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Just over two weeks after suspending operations, the Alliance of American Football has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are reportedly making everybody available for potential deals this summer, except for two.

The New England Patriots will reportedly host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first Sunday Night Football game of the new season on September 8.

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Trump Admin Blocks MLB-Cuba Deal

A Cuban baseball group is criticizing American President Donald Trump for his move to cancel a deal between Cuba and Major League Baseball.

The Trump administration reportedly rejected a deal between MLB and the Cuban Baseball Federation which would have allowed Cuban-born players to sign with major league teams without defecting.

According to a senior official, the deal was cancelled because it was “based on (an) erroneous interpretation by the former Obama administration that the Cuban Baseball Federation was not part of Cuba’s communist government,” according to Reuters.

The deal, which was reached between MLB, the players’ union and the Cuban Baseball Federation, was reached in December.

It is a similar deal as to the ones MLB has with leagues in Japan, South Korea and China.  There was hope that the deal would help to eliminate human trafficking involving Cuban players defecting to join the majors.

The major issue with the agreement for the Trump administration was that they had concerns that the Cuban government could profit from an American business.

Under the agreement, the baseball clubs would pay a fee which equals between 15 and 25 percent of the player’s signing bonus which went to the federation.  The administration saw this as the Cuban body garnishing the wages of athletes “who were seeking to live and compete in a free society.”

A senior administration official said that the payments were illegal under U.S. sanctions due to the federation being part of the Cuban government.

The announcement came as Major League Baseball starts its second full week of the 2019 regular season and a few days after the federation released 34 Cuban players names that were eligible to sign with MLB clubs.  Some of those players were expected to sign and play this season.

While I am not a person that is on top of everything politics, this feels like the US government trying to push the Cuban government to do something that they want them to do.

After the league was in constant contact and had reassurances that the deal was good, they get the rug pulled out from underneath them. With the deal being blocked, it will not hurt all of Cuba, but a few Cuban players wanting to play in one of the biggest and best baseball leagues in the world.

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