On Kierkegaard and the Shin Guard

…the Yankees signaled to the world that there are still some simmering frustrations beneath the surface of this maddening season.

via Yankees and Pettitte Lack Punch in Opener of a Daunting Stretch – NYTimes.com.

Jacoby Ellsbury assaulted Yankees Manager Joe Girardi’s metaphysical balance on the second pitch of Friday’s game, a groover from Andy Pettitte that Mr. Ellsbury clouted over the fence for a homer.

“You can’t take too much of it,” Mr Girardi told reporters after the Yankees had put the chalk outlines around a 4-2 loss in Boston.

No, you can’t. No one can. Heat, boredom, thumping mariachi music from the basement — there is always an It that you can’t take too much of.

But Mr. Girardi was pressing hard with his mental pencil. “Obviously this is an important stretch for us that we are in. We understand that.” — Wait; what? — “The next three teams we play are all in front of us.”

They always are.

It’s a strange intersection the Yankees depart from in the so-called second half the season. They are well back in the American League East, so far back that ordinarily delusionally optimistic fans are beginning to suggest housecleaning trades.

On the mound for the Red Sox on Friday was Felix Doubront, a rookie who was making his 12th start. All 12 have been so-called quality starts — a bogus baseball stat — and the Red Sox haven’t had a rookie come out like that since 1915.

The Red Sox won the Series that year.

“Not the way you want to start the second half,” Mr. Pettitte intoned instructfully, probably not referring to the portent of a Boston championship.

He later topped himself: “The long ball hurt me.”

Noteworthy was the news earlier in the day that Derek Jeter was headed back to the disabled list. He is the third Yankee starter from last year to start the season on the D.L., return to the club and then re-injure himself after Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira. Alex Rodriguez isn’t on that list only because he hasn’t had his chance yet.

The Yankees can see what is front of them, probably because they don’t want to look at what they’ve left behind.