Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Mentor For Dukes

Uncle Teddy's Home For Wayward Youth is not just a DC phenomenon.

NFA has been running down the coaches for next season, and a name on the GCL team caught my eye, Cesar Cedeno.

Cedeno was a terrific ballplayer. He played for 17 seasons, mostly with the Astros. He had pretty good power, when you consider that the ballpark he was playing would make RFK look like a bandbox. He hit for average, had great speed, knocked in runs and scored 'em. All the talent in the world.

But he had his issues off the field.

In December 1973 while near his home in the Dominican Republic, he was showing off his gun to his mistress. Like our friend Dukes, Cedeno apparently loved the ladies. As he tried to get the gun away from her, they wrestled a bit, and the gun went off, killing his mistress. Cedeno eventually was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and ordered to pay 100 pesos as "punishment".

But that wasn't his only incident either. As a commenter at Primer said, "Later, in 1988 he was arrested again for allegedly assaulting the mother of his child. That article recounts his other antics . . . in 1978 he injured his hand in an outburst after making an out in a close game (fined $5K by the team). In 1981 he went into the stands to confront a heckler in Atlanta, this time the league hit him up for the $5K. In 1985 he picked up a DWI as his car ended up stuck in a tree, that cost him $400 fine and $7K in property damage restitution. At the time of the 1988 arrest he was awaiting trial after being charged with smashing a glass into a man's face at a nightclub."

Despite those off-field incidents, Cedeno was still able to play 2006 games in the majors at a very high level. Hopefully Dukes is able to turn his life around and avoid all further off-field crap. And hopefully he'll be able to do what Cedeno did on the field.

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