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Why did the Yankees fire pitching coach Dave Eiland if it had nothing to do with their pitching?

Nov 1, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT

dave-eiland-and-joe-girardi-yankees

There’s some mystery surrounding the Yankees parting ways with pitching coach Dave Eiland.

Last week Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com reported that he was fired due to a falling out with Joe Girardi, but Eiland called that “absolutely ridiculous and simply not true” while being effusive in his praise of the Yankees’ manager.

At the same time Eiland declined to comment on the reasons behind his firing and general manager Brian Cashman has merely said that it’s a “private” matter.

Eiland took a 25-day leave of absence for personal reasons in June and Murray Chass–who was once a columnist for the New York Times and is now a schlub blogger like the rest of us–suggests that has everything to do with the move:

Cashman refused to say why he fired Eiland, but he apparently was being honest when he said it had nothing to do with the team’s pitching. The dismissal, as it turns out, stemmed from the 25-day leave of absence Eiland was granted in June. Neither the coach nor the Yankees said why Eiland took the leave other than to say it was to take care of a personal matter.

The matter was serious enough that the Yankees told him he could return to his job as long as he didn’t resume any of the activities that led to his leave of absence. He didn’t adhere to the agreement and was fired. No one has spelled out those activities, and I will refrain from speculating.

Chass has done the whole “I will refrain from speculating” thing before, like all the times he’s blogged about Mike Piazza’s back acne and accused the catcher of steroid use without actually accusing him … all years after he failed to ever mention it in the New York Times.

In this case it’s equally easy to read between the lines and figure out what Chass is saying about Eiland, which is why his “I will refrain from speculating” claim is so silly. If you know something, either say it or don’t say it. Saying it in such a way that allows you to claim you didn’t say it … well, that’s just bad blogging.

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Nov 1, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    “I am NOT a blogger!”

    – crusty ole Murray Chass

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 1, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    I’d guess either drugs/alcohol, or sleeping with a player’s wife. What else would cause him to lose his job over something like this?

    • mangothefruit - Nov 1, 2010 at 1:09 PM

      Or gambling. Whatever it is, I hope he gets over it.

      I’d understand it if he was fired for the pitching though, almost every Yankee pitcher regressed this year.

  3. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Nov 1, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    I believe it’s called “backne”.

  4. fndan9 - Nov 1, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    I think he was consulting binders other than those endorsed by Girardi.

  5. BC - Nov 1, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    I’m betting he showed up for work hungover a few too many times, went to rehab, then fell off the wagon again at some point recently.
    If it was gambling he’s have been gone a long time ago.

    • yankeesfanlen - Nov 1, 2010 at 3:20 PM

      One would think you are correct, sir.

  6. scatterbrian - Nov 1, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    maybe he just couldn’t finish his XXL Chalupas…

    • BC - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

      I’m in the habit of eating everything that isn’t nailed down, and I can’t finish one of those things. They’re HUGE!

      • scatterbrian - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:43 PM

        I’ll have to take your word for it. Those things look pretty nasty.

      • bloodysock - Nov 1, 2010 at 6:28 PM

        Must be really nasty since the guy in the commercial can’t finish it and it’s untouched.

  7. ryanthe13th - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Eiland’s contract was up anyway. Saying he was fired is a little excessive, they just chose not to bring him back for 2011.

    It sounds like something to do with drinking or substance abuse.

  8. bigharold - Nov 1, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    I can’t help but wonder if Burnett’s black eye had something to do with it. That was never explained either. Perhaps they were unrelated but it’s reallu unusual in both cases.

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