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Cubs Had Smaller Grounds Crew In ‘TarpGate’ Game Vs. Giants, May Have Tried To Skirt Obamacare

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Chicago Cubs ground crew members struggle to get the tarp on the field as rain falls during the fifth inning of the Chicago Cubs game against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field on August 19, 2014 in Chicago. (Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Chicago Cubs ground crew members struggle to get the tarp on the field as rain falls during the fifth inning of the Chicago Cubs game against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field on August 19, 2014 in Chicago. (Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS SF) — The Chicago Cubs had fewer grounds crew members during Tuesday night’s so-called “Tarp Gate” game against the San Francisco Giants. A newspaper reported that the team recently reorganized staffing to possibly skirt insurance requirements under Obamacare.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, 10 Wrigley Field grounds crew members were sent home early Tuesday night. High-ranking officials of other teams told the newspaper that video of the tarp being installed in the fifth inning of the game showed a crew that was apparently undermanned.

Last winter, the team had a reorganization involving seasonal workers, including much of the grounds crew, to fewer than 130 hours per month, the full-time worker definition under the Affordable Care Act. Large businesses such as the Cubs are required to provide healthcare to all full-time employees.

The Cubs have insisted that staffing played no role in the tarp incident.

During the bottom of the fifth inning of Tuesday’s game, the grounds crew mishandled the placing of the tarp when rain started to fall. After the rain passed, the surface was deemed unplayable and the game was eventually ruled a 2-0 five inning win by the Cubs, following a four-and-a-half hour rain delay.

On Wednesday, the Giants successfully protested to Major League Baseball the result of the game, the first successful protest in 28 years. The suspended game was resumed in the fifth inning on Thursday, and the Cubs held on to beat the Giants 2-1.

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