The Los Angeles Dodgers winning their first World Series since 1988 was shrouded in disappointment and some controversy as Justin Turner was removed in the eighth inning of Game 6 due to testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Turner was isolated from teammates and other personnel upon coming out, per MLB protocols. He was not with the Dodgers as their on-field celebration began, but Turner did eventually emerge for photos with the World Series trophy.
He was embraced by teammates, which has created a bit of a controversy for the league amid the ongoing pandemic. Turner’s actions have also drawn the ire of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, and the matter is being investigated.
“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. Turner was placed into isolation for the safety of those around him,” Manfred said.
“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.”
MLB collected samples from the Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays, which reportedly did not produce any positive results amongst players. It’s unclear if Turner tested positive or if his prior status is unchanged.
Andrew Friedman explains open stance with Turner
Mookie Betts and Corey Seager both made it clear they welcomed Turner being part of the team, and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman had a similar view that was based on a pragmatic assessment of the overall situation.
“I think from our standpoint, the people who were around him are people who would be in the contact tracing web anyway with just how closely a lot of us have been around each other,” he explained.
“Now I think the subsequent tests we’re going to take are really important to figure out what we do to make sure any of us that are potentially positive do not spread it to other people.”
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