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Morning Briefing

Ugh! to Agawam's Nickname

April 25, 1987

Athletes at Agawam High School in Massachusetts have petitioned administrators to change the school's nickname. Something about Brownies just doesn't get many people fired up.

"We should have Betty Crocker as our mascot and say, 'Let's go, turn up the oven,' " basketball player Anade Long said recently. "That's about it for a cheer."

Added wrestler James Pirro: "When someone says, 'Let's go, Brownies, let's go,' you can't get psyched."

Nobody seems to know for sure where the nickname originated--the school symbol is an Indian, and the band is called the Marching Mohawks--but one school official said he thinks it came from muddy uniforms.

Cheerleaders compounded the problem by passing out brownies to visiting cheerleading squads, but they stopped that in 1983, after Agawam found itself having to stomach chants of "Burn the Brownies" from the opposition.

"What are you going to do, put a cake on the shirts?" Pirro asked.

Trivia Time: Who was the first 7-footer in NBA history? (Answer below).

Calvin-ism: Only a few years ago, Calvin Griffith, then owner of the Minnesota Twins, was a true dinosaur, an opponent of free agency who lost several top players because he refused to get into bidding wars. But wasn't the hard-line approach by baseball brass during the last two off-seasons exactly what he had been preaching?

"I'm sure he's up there (in Minneapolis) right now, smiling, saying, 'I told you guys,' " agent Alan Hendricks told Newsday's Paul Daugherty. Hendricks' clients include Roger Clemens and Mike Scott,

"Damn right I am," Griffith said. "I wish to hell this happened 10 years ago. I've got owners calling me, five or six in the last six months, telling me how smart I was."

Said Hank Peters, general manager of the Baltimore Orioles: "It appears that finally some sanity has returned to baseball. There are owners who are saying that Calvin may have had the right idea all along."

Add Griffith: Perhaps it was Butch Wynegar, the former Twin and current Angel catcher who described Calvin's penurious ways with the franchise in Minnesota best.

"He's got money stashed in the cobwebs of his vault," Wynegar said.

Trivia Answer: Ralph (Sky) Siewert, who averaged 1.0 points in 1946-47 for St. Louis and Toronto.

Quotebook

Boston Red Sox pitcher Bob Stanley, on taking a perfect game through four innings Wednesday night before finishing with a four-hit, 1-0 win over Kansas City: "I'm not a no-hit pitcher. If that ever happened, I'd have a heart attack."

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