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Sports of the Week: 2/12-2/19

MLB+is+as+exciting+as+ever+while+the+NBA+is+actually+as+exciting+as+ever+in+this+weeks+edition+of+Sports+of+the+Week.
Kaitlyn Angeles
MLB is as exciting as ever while the NBA is actually as exciting as ever in this week’s edition of Sports of the Week.

With the end of the Super Bowl officially marking the end of football season, the only current available sports to watch are the NHL and the NBA, with MLB games beginning later this week. In what will soon become a playoff race for NBA teams and the start of the season for all MLB teams, we hope you enjoy this week’s edition of Sports of the Week.

Major League Baseball logo - Wikipedia  MLB

No, my friends, they have not signed. In fact, they might not sign at all. Outfielder Cody Bollinger, starting pitchers Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell, third baseman Matt Chapman, and designated hitter J.D. Martinez still do not have contracts for the steadily-approaching MLB season, with every team already a few days into Spring Training. (Perhaps my feelings for this have eclipsed normal reporting and will make their way to the Opinion section.)

In any case, real things have started to happen. MLB’s mundane Instagram posts that could be summed up by a fictitious “MLB players if they were sandwiches” have ceased and real baseball is starting to flood baseball fans’ social media feeds again. The highlight of this week? Yoshinobu Yamamoto of the San Francisco–oh, my mistake. Yoshinobu Yamamoto of the Los Angeles Dodgers took his first bullpen this week in what first baseman and MVP finalist Freddie Freeman could only describe as an impressive first display.

Yamamoto has been tasked with having to adjust to new Major League baseballs, which are larger and slicker than NPB baseballs, along with having to adjust to an entirely new country that he’s stuck in for the next 12 years. Another Japanese starting pitcher phenom that just signed a 10+ year contract with the Dodgers? Shohei Ohtani took live batting practice today, homering off of JP Feyereisen after striking out against Blake Treinen and abstaining from swinging against Ryan Brasier. Of course, it made headlines.

More miscellaneous signings ensued this week, somehow more bland than last week. Outfielder Randal Grichuk signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks; third baseman Eduardo Escobar signed a minor-league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays; the New York Mets signed the best Japanese player in baseball Shintaro Fujinami as well as reliever Jake Diekman; catcher Yasmani Grandal signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates; starter Spencer Turnbull, who threw a no-hitter with the Tigers in 2021, signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Are you at the edge of your seat yet?

The Dodgers and Padres will play their first Spring Training game on February 22, the only game scheduled for that day, on ESPN to introduce the start of the 2024 MLB season. The rest of the games will begin on February 23 and end on March 27, the exception once again being the Dodgers and Padres, who start their season in Seoul, South Korea, occurring during the final stages of the rest of MLB’s Spring Training. [Avery Rosas]

NBA Logo and the Legend of Jerry WestNBA

The NBA All-Star game occurred over the weekend in Indianapolis, allowing the league to showcase a returning East vs West format as opposed to the leading vote-getter for each conference (Team LeBron vs other) format that had been in place every year since 2018. The 2017 All Star game was the last time the East vs West format was used, ending with a 192-182 West Conference win. This time, however, the Eastern conference decided to spike their lemonade after having to wait seven years before they could get back at it. They won 211-186, eclipsing the 200-point mark for the first time in the 73 years since the All Star game was implemented, the second closest being the 196-173 Western conference win in Toronto in 2016.

The LeBron vs other format was a staple for its six-year reign from 2017-18 to 2022-23, with Team LeBron winning the first five until losing for the first time last season vs Team Giannis. For the other 67 years that the game has taken place, the East vs West format was used, allowing 27 and 38 wins for West and East, respectively.

Several large records were broken in the 2024 NBA All-Star game, not just the 200-point mark that was surpassed as mentioned earlier. Karl-Anthony Towns broke several records, of which were most field goals in both a half and a quarter (18 and 14), most field goals attempted in a half and quarter (27 and 19), and most points in a half and quarter (40 and 31).

The most total points scored in an All Star game was broken this year between the two teams, an astounding 397, most points in a half with the East’s 107, most points in a half by both teams with 204, most points in a quarter by both teams with 104, among many other scoring records that were broken this year that would become boring if I tried to name them all.

2024’s NBA All Star Weekend wouldn’t have been complete without mentioning Steph Curry and Sabrina Ionescu’s showdown in the Three Point Contest, with two-time contest winner Curry facing off against Ionescu, the best shooter in the WNBA. The regular Three Point Contest saw a high of 26 shots made by Damian Lillard, which was matched and surpassed in the separate round. Curry made 29 shots and Ionescu made 26, each using the ball from their respective leagues to remain competitive fairness. Despite Ionescu not being able to come out on top against the best shooter in NBA history, she showed her mettle as a worthy constituent in the basketball market, perhaps also allowing the same to be said about other WNBA players that don’t see themselves getting the respect they deserve from fans.

All things considered, the 2024 NBA All Star Weekend was a sight to behold for the one of the largest North American sports, perhaps surpassing expectations and prompting excitement for the All Star Weekend to be hosted in the fabulous city of San Francisco. [Avery Rosas]

 

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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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