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Gardner made the right move

BY DARRELL MOODY

I admit that I had mixed feelings when I saw the press release that Nevada’s Michelle Gardner had resigned her job at Nevada to become Indiana’s new head softball coach. In just six years, Gardner took Nevada’s program to two NCAA tournaments and this year guided the Wolf Pack to a school-best 44-18.

I’m sure there are some that are ticked at Gardner for leaving. Simply put, Gardner couldn’t pass up this opportunity. The Big Ten is a prestigious conference, and I believe that year in and year out in the Big Ten there will be more postseason opportunities than in the Western Athletic Conference.

This year the WAC got four bids, but that was only because Louisiana Tech pulled off a couple of upsets and won the postseason tournament. I think given the fact Nevada has a solid core group coming back next year, it shouldn’t be hard to attract a top-flight coach.

– It certainly was nice to see Ken Griffey Jr., a future Hall of Fame performer, finally hit his 600th career homer on Monday night. He joined an elite club and undoubtedly will go down as one of the better players to put on a uniform. I think he’s a better defensive outfielder than Barry Bonds, but not as good a hitter. Bonds was a more disciplined hitter. There are rumors swirling that Griffey might get dealt midway through the season. I’d like nothing better than to see him end his career with a pennant contender. He deserves a chance to go out on top.

– I may be in the minority of folks who like interleague play in Major League Baseball. I think it’s great, and it’s amazing that it wasn’t thought of sooner. Wait a minute, that would take thinking outside the box. We all know how old-fashioned and stubborn-to- change baseball people have been in past years. It gives the baseball fan a chance to see a team in person he ordinarily wouldn’t see. Another thing I would like to see is a balanced schedule. I get tired of seeing 15 or 18 Yankees-Red Sox games every year. Ditto for the Dodgers and Giants, and I’m a big Giants fan.

– Nevada athletic department officials announced that tickets are now on sale for the 40th annual Governor’s Dinner July 18 in Carson City. The guest of honor is former NBA great Charles Barkley. Individual tickets are $300 each, while tables of eight cost $2,200. Guests can also purchase a Silver Circle table (eight people) for $7,500 or a Blue Circle table (for eight) for $3,500. Silver Çircle patrons will receive eight tickets to the VIP reception to meet and have a photo taken with Barkley and will receive limousine service to and from the Peppermill Hotel & Casino.

– I was happy to see Nevada baseball coach Gary Powers add another Northern Nevada player, Tony Fagan, to next year’s roster. Fagan was interested in going to Nevada last year but was told that it would be a better experience for him to go play a year of junior college ball. Fagan, who compiled a 7-3 record at Mesa College in Arizona, said he appreciated the honesty. Fagan said the year away helped him mature as a person and a pitcher.

The addition of Fagan gives Nevada six players with local ties ” Fagan, Logan Parsley, Tyson Jaquez, Aaron Henry, Galena’s Jacob Anderson and Matt Bowman. Powers and his assistants do an excellent job of using the Millenium Scholarship to keep some of the best local players at home.

– The annual Kelley Showcase, a baseball event that showcases the top sophomores and juniors in the state, is scheduled for June 28 at Western Nevada College. The game begins at 1:30 p.m. Four Carson players ” Brett Valley, Paul Cagle, Kyle Stone and Matt Rutledge ” have been invited to play.

– The annual Reno Rodeo, the richest rodeo in the West, starts this coming Friday with extreme bulls. The regular rodeo starts Friday at 7 p.m. If you’re going to attend the rodeo, drop me a line and tell me why. Also include your phone number.

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or (775) 881-1281