Robert E. Short gave sugary thanks yesterday to a judge named Kane (no, not Matt) for the happiest St. Patrick's Day he ever had.

Judge Stanley D. Kane of Hennepin County district court in Minneapolis quashed the indictment of the sports promoter, hotel proprietor, truck line owner and political stalwart accused of violating a state liquor license ownership law.

The judge held the multiple-ownership law under which Democratic fund-raiser Short was prosecuted by Republican D.A. Gary Flakne to be unconstitutionally vague. The law generally bars anyone from holding more than one bar license, but there are exemptions that Short said applied to his simultaneous licenses to dispense drinks in a motel (he has since sold) and a club in ana apartment building.

Short, in Pompano Beach, Fla., with the Texas Rangers in hwom he retains 10 per cent interest after unloading the rest in 1974, issued this statement:

"I attended Mass this morning to honor my favorite saint. In accordance with custom I prayed for my enemies as well as my friends. I'm grateful for Judge Kane and our system of law for giving me the happiest St. Patrick's Day of my life."

Washington baseball fans still haven't acquitted Short for stealing their (and his) team away. Did Short leave us a prayer? . . .

Look at all the fun disfranchised baseball fans are missing:

The Red Sox and Yankees almost erupted into a free-for-all in their Wednesday night Fort Launderdale exhibition that shows a huge residue of ill will between 1975 American League champ Boston and '76 pennant winner New York. They've been at swords' point especially since the melee last May that put Sox pitcher Bill Lee on the shelf with a wrecked shoulder most of the season.