The Fortune Cookie Speaks

defeat fortune new

For 17 hours this week, the Baltimore Orioles led the American League East.  Ahead of the New York Yankees.  Ahead of the World Champion Boston Red Sox.

It was a nice 17 hours, although, truthfully, several of those hours were in the middle of the night when I couldn’t really enjoy it fully.

They say one shouldn’t live in the past, but I hope you won’t mind if I just …

we're no 1

May 2, 2014

What a whirlwind, crazy, exciting ride it was.

The Orioles promptly lost their next two games.

No more number one.

(I believe at one point today as the Orioles were losing to the Minnesota Twins I said they “suckity suck suck.” This is the clever kind of thing that baseball fans say when they’re being betrayed by the players they love.)

There is a week that comes in every baseball season, when a private, quiet kind of panic begins to set in for fans of teams that are not number one.

This is that week.

A week ago, Editor/Husband and I went to our first Orioles game of the season.  (Yes, it is a six-hour round-trip drive. He is the best.)

The scrappy Orioles played the equally scrappy Kansas City Royals.

We lost 9-3.

But, the sun was shining. 3,500 Little Leaguers were there. I took these pictures. So really the day wasn’t a total loss.


Here’s Orioles Pitcher Chris Tillman out by the bullpen. Four days later, against the Pirates he would throw 49 pitches in the top of the first and walk in two runs. The Orioles won anyway.

And, as a big fan of the bullpen and relief pitchers, I’m delighted to see they’ve dressed up the place with flowers.


These are ducks just behind center field.

little league2

These are Little Leaguers. More than 3,500 of them paraded around the ballpark before the game. It took more than an hour. The Orioles said “hi.”

Once again, I am besieged by protective netting. Let’s play “Guess The Infielder!”


Gold Glove Shortstop J.J. Hardy.

Lombo bw

Second Baseman Steve Lombardozzi.

markakis ghost

It’s a trick! It’s Right Fielder Nick Markakis playing first base, subbing for the injured Chris Davis.


Obligatory bullpen shot. Hi fellas, stay warm!

clevenger bw

Orioles backup catch Steve Clevenger, born in Baltimore in the nearby neighborhood called Pigtown.


This is a kid who’s excited to be at a baseball game. He is a wide-eyed innocent who believes in his team and in a world that is just and fair.

sad kid

This is a kid whose favorite team is rolling over to the Royals. I think he’s aged a bit this afternoon, and from here on out every smile will be tinged with just a hint of sadness.

jjhardy bw compressed

Shortstop J.J. Hardy knew that if he stopped mid-game to pose for my photo he would get to appear in this post twice. Congratulations, Mr. Hardy.

despair fortune cookie

OK, maybe it’s too early to panic.

We’re number two.


Photos: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland. April 27, 2014.

Kansas City Royals – 9.  Baltimore Orioles – 3. 

I was wrong. I’m sorry.

Last month, I wrote about potato chips.

I was actually writing about baseball’s All-Star Game and fan voting. (Click here to review.)

But, really, all you cared about was the potato chips.

That’s ok. Blog posts are funny that way.

So, to recap: America voted for their favorite potato chip flavor. The choices were:

  • Cheesy Garlic Bread
  • Sriracha
  • Chicken & Waffles

When Cheesy Garlic Bread won, I complained that Americans had voted for bread as an appropriate potato chip flavor. As far as I was concerned, this ridiculous choice meant that Americans shouldn’t be allowed to vote for anything.

(You all should have voted the Orioles’ Nick Markakis into the All Star Game, too. You should be ashamed baseball voters.)

Nicks glove

Here’s Nick’s Glove.

homerun robber

Here’s comes the baseball.

nick here it is

There goes the homerun. Sorry, Texas.

Watch it here.

But, here’s the thing. I learned about the contest after it was over. I never saw the flavors in my store. I never tried them. I merely decided, based on common sense, that bread was a horrible flavor choice.

Many of you commented on the post, and no one had seen or tasted any of the flavors.

Today, all three flavors magically appeared along a wall in my grocery store.


They weren’t there last month. They weren’t there last week. (My Husband/Editor would like to point out that last month and last week are the same thing. But, you get my point.)

I gasped. Maybe I yelped. I might have been a bit too loud. I don’t remember. I was overcome with emotion.

They were on sale too. So, on that alone, let’s go with yelp.

Finally, America, I could taste for myself.

But, before I do, let me say this.

I don’t ask for much from professional athletes. Show up on time. Don’t cheat. Do your best. And, be nice to the fans. If you’re a funny or witty interview, so much the better; I’ll let a few bad games slide. If you rescue shelter animals, help out in your community, and support local charities … hey, you had me at “rescue shelter animals.”

Oh, and don’t lie.

And, if and when you get caught lying or cheating, here’s what you do. It’s pretty easy.

Say “I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

And, let the healing begin.

So, I write this post today for the potato chip fans of the world and for Alex Rodriguez, the beleaguered New York Yankee who awaits the decision of Major League Baseball – will he be suspended or banned for life from the game he loves because he cheated by taking performance enhancing drugs and lied about it?

I was planning to write a long (boring blah-blah-blah long) post about how I’m starting to feel sorry for the guy, because many sportswriters and bloggers and such seem to be bullying him a bit, piling on, and reveling in his misfortune. We seem awfully quick to end his career, while letting other cheaters slide with, perhaps, lesser suspensions and the glimmer of redemption.

Cheaters need to be suspended and baseball needs to clean up its game. But, let’s not be bullies.

But, then the potato chips came along.



I’ll taste them. Discover that I was wrong, that Cheesy Garlic Bread is not only an acceptable flavor, but an absolutely mind-blowingly delicious one.

Americans were right after all!

And, I would admit it. I would say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

Alex Rodriguez has said many times (most recently in this week’s Sports Illustrated) that he wants to be a role model.

So, here I would be, right here on this blog, standing as a proud and honest role model for A-Rod.

What if he sees this, is moved by my emotion and honesty? What if he finally says, “I was wrong. I’m sorry.” How cool would that be?

But, then, I tasted.

And, you know what?

Cheesy Garlic Bread potato chips?


They kind of, sort of taste like garlic bread, in the same way that freeze dried ice cream, kind of, sort of, tastes like ice cream.

So I was right all along. Potato chips should not taste like bread.

Sriracha? Doesn’t really taste anything like Sriracha. More like a barbeque potato chip with a garlic kick and a sassy chili zing. But, not bad. So, I was right about that, too.

(You’re on your own with the Chicken & Waffles chips. They actually have real chicken in their flavoring. There’s not much real in a flavored potato chip, so I’m as surprised as you by this. I’m a vegetarian … so, chicken in my potato chips? No way.)

Unfortunately, America, I was right.

Which is incredibly vindicating. But, not so good for the point I wanted to make today.

But, while I was right about this, I have been wrong about other things.

I once said that Bobby Bonds was in the Hall of Fame. He’s not. I was wrong. I’m sorry.

I once told a telemarketer who called me at home that I was the housekeeper and couldn’t take their call. I was wrong. I’m sorry.

I once tried to slip the word ausperous past an online scrabble game. I was wrong. I’m sorry.

I made up that last example. I was wrong. I’m sorry.

See, it’s easy.

I hope that Alex Rodriguez figures that out.

Because, how can I forgive you, if you won’t apologize?