By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK, Sept 29 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit accusing Major League Baseball's 30 teams of conspiring not to poach each other's scouts and refusing to pay them overtime. Citing baseball's longstanding antitrust exemption, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan dismissed class action claims by Jordan Wyckoff and Darwin Cox, former scouts for the Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies, respectively. According to the complaint, the teams colluded to reduce competition by agreeing not to cold-call or otherwise recruit each other's scouts without their employers' permission, and misclassifying scouts as exempt from federal wage-and-hour laws.
The inevitable is now the official: The Kansas City Royals, by virtue of being eliminated from playoff contention, won't be repeating as World Series champs. As for the specific shortfalls, the Royals this season were hampered by a generally listless offense. They ranked a strong third in the AL in batting average, but an utter lack of secondary hitting skills up and down lineup meant they ranked just 13th in OBP and 14th in slugging percentage in the 15-team American League. As a direct consequence, they ranked just 13th in runs scored. Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon didn't perform up to their recent offensive standards, Mike Moustakas was limited to just 27 games because of a torn ACL, and Eric
Zobrist has been exactly what the Cubs wanted, a patient switch-hitter to set an example for a young lineup, a versatile defender who can play all over the field and an insightful clubhouse presence. “Talent really doesn’t mean a whole lot,” Zobrist said.