Vote for Pedro

Is there no baseball etiquette anymore? What happened to the days when no one would mention a no-hitter in progress? Fans would wink and nod, but say no more. Announcers would work around it with phrases like, “the Mets have all the hits in the game” or some other indication that there were zeros in significant places on the scoreboard. In the dugout, the pitcher would be seated all by himself at one end of the bench.

Tim McCarver thinks he’s above the law, above the baseball gods. He’ll mention it after the pitcher’s gone through the opposing lineup once. Ralph Kiner, though, is just a nice old man who might not know any better. I can’t be as mad at Ralph. But I’m surely annoyed, because tonight, in about the sixth inning, when the Mets did indeed have all the hits in the game, he mentioned Pedro’s no-hitter. And, of course, in the seventh a Houston homer ended the bid.

I did my part. I didn’t move from my seat on the couch (though that’s never worked before. I remember one David Cone bid where I laid in the same position for about an hour and a half). I didn’t switch away from the game during the commercials. I continued exploring the same website. So it’s not my fault.

But the game was plenty exciting after that. Pedro was dealing, Roy Oswalt was reeling and Cliff Floyd was feeling … hurt. Painfully so.

People talk about Gary Sheffield’s wonderful “restraint” when he went after the fan in Boston, but true restraint was shown by Floyd tonight.

The history: Floyd drilled a grand slam off Oswalt’s slow curve last season and had an RBI double earlier tonight.

The situation: A passed ball had just moved Carlos Beltran to second with two outs in a 2-1 game and manager Phil Garner came out to talk with Oswalt and catcher Brad Ausmus. The next pitch drilled Floyd in the elbow.

The reaction: Floyd spun around as he was trying to get out of the way of the pitch, got hit, dropped his bat and whirled to face Oswalt. He took one lunging step and then stopped. Restraint. He pointed and jawed at Oswalt as the benches emptied. Oswalt walked towards Floyd as Ausmus and the umpire got in between him. Marlon Anderson and Willie Randolph made sure Floyd didn’t get kicked out of the game and suspended.

But he walked down to first base.

Restraint.

Sheffield hit the fan. He showed some restraint by not going into the stands, but Floyd showed true restraint.

Oh, and it’s 2-0 Milwaukee in the seventh. Ha.

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