When I talked to Ronny Cedeno in the Mariners’ clubhouse on Wednesday with a small group of reporters, shortly after Cedeno heard he had been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was visibly stunned.
His eyes were red. He spoke softly, and emotionally. He appeared to be miserable, and it wasn’t an act. He has become even closer friends with Felix Hernandez, a long-time acquaintance, since joining the Mariners. He has a very good relationship with Carlos Silva. With so many fellow Venezuelans on the team, Seattle was a comfortable place for him. And he had become the every-day shortstop, something that had eluded Cedeno since he failed to hold the job with the Cubs. I think he realized, at some level, that he had been given a golden opportunity and again was unable to seize it.
So his remorse was genuine. Cedeno seems like a good guy, and I felt bad for him. Thus, I was glad to see this picture in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from tonight’s Pirates’ game, a victory over the Nationals.
It shows, as you’ll see, Cedeno and new teammates Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Ramon Vazquez and Lastings Milledge doing some sort of group body-slam after the win. All their faces are glowing with excitement and happiness, including Cedeno’s.
Time heals all wounds, including the pain of being traded from a team you had come to embrace. Mariner fans did not have time to build up much of a rapport with Cedeno, and many probably will soon have forgotten he ever played in Seattle. But it’s always useful to remember that all these ballplayers are human beings, too. We tend to lose sight of that sometimes — fans and media alike.
I’m glad that Ronny Cedeno has already found some joy in his new home.