After back-to-back losses in the World Series and shocking exit in the 2019 National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers reached the mountaintop last year to win the franchise’s championship since 1988.
The moment brought about an added sense of accomplishment and relief in what had been a trying season played amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, it also was accompanied by a grim reminder of how fragile the state of affairs truly were. Particularly for Justin Turner.
He was removed during the eighth inning of Game 6 of the World Series for an undisclosed reason. As the Dodgers rushed on the field to celebrate, Turner remained absent. It was reportedly shortly after the final out was recorded that he had produced a positive COVID test.
“It was extremely difficult. I think I experienced just about every range of emotion you can possibly have,” said Turner this spring when asked to reflect on that night October night at Globe Life Field.
“Obviously, getting taken out of the game, trying to figure out what was happening, winning the World Series, being thrilled seeing Julio get that last out, you finally accomplished your goal. But then for me, sitting back in that room and watching the guys dogpile, personally it felt like it was the third time I had to sit and watch a team celebrate winning a World Series.”
Turner of course was referencing the Dodgers watching from the third-base dugout at Dodger Stadium as the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox celebrated respective titles in 2017 and 2018. Though a World Series champion, Turner is motivated to be playing when the final out is recorded.
“That was tough and that’s something that’s on the top of my list,” he said. “I still have not been able to be on the field for the last out to celebrate a championship. That’s something I’m determined to show up and work for every day and have that experience at the end of this year.”
Turner benefitting from new diet
Turner went on the Whole30 diet and lost weight during the offseason, which he already was feeling the benefits of early into Spring Training. And though some wondered if the weight loss would mean a drop in power, Turner is confident that won’t be the case.
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