Hofstra University to hold a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mets

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Fifty years for the Mets? Guess their tenure is the only thing golden about them. Still, this is kind of neat:

April 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of the New York Mets, one of the most popular and culturally significant baseball franchises.

On Thursday through Sunday, April 26-28, 2012, Hofstra University will host a conference to consider all aspects of the history and culture of the team. This will be the first multidisciplinary conference to consider every aspect of a Major League Baseball franchise.

There will be presentations about “the Origins of the Mets; The Roots, Myths and Evolution of Mets Fandom; Defining Individuals in Mets History; Mets Icons, Symbols and Mascots,” and about a zillion others.

Sadly, according to the website, the submission deadline has passed. Which just means that I’ll need to find another outlet for my multimedia presentation “Kevin McReynolds: God, he was annoying, right?”  It’s rigorous scholarship, I assure you.

(Thanks to Melissa D. for the heads up)

A.J. Hinch responds to Ken Giles’ negative comments about Astros

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On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:

I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.

While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”

Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.

At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.