Dour Doyle Alexander moved around enough to become the fourth pitcher to record wins over all 26 teams. He became increasingly effective late in his career, by developing an assortment of pitches, speeds, and deliveries, and relying more on guile and control than overpowering stuff.
In 1983 Alexander seemed like a journeyman pitcher at the end of his career when he put himself on the disabled list (and in Yankee owner George Steinbrenner’s doghouse) by injuring his hand punching a concrete wall in frustration. He was picked up by the Blue Jays and, though he started out by losing his first six games, he turned it around with a club record 8-game winning streak. He went on to win a club record 17 games the following season. In 1985 he won 17 games again, including the game that clinched the AL East pennant on the penultimate day of the season.
Despite Alexander’s success, he accused Toronto management of not wanting to win badly enough to pay him what he felt he was worth. After badmouthing local fans, he was dealt to Atlanta, where his pitching was uninspiring.
Traded to Detroit for John Smoltz midway through the 1987 season, Alexander had a 1.53 ERA and a 9-0 record in an exciting pennant race for the Tigers, including two dramatic victories over the Blue Jays in the final days of the season. Often a slow starter, he had a surprisingly good first half in 1988, earning his first All-Star selection. However, he pitched less well for the remainder of the season as the weak Tigers were beset by injuries and fell out of first place. Alexander retired after a 6-18 campaign in 1989.