Dodgers News: Dave Roberts ‘Voluntarily’ Sat Next To Justin Turner For World Series Team Photo

The Los Angeles Dodgers winning their first World Series since 1988 was unfortunately accompanied by Justin Turner being removed from Game 6 and placed into isolation due to a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

Turner’s exit came in the eighth inning and without any explanation. He was not in the dugout over the final two innings, which caused more confusion. Turner also was absent when Dodgers players rushed the field to beginning celebrating their title.

Fox then reported his removal was due MLB learning of a positive test. After a conversation with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, Turner put on a mask and joined his teammates.

There was a moment when Turner removed his mask for a team photo in which he was seated to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ left. The image has led to criticism of Turner and the Dodgers, particularly with Roberts being a cancer survivor.

During an appearance on “Good Day LA,” Roberts explained he was comfortable sitting next to Turner and made that decision on his own volition:

“Here’s the thing. It quick, it was a lot of joy, a lot of excitement. I got word in the seventh inning that Justin needs to come out of the game, so I take him out. I’m doing interviews, next thing I know he’s with us in the picture. I was late to the party, we’re taking a team picture, I sat right next to him — where I always sit.

“For me, we all know what Justin means to the Dodgers, the city, what he and his wife have done for charity and things we don’t even know or have heard about. He never wants to make anything about himself. Unfortunately, this situation has been about him. That’s very unfortunate. I think for me, I’m just coming from a place of I just pray no one contracts this virus, we can move forward and enjoy this celebration that’s taken 32 years to get for the city of Los Angeles. …

“I did not (feel added risk as cancer survivor). We were all in the bubble together. Justin was actually the biggest advocate for the players to adhere to all the protocols. How he got it, I have no idea. I voluntarily sat next to him. Yes, I have a pre-existing condition, but that’s on me. Justin, I love him like a son.”

The Dodgers’ unofficial stance on the matter was Turner had already been around teammates and coaches prior to learning of his positive test, and upon joining them on the field, did so with a mask.

The Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays nonetheless underwent additional screening upon returning to the hotel after the World Series. One Rays player and his wife are said to have tested positive, while there has not been an indication of more contractions within the Dodgers.

MLB investigating Turner, Dodgers

The day after the Dodgers won, MLB announced it launched an investigation into the matter and commissioner Rob Manfred condemned Turner. “Immediately upon receiving notice from the laboratory of a positive test, protocols were triggered, leading to the removal of Justin Turner from last night’s game,” Manfred said in a statement.

“Turner was placed into isolation for the safety of those around him. However, following the Dodgers’ victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others.

“While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.

“The Commissioner’s Office is beginning a full investigation into this matter and will consult with the Players Association within the parameters of the joint 2020 Operations Manual.

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