Telford's reach in 1990 did not exceed his grasp


NEW YORK -- His season ended ignominiously at Yankee Stadium, but overall, 1990 was a kind year to Anthony Telford.

"There is no question I'm happy because this year went way beyond my expectations," said Telford, who started as a rehabilitating pitcher for the Class A Frederick Keys and finished with eight starts in the majors.

"I had a couple of personal goals -- to get 15 wins [combined at all levels] and throw 200 innings, something that everyone thought was way out of reach. I just about reached them."

Telford showed the Baltimore Orioles enough in the final month that pitching coach Al Jackson said, "No doubt he'll have a chance" to make the staff next year.

"The kid helped us. He wasn't just here to see what he could do. Of his starts, all but two were very impressive. And he really handled it well."

Telford's ERA ballooned from 3.47 to a final 4.95 when he failed to retire any of the six batters he faced in a final start.

"Those guys [the New York Yankees] came to hit. It wasn't just me," he said. "They were hacking away at everybody. I was upset, but it was due.

"My heart wishes I had another start to redeem myself," said Telford, "but my body is glad I don't. The last couple of times I haven't been throwing well. I'll get another start down the line, and I'll face the Yankees again."

"He'll get another one . . . in spring training," manager Frank Robinson said.

The question about Telford's ailing shoulder is gone. With further strengthening during the winter, Telford said he believes he can regain some of the velocity he lost when he was injured two years ago.

He said he may have "an outside chance" to make next season's rotation, but "if I don't make the team, I want to be in position to be one of the first to get called up."

Jackson said: "He made a hell of an adjustment from being a power pitcher to being a smart pitcher. I think he learned an awful lot this year."

Telford, 24, finished with a 3-3 record and had a memorable major-league debut, beating the world champion Oakland Athletics with seven one-hit innings.

* Robinson remained undecided about his starter for the final road game of the season, Sunday in Cleveland, but said he will give "consideration" to handing the assignment to Dan Boone.

"I'd like to make him happy, as long as his wife doesn't get involved in it," said Robinson. That was a reference to Telford starting Tuesday night because his wife was accompanying the team to New York.

Boone, 36, said starting in the big leagues would be "a dream come true." He has been in professional baseball since 1977 and never has started in the majors.

* The organization will hold another personnel meeting Tuesday, when the Toronto Blue Jays are in Baltimore for the final series.

"This is to go over the major-league personnel, those on the 40-man roster," said Robinson.

President Larry Lucchino, general manager Roland Hemond, assistant general manager Doug Melvin, Robinson and the major-league coaches will confer.

* Coach Johnny Oates denied reports he may coach for the Yankees next year.

A report in the New York Daily News yesterday said that if the Yankees revamp their staff, general manager Gene Michael would be interested in Oates.

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