Move over Scooter Libby, there's a new person whose prison sentence might be in need of a commutation. Sports Agent Gustavo "Gus" Domiguez was sentenced to five years in prison today by a federal judge. The crime? Smuggling Cubans. But we're not talking about cigars. Instead Dominguez will be doing time for smuggling major-league baseball prospects out of Cuba.
Dominguez, who has represented dozens of Cuban defectors and other major league players, was convicted in April of smuggling five prospects out of Cuba to the Florida Keys and then on to California, where he shopped them to potential teams.From an outsider's POV with no context, the sentence does seem quite harsh. Although depending on the way you look at it, the prison yard may be a great place to find hidden gems with great arms. There may not be many 5-tool players in prison, but 3 or 4-tools? You never know.
The case was believed to be the first directly linking smuggling with the business of baseball, which is Cuba's national sport as well as the traditional U.S. national pastime.
Like Libby's case earlier in the year, Dominguez also solicited letters of leniency from his supporters. He didn't have any written by Paul Wolfowitz or John Bolton, but one letter was written by none other than HOF pitcher and LIO hero Sandy Koufax.
"I have always considered Gus to be a person of strong character and high moral principles. He has an unshakable love for his culture and does his best to serve as a role model to the players he represents, especially Latin players," Koufax wrote to the judge.I hope to never need a leniency letter ever. That being said, Koufax can write me a letter of recommendation any time.