I don’t really understand much about finances, but I think it might be wrong, both morally and economically, to borrow money from your girlfriend to pay for dinner with another woman you’re seeing on the side.  And yet, how much different would it be if the owners of the New York Mets brought a second Major League Soccer franchise to New York?  The soccer league is currently considering the possibility, and has gone so far as to suggest that the Wilpon family would make “great” MLS owners.  This, of course, despite a lawsuit of $300 million being filed against them and ownership being forced to sell a minority interest in its MLB team and after having already borrowed money from the league to remain in operation.

But the Mets problems aren’t merely fiscal.  In addition to the problems that Carlos Beltran is experiencing trying to come back after serious knee issues, it’s being reported that team ace Johan Santana could miss the entirety of the 2011 season recovering from shoulder surgery.

Santana has not been progressing in his return to light throwing and the team is concerned enough to halt this section of his rehabilitation. By doing so, the Mets’ timetable of a possible late-June, early-July return to the team would likely be wiped out.

Internally, the Mets believe they’ll be “lucky” if Santana pitches this year.

While team officials have denied such skepticism, ESPN’s Buster Olney has also heard that it may be a tough time this year for Santana.

Expectation is that it will be slow going for him this year, that the Mets aren’t expecting a lot from him in ’11.

As the Phillies, Braves and even the Nationals all took major strides forward during this past offseason, this year is setting up to see the Mets become a bigger punchline than David Wright’s defense.

Of course the city is handling  all the news well.  Recent advertisements for a storage unit company asks Subway users, “Why leave a city that has six professional sports teams, and the Mets?”

And The Rest

Scott Podsednik’s decision to reject the guaranteed money that the Los Angeles Dodgers were offering him is looking worse and worse.  The outfielder wasn’t feeling great after his first appearance of the Spring, and now he’s stayed out of the lineup because of the plantar fasciitis problems with left foot.  If he thinks it’s bad now, just wait until he starts playing on the turf at Rogers Centre.

That Tim Lincecum fellow remains kooky, while his Giants teammate Pablo Sandoval remains comparable to some pretty good players.

It’s even more official than before: Swagger is the new heart.

Bryce Harper will start the season at Single A.

Like a future PPV boxing match, the Nationals and Marlins are setting up their rivalry for the summer.

Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro has signed a four year extension.  Once his contract ends, Ryan Howard will only have one year plus a team option remaining on his.

How do Paul Konerko’s numbers compare to The Big Hurt’s?

Ken Rosenthal believes that the Cincinnati Reds were wise to stand pat this offseason.

A bunch of white guys look at the issue of race in baseball.

Finding an optimal batting order for the Yankees doesn’t matter a whole lot.  At least not as much as yet another local news story telling us about how good Mariano Rivera is.

Winning is everything, but pitching wins aren’t anything.

Airplane mishaps in sports.  Oh, our lives are so fragile.

People still argue over baseball’s origins.  I tend to fall on the side of “couldn’t care less.”

Zach Duke took a line drive off the back of his pitching hand.  The Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t hopeful about the situation.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are still alive, kicking and excited about their change of managers.

The Boston Red Sox would be open to trade talks involving Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield.  This reminds me of the type of fantasy baseball owner that constantly tries to trade you his garbage for your stars, without being able to comprehend that his garbage is just as unwanted by you as it is by him.

And while we’re talking Red Sox, who’s up for a ridiculously incomplete scouting report or two on Jose Iglesias?

Finally, Aaron Cook faces the prospect of some time on the shelf after closing a door on his pitching hand.  Well played.