Jason Cohen described the following incident as “the end of my baseball season.” Perhaps the end of Charlie Manuel’s gainful employment, too. From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Todd Zolecki :

Utley suffered a broken right hand when lefthander John Lannan hit him with a pitch in the fifth inning of today’s 7-6 loss to the Washington Nationals. Both the Phillies and Utley insist the injury will not finish his season. Utley, who will be placed on the disabled list, will visit hand specialist Randall Culp on Friday to see what course of action he needs to take to return to the field as quickly as possible.

He suffered a fractured fourth metacarpal, the bone at the base of the ring finger. Surgery is an option. The team would not speculate on how long Utley would need to recover.

“There is a best case and there is a worst case,” Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

The best case?

“We absolutely believe that he will back this year, yes,” Amaro said. “We actually feel pretty good after the diagnosis from Dr. [Michael] Ciccotti [the team’s director of medical services]. As dismal as this situation may sound, we actually feel pretty confident that he’s going to be back in a pretty timely fashion. On a scale of a 0 to 10, it was probably a 2 to 3 type of a fracture, zero being the most mild.”

The worst case?

“The hand will fall off?” Utley said.

Hey, it didn’t stop Pete Gray.

Perhaps it might a good time for XM 175 to stop playing the commerical where the Mets’ Joe Smith discusses his impending experimentation with cross-dressing?  If Smith’s sudden demotion is any indication, he might have to wait ’til ’08 to truly explore his feminine side.  In public, anyway.