Thursday, September 24, 2009

Slap Hitter: The Shrinking Sports Page

Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 7:41 PM

I used to love Sunday morning for the ninety minutes of inky sports goodness. This time of year especially; featured pages of baseball, pages of college football wrap, pages of NFL to be, and a kind of Wide World wrap up of the rest. Now it's less than half an hour, and that's counting the two times I read Scott Ostler's column to make sure that it is really that tedious. Here's another one for the loss column: The horse race entries.

Check out what you get for eight bits today: Squashed into a small corner of the half-filled "Scorecard" is a tiny list of who's running at Golden Gate Fields. No jockeys listed, no post position, and most disappointing: no comments.

Used to be a quick skim would provide a useful zinger to be repeated at the rail or when wanting to sound like a wise guy later. With only about four words at their disposal, the touts who wrote race reviews provided a kind of six furlong haiku, now sadly out of the money.

Saw all heels. Full of run. Note the tote. Gets Bug boy. The Chronicle can have Ray Ratto bloviate for months, yet can't spare two column inches for minimalist poesy that celebrates the hard knocking sport of Kings.

It is clear that the days of horse racing are numbered, it's sad that the words died first. Here's a question for the homestretch however...who hits the tape first Golden Gate Fields or the San Francisco Chronicle?

Hold all tickets.— Kibby Kleiman

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