You may be looking all over the paper this morning for the entries for Wednesday’s races at Del Mar. Unfortunately, you won’t find them in the paper. You can only get them if you subscribe (it’s free) to our email horse racing newsletter. Why? Sports editor Angel Rodriguez answered a few questions from horse racing newsletter writer John Cherwa to explain.
Cherwa: The Times has tried to eliminate the entries and results on a couple of occasions and always brought them back. Why try this experiment yet again when it has failed in the past?
Rodriguez: It is true we have had stops and starts on the entries and results in the past. I think we finally have our online operation to the point where we feel more confident sending our readers to our digital products. The horse racing newsletter was developed after the last time the decision was made to drop entries and results. It is now up to speed with a large number of subscribers and much more complete information.
Cherwa: So, if the horse racing public starts inundating you with complaints, will you reconsider?
Rodriguez: We obviously take reader feedback seriously, but we want to provide our readers with the best possible journalism on all our platforms — print, digital and social. Space in our print product is at a premium and as we’ve added more reporters in the last year, we have to make decisions on what we feel is the best use of that space. Now that we have entries and results in the newsletter, we can use that space in print for more stories. And hopefully Mel Brooks doesn’t storm our El Segundo offices.
Cherwa: Is it just horse racing that is being picked on or are you eliminating other sports? And what sports are you keeping statistical matter on and why?
Rodriguez: As some of our readers have surely noticed by now, we have also eliminated the majority of what we call agate — the scoreboards and standings that would appear in most newspapers. It doesn’t make sense to us to continue filling the paper with this type of information, especially when we have any number of stories we can use in the print section that are of interest to more readers.
Cherwa: Is this a ruse to send everyone to the newsletter where suddenly you will start charging for it?
Rodriguez: We have no plans on charging for the newsletter. I don’t want to go all George H.W. Bush with his “read my lips, no new taxes” line, but there has been zero discussion on charging people for the newsletter.
Cherwa: Will this mean that horse racing story coverage in the print edition will also be on its way out?
Rodriguez: This would be a really horrible way to let you know we don’t need you anymore, wouldn’t it? We have seen this year how important horse racing is to our audience. I know the focus on horse deaths is probably not something fans of the sport or the industry want to see, but it is important that the L.A. Times has been leading the way on this coverage. We will not back away from covering all aspects of horse racing.
You can subscribe to our horse racing newsletter by going to latimes.com/horseracing. It’s free, and the entries and results plus daily coverage from Del Mar will be emailed directly to your inbox.
Ask Orel Hershiser
Dodger legend Orel Hershiser has agreed to answer a few reader questions. You can email me your question for Orel at [email protected] and he will answer selected ones in a future Morning Briefing. This is a rare chance to connect with one of the best Dodgers of all time. My advice: Try to come up with a unique question. You don’t want to be the 112th person to ask, “What was it like to break the scoreless inning streak?” Start sending in your questions now.