Former scouts are suing Major League Baseball for discriminating against them.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a group of former veteran scouts filed a lawsuit against Commissioner Rob Manfred, the league office, and 30 teams today.
The lawsuit names 17 former scouts as plaintiffs, ranging in age from 55 to 71. All worked as scouts for at least 24 years.
Former scouts suing Major League Baseball. Photo: MK Sports DB
Led by an attorney named Robert Goodman, the class action lawsuit alleges that the commissioner’s office and teams have created a “blacklist” of older scouts, and that they have used data analytics and the pandemic to engage in “systematic and systematic discrimination based on age.
“When you’re the national sport of the United States and you suddenly exclude people who have been here for three to 50 years, there’s something wrong,” Goodman said, arguing that Major League Baseball is “destroying its own brand.”
Rick Ingalls, a scout who was fired by the Cincinnati Reds in 2018, claimed, “We believe the commissioner and owners have conspired to remove veteran scouts because of their salaries.”
Major League Baseball began to rely more heavily on data analytics than on the assessments of field scouts after the Oakland Athletics’ so-called “Moneyball” debacle. The scouts’ place in the game was further eroded after the coronavirus pandemic hit the world in 2020, as financially strapped teams laid off scouts.
The lawsuit comes in the midst of this climate.
The plaintiffs argue that this is overt discrimination for three reasons: that the Major League Baseball office has canceled the practice of notifying teams that scouts are available for hire if they come from other teams, that it has used a “blacklist” to prevent older scouts from being hired, and that it has used the pandemic as an opportunity to “push older employees out.바카라
While there are only a handful of people involved at this point, it’s possible that this could turn into a class action lawsuit. The LA Times estimates that the payout could exceed $100 million if it becomes a class action.