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The “you can’t go young in New York” thing is not Omar Minaya’s idea

I still can’t believe the Mets unloaded Jeff Francoeur on someone. Can believe even less that they actually got a carbon-based life form in return. Yeah, I know that Joaquin Arias is close to worthless as a ballplayer, but when you’re trading this kind of thing you can’t expect anything in return at all.

Good show by Omar Minaya for unloading dead weight. The Mets season may be over, but simply not having Francoeur around when the season ends is savvy, because the temptation to actually offer him arbitration this winter is no longer operative. And I bet there’s at least someone in Mets land who would consider doing such a thing because, after all, Francoeur is a veteran, and you can’t go young in New York.

About that: yesterday I ripped Omar Minaya for saying that rebuilding with youth is impossible in New York. It would seem, however, that the notion is not his own. Rather, it’s an ownership thing. The evidence for this? Check out what former Mets GM Steve Phillips told Friend-of-the-Blog (and Hofstra blogger!) Jerry Beach -- then writing for -- eight years ago:

“I don’t think we’ll ever go to that rebuilding state, where we go with all young players. I think the history shows that you need a certain amount of experience to win. There may be some young teams that can do it, but typically, teams that win have a certain level of experience.

"[Smaller market teams] live with those growing pains longer than, a lot of times, larger market clubs do because we tend to go more for the experience. And in New York, growing pains for young players are sometimes tough to wait on. There’s an expectation for a larger market team to spend money, to spend what they’re capable of spending.

“I don’t think [the Mets would undergo a complete rebuilding process] unless there’s some dramatic change. But I would still think in New York that we’ll have options maybe that others might not be able to consider.”

I realize that Omar and Steve have some things in common (i.e. being not-very-good general managers) but this sounds like marching orders from the Wilpons to me. No kids. Can’t tear it down. Just wouldn’t fly in New York.

Which puts me in mind of what a wise old man once said.