Offseason Major League Baseball Updates
By Anson Quan
The MLB offseason has started with many trades and signings. There were many big signings from the Mets, Yankees, and other Major League Baseball teams. These types of big moves that teams make can be beneficial in a perfect regular season and potentially a playoff run. The motive of all thirty teams is one goal, to win the World Series, hold that iconic trophy, and earn a shiny ring to show their greatness. The Yankees have not won a championship since 2009, while the Mets have not won since 1986.
One move that had to be made was Aaron Judge resigning back with the Yankees. After finishing off an amazing 2022 season, the Yankees needed to make that move and they got it done. According to an article by Dan Martin of the New York Post, “Aaron Judge re-signing with Yankees for $360 million”, Aaron Judge has in the past expressed his desire to be a “ ‘Yankee for life.’ Now, it looks like he will be.” After signing this deal, Aaron Judge was also named the 16th captain in Yankees history. After beating the all-time American League home run record, Judge could well be on his way to becoming the face of the franchise. The last major deal that the Yankees made was the signing of Carlos Rodon to a six-year, 162 million-dollar contract. This contract will boost the Yankees' rotation tremendously.
Even though these two deals were good for the franchise, the Yankees still need to work on hitting. Signing more contact hitters is required so there can be a balance in the lineup. The current Yankee lineup is mostly a strikeout or home run lineup which is not necessarily a good thing. Relying on that could just make them the same team that loses to the Astros every year in the playoffs. The Yankees are seen as a championship-contending team, so it would be embarrassing to see no progress in the next few years.
Similarly, the Mets have made some big moves too. In an article from mlb.com, “Tracking the Mets' flurry of offseason moves”, by Anthony DiComo, DiComo explains the many offseason moves that the Mets have made so far. The most important moves include the ones that improve their pitching depth, which is what the Mets need. The first pitcher that the Mets re-signed was Edwin Diaz. Diaz had a fantastic season with an ERA of 1.31 and 32 saves in just 62 innings pitched. Diaz was their top closer and helped the Mets secure wins during the 2022 season.
The next two Mets pitching deals made were Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga and former Astros pitcher Justin Verlander. Senga signed a 5-year, 75 million-dollar deal, and Verlander signed a 2-year, 86.6 million-dollar deal. Having these pitchers can increase the Mets' chances of securing more wins and potentially winning a championship. Pitching is different now because most teams have to rely on their bullpen to win. If these players can pitch well for many innings, the team could save their bullpen for higher-leverage situations.
However, if there should be one major deal mentioned, it would be the Trea Turner deal. After being with the Dodgers for 2 years, Trea Turner signed a huge deal with the Phillies. He would earn 300 million dollars in the span of 11 years. Turner will be a great addition to the Phillies since he will be joining two time MVP award winner, Bryce Harper. The Mets will need to perform well against the Phillies as they are in the same division.
The MLB Offseason is still going on, so there will be many more deals on the way. The Yankees in particular need to get an outfielder and a couple more bullpen arms for the 2023 season. The Mets have had a great offseason as of now, but they should still try to sign more players, especially hitters. Baseball is starting very soon and this could be another chance for either of these New York teams to secure a place in the World Series championship.
Recap of the 2022 FIFA World Cup
By Dylan K. Uludag
The 2022 FIFA World Cup has come to a close. Hosted in Qatar, the first-ever winter world cup lasted just over four weeks. The tournament was full of many surprises as many underdogs prevailed while some nations with high expectations crashed out early.
Arguably the biggest surprise of the tournament was Morocco, as they became the first African nation to qualify for the semi-finals in World Cup history. Japan and Croatia were notable underdogs throughout the tournament as well, with Croatia beating out Morocco to get third place.
However, some nations were considerably disappointing, such as Germany. They crashed out of the group stages for the second time in a row following their 2018 exit. This is massively underwhelming from the national team that was crowned World Cup champions in 2014. The 2022 FIFA World Cup provided much excitement and was an emotionally charged experience for fans, particularly the last match of the tournament, the final.
The 2022 World Cup final was held between Argentina and France. France was looking to become the first nation since Brazil in 1962, to win back-to-back world cups after becoming champions in 2018. The final saw Paris Saint Germain club teammates, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe battle it out in an intense and thrilling match.
Argentina opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after Lionel Messi converted a penalty kick, which sent France’s team captain, Hugo Lloris, in the wrong direction. Just 13 minutes later, Argentina doubled its lead with a goal from Ángel Di María. The match entered half-time and saw Argentina 2-0 up against the most recent World Cup champions, France.
The second half saw equal amounts of chances for both teams. France halved the score when Kylian Mbappe converted a penalty late in the 80th minute. Just a minute later, Kylian Mbappe scored again to tie the game 2-2. Two goals in two minutes by Mbappe were enough to level the game and give France the chance to become back-to-back champions. The game would finish 2-2 in regular time and go to extra time.
Argentina would go on to reclaim the lead in the 108th minute after another Lionel Messi goal. However, another penalty in the 118th minute led to Kylian Mbappe netting his third goal of the game for France. In the last minute of the game, Argentina’s goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez, produced an amazing save to deny a shot from France’s Kolo Muani, which potentially could have ended the game and crowned France champions then and there.
The game would go on to penalties and Emilano Martinez produced another save to give his nation the advantage. Argentina was crowned World Cup Champions after Gonzalo Montiel scored the last penalty of the shootout as the game finished 3-3 with Argentina winning 4-2 on penalties. They managed to win their first world cup since 1986 after falling short in the final in 2014.
Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick of three goals in the final allowed him to win the golden boot for top scorer over Lionel Messi with seven 2022 World Cup goals to his name. However, Lionel Messi ended up winning the golden ball for best player of the tournament. Two more Argentine players would go on to win awards with Enzo Fernandez winning the young player award, and being named the best player of the tournament under 22 years of age. Emiliano Martinez went on to win the golden glove for best goalkeeper of the tournament.
All in all, the 2022 FIFA World Cup did not disappoint, rather it allowed the entire world to connect and likely introduced football to new audiences for the first time.