Monday, February 05, 2007

You've got to be kidding

Editor's note: much thanks to the anonymous tipster for the link. In the future, those who feel more comfortable amid the world of electronic mail can always use this link to send tips.

Memorializing a horse that should have been euthanized eight months ago? Weird. Writing three articles about a dead horse that never once raced at your city's race track? Even weirder. Biding $11.50 in an online auction for a 50-cent newspaper from a small city where the aforementioned dead horse was over-eulogized in print but never once raced? Well, that's just capitalism gone wild.

Yet as remarkably ludicrous as this might sound, there is apparently someone out there blinded enough by Barbaro fever that they're willing to pay 23 times the cover price for a hapless copy of an outdated copy of the Saratogian advertised on eBay. Perhaps even more frightening is the fact that four eBayers were dense enough to tender ANY bid for this overpriced fish wrap.

Sadly, had these folks simply call the folks over on Lake Avenue and requested a surplus copy, they probably could have secured one for nothing more than the cover cost and a self-addressed stamped envelope. As dense as they are over there, it's doubtful they'd give up a shot at self-promotion.

Even more asinine is the fact that the seller --an Albany-based eBayer calling themselves "spacity collectables" --is throwing out trifecta of The Saratogian, New York Post and Daily News "Barbaro in memory" editions for the low, low, buy-it-now price of $75, plus shipping and handling. Great googly moogly.

Before you rush to place your bid, do remember that Barbaro never once raced in the state of New York. And if you're honestly thinking about paying more than the advertised price for an old paper that's probably best forgotten among the annals of history, then first consider bidding on this ball-peen hammer. You'll need it to bash an iota of sense into your head.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously you're not familiar with the phrase "don't beat a dead horse". Your rants about Barbaro display a total lack of understanding about the town you live in. Horse racing casts its net and its spell over more Saratogians and visitors than any other local venue. I can easily see a Saratogian Pink Sheet or track program from 15 years ago bringing $150 on ebay even without a big race like the Travers on the front page. The track and the horse-racing community is tight knit and anyone involved with it will read as much Barbaro coverage as they can get, Did you know the Pink Sheet is published on the day of the Kentucky Derby? Do you know where Kentucky is?

7:35 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Kentucky? Is that somewhere south of Guam? Must not be too important of a place if all they have there is a derby.

But all joshing aside, yes, I have the ability to pluck this swath of southern land once and still sometimes called Cane-tuck-ee off any topographical map, even if the aforementioned document lacked boundaries and was written in Sanskrit. In fact, in my younger years, I even swung by the Blue Grass State for a spell to marvel at a horny little horse they called Seattle Slew.

As for beating a dead horse, that's precisely what all the slack-jawed media hounds did with poor Barbaro, thanks to this foolish insistence that some how veterinary science had advanced enough to conquer one of Mother Nature's time-tested laws: a lame horse is a dead horse. Now before you shout a response to this, scroll back through this blog and take a gander at Barbaro's lame hoof; his life ended the minute his hoof went perpendicular to his body.

All this said, it's a bit sadistic to keep recalling the forced struggle this horse was subjected to. But to pay cash to keep such a grim reminder hanging on a wall in some trophy room or collection is ludicrous, no matter which way you slice it. But then again, collectors in general are a bit of a bizarre breed.

And yes, I'm well aware of when "the Pink Sheet" is produced; with them carelessly discarded throughout bars, restaurants and garbage cans across the city, it's a bit difficult to miss them. It is true, one man's trash is another's treasure, but if you honestly know someone who will pay for a 15-year-old Pink Sheet, send them my way. I've got a stack of old papers they might be interested in.

Unfortunately, you must have me mistaken with someone else, as I do not live in a town that is expressing infatuated with horses, or a "town" at all for that matter. I do live in a city, where galloping equines are regarded fondly by some of the populace, but flat-out ignored by many others; in fact, if you take a gander into some of the darker corners of the Spa City, you'll find a good number of people who incorrectly loathe thoroughbred racing for the things it brings to this area; pompous tourists, traffic snarls and a greatly inflated cost of living.

So please, friend. Step down from your high horse and take a look around. After all there are two other words in this city's motto that have little to do with Barbaro and Pink Sheets.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've done it once again...calling out the only competant department at the Saratogian (the Sports section) and lumping them in with the lack of brain power that comes from Barbara Lombardo and the dim-witted news desk.

Congratulations you have officially coronated yourself as someone only marginally smarter then the people you so despise at the Saratogian news department.

The Saratogian's sports section that day was dedicated to one of the few stars the industry that makes that area possible and his unfortunate death.

This blog, your job and the entire Saratoga region wouldn't even exsist without animals such as Barbaro.

Once again you have decided to stick your nose into the sports world where it obviously is too uneducated to belong.

Thanks again for ruining this blog that usually does its job of calling out how poor The Saratogian's news leadership is and attacking the Sports section that usually does their job.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Well, as the saying goes, you can please some of the people all of the time or all of the people some of the time. You're free to your opinions about horse racing and it's impact on the region, but I'll retort to this barb by reiterating what I've said before: there are two other words in this city's motto that have little to do with galloping equines. Try nearly two centuries of history, of which you correctly point out, thoroughbred racing has left played a significant role.

But there are other less sport-centric entities that powered this area long before the Sport of Kings ever took hold. Talk about General Washington, the Revolutionary War, a century worth of sanitariums, the healing mineral spas, the casino gambling around the lake; hell, the indigenous population that once roamed and propagated on this hollowed ground. These things may not make a difference now to some down-state cigar-toting Pink Sheet-reading track hound, but they have had a profound impact on this city's development and what it is today.

With this said, to make the assumption that Saratoga Springs would be nothing more than a dust-bowl along the Northway without horseracing is absolutely ludicrous. And almost as ludicrous as someone paying $29.99 for a copy of a pull-out section they could easily procure from the boobs at the circulation desk on Lake Avenue.

Frankly, I've got no beefs with the pen jockeys in The Saratogian's sports department --I've even clarified this stance in previous responses. However, I call things as I see them, and what I saw with the nationwide overkill of Barbaro's death was nothing short of ridiculous at best. This is especially the case in Saratoga,, seeing as though the horse never came close to racing in this city.

If recollection serves true, the death of the Pope didn't get as much coverage as Barbaro did in The Saratogian. Of course, it should be noted, the Pope never bothered to gallop around the racecourse oval either.

9:24 AM  

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