Great Leap Forward Links, September 7th, 2012: Amaro Confidential, Kratz' Odyssey, and Pagan Paens

Metaphors, you guys! (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The big news today is, of course, the SB Nation network's steady twirl towards platonic blog excellence, so be sure to check out the exciting early details in the post below. That said, baseball stuff happened too:

Ruben Amaro Q&A Part I: Manuel, Utley, etc. - Phillies Talk

Worth your time; decent interview by Jim Salisbury. Amaro with the Utley-to-third tip, as well as some pretty sound wisdom about bullpen mutability. If I didn't know any better, I'd say the guy has some smarts.

Ruben Amaro Q&A Part 2: Outfield, Pitching etc. - Phillies Talk

Good news: I DVR'd the stunning conclusion so you don't have to wait for reruns. In this episode, Amaro hedges so much about John Mayberry, Jr. that I'm convinced he missed his true calling as a landscaper.

Phillies Notebook: Phils' Bastardo Back in Vintage 2011 Form

But the 26-year-old lefthander has quietly showed signs of his dominating, 2011 self in the last 2 weeks. Bastardo piggybacked two scoreless outings in Atlanta this the weekend by retiring the only two batters he faced in relief of Roy Halladay on Wednesday.

Ryan Lawrence should read the Amaro interview.

Erik Kratz's Long Journey to Phillies Finally Starting to Pay Off

Show me the man who doesn't get all smile-y at Kratz' story, and I'll show you a monster. Also, I grew up not ten minutes from his high school; my father-in-law substitute taught there for a while. Lousy private school jerks!

Phillies Peaking a Little Late -

In other news: Titanic gets a little too close to iceberg; Hindenberg filled a little too much with flammable gas; and Archduke Ferdinand a little too close to Anarchist assassin. But you know, Mrs. Lincoln told me the play was fine, all things considered.

Follow me after the jump for some NL Easting, passive rosterbation, Bulldoze nostalgia, and Posnanski prostration.

This Week in SNY, Featuring Keith Hernandez and the Attack of the 50-Foot Rauch - Amazin' Avenue

Look, I'll admit that it's wrong that the goofs over at our network's Mets blog have captured a good chunk of my sympathy once you read this article while keeping a completely straight face. Just-for-Men reference included free with click.

The Most Underrated Player in Baseball - Fangraphs

Dave Cameron gives us a CF option that the right thinking fan can get behind. For the right-brained thinking fan, don't forget that this particular player's name on the Dugout was Oxymoron -- a personal favorite.

Q&A: Roy Oswalt, Evolution of a Career - Fangraphs

Who doesn't still love Roy, at least a little bit? Also worthwhile:

When they explained to throw a changeup like a fastball, I was staying behind it instead of on top of it. I never really got the concept of it until probably 2010.

Philadelphia: we manufacture changeups.

Mac and Braves Journal - Joe Blog

Okay, I know it's about the Braves kind of, but I couldn't include an article name-dropping Joe Posnanski without including some of his prose. It's about blogging and adventure and fandom, and it's how I want to write when I grow up. If this stuff doesn't make you sit up straight, then you ain't breathing:

One thing that stands out about writing for me -- whether it’s literary fiction or baseball blogs or tweets -- is when it is ecstatic, filled with life. It doesn’t matter so much to me it is enraged or goofy or profane or stupid (well, maybe not stupid), but I love it if the person is writing something that so clearly has to be written, something the person cannot keep inside, something that the person would write even if he or she knew that nobody would ever read it.

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