Saturday, 4 July 2020

Good For Stanley, I Presume?

Still no definitive date on schedules or when MLB might be back, but pre-season training camps have begun and confirmation today that the annual mid-season All-Star game will not be played but the Los Angeles Dodgers will host instead in 2022.

No fewer than 31 players have tested positive for COVID-19 in Major League Baseball's first round of testing.

Two players were named, one from the San Diego Padres, and another from the Cleveland Indians who may well have a new name if and when the season re-starts.

The Washington Redskins NFL team also look almost certain to change their name. Such changes have long been discussed, but have never come to anything, but as the New York Times put it:

But in the last month, the ground underneath their feet has shifted. American society is undergoing a wide uprising over police brutality and systemic racism that flared after the killing of George Floyd in police custody, a widespread movement that has led to a reconsideration of statues, flags, symbols and mascots considered to be racist or celebrating racist history.
There have been previous incarnations of the Cleveland Indians, though in the NFL. Teams formed in 1921 and 1931 both folded, and the Akron Indians changed their name to Akron Pros before switching back in 1926 and folding in 1927.

Other high profile teams who may be making changes include the Atlanta Braves (MLB), Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), and Edmonton Eskimos (CFL).  

The Hawks in Atlanta's NBA team name was originally Blackhawks, and the Golden State Warriors (NBA) dropped Indian imagery when they move to Oakland, so they should be good to continue.

The Florida State Seminoles and Utah Utes are a couple of football playing college teams who may be looking at a change of mascot, but the San Diego State Aztecs might just be spared:
The NCAA did not cite San Diego State University, San Diego, California as "hostile and abusive" due to the Aztec people having no modern representatives. However the Aztec Warrior mascot, whose performance including human sacrifice, has drawn criticism.
Fortunately English football doesn't seem to have any offensive names, barring your club's rivals possibly. Accrington's Stanley comes not from the colonialist Sir Henry (famous for "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" line), but more mundanely from the town's Stanley Street. Rugby does have its Exeter Chiefs though. 

As Cheltenham Town found out in the League Two play-offs, an away win in the first leg doesn't guarantee progressing, especially in the strange new world of empty stadiums, but it was a good day for Away teams yesterday in the League One play-offs. 

None of the play-offs to date have had any team at odds-on (Odds Portal) with the shortest priced Home team being Fleetwood Town at 2.05 who promptly lost 1-4.

At the time of this last update, blindly backing the Draw in the EPL was borderline profitable, but the current losing run is 16, which happens. 

Here are the EPL Draw numbers by season, including the over-round which is slowly inching back up. Note that so that results are consistent, and we can compare 2000-2012 with the Pinnacle era, the over-rounds has been adjusted to 103%. 

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