Baltimore native John Schuerholz, first-year general manager of the National League champion Atlanta Braves, is being told that his club will be the team of the '90s.
And why not, with young pitchers like Steve Avery, 21, John Smoltz, 24, and Tom Glavine, 25 -- plus a farm system loaded with talent?
Schuerholz chooses not to look a decade ahead.
"The way players move from team to team these days," says Schuerholz, "I don't know if you can talk about a team of the '90s. You can talk about teams for the next three years, and we should be right up there."
I've long thought it would be great if Schuerholz could run his old hometown Orioles, but you couldn't pry him out of Atlanta now after the Braves' fabulous season. Although as his father, John Sr., said to me recently at a sports luncheon at J. Patrick's: "John had a lifetime contract in Kansas City and he's not there any more."
* Speaking of local boys who have made good elsewhere, Frank Cashen of the Mets and New York Giants GM George Young have more in common than people realize.
Both were born into Baltimore neighborhoods near Greenmount Cemetery, both went to local Catholic schools, Cashen graduated from Mount St. Joe, Young from Calvert Hall, both worked for pro teams here before going out of town.
Perhaps the most extraordinary thing of all about Young and Cashen, as pointed out by local real estate man Hank Linz: "Both are still the same, unpretentious people they were 40 years ago."
* The Orioles probably will be prompted to be more active in the free-agent market this offseason because of the success the worst-to-first Twins and Braves had in it last year. I mean, the Twins get Jack Morris and he's the World Series MVP. Come on, O's. See what you can do out there.
* College lacrosse teams are nearing the end of fall ball and the many scrimmages that have been going on these October weekends. After seeing most of the teams and assessing their freshmen talent, Princeton coach Bill Tierney says:
"Duke will be the most improved team in the country this spring. They had an outstanding recruiting year. Syracuse got two top kids. Loyola had a good solid year. Virginia did great. We only graduated four players, but we added a good one in Josh Miller [from Gilman]." Around here,UMBC should be much improved.
* Bruce Hoffman on why the Maryland Stadium Authority is interested in a domed stadium for football despite the added cost:
"With a domed stadium where you can also have indoor sports like basketball and hockey, you can have 200 events a year instead of 16."
* Political types tell me that even though the funding is set for a football stadium here, provided we get an NFL franchise, the project will be abandoned if the Stadium Authority has to go to Annapolis for an additional penny. In this economy the legislature won't buy it.
* Not every Baltimorean -- not even every football fan -- is thrilled that we're getting an NFL exhibition game (Miami-New Orleans) here next August. Says ex-Princeton fullback George Franke:
"The blackmailing goes on. As great a football town as we proved we are for all those years, now we have to buy tickets for a game nobody really cares about to prove to the NFL owners that we deserve a franchise."
* Maryland's visit to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina this weekend brings to mind a star North Carolina halfback who is also remembered fondly here, ex-Colt Don McCauley. After 21 years, McCauley still holds the Atlantic Coast Conference rushing record with 1,720 career yards. Mac played 11 years with the Colts. He's in business now in his native Garden City, L.I.
* The folks at Johns Hopkins believe their quarterback, John Guglielmo, will be pictured in the next Sports Illustrated as the small college Player of the Week. Guglielmo passed for 477 yards and six touchdowns in the 40-14 win over Georgetown.
Hopkins is used to honors for lacrosse players, but not for footballers. Says assistant athletic director Tom Calder: "The magazine called us for information. We're just waiting. We thought they were going to write up Andy Enfield [basketball star] last winter, too. We're still waiting."