First and foremost, congratulations to the LA Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda and Dodger fans everywhere on their World Series Victory earlier this week. The team’s first World Series Championship in 32 years! That fanbase has gone through hell and back after the Astros cheating scandal combined with numerous playoff disappointments from their ace of the pitching staff, Clayton Kershaw. Big respect to him for overcoming his “Playoff Kershaw” past and recording two huge wins in this 6-game series.
The Dodgers capped off this series with a 3–1 victory in front of a limited capacity of fans in Arlington Texas this past Tuesday. However, the ensuing celebration was watered down due to a positive Covid-19 test from Dodgers Star 3rd Baseman, Justin Turner.
It was reported during the game that Turner had received a positive Coronavirus test and was subsequently pulled from the game in the 8th inning. Once the news broke it, it spread rapidly through the stadium. At this point, Justin Turner’s health and the health of everyone around him was the focus. Not the game that still hung in the balance.
Fast forward an inning when the Dodgers record the final out to bring home a World Series Championship… Dodger players and family members rush the field, and the celebration is on in the center of the diamond. Only thing was, among the players and families is the now “Covid-Positive” Justin Turner!
Quick double take… Squint the eyes… Clean off the glasses… Plain as day, there he is with his bright red locks of hair and big red beard. Cannot miss him.
Naturally, the news of Turner being on the field in celebration after testing positive for a virus that has been at the epicenter of the world for 7+ months spread faster than the virus itself.
Why is Justin Turner on the field? Shouldn’t he be in isolation? Who would put his teammates and their family members at risk like that?
All very valid questions… However, the question I am more concerned about is when did he ACTUALLY get news of his positive result? Also… If the Ray’s would have forced a game 7… now what? Do you delay game 7? Do you play as scheduled? Do the players quarantine? Would the Dodgers have a valid argument if the game was played as scheduled and they are forced to play without one of their stars?
There has been some speculation in the media that Turner had found out about his positive test result the day prior to game 6 of the World Series. If this is the case, what can even be done about it? It’s not cheating… It’s not banging a trash can or wearing electronic devices to tip you off on what pitch is coming… I don’t see what the MLB could or should do aside from a hefty fine for the Dodger organization for allowing him to play with a positive result. Possibly a little extra from Turner himself.
Choosing to play knowing he has the virus and what actually happened with Turner getting pulled from the lineup late in the game are obviously two different scenarios… Although you cannot discount that he still played in 7 of the 9-innings presumptively positive for Coronavirus either way you slice it. In the dugout, out in the field, the whole nine yards. No pun intended.
But… considering the way in which the events unfolded (pending investigation) thinking about everything he and this Dodger team has been through the last 5 or 6 seasons… the possibility of a false positive… I think he was justified in his personal decision to celebrate on the field.
If it does come out that he knew the day before, I’m not sure we can fault him for playing in the game but celebrating on the field afterwards would put him in the wrong.
Side note… What happens if the Rays would have forced a game 7? Is game 7 postponed? Do you play as scheduled? Do the players quarantine? Would the Dodgers have a valid argument if the game was played as scheduled and they are forced to play without one of their stars?
That we will never know…
Until the next pandemic shortened MLB Season…