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FAN Take: Let’s Play Ball… Well, Maybe

Posted on April 29, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

FAN Take is a series that highlights trending events, issues, and decisions in the world of sports and analyzes how they may or may not factor into the Fan Controlled Football League. We would love to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think about each FAN Take!

We’ve been in quarantine for what feels like an eternity, with the bulk of us at the FCFL currently in the range of Day 60 – but things are looking up. Per USA Today, the MLB is looking to make a comeback towards the end of June, but definitely by July 2. The plan was shared by ‘MLB Officials,’ who want to remain anonymous because this is all still under consideration. Needless to say, we’re thrilled someone in the league offices leaked this information.

The plan would abandon current league structure, and instead establish three separate 10-team divisions, that would allow for teams to play in their own (fanless) ballparks. While the stadiums will remain empty, fans would be able to catch 100 games from the comfort of home. The proposed divisions would look like this:

  • East: New York Mets, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins
  • West: Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners
  • Central: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers

It should go without saying, but this plan is pending approval of medical experts, league officials, and team owners. But, what do you think of all this, fans? Are you excited to have sports back, even with the stadiums being empty? Are you looking forward to seeing the Dodgers and Astros in the same division after the Astros were exposed for cheating? Or are you more on the glass half-empty side, and are waiting for approval from the MLB before getting too excited? Let us know what you think!

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Where Have All the Good Umpires Gone?

Posted on October 29, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

As football fans, it always makes you feel better when you see other sports have trouble with their officials making the correct calls too. It’s called commiserating, look it up. If you have somehow been living under a rock, you might need a reminder that the Washington Nationals made it to their first-ever World Series, facing off against the Houston Astros. In Game 5 on Sunday, the Nationals were obliterated 7-1, trailing 3-2 in the series. Unfortunately for fans of both teams, umpire Lance Barksdale had a hard time in Game 5 identifying a ball vs. a strike. To the novice baseball fan, we can understand the confusion between the two, especially in such a high-pressure situation. But Barksdale has been getting PAID to accurately make the right calls, full-time, for 13 years. The fans, us included, expected more out of him.

With the first pitch of Game 6 set to be thrown just after 5pm PT tonight, are the fans feeling hopeful for better officiating? Of course, they are. The MLB is only a fraction as bad as the NFL when it comes to having the right calls made, and we imagine in the two day difference between Game 5 and Game 6, the officials have had a refresher of the rules from their boss. But, we think the teams, players, and fans deserve some kind of guarantee that things will get better. We think they’d like to see some kind of mandated reform – maybe even a ‘three strikes, you’re out’ policy placed on the officials – to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We’ll likely have to wait until the World Series has come to a close and victory parades have finished up before Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, makes any kind of statement about increasing the accuracy of calls during any game, let alone the championship series. But one thing is for certain, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for better officiating tonight.

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MLB Won’t Be Signing Cuban Players… For Now

Posted on April 8, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Bleacher Report and the Washington Post reported earlier this afternoon that a deal allowing the MLB to sign Cuban players has been cancelled. Per President Donald Trump and his administration, “the Cuban Baseball Federation was part of the Cuban government, which caused the deal to be nullified because trade with Cuba is currently banned.”

Previously, the deal would have allowed players over 25 years old would be “free to sign with organizations that paid a ‘release fee’ to the Cuban club” they came from, while others could sign minor league deals through October 2021. This would have been very similar to what clubs are currently allowed to do with Japan and South Korea. It will be interesting to see if this decision gets overturned in the future.

Time to sound off fans – do you agree with this decision? Do you think it was a necessary evil? Or do you think these guys should be able to play ball? When it comes to picking the best players for your team, will you be looking everywhere, or limiting where you source talent from? If there’s anything we can all agree on, we think it might be that we want to see the best talent possible on the field!