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Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Sports of the Week: 2/20-3/4

As+always%2C+Dodgers+news+powers+MLB+narratives+while+Juan+Soto+gets+the+Yankees+back+in+the+conversation+for+the+top+teams+in+the+American+League+going+into+the+2024+season%3B+NBA+keeps+on+going+as+the+playoffs+slowly+inch+closer.
Kaitlyn Angeles
As always, Dodgers news powers MLB narratives while Juan Soto gets the Yankees back in the conversation for the top teams in the American League going into the 2024 season; NBA keeps on going as the playoffs slowly inch closer.

Schedules and planning created an impasse in the production of Sports of the Week from last week (including yesterday); however, it’s with great pleasure that the sports department is able to once again get back in the rhythm of things with news from Spring Training and the ever-approaching NBA playoffs.

Major League Baseball logo - Wikipedia  MLB

Huzzah! I exclaimed upon seeing the X (Twitter notification) from Jeff Passan, breaking the news that Cody Bellinger re-signed with the Chicago Cubs for three years, $80 million. 

Make that two! Matt Chapman signed a three-year, $54 million deal with the San Francisco Giants earlier this week to pair alongside additions Jorge Soler and Jung-Hoo Lee. Slowly, the dominoes have begun to fall. Blake Snell has “gained traction” from four news teams as of today (3/4) and is expected to sign within the next 500,000 years. 

Just this morning, pending 2025 free agent Zack Wheeler to a three-year, $126 million extension with the Philadelphia Phillies through the 2026 season, the richest extension in MLB history in terms of Average Annual Value (AAV) at $42 million per year for the next three years. Perhaps the best big-game pitcher of the last few years will get what he deserves as the Phillies pursue the World Series trophy that was just out of their reach the last two seasons.

The start of Spring Training has seen the birth of surprising new narratives around baseball, none bigger than those surrounding the Dodgers, but still several new surprises and disappointments through the first 12 games of Spring.

Just to get the Dodgers out of the way, Shohei Ohtani is batting .714 because of course he is, while Yoshinobu Yamamoto tossed two scoreless innings with three strikeouts in his debut against the Texas Rangers last week. Prospect outfielder Andy Pages, who recently underwent a barrage of injuries and surgeries, has made his name known with the coaching staff as he went on a tear before being sent back to minor league camp. 

Juan Soto and the New York Yankees have been a match made in heaven so far this spring; Soto leads the Grapefruit League in every stat imaginable, most notably racking up three home runs in only 11 games so far. It’s perhaps most welcome that the biggest stars in both leagues are already starting to show signs of dominance in Spring Training, something the entire league will benefit from with the advertising that will come from them regardless of their season performance. With Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto leading the way in both leagues, the future of baseball is nestled safely in markets that have promised fans that they will take care of them. [Avery Rosas]

NBA Logo and the Legend of Jerry WestNBA

In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics lead with their dominating record of 48-12, while the Cleveland Cavaliers remain in the second place spot with their record of 39-20. The Western Conference is led by the Oklahoma City Thunder with their record of 41-18, and the Minnesota Timberwolves right behind them with a record of 42-19. The Kia race to the MVP Leader stayed consistent, with Denver Nuggets champion and star, Nikola Jokic leading, with Oklahoma City Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in second, and the Milwaukee Bucks champion and star Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

With many highlighted moments from this week, the most talked about included Los Angeles Lakers star, LeBron James, reaching a milestone of 40,000 points, being the first player to ever do so, on March 2, 2024. This was the same day that the most points, 100, was scored in the game by Wilt Chamberlain of the late 1962 Philadelphia Warriors, now known as the 76ers. Other highlighted moments include Max Strus’s halfcourt shot to win the game for the Cavaliers against the Dallas Mavericks, and many important wins for teams that have moved them up the charts for the 2023-2024 NBA standings. 

So far, the most points per game still belongs to Dallas Mavericks star, Luka Doncic, averaging 34.2 points per game, and Giannis Antetokounmpo with the most points scored overall into the season, 1662. Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers leads with the most assists per game, 11.7, but Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks remains in the number 1 spot for a total of 546 assists in the season. Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis leads both the most rebounds per game, 13.2, and total rebounds, 715, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also leads in both steals per game, 2.2, and total steals 115. Finally, the famous French 7ft rookie, Victor Wembenyama, of the San Antonio Spurs, leads in blocks per game, 3.2, as well as the total block of the season, 156. [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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