Linkin' Ballpark – 09/28/2010

And the NL East goes to . . . the Philadelphia Phillies.

For the fourth straight year, the Phillies clinched the title, as Roy Halladay pitched a two-hit shutout.  How’s that dagger feel, Jays fans?

Your morning baseball trivia: For the third time out of those last four, the Phillies clinched in front of the Washington Nationals

Warning to other NL East competitors: Philadelphia has a three game set against the Nationals from September 20 – 22 next season.

Padres Lose Wild Card Lead

Across the National League to the NL West, where the San Diego Padres were knocked down a peg in their pursuit of the promised October baseball land by Carlos Zambrano (yeah, you read that right) and the Chicago Cubs.

After going ape goof in the dugout on June 25, Zambrano was placed on the MLB Restricted List, where careers go to die. But instead of wallowing in misery, Zambrano took some anger management courses and returned to make a few appearances out of the bullpen before rejoining the rotation in early August.  Since then, the Cubs lifer has gone 7-0 with 1.27 ERA in ten starts.

If you think that’s impressive, after the jump we visit a couple of courtrooms, talk Ozzie Guillen, go shopping with Adrian Gonzalez’s wife and a whole lot more.

Justice Served

Andrew Gallo was found guilty yesterday in the deaths of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others in a drunk-driving collision.  Of course, this doesn’t bring anyone back, but as far as suitable punishments go, news that this creep will face the prospect of life in prison hopefully brings some level of closure to the Adenhart family.

They Say Romance Is Dead

Staying in the courtroom, but in a far more mockable part of baseball’s courthouse, Frank and Jamie McCourt’s divorce hearings are set to end on Wednesday with closing arguments from both sides.  The judge will then have three months to decide if Jamie’s Dodgers ownership claims are legitimate.  Apparently, the wheels of justice move almost as fast as a Steve Trachsel delivery.

The Homer Of The Day

Today’s winner is Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times who tries to pin his hope for Adrian Gonzalez becoming a future Cub on the fact that the first baseman’s wife likes shopping in Chicago.  Wittenmyer does deserve some credit though for showing us that line where the sad becomes pathetic.

Guillen Stays With Sox

There must be something special about Chicago though because last week Ozzie Guillen said he’d be interested in the Cubs job if it became available even though he’s still managing the White Sox.  That was last week though.  This week, Ozzie has confirmed that he’ll be staying put for the last year of his contract.

No Room For Cartoons In Rotation

A.J. Burnett may have pitched his way out of the Yankees playoff rotation, but there’s always a chance for a Merrie Melodies reunion.  With yesterday’s loss to Toronto, Burnett is the first pitcher with 15 losses for a 93+ win team since Carlos Silva managed the feat with the 2006 Minnesota Twins (96-66).

And The Rest

The Rays Index wonders if attendance numbers are embarrassing to Rays players, what exactly is getting shut out by the Baltimore Orioles.

The Red Sox Monster imagines a universe where teams would be willing to part with players to acquire Jonathan Papelbon.

Ken Davidoff remembers when Willie Randolph managed the Mets.  Those days ain’t looking so bad now.

Finally, MLBTR informs us that the MLBPA and MLB are shuffling the offseason schedule to extend the free agent signing period this year.  This means that Rod Barajas now has even longer to sign a bad contract.