIdiotic world where we have to defend not being "on the bridge" after one game out of 162. Remember the 80s when baseball fans (and people in general) had a memory of longer than 24 hours?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Opening Day Updates

4:17: Grounder past third, and the game's over. Don sees Tigers running on to field, claims they're walking off it. That's rough for me, that every time we have to witness a walk-off loss, I have to hear Don rub it in by using the term completely incorrectly. Anyway, looked like a double play ball, but it went past Punto. Game over. Well, we had a great performance by Lester. Starting pitching is key. We faced the Cy Young and MVP. And we didn't give up when down 2 in the ninth. So good things happened today. There are much worse losses you can have with a day off the next day to think about it. This one ain't so bad.

4:16: A-save-us hits a batter in the foot. Loaded. Infield in, outfield in.

4:10: Melancon gives up two singles. First and second, one out, tied, bottom 9. And V goes to Aceves.

4:01: Cody lines out to short hard on first pitch. We go to the bottom of the 9th, tied at 2! Sweeney's ball was a rocket down the right field line that almost got outta here. Bounced off wall away from fielder so he got 3 out of it.

4:00: Sweeney TRIPLES!!!! Red Sox tie it with two outs in 9th!

3:58: Pinch-runner D-Mac steals second.

3:57: Youk strikes out swinging. It's up to Sweeney.

3:55: Sac fly for Papi, not deep to center. So, man on first, one out. Down 2-1. Ninth. Youk up.

3:52: I was thinking Dustin single, Adrian double. Instead, the opposite. Adrian singles Dustin to third, no out. Papi up.

3:51: Pedroia leadoff double off Valverde. Tying run up in Gonzalez.

3:43: Sac fly makes it 2-0 Tigers. We go to the 9th.

3:40: Padilla starts 8th, gives up triple that Sweeney could have caught or at least not played into a triple. Now 1st and 3rd, one out, Morales in.

3:30: Whole lotta nothing off Verlander in the 8th. 1-0 Detroit, mid-8th.

3:21: Lester gives up 2-out double with a guy on second. 1-0 Tigers thru 7. Note: If this ump was giving Lester the Mariano strike zone like he's giving Verlander, we'd still be tied.

3:08: More nothing for us in the 7th. 0-0 at stretch time.

3:01: Lester gets his third double play--0-0 after 6.

2:54: We had 2 on, 2 out, but Papi Ks to end top of 6th. Still 0-0. The Tigers D is pretty shoddy today. Peralta's throws to first have bounced and he's been saved by Fielder. Cabrera in that last inning almost botched a pop-up and then ole'd a ball. We gotta break through against these guys!

2:41: Long bottom 5th. First two get on, then Lester gets the next three. 0-0 after 5.

2:26: No score mid-5. Cody Ross hit a deep fly to right in the 5th, but it was caught on the track.

2:17: No score after 4.

2:09: Verlander 1-2-3 in 4th. Still no score.

2:02: Another hit given up by Lester, but again no runs for the Tigers. 0-0 through 3.

1:48: Nothing for us in the 3rd. 0-0.

1:40: Prince got a hit in his first Tigers at bat. But Lester gets another double play ball! He's faced the minimum through 2 despite 2 hits. 0-0 thru 2.

1:32: Youk terribly hit a grounder to the left side following Papi's double. Then after another ground out moves him to third, Ross watched a 3-2 curve go right over the plate, and we strand the runner. 0-0 after 1.5.

1:23: Our first hit of 2012! Papi leads off the 2nd with a double to left.

1:18: After a 1-2-3 first for Verlander, Lester gives up a single on his first pitch...but gets a nicely turned 5-4-3 DP on his second! Then a lineout. 0-0 after 1.

1:11: The Red Sox season has begun! Ellsbury popped out to shallow left to start the game. Pedroia then pops out to second.

12:47: Just watched the Red Sox announced! Russell Nua had his braid up. Fans are still filing in at Comerica--how could you have tickets to Opening Day and miss the introductions?! Anyway, play ball!

Latest updates will be on top. The pre-game has been NESN's usual "okay, last year's over, we've moved here are the highlights from what we've supposedly moved on from." Have you noticed that? All spring, TC would sit there talking to Red Sox players, starting off saying how he knows they're so glad to be in a new year and not having to talk about last year--and then he proceeds to conduct an entire interview solely about last year. So, yes, even after today's official "finally we can truly move on," they have shown the clips from the last day of 2011.

Take The Afternoon Off

Red Sox at Tigers, 1:05. Lester/Verlander. The Opener. (Outside NESN land you'll get Tito on ESPN2.)

For those stuck at work, I will be posting some updates here.

I'll never forget what happened the last time we opened the season in Detroit. It was 1986. I was in 5th grade, and as usual pissed that I'd have to miss the start of the game because I was in school, then run home when I got out to catch as much as possible. That day, I got home to find out from my mom that Dwight Evans had hit the first pitch of the game--and of the entire baseball season, as our game started even before the Reds' game did--for a home run. We lost the game but it was the start of a magical season that turned sour only at the very end. That moment is currently on my fridge, too, as I made a magnet out of the '87 Topps Record Breaker card commemorating the earliest-ever home run.

The only other times we started the year in Detroit were 1972 (in which we'd lose the division to the Tigers by a half game) and 1968 (when the Tigers would go on to win the World Series). So watch for some crazy shit to happen to either the Tigers or Red Sox or both in 2012.

A little more on that 1986 opener: Interestingly, the AP article about that game started like this:

Exactly two years before, April 7, 1984, Detroit right-hander Jack Morris guaranteed himself a spot in the Hall of Fame by pitching a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox.

A bold prediction considering '84 was only Morris's 7th full season. They had the right idea anyway. He almost made it to the Hall in 2012 and has a couple chances left. That writer must be biting his nails. "Trust me, that '84 no-hitter guaranteed it. I never said when!"

As for Evans, who's now a shocking 60 years old, part of what made the leadoff homer special was the fact that Dewey was in the leadoff spot to begin with. Looking back, I see he was in that role for the second half of '85, too, but in all the years before and after, he was never a leadoff guy, and I never thought of him as that type, even at the time. It is interesting to see his splits in terms of batting order position. He hit everywhere. With most guys you see a bunch of zeros, in either the power spots if he's not a power guy, or in the non-power spots if he is a power guy. But Dewey had plenty of at bats in every slot. He had 2534 plate appearances in the 2-hole, and in all the other positions it ranges from 1731 (6th) down to 434 (9th). By comparison, Jim Rice batted 1st, 2nd, 8th, or 9th a combined 21 times. Wade Boggs hit 1st, 2nd, or 3rd almost 10,000 times total, while hitting 4th, 7th, 8th, or 9th less than 100 times each.

I wonder if that's some kind of record--biggest batting order position spread. Or maybe he's the only guy with at least 350 at bats in every place in the order. Or at least 50 runs. Or something. Bill Buckner is in the "3+ intentional walks in every spot in the order" crowd while Dewey is not, though. But his "earliest home run" record will never be broken. It can be tied, but never broken. In a thousand years, when someone asks who hit the earliest dong in a season, one of the answers will be Dwight Evans. Can you think of a better guy for that to happen to?

And with that, it's definitely time for me to stop looking up weird baseball stats and go to bed. What am I doing up so late on Opening Eve? I think I hear cleats on the rooftop!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Heads Up...About Something Everyone Already Knows

Red Sox Insider aka "Voice of the Nation" went and did a post/e-mail saying he/she is giving us a heads-up about something "before everyone else," noting that they're not sure they should say anything yet. Turns out they were talking about the April 19th open house that was ANNOUNCED ON DECEMBER 8TH. What is this, the NYPD and FDNY pre-9/11? You gotta communicate with each other, people! How is it that there's anyone inside the front office--the "insider," no less--who doesn't know about major things being released to the public? They made a whole web site about the Fenway 100th thing and that open house has been on the schedule all along. I've had it marked on my calendar for four months. (Though I'm still waiting for more info on the supposed two other throwback days besides April 20th and May 2nd. That's what I was hoping they were gonna tell me here, instead I get something they've already told everybody. Oy.)

Adroit Forecasting

It's 62 and sunny in Detroit, Michigan right now. A little cooler tomorrow, but should be a fine day for baseball that counts in the standings. Saturday and Sunday should also be between 50 and 60, with only a slight chance of showers on Sunday. Things could have been a lot worse in Detroit in early April.

Review Of A Book I Skimmed

Kim and I had to wait out a little kitty dental surgery today, so we ended up spending several hours in a bookstore. It's not often I reach for the book about the right-wing Yankee fan, but...with this guy we always make an exception. It was a new "autobiography" of Johnny Ramone. It was pretty short, so I basically read the whole thing. Of course, Johnny's been dead for eight years. But they've taken his own words and turned them into his life-story, from childhood to post-cancer treatments.

I figured I'd give you all some of the baseball highlights. (I suppose I should always be glad when my punk heroes are baseball fans, even if they go for the Yanks, as that's more relatable to me than somebody who doesn't give a shit about the NashPass.)

His dad was a "Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and a Yankee fan." Can't understand that one. And it's too bad dad's Dodger influence didn't win out. Oh well. Johnny says he remembers his first game. Ebbets Field. He said that a 17-year-old pitcher named Von McDaniel threw a 2-hit shutout against the Dodgers. He said he even got to talk to some of the players who played in that game later in life, and that they remembered it. I just looked it up--McDaniel did 2-hit the Dodgers in 1957, at age 18. However, it was in St. Louis. Johnny most likely went to the game 5 days earlier, when McDaniel came on in relief in a tie game at Ebbets Field, and pitched 4 one-hit innings to get the W over the Dodgers. He probably got that memory confused with McDaniel's even better performance less than a week later. I like that he says he always saved his baseball and concert ticket stubs. I do it too. I also save movie tickets. (Parts of Johnny's datebook are shown, too, complete with what concerts and movies he saw, and what albums he listened to, in his own handwriting, from the mid-late 70s.)

There were two Red Sox mentions that I found, neither one bashing us.

1. He said he was at a game at Fenway Park in 1990, and somebody asked him to sign an autograph, then another person, then another, until there was a line of people at his seat. He said this was different from when he went to games at Yankee Stadium, as everyone there just kind of knew him and didn't see it as a special thing to see him there.

2. After getting chemo, all of Johnny's hair fell out in clumps over a two-day period. He got a $4,000 wig, which he wore exactly once, as he didn't like the feeling of knowing people knew it wasn't his real hair. So what did he do with it? He gave it to Eddie Vedder, of course! The next night, Eddie was hanging out with Theo Epstein. He would leave a message with Johnny, saying how he and Theo got drunk and took turns wearing the wig. The pictures of Eddie and Theo in the wig, according to Johnny, were worth the four grand. (The pictures appear in the book! They, in turn, are worth the $24.99....)

Finally, a section at the end has a bunch of lists Johnny made. Favorite horror movies, best guitarists, favorite Republicans, etc. Two of them are best baseball players of both the 80s and 90s. Surprisingly, Don Mattingly didn't make his 80s list. In fact, unless you count Rickey Henderson and Roger Clemens, there isn't a Yankee to be found on either list.

As for the non-baseball stuff, if you're into the Ramones, punk rock, or tales of how a dude goes from regular guy to famous guy and life in a band, go and skim this the next time you have to wait out a vet appointment. It's a quick, fun book, with lots of behind-the-scenes pictures. More info here at the Johnny Ramone Army site.

Oh, and Danzig (the cat) emerged groggy but unscathed, with three less teeth. (Funny, I looked for a picture of Johnny with a cat to go with this post, but it looks like New York magazine beat me to it with their excerpt.)

And: the next Red Sox game counts!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

V: The Final Battle

Okay, here's my theory about my favorite Martian, Bobby Valentine. I should first tell you, though, that I don't believe the manager of a team loaded with stars matters all that much. Not that they're completely meaningless, but a 100-win team would still be a 95-win team with Dr. Seuss at the helm. Ninety, minimum.

Having witnessed V's purple haze as Mets manager, since I lived in the NY-area at the time, my big concern was the possibility of him saying and doing things as my team's skipper that make him "bigger than the team," causing strife that leads to a downward spiral of losing.

In other words, I just hoped he'd let these guys play ball, and all would be fine.

However, as this off-season has dragged on, and as I went back and forth between "Bobby's our guy!" and "Sweet Mother of the Mercy Rule, what have we done?", I realized something. Who decides if someone's behavior is "bigger than the team"? The media. A public figure could say anything in the world. Even if you read their exact quote or hear them saying the words, the effect it has is all based on how the media spins it.

Therefore, all Bobby has to do is take the power away from the media. And he's the type of guy who can do it.

Most people in the game speak in cliches, and always check themselves as to not say anything that might give the opponent motivation. So in Boston, any time somebody slips up, or says something that can be perceived as slipping up, it's World War 9. Valentine, on the other hand, says the first thing that pops into his head. When a writer asks for a clarification on a previous possibly controversial comment, Bobby doesn't make an excuse, he says, "Yeah I said that. Now I'm sayin' this, too."

But he can't back down. There have been signs of him saying what you're "supposed" to say, like when he backtracked on Jeter's flip and when he answered the question "will there be beer in the clubhouse" with anything other than "none of your goddamn business, next question." But for the most part he's been Vintage V, just letting the words roll from throat to mouth without a stop at Brain-tree. A controversial comment isn't controversial if they all are.

Hopefully this leads to the media being unable to stir up shit, and having to just cover that up by coming up with lame phrases like "V Being V" or whatever. Then the team just cruises along, unaffected by made-up rumors, meaningless gossip, and the eternal panic ingrained in the Boston media, which they spin as being ingrained in the fans.

As a bonus to the fact that I've officially solved* that puzzle, and therefore the team shouldn't do any worse with V as manager, there's also the fact that the guy clearly wants to go out of his way to make my team better, and preaches hustle and fundamentals. Who knows, maybe some of this stuff will make us better off than we'd be with Gene Lamont or somebody. Maybe a manager can have more meaning than I thought. Granted, Papi has two rings using the "trot to first" method, but I'll take my chances with the hustle.

*That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Nation In Waiting

Another fine outing by Aaron Cook today. He could come in handy.

Has anyone received their RSN stuff in the mail yet? They said they'd send it out "in March" and it's now April. I made my payment several weeks ago. By the way, from what I can tell, it's gonna be the same crappy pre-game situation as last year: The Yawkey Way gates opening a half hour before the others and the areas beyond first and third closed off until the rest of the gates open. I should have just gotten an RSN membership last year so I could at least be in LF/CF for that firat half hour (and a half hour before that, too). So this year, just because of the stupid set-up, I got a membership. (It's funny, even if you take a year off from RSN, you still get your original membership number. I got mine right when they started it in '05, so I've got a sub-5,000 number. I'm curious to see how high it's gotten since then.

Treasure Chest

Don and Jerry were talking about funny moments in the booth during today's 5-1 Mayor's Cup-clinching win over the Twins. They brought up the time when they had a guest in the booth for an interview, and both of them had to hold their laughter over the amount of chest hair this man was showing. Remy remembered, "It was like a bush."

I feel like the laugh-attack Don was having as they came back on the air after the next commercial was directly related to the "bush" line. I bet they weren't thinking they'd be getting a new classic moment when reminiscing about old ones.

Orsillo laugh attacks--summer is near!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Andrew W. K. @ Mohegan Sun

I continue to see Andrew W.K. in weird places at cheap prices. I've seen him play in the street in Providence, solo at BB Kings in NYC doing who-knows-what, solo acoustic at a record store in Mass. for free, and tonight, at a free show at the Mohegan Sun casino.
He's playing the entire I Get Wet album, and is touring with a full band (FOUR guitars, bass, keyboard, drums, wife on background vocals) for the first time in seven years. And for some reason, despite that all the other shows are the kind you have to pay for, Mohegan Sun had him not in the arena but in the Wolf Den, where the free shows take place, in the center of the casino floor. I had a feeling the Sun didn't know what it was in for....

So Kim and I made the hour drive. The show was at 8. Around 4, we watched soundcheck (video below) and then realized a line had already started and was 50 people long. So there went our dinner plans. Now we'd just be waiting. The couple in front of us looked like they were in their 20s, yet had three kids, the oldest of which was ten. We chatted with them a little, spending our time rooting on slot players and laughing at the people who showed up late and didn't realize the line went 100 feet beyond where they thought it ended. When we all got herded into the Den, those two and a solo young guy shared our 6-person table right at center stage. We talked about Atom & His Package and the joys and perils of home ownership as we waited for the show to start.

Above, Andrew in yellow Michigan sweatpants during soundcheck.

We had been wondering how it was all gonna go down. There was a small space in front of the stage with no tables. Would they let people go nuts? Was there even enough room? As you can see by the photos and videos, the answers were A. Yes, and they did, and B. Not quite, but people made room. Shortly before takeoff, everyone suddenly crowded into that space. We hung back, standing by our table, but still only 15 feet from the stage. There was one row of tables between ours and the space in front of the stage. The people at the one in front of ours stayed seated. After one song they were all covered in drinks and had people landing on them, so they slowly dispersed.

It was a great show as usual. Something about the Cult of W.K., man--they almost feel like religious revivals (or whatever it's called when people go apeshit in church to the point where it looks like they're metamorphosing into aliens). Only without the religious stuff. And with better music.

Above is a bit from soundcheck. That woman at the slot machine cracks me up.

The highlight of any W.K. show for me is always the title track from I Get Wet (video above). I didn't plan on showing video from that song as not to be predictable, but since it's the highlight for everybody else, too, I figured I'd go with it. After they went through the whole album, there were a bunch of encores including a new-ish called Headbang. By this time, as you can see from the top pictures, pretty much the whole crowd was onstage. (Of course, much of the crowd couldn't even get that close, as they only let so many people into the Den--a huge crowd formed around the outside, including, I'm told, a dude from Dropkick Murphys. We also saw three different Providence people we know there.) It was a rip-roarin' party, or, just another night in the life of AWK. I loved how he kept referring to the gamblers, who of course all were subject to the assault too. As you see in the vid, he kept calling them "gambles." He seemed intent on seeing someone "break the bank." He also brought out a guitar made to look like a slice of pizza, something I've definitely never seen before.

Thanks to Kim for letting me shoot pics/vids with her phone.

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