THE EMPTY seats at tomorrow's Maryland-Clemson football game at Memorial Stadium can be blamed on Maryland's failure to promote its only Baltimore appearance and Baltimore's total lack of promotional know-how. As Jim Henneman, of this sports staff, said to me this week: "Does anybody know they're playing this game?"
* It'll be a treat to have teen-aged stars Jennifer Capriati anMonica Seles at the Baltimore Arena for the fifth annual First National Bank Tennis Classic Nov. 27, but of more importance will be the comeback effort of the woman who lined up the show, Pam Shriver. A lot of people fear that Shriver is finished on the pro tour after shoulder surgery this summer. Says Pam: "The shoulder is coming along. Slowly. But I'll play again." We'll see Nov. 27.
* Are you too impatient to wait for the pennant races and postseason play to unfold? Here's the script as predicted by Baltimorean Sheriff Fowble, based on 37 years in the game as scout and coach: "Pittsburgh will beat out the Mets, who are having internal problems. The Pirates will have trouble with Cincinnati in the playoffs but it won't matter. Oakland will beat anybody in the World Series. The A's have too much. The way they picked up Willie McGee and Harold Baines was worse than what the Yankees used to do."
* If you haven't been to a local boxing show in a while a good onto choose for your return to ringside would be the Vincent Pettway-Victor Davis fight Nov. 13 at Painters Mill. Promoter Stuart Satosky believes he can fill all 2,400 seats. Athletic commission member Al Flora is advising Satosky to get some additional temporary seating ready for this one.
* One man who is sure to apply for the athletic director vacancat Loyola College is Tom O'Connor, who had the job until he left for Santa Clara in 1986. O'Connor was an unsuccessful candidate for the AD job at Maryland this summer. The New Jersey native made it known then he wants to return to the East.
* A visitor to lacrosse coach Tony Seaman's office at JohnHopkins yesterday was Bill Tierney, the Princeton coach who turned down the Blue Jays' job before Seaman accepted it. The two coaches were making plans for their summer camp. They won't be so buddy-buddy next March. Seaman's first game for Hopkins will be against Tierney's Princeton team (which knocked Hopkins out of the NCAA playoffs this year).
* One big win and 19-year-old Pete Sampras is on the cover oSports Illustrated. Headline: "A Star Is Born." But some local tennis aficionados who attend the U.S. Open every year feel Sampras may have played his career match against Andre Agassi. One thing is sure: Sampras won't often hit so many lines with his 120-mph serves.
Speaking of the tennis Open, if you ever go to one, take moneyThe cost of a draft beer at Flushing is $5. All other concessions and apparel are priced accordingly. A little $40 warmup jacket is $95 up there.
* Tom Matte, now color man on Maryland football radibroadcasts, says Maryland's Frank Wycheck reminds him of a familiar ex-Colt: himself. "The kid doesn't have all the speed in the world, but he's caught 14 balls," Matte said yesterday at the Locust Point Second Thursday Club luncheon at J. Patrick's. "He reminds me of me the way he catches the ball coming out of the backfield."