The question circulating in baseball circles is: How did it take more than six innings of the world championship game for a player to finally get a positive COVID test?
Shortly after the final of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won the 2020 World Series 3-1 over the Tampa Bay Rays, Major League Baseball announced that the Dodgers’ third baseman, Justin Turner, was removed from the game because he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said: “We learned during the game that he tested positive and he was immediately isolated.
This happened while the teams were in a safe environment, playing in a “bubble” and being tested constantly.
Justin Turner was the first player to test positive for the Covid 19 test within six weeks.
– Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 28, 2020
Turner scored 3-0 in Tuesday’s decisive match of the series and was eliminated from the game after the Dodgers’ late lead.
The Dodgers won game 6 on Tuesday 3-1, but have been 1-0 down since the first inning. The Dodgers placed two runs at the end of the sixth inning after Adam Barnes and Mookie Betts scored to put Los Angeles 2-1 ahead. Turner flew out for the second out to the left in the lower part of the sixth inning and was replaced in the seventh by Enrique Hernandez, who took a spirited exit in the eighth.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan said he learned in the second inning on Tuesday night that Turner’s test rehearsal from Monday (a day off for both teams) came back as inclusive and that Turner would have to take another test on Tuesday. Turner’s latest test was positive. When the MLB learned of this and before they could take Turner out of play, the Dodgers had taken the lead.
During the post-match celebrations and the presentation of the trophies, Turner was not on the field at first. All of his teammates, coaches and family members on the field wore protective masks during the celebrations. Later, Turner was seen on the field, wearing a mask at times. However, he took a team photo while not wearing a mask.
After the game, Turner tweeted that he was doing well and that he was happy for both his teammates and the city of Los Angeles.
“Thanks to everyone who reached out their hand! I feel great, no symptoms at all. I have simply experienced every emotion you can imagine. I can’t believe I couldn’t be out there celebrating with my boys! I am so proud of this team & incredibly happy for the city of LA,” Turner wrote.
Thanks to everyone who reached out their hand! I feel great, no symptoms at all. I just experienced every emotion you can imagine. I can’t believe I couldn’t be out there celebrating with my boys! I am so proud of this team and incredibly happy for the City of LA#WorldSeriesChamps
– Justin Turner (@redturn2) October 28, 2020
This was the first World Championship for the Dodgers since they defeated Oakland Athletics in 1988. Although the Dodgers have now won seven world titles (6 in L.A. and 1 in Brooklyn), they lost two of the last three.