Turner was mysteriously taken out of the game after seven innings and wasn’t on the diamond at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, as his teammates hugged and jumped for joy immediately after the Game 6 victory.
Shortly after the final out, it was revealed that Turner, a 35-year-old Southern California native, had tested positive for Covid-19.
“We learned during the game that Justin was a positive,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. “He was immediately isolated to prevent spread.”
However, several minutes after the game had ended and the championship trophy handed to the Dodgers, Turner was spotted on the field.
For much of that post-game stroll on the Globe Life diamond, Turner was wearing a mask. But he took it off as he sat next to his 48-year-old manager, Dave Roberts, for a team photo.
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“Justin wanted to come out and take a picture with the trophy, and did,” Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman said. “With or without that, a lot of people he interacted with would be in the contact tracing web.”
Friedman acknowledged that pictures of Turner being out of isolation might be “not good optics.”
“I haven’t seen the pictures. I totally understand the question. If there’s people around him without masks, it’s not good optics at all,” he said.
“From our standpoint, I think the people who were around him would be in the contact tracing web anyway. Now I think the subsequent tests we take will be very important. Any of us who could be positive, it’s important we don’t spread it to other people.”
Teammate Mookie Betts said he had no issues with Turner breaking isolation.
“He’s a part of the team,” Betts said. “We’re not excluding him from anything.”
Turner told fans he was feeling OK.
“Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all,” Turner wrote on Twitter. “Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of LA.”
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The World Series was contested in neutral Arlington, in hopes of creating a bubble that would shield players and staff from the virus.
“It’s a bittersweet night for us. We’re glad to be done” with the season, Manfred said. “I do think it was a great accomplishment for our players to get this season completed. But obviously, we’re concerned when any of our players test positive.”
The league said everyone on the Dodgers team would be tested once they returned to the team hotel early Tuesday.
Caroline Radnofsky contributed.