Monday, October 25, 2010

Yankees Fire Dave Eiland

Maybe this site is becoming a Yankee blog after all. In a report by an ESPN writer, the Yankees have relieved Dave Eiland of his duties as the Yankees' pitching coach. According to the linked story, Yankees' general manager, Brian Cashman said that Eiland's dismissal had nothing to do with the recent playoff loss to the Texas Rangers.

While Cashman could be speaking what he thinks is the truth here, the Yankees have always needed a scapegoat and Eiland was probably the easiest target. Kevin Long is extremely popular with a large chunk of Yankee batters, so it wouldn't be him. And Joe Girardi won the World Series last year, so he wasn't going to be the scapegoat. But logically, other reasons could certainly be cited.

A. J. Burnett, of course, could be front and center of this discussion. His continuing confoundedness could not be rectified by Eiland. Sabathia regressed some this year (despite all those wins) and Phil Hughes often looked lost when he should be coming into his own. Part of Eiland's problems were exacerbated by the Yankees catching problems. After a promising start, Cervelli fell apart on defense and the slippage of Jorge Posada's defense has been staggering. When you can't hold runners from stealing and you can't catch a pitch sometimes, that would get your pitcher into trouble.

There is also the matter of Dave Eiland leaving the Yankees this year for "personal" reasons. Those reasons were never spelled out and probably never will be (unless there is a "tell all" book someday). The Fan doesn't ever remember any Yankee official coming out with a statement such as, "We support Dave during this difficult time and will support him." Do you remember such a statement? Looking back, that omission speaks volumes and probably is part of the reason for this story today.

So who will the Yankees get to replace Eiland? If they were smart, they would put off Girardi for a week and heavily pursue Curt Young, who is now available since Oakland wouldn't give him a two year contract. Young is given a lot of credit for the A's great young pitching and he will be scooped up by somebody quickly. There is already speculation that Young is heading to Arizona.

Maybe the Yankees will turn to Ron Guidry or entice Righetti away from the Giants. Whomever it might be, it is still somewhat of a shock that this move was made this quickly. Coming full circle, this Fan now doubts that this is a scapegoat issue but is rather something that has built up for a while and would have happened no matter how the Yankees' season turned out.

** Update: Best headline so far: "No Coach is Dave Eiland" by Baseball Musings. Comical, but would have better as, "No Coach is an Eiland."

1 comment:

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