Report: Obamacare Led to Chicago Cubs ‘Tarp Gate’ (UPDATED)

by Ian Tuttle

Has Obamacare struck out with Chicago Cubs fans?

At Tuesday evening’s game against the San Francisco Giants, the Wrigley Field grounds crew had such trouble pulling the tarp over the infield during a 5th inning downpour that umpires were forced to call the game after waiting four and a half hours for the field to dry — an embarrassing incident Windy City residents are calling “tarp gate”:

Now insiders at the ball club report that the real culprit is Obamacare. Because the Affordable Care Act requires offering health benefits to employees who work more than 130 hours per month (“full time”), the Cubs organization reorganized much of its staff during the off-season. Sources that spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times claimed that, on Tuesday night, the crew was drastically “undermanned.” The Sun-Times reports:

Sources say 10 crew members were sent home early by the bosses Tuesday night with little, if any, input from the field-level supervisors

[Cubs spokesman Julian] Green doesn’t dispute that but says it’s common practice when the forecast calls for clear weather as he claimed Tuesday’s forecast did (contrary to several reports that day).

But sources say this year’s [grounds crew] protocol has changed dramatically since the off-season shakeup with game-day personnel in anticipation of the ACA taking effect — along with the experience level in many areas because of resulting attrition.

The unusual incident prompted the Giants to file an official protest with the league. Because the game was called in the 5th inning, the Cubs, who were leading, were given the win. The Giants won their protest, becoming the first such successful protest in 28 years.

CORRECTION: The original post incorrectly stated that the Giants won the resumed game, 5-3. The Cubs won the resumed game, 2-1. The Giants won the following two games in the three-game series, 8-3 and 5-3, respectively.



The Corner

The one and only.