The limited partners of the Houston Astos have declared victory over the managing partner, John McMullen, quoted last week as calling them and their revolt "mean and nasty." They have formed a triumvirate to run the baseball club -- a three-member executive committee including McMullen.

Joe Jamail, emerging from chambers of U.S. District Judge Carl O. Bue in Houston, declared yesterday that a lawsuit by his clients, the limited partners, had been averted because the "got everything they wanted" with formation of the committee composed of 34 percent owner McMullen, lesser owner Jack Trotter and nonowner Herb Neyland, who had a term as president of the team before McMullen bought in and took commmand in 1979. A majority of two will carry the day on any major decision.

"Mr. McMullen and I spent all day Saturday afternoon in discussion. He was a very dignified gentleman," banker Edward Randall III, speaking for the limited partners, commented on attainment of peace. Now the questions shift to the front office, where Al Rosen has been busily contacting free agents and taking on other duties that belonged to Tal Smith before McMullen fired Smith, hired Rosen and precipitated the rebellion. Neyland is a strong Smith man. . .

A third NHL coach in three days bited the ice: Ted Lindsay axed by 3-14-3 Detriot, along with assistant Marcel Pronovost; it's Wayne Maxner, coach at the Adirondack AHL farm, moving up to direct the Red Wings. Lindsay, a Wing star of the 1950s "Production Line" glory days who served as general manager from March 1977 until moving behind the bench last summer, bequeaths a 0-12-1 road record.

Funny thing about Clarence Thomas' resignation as Morgan State football coach. First the Morgan athletic department knew about it was by the Sunday papers, in Thomas' comments after the 51-6 loss at Howard.Seems his notification was put on the athletic director's desk late Friday afternoon -- after A.D. Earl Banks had gone home for the weekend. . .

Frank Maloney, who has weathered annual storms, surprised the Syracuse U. athletic community, if A.D. Jake Crouthamel tells it true, by resigning as Orange football coach yesterday, Maloney insists it wasn't this year's 5-6 or his seven-year log of 32-46, but just time to concentrate on "the greater responsibility of meeting the personal needs of my family". . .

Pro football prospect deluxe? Week in, week out, Victor Jackson, 6-foot-1, 203-pound senior rover for Bowie State, won CIAA defensive-player-of-week honors as a pass-intercepting, kick-returning, multiple-tackling sensation, and now Jackson has been selected Naia District 19 defensive man of the year. U. of District of Columbia's Charles Chisley, a junior, is all-District 19 at wide receiver; Bowie linebacker Steve Lee and lineman Lennie Barfield join Jackson to occupy three of the 11 defensive slots. . .

J.R. Richard, coming along strongly in rehabilitation from his stroke and confident of pitching a whole 1981 for the Astros, staged a "J.R. Invitational" golf tournament in Phoenix with proceeds to Richard's nonprofit organization that assists ex-players in finding new careers. And who should show up but Dock Ellis -- fresh out of the Arizona alcoholic rehabilitation center to which Bob Welch and Darrell Porter turned last spring. Ellis says his problem dates to his Pirate pitching days. At 35, he harbors no baseball comeback aspirations; he sells plastics.