Utley, Ruiz and Flash (and my Picture)

Three quick things for you this afternoon:

1) Chase Utley will be on MLB Hot Stove tonight on the MLB Network from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Philly area media just talked to him on Saturday, so I don't expect much new news to come out of the appearance. Still, it is probably worth checking out, if only to confirm that his right hip is still attached to his body.

2) Catcher Carlos Ruiz has reconsidered his decision to pull out of the World Baseball Classic and will now compete for team Panama.

3) Word from D-Backs beat writer Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic is that Arizona has some interest in veteran righthander and former Phillies closer/set-up man Tom Gordon. Flash called the Phillies earlier this offseason to express a desire to return to the club, but he was informed that there likely would not be a roster spot for him. The Phillies declined to pick up Gordon's option after their World Series run.

4) Whenever anybody strikes up a conversation with me about my blog (stop laughing - it happens more than you would think), I inevitably face two questions: 1) Couldn't you find a better picture? and 2) What the $@##$% is up with the palm trees? Well, hopefully both of those questions will soon be rendered moot. Earlier this week I had a photo session with famed Daily News portrait photographer Yong Kim. That means the wretched mug shot that currently accompanies this site will soon be no longer. I have been told I look like I am on my way to a fraternity formal. I have been told I look constipated. But thanks to Yong, I will soon have a new photograph for people to make fun of. We spent about two hours in the studio, give or take 115 minutes. I ultimately settled for my own version of Blue Steel. I hope you all like it. Oh, and the palm trees -- we started this site during spring training last year. So the palm trees were actually relevant for the first couple of month's of this blog's existence. After that? Well, let's just say I am looking out the window of my apartment right now, and I don't see no stinking palm trees. So I'm hoping the palm trees will be replaced by a big wheel of Gouda. Shoulda, woulda, Gouda. That's all, folks.