WHILE THE ORIOLES were announcing the trade for Glenn Davis at Memorial Stadium yesterday, Mets general manager Frank Cashen was speaking at J. Patrick's to the Locust Point Second Thursday Club.
"Glenn Davis is a legitimate home run hitter," said Cashen, back in his old hometown for tonight's Tops in Sports banquet at the Towson Center. "He's better defensively than he's given credit for. He's a good person, very quiet. A born-again Christian."
Cashen knows the book on Davis because he was interested in landing the Houston first baseman for the Mets.
"Is this a good trade for the Orioles?" Jim Lacy asked.
"I have enough trouble running my own ballclub without getting involved in that," Cashen said.
You don't have to be a major-league GM to understand that the Orioles took a gamble in trading three young players -- Pete Harnisch, Curt Schilling and Steve Finley -- to get a man whose contract is up after this season.
It's as Ron Lamartina, of the state sales tax department, said: "If the Orioles can't sign Davis to a long-term contract and if they have him for only one year, it's not a good trade."
* Another guest at J. Patrick's was Dean Witter Reynolds regional vice president Michael Conn, whose surname is familiar. His father, boxer Billy Conn, is known for his memorable fights with Joe Louis. "The game is ruined," said Mike Conn, who has lived here since 1983 and loves the town. "Fighters today have 10 bouts and they get a title shot. George Foreman is out of the ring 10 years and gets $12 million to fight for the title. I think my dad ought to come back. He's 73."
* Pam Shriver's fall in the world tennis rankings hasn't hurt her marketability. The agency that books her speeches says her fee is now $12,000. That's for one speech.
* When are we going to hear apologies to Bo Schembechler from those who publicly savaged him for the firing of Ernie Harwell in Detroit? We know now that the GM of the station that carries the Tiger games was the one who wanted Ernie out. Bo didn't. I admire Schembechler for taking the heat instead of whining that it wasn't his fault.
* Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski told Paul Baker and Stan Charles in an unusually enlightening 30-minute interview on WCAO this week that the ACC is "a veterans' league -- as Virginia showed when it pounded us last week." Maryland, which entertains Duke tomorrow afternoon, is no veteran team. And Duke appears to have regrouped rather well from the Virginia loss, judging by its 98-57 win over Georgia Tech Wednesday.
* Johns Hopkins' new lacrosse coach Tony Seaman, who did TV color on Prism for Major Indoor Lacrosse League games in Philadelphia, where they draw 17,000 a game: "One smart thing the two guys in Kansas City who own the league did was make the arenas their partners." True. That's why the MILL gets the best dates in every league city. Tickets are priced at $14.50 and $12.50 and the players, based on seniority, earn from $125 to $300 per game. The Baltimore Thunder averages 10,000 in attendance. Smart operators, indeed.
* A year ago the critics said the Boston Celtics had grown too old to win any longer, and I believed them. Now the Celts are 28-5 and lead their division by 8 1/2 games. It's their best start in 18 years. I'd better start listening to different critics.
* Ex-Baltimorean Liz McCleary Primrose, who won a swimming gold medal at the Pan-American Games in the '60s, is executive director of the upcoming (July 12-21) Olympic Festival in Los Angeles. Liz is as interested as anyone and better informed than most regarding the chances of Mark Spitz, who won all those Olympic golds in '68 and '72, swimming in the '92 Games in Barcelona. Says she: "I think his chances are pretty good. I think he'll make the Trials. I think he'll make the finals. As to whether he'll be one of the final two and get to Barcelona, I don't know about that."