Monday, October 25, 2010

Is Eiland a scapegoat for Yankees collapse?

So I guess it’s Dave Eiland's fault that the New York Yankees did not advance to the World Series.

Or not, if you believe Brian Cashman when he said he made the decision for what he described as private reasons he chose not to discuss and firmly denied it had anything to do with the Yankees getting their butts kicked by the Texas Rangers. "It had nothing to do with looking for a scapegoat or a sacrificial lamb," he said.

But if that's not the reason, then what is? Both Cashman and Joe Girardi praised Eiland’s work and said he would quickly find another job. But if he’s such a good coach, then why did he lose this job?

“Dave helped us win a championship and I’m very grateful,” said Girardi, who clearly was not at all involved in the discussion and threw his general manager under the bus by pointing that out.

“Cash informed me that was going to be the move today,” he said. “Cash just felt we had to go in a different direction.”

Perhaps it is related to whatever personal issue kept Eiland away from the team for several weeks in the middle of the baseball season. That’s pure speculation, but it’s the only thing that makes sense if this wasn’t about his job performance or him being a scapegoat.

I tell you one thing. I don't want to hear or see any off-the-record comments from the Yankee hierarchy criticizing Eiland's job performance. Too often, the Yankees have been guilty of disparaging a guy after they've given him the boot, notably Don Zimmer and Joe Torre, to make themselves look better. If Eiland was so terrible at his job, why were the Yankees so desperate to get him back from his personal leave when AJ Burnett was struggling?

Maybe we’ll know the reason at some point in the future, just like we found out today that Andy Pettitte pitched hurt in the playoffs. I just hope Eiland wasn’t the scapegoat because I can think of many people a lot more responsible for the ugly defeat, starting with the manager.

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