While Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he had no prior knowledge that pitching coach Dave Eiland would be fired following the season, a person with knowledge of the relationship between Eiland and Girardi said it went south after Eiland returned from his near-month long personal leave of absence in June.
The person said that, upon his return, Eiland felt his opinions were deemphasized. It is unclear if by the end of the season if Eiland and Girardi were working better together. Neither could be reached for comment on Saturday.
Eiland also may have been more outspoken than the tight-lipped Girardi would have liked. For example, before Javier Vazquez‘s season went downhill, Eiland revealed the pitcher had a “dead arm,” which is a condition the manager had not mentioned.
Often when answering questions, Eiland would point to the manager’s office when there was a query that could get him in trouble.
This report doesn’t really give us a lot of answers, really it just brings up more questions. Like, what actually went down when Eiland left the team and why did it leave Girardi with less faith in his pitching coach than before.
Now that we know this information though, it is obvious that Eiland had to go. Even if Girardi expected him back, it seems that Brian Cashman may have made the right decision to cut his pitching coach loose. A team, especially a coaching staff, need to be on the same page. If they aren’t it is hard to expect their team to be.
This may be for the best in the long run. Eiland was in position as the Yankees pitching coach before Girardi took the job and he likes to run this team like he is the general. It would have been best if he had some say in whom his pitching coach was in the first place. Now he’ll get the chance.