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Brendan Donnelly

Tokyo Yakult Swallows — No. --
Relief pitcher
Born: July 4, 1971 (1971-07-04) (age 38)
Washington, D.C.
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
April 9, 2002 for the Anaheim Angels
Career statistics
(through August 20, 2009)
Win-Loss     26-9
Earned run average     3.06
Strikeouts     334
Career highlights and awards

Brendan Kevin Donnelly (born July 4, 1971 in Washington, D.C.) is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher who is currently a member of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. He bats and throws right-handed.



Donnelly had bounced around the minor leagues for 10 seasons after he was drafted in 1992 by the Chicago White Sox before he finally made his debut in 2002 with the then-Anaheim Angels. He was an immediate fan favorite because of his intensity, the goggles that he wears, and his effectiveness as the main setup man to Troy Percival. In 2003, in that same role, Donnelly put up an 1.58 earned run average and became a rare example of a non-closer who was selected as an All-Star. Donnelly went on to be the winning pitcher in that mid-summer classic.

He suffered a broken nose during spring training 2004, causing him to miss a large portion of the season. Donnelly remained fairly effective throughout 2004 in a very good bullpen for the American League West Champion Anaheim Angels. In 2005, Donnelly began to see a decline in performance, including a decrease in velocity on his fastball as a set-up man for closer Francisco Rodríguez after Percival's departure. In June 2005, Donnelly was suspended for having pine tar on his glove. In 2006, Donnelly continued to drop down the depth chart in the bullpen becoming an inconsistent middle reliever.

On December 15, 2006, Donnelly was traded to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Phil Seibel.[1]

On July 31, 2007, it was announced that Donnelly would need Tommy John surgery. On February 6, 2008, the Cleveland Indians signed Donnelly to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The Indians hoped Donnelly would provide bullpen help at the end of the season when he recovered from Tommy John surgery.[2] Donnelly had briefly been a replacement player during the 1995 spring training, as part of the MLB owners' attempt to break the 1994 Major League Baseball strike. As a result, he is barred from membership of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Through the 2007 season, Donnelly has pitched for eighteen teams (two of them independents), nine organizations, two independent leagues, eleven organized minor leagues, and the American League. 2007 was Donnelly's 16th season in professional baseball. Donnelly was brought up to the Indians in August 2008, as a replacement for Tom Mastny.[3] On July 5, 2009, Donnelly signed with the Florida Marlins. On December 30, 2009, Donnelly joined fellow ex-Marlin Eulogio De La Cruz by signing with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.

Mitchell Report

Donnelly was named in the December 13, 2007 Mitchell Report regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. According to former clubhouse attendant and admitted steroids distributor Kirk Radomski, Donnelly sought him out in 2004 looking to purchase Anavar, an anabolic steroid. Radomski says he made one sale of Deca-Durabolin to Donnelly, for which he received $250–$300.[4] In a statement in response to the report, Donnelly admitted contacting Radomski in 2004 regarding Anavar, hoping it would help him recover from injuries faster. Donnelly denied ever buying or using the drug because he was made aware that it was considered a steroid.[5]

Jose Guillen

Donnelly and Jose Guillen have had their share of incidents over the past couple of years. During the 2004 postseason, Guillen, then on the Anaheim Angels, was suspended by his team for a disagreement between him and his manager, Mike Scioscia. Donnelly, also with the Angels, backed the Angels' decision which angered Guillen. This has been known to be the beginning of the entire feud between the two.

In 2005, Guillen, now with the Washington Nationals alerted his manager, Frank Robinson, that Donnelly may be using an illegal substance in his glove, eventually found to be pine tar. Pine tar is illegal to use as a pitcher but perfectly legal to use as a batter as long as the tar doesn't reach the label. When Donnelly and Scioscia were heading back to their dugouts, Scoscia and Robinson began exchanging words and soon got into a "shouting match". Both benches emptied, with Guillen included, who had to be physically restrained and brought back to the dugout by his teammates.

In 2007, Donnelly, then playing for the Red Sox, shared some words with Guillen after striking him out in the eighth inning of a game between the Red Sox and Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. Guillen took off his helmet and walked towards Donnelly, who then took off his protective eyewear and his baseball glove; both benches emptied, but no punches were thrown.


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