Eiland excited by opportunity to help Rays, beat Yanks
Dave Eiland is excited by his opportunity with the Rays as a special assistant, intrigued by the new duties and responsibilities he’ll have in scouting and player development and pleased to return home, to the area where he grew up and still lives and the organization he pitched for in 1998-2000.
Among other things, Eiland will scout high school and college pitchers that are candidates to be drafted, will evaluate the Rays minor-league pitching prospects and provide opinions on major-league pitchers for potential trades and free-agent signings.
“Basically, anything they need,’’ said Eiland, who spent the last three seasons as the Yankees’ pitching coach. “Whatever pops up.’’
Also, he’ll be in charge of sharing secrets on how to beat the Yankees.
“Absolutely, whatever I can give ‘em to help, I can do that,’’ Eiland said. “And I’ve got plenty of them. They're the enemy now.''
Eiland said he is equally interested in learning how the Rays do things. “I’m very excited about it,’’ he said. “Opposing these guys the last three years, I have a lot of respect for how they do things and how they play the game – their hustle and their attitude, which all starts from the manager and the coaching staff. They put a very competitive team on the field. That’s very impressive how they create what they do, and how it all starts with scouting and player development, and (executive VP) Andrew (Friedman) and the job he does.
“When we came in there (with the Yankees), we didn’t like playing them.’’
Eiland was unexpectedly not rehired by the Yankees after the 2010 season, replaced – ironically – by Larry Rothschild, who was his manager with the then Devil Rays.
Eiland hasn’t said much about his departure from New York, and said he won’t. “What’s done is done, and there’s really no reason to address that,’’ he said. “Obviously I have my opinion on the way it was handled, and there was never any real reason as to why, but there’s no reason for me to get into that. This is a great fit, we’re all excited about, I’m home, it’s all good.’’
The Dade City native and Zephyrhills High product lives now in Wesley Chapel, and looks forward to getting to spend more time with his family as well. "I'm excited to be around my wife and two daughters more,'' he said. "They're looking forward to that and so am I.''
Eiland eventually would like to return to field as a major-league pitching coach, but is eager to spend a season learning and doing different aspects of the game.