The Cubs' Grounds Crew Was Short-Staffed Because The Team Didn't Want To Pay For Healthcare

  • Eric Goldschein

cubs grounds crew

Remember on Tuesday when the Cubs’ grounds crew was unable to put the rain tarp down effectively, and the Cubs were awarded a win, only for the Giants to protest the ruling, and win the ruling (but then lost the game when it resumed on Thursday anyway)? Originally, we roasted the crew (YOU HAD ONE JOB), but it turns out the entire Cubs organization — particularly its cheapskate, asshole ownership — is to blame.

You see, as a reaction to the Affordable Care Act (better known as “Obamacare”), the Cubs have been re-organizing the hours and titles of its seasonal workers in order to avoid paying for their healthcare. Via the Chicago Sun-Times (emphasis ours):

The staffing issues that hamstrung the grounds crew Tuesday during a mad dash with the tarp under a sudden rainstorm were created in part by a wide-ranging reorganization last winter of game-day personnel, job descriptions and work limits designed to keep the seasonal workers – including much of the grounds crew – under 130 hours per month, according to numerous sources with direct knowledge.

That’s the full-time worker definition under “Obamacare,” which requires employer-provided healthcare benefits for “big businesses” such as a major league team

Speaking to the industry standard for grounds crew staffing, all three officials said the video of Tuesday’s incident showed an apparently “undermanned” crew (of 15 pulling the tarp on the night’s first unsuccessful try).

“Embarrassing,” said one, “and they got caught.”

As pointed out by Craig Calcaterra, the Ricketts family that owns the Cubs is “decidedly anti-Obama,” which makes us wonder if this is as much a political statement as “business decision.”

The Cubs were named the eighth most profitable team in the MLB last year, so it’s not as if the team is operating on a shoe-string budget, or even anything remotely close to that. These guys are fucking rich, and on second thought, this is neither a political statement nor a business decision — it’s assholes being assholes. While the grounds crew ran around short-handed in the rain, let’s hope no one caught a cold, because their incredibly wealthy employers wouldn’t give any fucks if they ended up developing pneumonia and dying.

Cubs officials are denying that staffing had anything to do with the tarp fiasco and also defended their “organizational changes,” but whether or not having more guys on the field on Tuesday would have changed anything is irrelevant at this point. The team’s business side has been exposed as a bunch of political hacks and cowards, and should be ashamed that they’re purposely trying to screw hard-working, blue-collar guys out of law-mandated health coverage.

[h/t Hardball Talk]

Photo via Getty