Several years ago former Orioles and Angels third baseman Doug DeCinces was charged with insider trading arising out of a tip he received regarding the buyout of a medical devices company by Abbott Labs. It took years for the case to go to trial, but in May of 2017 he was convicted on 13 counts. Many of the counts carried a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Each. It seemed the retired ballplayer was looking at some heavy prison time.
Nope. After his conviction he entered into a cooperation agreement with prosecutors to go after a co-conspirator. That case is all over now — the co-conspirator was tried twice, the jury deadlocked both times and prosecutors dropped the case — so yesterday it was time for DeCinces to be sentenced. He was given one day in prison, but credit for time served, and ended up with eight months of home detention and a fine. DeCinces, who lives in lovely Newport Beach, California, will likely have a pretty nice cell.
A lot of white collar crime cases play out like that, so it’s not really remarkable. What tickles me about this case is that part of what swayed the judge to not give DeCinces serious time was a character witness in DeCinces’ favor. Get this character witness:
The federal judge admitted that, as a baseball fan himself, he spent a lot of time determining a fair sentence to the Angels star. But a letter of support for DeCinces, drafted by former Major League Baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, helped with his decision making.
“He doesn’t carry arrogance as other (professional athletes) do,” Guilford read from the Ueberroth’s letter.
This is the same Peter Ueberroth, as we wrote about yesterday, who orchestrated a collusion scheme that screwed workers out of like $300 million. And one of the players screwed in collusion was . . . Doug DeCinces!
Collusion stirred the air in Major League Baseball during the mid-1980s. During this time a suspicious number of free agents failed to receive competing offers to leave their clubs. Doug DeCinces was one of them. After the 1986 season, he was due to test free agency for the first time. Instead he had no choice but to return to the Angels for $850,000 guaranteed for 1987 and $850,000 nonguaranteed for 1988. “It was strictly a take-it-or-leave-it offer,” DeCinces said. “The Angels would not even talk to me about it.
I guess they don’t make character witnesses like they used to.
DeCinces played 15 years in the bigs, famously taking over as Brooks Robinson’s replacement at third base. He broke into the majors in 1973 and started at the hot corner from 1976 through 1981. In 1982 he was traded to the California Angels. He played four games for the St. Louis Cardinals before hanging it up at the end of the 1987 season. Over the course of his career he won a Sliver Slugger award and made the All-Star team in 1983. He finished his career with a line of .259/.329/.445 with 237 homers and 879 RBI.
He now has plenty of time stuck in the house to play baseball video games. Maybe he can create himself as a playable character and see if he can’t top his real world stats.