So it was hard not to smile a little as Cedeno continued to grin Saturday, his body long since rescued from the hateful atmosphere of Shea Stadium and embraced in a bath of Cardinals red.
It doesn't seem like so long ago that Cedeno was in spring training with the Mets, walking the aisles of the home clubhouse at Tradition Field topless and telling just about anyone who would listen how everything was going to be different this time around.
It eventually was, but not in the way Cedeno expected.
When Cedeno proved to be a little too heavy to approach the 66 stolen bases he racked up with the Mets in 1999 and defensively made the tag-team tandem of Karim Garcia and Shane Spencer look like saviors, the Mets finally bit the bullet on Cedeno, agreeing to eat $9 million of the $10 million the outfielder was owed.
Suddenly, Cedeno was a Redbird, bringing back just catcher Chris Widger and infielder Wilson Delgado – the latter of whom would actually prove useful for the Mets when the season crumbled along with Jose Reyes' leg.
Flash forward and Cedeno is in the World Series while his Mets teammates tee up on the golf course. The 29-year-old is a spare part on a Cardinals team that has heard nary a discouraging word from the Busch Stadium faithful all season long, and will be warmly embraced to unimaginable depths on Tuesday: Cedeno struck out in one of his first at-bats for St. Louis and was greeted back at the dugout steps by a legitimately clapping fan, something he could only grin about and call "unbelievable."
Cedeno's unbelievable trip from the doghouse to the penthouse continues Sunday, as the Cardinals set up for Game 2 of the World Series against the Red Sox. He contributed an pinch-hit single off of Boston's Alan Embree in the eighth inning of Saturday's Series opener, setting up a two-run rally that briefly tied the game before Mark Bellhorn gave the Sox the lead in the bottom half of the inning.
In the top of the ninth, with two on and two out, Cedeno fanned against closer Keith Foulke to end the game. He wasn't smiling as he walked off the Fenway turf, but knowing Roger, a boisterous laugh and a wide grin were just minutes away.
Bowen on the move?
Mets director of scouting Jack Bowen is drawing interest from the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians, according to a source, and could be on the move as a result of the unclear nature of the scouting department.
The Mets haven't made any kind of iron-clad guarantees since Omar Minaya took over as GM, and a shake-up still looms as possible on the horizon.
Newsday reported in September that Mets COO Jeff Wilpon was insisting that the club's scouting director be located in New York. The newspaper further stated that Bowen, who lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and three children, were not interested in re-locating.
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