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Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Sports of the Week: First Edition

Throughout+the+year%2C+professional+sports+come+in+and+out+of+season.+However%2C+theres+always+something+going+on+in+each+of+these+sports.+Enjoy+the+first+edition+of+Sports+of+the+Week%21
Kaitlyn Angeles
Throughout the year, professional sports come in and out of season. However, there’s always something going on in each of these sports. Enjoy the first edition of Sports of the Week!

As a school newspaper, the goal of the Bulldog Times is chiefly to report and display the excellence of our in-school sports teams. However, as a staff, perhaps mostly in the sports department, we also enjoy our fair share of professional sports. Starting January 29 and continuing every week on Monday, the staff of the sports department will be compiling comprehensive recapitulations of the previous week’s biggest sports moments and highlights. Today’s edition, the first edition, will be from January 22-29.

Major League Baseball logo - Wikipedia  MLB

While the MLB offseason continues to disappoint—and Spring Training inches ever closer—there was at least a momentary distraction when three new members of the Hall of Fame were announced on Wednesday. Third-baseman Adrian Beltré, first-baseman Todd Helton, and catcher Joe Mauer all surpassed the 75% threshold for Hall of Fame qualification, with Beltré topping the list at 95% of votes. This being the first year on the ballot for Mauer and Beltré, they’ve become some of the first for their respective legacy teams to be inducted in their first year of eligibility. Helton finally surpassed the threshold in his sixth year, receiving 79.7% of the vote.

Of the players who missed the mark, closer Billy Wagner was perhaps the most disappointing shortcoming. The Astros-legacy closer had a career 11.92 K/9, 422 saves, and a 2.33/2.73 ERA/FIP. Absolutely one of the best closers in history, it’s slightly confusing how he hasn’t been voted in despite the only unanimous Hall of Fame inductee was closing pitcher Mariano Rivera. Although he’s undoubtedly the greatest closer of all time, Wagner’s dominance fails to follow a trend with the voter’s ballot decisions. There’s solace, however, in the fact that he was only four votes shy this year—he’ll almost certainly be voted in next year, his final year on the ballot.

Staying with the Hall of Fame, former outfielder Gary Sheffield failed to be elected in his tenth and final year, garnering only 63.9% of votes in a last ditch effort. As usual, players must receive at least 5% of votes to be eligible for next year’s ballot, eliminating eight players from the ballot, all first-year candidates. 

In other news, of which there’s still very little, Jorge Polanco was traded to the Seattle Mariners earlier today in exchange for a four-player package of veteran starter Anthony Desclafani, reliever Justin Topa, along with OF prospect Gabriel Gonzalez and RHP prospect Darren Bowen.

Outfielder Aaron Hicks signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels, surely to fill the now-vacant spot from Ohtani’s departure. Talk about big shoes to fill.

While free agents continue to lobby for contracts throughout free agency, they leave baseball fans all over the world in disappointment. The MLB free agent pool usually provides the only baseball excitement and entertainment for five long months, and they’ve failed to make decisions. While players get more self-absorbed and teams get more tactful with their financial decisions, the combined result has been nothing short of boooooring. [Avery Rosas]

National Football League - Wikipedia   NFL

On Saturday January 20, the Houston Texans faced the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round, while the Green Bay Packers played the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC. The following day, the Kansas City Chiefs played a nail-biter game against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC, and the Detroit Lions played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC.

The Ravens, led by QB Lamar Jackson, had high expectations to be victorious, as they were the No. 1 seed in the conference and received a first-round bye the previous week. The game resulted with a score of 34-10, with the Ravens taking the win. Jackson set records in Saturday’s game against the lower seeded Texans, becoming the first quarterback since at least 1948 with at least two touchdown passes, two TD runs, 100 yards rushing and a 100 passer rating in the same game. Following this game, the Ravens will move onto the AFC Championship, to face the Kansas City Chiefs. This will be the Ravens’ first time hosting the AFC Championship in team history.

The 49ers were a fan-favorite heading into the matchup against the Packers, but fell behind in the first half. They were able to take it back in the second, with a rare late-game conversion, that secured the 49ers a close victory at 24-21. Christian McCaffrey managed a game-winning, 69-yard drive by running for his second touchdown with 1:07 left in the game. The Packers, coming off of an underdog win against the Dallas Cowboys, were unable to show up against the season-dominant 49ers. The 49ers will go head to head against the Detroit Lions next.

In the other conference, the Chiefs’ game against the Bills caught a lot of attention as they took the win with a score of 27-24. The defending Super Bowl champions will now move on to their sixth straight AFC championship. QB Patrick Mahomes and TE Travis Kelce passed Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski for most postseason touchdowns during this game. While the game remained close all four quarters, the Bills’ kicker, Tyler Bass, missed a crucial potential game-tying field goal with 1:47 left in the game, leaving them just short of a chance at victory. The Chiefs will face the ever-dominant Ravens in the Championship.

In the NFC Divisional Round, the Detroit Lions took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game resulted in a Lions victory with a score of 31-23. The Lions, who are receiving the “underdog” title from fans, will be heading to the NFC championship for the first time in 32 years and the second time in franchise history. They’ll go on to face the San Francisco 49ers, the NFC’s top seed, for a chance at a spot in the Super Bowl. [Abby Le]

NBA Logo and the Legend of Jerry West  NBA

With 37 games left of the season, The Boston Celtics lead the Eastern Conference with a 35-11 win record. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder lead the Western conference with a tied record of 32-14. Nikola Jokic holds the record for most triple doubles this season, with a total of 13 triple doubles, with Mavericks star Luka Doncic trailing behind with 12. NBA Season leading Rookie of the Year, Victor Wembanyama leads the NBA with the most points by a rookie, 751, while Chet Holmgren of Oklahoma City Thunder is in 2nd with 735 total points so far in the season. Wembanyama also leads with the total number of blocks (117), average blocks per game (3.2), total rebounds (370), and rebounds per game (10). These statistics by a rookie lead Victor Wembanyama to a large lead in the Rookie of the year competition. 

Miami Heat Rookie, Jaime Jaquez Jr and Portland Trail Blazers rookie Toumani Camara are tied for total steals in the season so far. Recent talks about the Dunk contest featuring Miami Heat rookie Jamie Jacques Jr. reflect on last year’s dunk contest winner Anerfree Simmons. Joel Embid, and Giannis Atentokounmp lead the Kia MVP race overall as Milwaukee Bucks stay second in the overall records in the NBA. 

Joel Embid and Luka Doncic both joined the collection of limited players who have scored 70 points, after both of their amazing performances. Steph Curry leads the season with most three pointers made, while Luka Doncic trails behind. Shai Gilgeous Alexander leads on the most steals for the 2023-2024 season with Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell staying in second. Domantas Sabonis from the Sacramento Kings leads in the NBA defensively with Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert behind.

The Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs are ranked last in the NBA playoff standings when Pistons holding a 6-40 record with 36 games to go, and the San Antonio spurs with a record of 10-36. [Ayushka Chethan]

 

 



 

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Kaitlyn Angeles, Staff Member
Kaitlyn Angeles (9) is a reporter for The Bulldog Times, and this is her 1st year on staff. Kaitlyn is aiming to be closer with her peers and improve her social and writing skills. She would be happy to work with others and see what improvements she can make for future assignments. In addition to being a reporter, she is looking forward to joining the PUSO Club and Asian Club. In her free time, she just likes to hang out with friends, draw, play video games, listen to music, play with her dog, and space out. She really isn’t an outgoing person, but she is willing to work hard on whatever she can.
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