Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their first World Series title since 1988 under a bit of a cloud as it was learned Justin Turner tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). It explained Turner’s removal in the eighth inning of Game 6 but was a shock nonetheless.
Turner was among the leaders in the Dodgers clubhouse to advocate for stricter guidelines self-imposed by players as other teams dealt with outbreaks during the regular season. Turner and the Dodgers were also on the verge of completing a three-week stay in MLB’s modified bubble.
Reports indicate Turner’s saliva sample collected Monday was inconclusive, which led to his Tuesday screening being expedited. Upon learning that came back positive, MLB instructed the Dodgers to remove the 35-year-old immediately.
The team returned to their hotel inside the bubble after celebrating at Globe Life Field and began the process of contact tracing. According to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, there have not been any additional positive tests amongst players thus far:
I’m told an initial round of post-game tests turned up no additional positives among players on Dodgers and Rays. Another round of testing took place today.
One Rays family member tested positive.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 28, 2020
Mookie Betts and Corey Seager voiced their support of Turner being part of the on-field celebration. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman explained Turner came into contact with players and personnel he had already been around prior to entering isolation.
Manfred condemns Turner
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred voiced his displeasure with Turner, saying, “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.
“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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