Monday, November 1, 2010

Yankee ex-coach Eiland still the story

Until some major news breaks on the Derek Jeter/Mariano Rivera/Andy Pettitte contract front, ex-coach Dave Eiland is going to remain the story for the New York Yankees.

The Yankees disavowed a report that basically blamed a rift with manager Joe Girardi for Eiland's departure. It’s possible that there is some truth to the story, but I highly doubt it, especially after hearing Girardi’s interviews last Monday. It was clear that Girardi had no idea what was coming and no input into the decision. It was completely Brian Cashman’s move. If there was a rift, it is entirely possible that Cashman unilaterally decided that a change was necessary. But I doubt Cashman would have made the move without consulting Girardi about whether the relationship could be salvaged.

But I also have doubts about the report because it came from one anonymous source. Even though I'm a journalist, maybe because I'm a journalist, I always look at sources wanting to offer off-the-record comments with great suspicion. There are two key questions when a source asks to be quoted anonymously: what is their motivation for saying what they are saying and why can't they go on-the-record with their thoughts? If they don't have a legitimate reason for requesting anonymity, I'm not at all inclined to grant it. And it’s hard to tell from the story why the source felt he or she needed to be anonymous.

I can't blame Eiland for being upset about the story. It makes him look bad and could hurt his job prospects, something I'm sure the reporter didn't take into account.

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