Spicy Stuff: The Story Behind Dave Eiland’s Firing
The Yankees didn’t waste any time making changes to their team. Already this offseason, a lot of stuff has happened. But the most interesting move the Yanks have made so far was firing their pitching coach of three years, Dave Eiland. Like many others, I have been speculating to why Dave Eiland really was fired. Was it because of the Yankee pitching staff’s ineffectiveness during the postseason? Or was it something else? Something….more…
I’ve combined my theories with the many other theories I’ve heard, and I have to say: I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve got.
Here’s some stuff I’ve had to consider:
-Eiland’s extended personal leave of abscence
-Eiland’s relationship with the pitchers, especially A.J. Burnett
-A.J. Burnett’s ineffectiveness
-A.J. Burnett’s black eye.
A.J. Burnett started off the 2010 season with a 3-0 record and a sparkling 2.43 ERA in his first month. From then on, everything fell apart. Burnett never went back to the “Good A.J.” June, especially, was an atrocious month for him. He posted an 0-5 record with a frightening 11.35 ERA. He never lived up to his potential in 2010, and it was frustrating to watch A.J. take the ball having not made any improvements.
In June, the time when A.J. Burnett really started to stink, Dave Eiland took an extended leave of abscence. It was personal, and no one commented on the reason to why Eiland had to leave the team. I didn’t know how long he was going to be gone. It was long, but it seemed longer because of Burnett.
Everyone spoke of Burnett and Eiland’s great relationship and how they really connected with each other. When Eiland returned in July, Burnett did improve a bit. That month, he went 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA.
But from then on, Burnett was the “Bad A.J.” and didn’t even show ANY signs of successfulness. One day in September, Burnett randomly had a black eye. It looked painful. And no one said a thing about it. Joe Girardi refused to comment on that.
I think Dave Eiland had a serious alcohol issue. I think it showed, badly, and it was so bad in June that the Yankees themselves asked him to leave and get help for however long he felt was necessary. I think Burnett was stinky in June because he was not used to not having Dave Eiland around. I think Eiland helped get Burnett back on track in July. But I think Dave Eiland had a personal setback in his sobering process. And I think that’s why Burnett also had some serious setbacks on the mound.
A.J. Burnett kept saying he was working hard to fix his issues. I believe him. And I think he was, but Eiland was too messed up to help Burnett properly. I think A.J. Burnett confronted him in September, because he promised us, the fans, that he would do better. I think A.J. told Eiland he was sick of his behavior, and that Eiland needed to straighten himself out before he could help A.J. straighten himself out. I don’t think Eiland liked that very much…and I think there was an altercation between the two. I think Dave Eiland is the one who gave A.J. Burnett that nasty black eye.
I don’t think the Yankees liked this very much, and I don’t think they liked the fact that almost all of their pitchers who had issues didn’t make any progress in the second half of the season. I don’t think the Yankees wanted to draw a ton of attention to poor Dave Eiland, so they waited until now to fire him.
But again, I’m just speculating…