Seventeen Veteran Baseball Scouts Sue Baseball for Age Discrimination – Sports activities Regulation Professional

(Editor’s Observe: Under is an excerpt from an article from the latest Sports Litigation Alert. The creator, Ed Edmonds, is a Professor Emeritus of Regulation on the Notre Dame Regulation Faculty. His scholarly pursuits embody labor and antitrust points in baseball.)

By Ed Edmonds

Seventeen veteran baseball scouts[1] filed an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 U.S.C. §§ 621–634) lawsuit in opposition to Commissioner Rob Manfred and all thirty MLB golf equipment on June 21 in america District Courtroom for Colorado.[2] The lawsuit additionally raised claims underneath eleven completely different state legal guidelines (Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Utah) and a New York Metropolis ordinance.

The crux of the motion is that after Manfred succeeded Bud Selig as commissioner in 2015, he initiated a “One Baseball” initiative that included the alternative of older, veteran scouts with youthful ones extra aligned with newer analytical strategies.  “In 2020, 2021 and 2022, primarily based on Defendants’ utility of Rule 3(ok), a whole bunch of Scouts’ contracts weren’t renewed or Scouts in any other case had their employment terminated, and the Membership Defendants and the MLB Defendants subsequently have acted to forestall the reemployment of Older Scouts or refused the reemployment of Older Scouts.”[3]

Maybe probably the most damning assertion within the grievance is {that a} record of “Older Scouts” was circulated to groups with instruction to not rent anybody on the record.[4] If the plaintiffs can show the existence of the record successfully blacklisting these veteran scouts, this might be a key part of a profitable end result. Uncover might be vital on this motion as a result of if the plaintiffs can power manufacturing of an precise record or depose somebody inside Main League Baseball, it’s going to put the Commissioner’s Workplace in an analogous place to the Collusion determination involving Commissioner Peter Ueberroth relating to free brokers in 1985-1986-1987.[5]

Scouts signal a Uniform Employment Contract very similar to gamers signal a Uniform Participant Contract. Nevertheless, in contrast to gamers, scouts should not unionized, and, thus, should not accorded the benefits of collective bargaining. Nevertheless, regardless of the wording of Rule 3(ok)[6] involving tampering not particularly mentioning the protection of scouts, MLB has utilized it to scouts, and in paragraph 67 of the unique grievance “allege, upon data and perception, that Defendants have expressly or impliedly agreed that Rule 3(ok) applies to Scouts. Defendants have accordingly coordinated their conduct and have carried out a sample, observe and de facto rule relevant to Scouts prohibiting communication about job alternatives whereas a Scout is underneath contract with a Membership” main within the following paragraph to an assertion that such conduct “inhibits lateral hiring and restrains the Scout labor market.”

Thus, in the course of the COVID-19 years of 2020, 2021, and 2022, whereas Main League Baseball was struggling income losses, they didn’t renew most of the contracts of senior, skilled, scouts or outright terminated most of the contracts of those older scouts. A fast take a look at the Chicago Cubs therapy of named plaintiff Jim Benedict illustrates the gravamen of the grievance on this lawsuit. In August 2020, Benedict was knowledgeable that his Chicago contract that ran by means of the tip of October wouldn’t be renewed despite the fact that three years earlier Theo Epstein had trumpeted Cubs hiring of the veteran generally known as “the pitcher whisperer.”[7] The previous minor league pitcher within the mid-Nineteen Eighties had thirty years of expertise as a pitching coach, pitching coordinator, scout, and front-office worker. The grievance acknowledged that past any try by Main League Baseball to argue that these employees cuts had been a results of income shortfalls, all thirty groups conspired … (To learn the complete story, go to Sports Litigation Alert.)

[1]James S. Benedict, Christopher Bourjous, Richard T. Ingalls, Randall G. Johnson, Steven E. Jongewaard, William C. Latham, Theodore Lekas Jr., Timothy A. McIntosh, Steven Pope, Rick L. Ragazzo, Paul W. Runge, Jeffrey N. Scholzen, Dennis M. Sheehan, Christopher J. Smith, Scott Treka, Gregory G. Whitworth, and Robert D. Wilfong.

[2]A replica of the grievance is obtainable at Corrado Rizzi’s June 23, 2023, article on the web site –

[3]¶ 70, Unique Criticism.

[4]¶ 79, Unique Criticism.

[5]For a superb abstract of MLB’s collusion relating to free brokers, see Mark Normandin, MLB Collusion, Defined: Every thing You Must Know About Collusion in MLB,, January 18, 2018, accessible at

[6](ok)TAMPERING. To protect self-discipline and competitors, and to  stop the enticement of gamers, coaches, managers and umpires, there shall be no negotiations or dealings respecting employment, both current or potential, between any participant, coach or supervisor and any Main or Minor League Membership apart from the Membership with which the participant is underneath contract, or  acceptance of phrases, or by which the participant is reserved or which has the participant on its Negotiation Listing,or between any umpire and any baseball employer apart from the baseball employer with which the umpire is underneath contract, or acceptance of phrases, until the Membership or baseball employer with which the individual is related shall have, in writing, expressly licensed such negotiations or dealings previous to their graduation.

[7]Gordon Wittenmyer, Layoffs of ‘Pitcher Whisperer’ Benedict, Others May Hit Cubs Laborious, NBS Sports activities Chicago, August 31, 2020,