To paraphrase early Beat Generation fringe member and longtime UPI editor Lucien Carr, a good news story should "turn the reader on, or make them cry."
Well, I'm not going to touch the first of those two, but, apparently, my last column did make some people cry. My mom, who gave me the idea for last week's installment, a Mother's Day column, told me that some of her friends read it and got a bit misty, thinking about their children. That was not my aim (as usual, I was gunning more for laughs), but I'll take it. Just to know that people are reacting to writing is good enough.
Now that I'm done congratulating myself, I'd like to take a look at some predictions I made earlier in the season. As I promised six weeks ago, I'm going to see if I was right or not. Here goes:
I said the Chesapeake (upper) Division boys baseball race would be, as in every year I can remember, a total dog fight, with Bel Air, North Harford and C. Milton Wright all finishing within two games of each other at the top of the heap. I hate to say it, and this doesn't mean there wasn't great baseball being played in the Chesapeake this season, but I got it wrong there. Bel Air wound up winning the division with a 10-2 mark, while North Harford and CMW wrapped up relatively far back, three and 3.5 games behind, respectively. There was even a moment when, gasp, a Cecil County team had a shot at taking the crown. Coming down the home stretch, Rising Sun had a share of the division lead, but was put out of contention with a 5-1 loss to Bel Air on May 3. Really, Bel Air put its shoulder to the wheel after successive one-run losses to Patterson Mill and North East, as the Bobcats beat, in succession, CMW, Patterson Mill, Fallston, North Harford and Rising Sun to close out their Chesapeake schedule. That, dear reader, is the kind of stretch run that wins you titles. Well done, Bobcats.
Speaking of stretch runs, I did get one of my early-April predictions right. I called for 3-year-old colt Orb to win the Kentucky Derby on May 5, and the horse did just that, charging out of the last turn to outrun the field. The progeny of Malibu Moon, a horse half-owned by Bel Air's Country Life Farms, Orb was sitting third-to-last on the back stretch at Churchill Downs, and I, watching the race on television with my father, said, "I don't think he's got the gas to win this one." Mike Pons, who owns and runs Country Life with his brother, Josh, told me before the race that Orb can "run all day," and would have a shot at winning if he had any kind of opening coming down the stretch. He was absolutely right. Orb turned it on and won by 2-1/2 lengths. Since I got it right the first time, I'll make another prediction: Orb wins the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, at Pimlico on Saturday.
The last of the predictions I made cannot be proven right or wrong at this point, as we aren't far enough along in softball season. I said that a Harford County softball team, most likely C. Milton Wright, was going to win a state title, and as of Friday morning, the day of the MPSSAA regional title games, the only team left in contention is, yes, CMW. The Mustangs, the only Harford County squad to escape Wednesday's regional semifinal round, is set to square off with top-seeded Eastern Tech in the 3A North final. To put it in perspective, Eastern Tech beat Bel Air, 2-0, in Wednesday's semifinal round, and Bel Air was the only UCBAC team to top CMW in the regular season, so the regional championship should be a barn burner. If the Mustangs win that one, then they could very well prove me right. Good luck, ladies.