Darrell Moody: Giants making fans happy so far | NevadaAppeal.com

Darrell Moody: Giants making fans happy so far

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

If you’re a Giants fan, and I’m one of the biggest, you had to like the season-opening series at Houston earlier this week.

Not only did the Giants sweep the three-game series, but they allowed only four runs in the series. Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito looked in mid-season form. Neither allowed a run before being taken out. In fact, it was Zito’s first win in April in at least three years.

All baseball fans are excited about their teams in April. Hope springs eternal and all that. It was nice to get a look at new players like Mark DeRosa and Aubrey Huff, both of whom were signed as free agents in an effort to bolster one of the worst offenses in the National League.

Offense was the only thing that stopped the Giants from being a playoff team last season. Guys like Matt Cain, Zito and Lincecum usually had to allow three runs or less to win a game. That’s an awful lot of pressure to put on your pitching staff.

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Mark April 16 and 17 on your calendar. It’s a chance to see a potential No. 1 draft pick in baseball in person when Western Nevada College hosts league-leading Southern Nevada College in a four-game series.

I’m talking about Bryce Harper from Southern Nevada College. In case you don’t follow baseball at all, Harper is the Las Vegas prep star who left high school after his sophomore season, attained his GED and enrolled at SNC. The reason he did that was so he would be eligible sooner for Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.

Many feel he will be the No. 1 overall pick. I checked the Scenic West Athletic Conference Web site, and Harper has hit 12 homers and driven in 35 runs through last Thursday’s games. Not bad for a wood bat league.

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Are the Philadelphia Eagles crazy or what? Trading Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins was idiotic, especially when both back-ups, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick, aren’t that good. For McNabb, it’s a pretty good deal. McNabb is in the last year of his contract, and if he has a good season, I think that owner Daniel Snyder will keep him around at any cost. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles go after a quarterback in the draft or sign a free agent.

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I’ve always liked Amani Toomer ever since I covered him when he played at De La Salle High. Toomer appeared on an ESPN radio talk show earlier this week and when asked about Ben Roethlisberger, Toomer said that Big Ben should be suspended for eight weeks. Toomer said that Pacman Jones, who was never arrested but always in trouble, was suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell for his collection of off-field incidents. Roethlisberger, who is under investigation for sexual battery, has been in trouble two of the last three years. We don’t know what will come out of the current investigation, but Roethlisberger obviously is showing a lot of poor judgment. Maybe he needs to surround himself with better people. The one thing the Steelers need to ask themselves is if they want him, or can afford to have him, be the face of the franchise. At some point, I think the Steelers are going to say enough is enough. If the Steelers go after a quarterback in the draft or via free agency, it could mean that Big Ben’s days are numbered.

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Carson Little League officials are excited, and with good reason. League officials are looking forward to games starting on Monday and opening ceremonies which are set for April 24. Carson is hosting the District 1 Tournament this summer as well as the state tournament. Hosting the state means we’ll see some powerful teams from Las Vegas.

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Nevada’s Armon Johnson declared for the NBA Draft on Friday. I wish him well, but I expect him to be a second-round pick at best. In terms of playing point guard, Armon is not as polished as Ramon Sessions was. Armon shoots it better than Sessions. Johnson lacked consistency, and that’s why I think he will be playing D-League or going to Europe next year. I love Armon to death and he was fun to watch, but there are a lot of players like him around.