Monday, July 17, 2017

The Worst Red Sox Team of All Time Pt. 7: Pete Donohue

Failure is often even more fascinating than success. I am definitely intrigued by the 1932 Boston Red Sox, the worst Red Sox team of all time. The team finished with a record of 43-111, for a winning percentage of .279 and very little went right.
An amazing 41 players played for the Boston Red Sox in 1932.  Many of those players were obscure, very short-tenured players.  Others were players that were well past their primes.  Very few were actually decent players.  Red Sox ownership had virtually no money to spend on talented players that could help the team win.  So the team took a lot of chances on has-beens and never-weres.  Pete Donohue fits into the former category. 

Donohue was a right-handed pitcher who had a pretty decent career in the 1920's with the Cincinnati Reds.  He won 20 or more games three times, leading the league in wins in 1926 and winning percentage in 1922.  He was a workhorse who led the league in a number of categories like games started, innings pitched (301 in 1925!), and complete games.  With that kind of use, it is not terribly shocking that he started to falter toward the end of the decade.

After his 20 win season in 1926, Donohue declined significantly.  He held on with the Reds for a few more seasons, then played with the Giants and Indians before joining the Red Sox in 1932.  Donohue was just 31 years old, but it was clear his usefulness was gone.  He pitched in just four games with the Red Sox toward the beginning of the season, but he was 0-1 with a 7.82 ERA.  He notched just one strikeout and walked six in 12.2 innings.  That was it for Donohue as a Major League pitcher.  The former star pitcher had nothing left by the time he joined Boston.  That was pretty much par for the course for this era in Red Sox history.

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