3 months before celebrating with teammates despite testing positive for COVID-19, Justin Turner tried to enforce strict protocols in the Dodgers dugout

Scott Davis
·3 min read
justin turner
Justin Turner. Tom Pennington/Getty Images
  • Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was removed from Game 6 of the World Series because he tested positive for COVID-19.

  • After the game, following reports of his positive test, Turner took the field, ignoring MLB security's wishes and took photos with teammates with his mask off.

  • In July, according to a report, Turner told his teammates to follow strict protocols in the Dodgers dugout so the team would not experience a COVID-19 outbreak like other MLB teams.

  • MLB protocols are now under scrutiny, as Turner and the Dodgers took the field without COVID-19 test results on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' World Series win on Tuesday was quickly overshadowed by news that third baseman Justin Turner had tested positive for COVID-19.

Turner was pulled from the game in the eighth inning without explanation. It was reported after the game that his test results, which were only taken during the game, came back positive.

However, moments later, Turner was seen celebrating on the field with his teammates, even taking off his mask for a team photo.

Related video: How viruses like the coronavirus mutate

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Turner's recklessness on Tuesday stands in opposition to his handling of COVID-19 during the season. According to Passan, as the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals battled team-wide outbreaks that forced them to miss several games, Turner had given his teammates strict protocols to follow in hopes that the Dodgers would not catch the virus.

According to Passan, Turner then sent an iPhone Notes copy to Alana Rizzo of LA SportsNet, highlighting specific rules he told his teammates:

  • "All players will wear face coverings in the dugout."

  • "Stressed 6 feet of distancing and face coverings in the bullpen where guys may have to sit in the stands to ensure space."

  • "Also stressed avoiding public appearances for marketing."

MLB's bubble pops and a testing blunder puts Turner on the field

After regular-season outbreaks, MLB had gone almost two months without a positive test for COVID-19.

During the World Series, the Dodgers and Rays were in a bubble in Arlington, Texas, with security monitoring the hotel to keep players, staff, personnel, and family members from breaking protocols, according to Passan.

It's unclear how Turner contracted the virus, but MLB's protocols are likely to come under scrutiny after Game 6 was allowed to go on without clear results on COVID-19 tests.

According to Passan, Monday's batch of tests arrived late to the Utah testing facility MLB used this season for reasons that remain unclear. But Game 6 went on.

Passan reported that during the second inning of Game 6, MLB was notified that Turner's test came back inconclusive. MLB told the lab to expedite Tuesday's tests -- which also had not come through before the start of the game. Turner's test came back positive, and he was removed from the game.

justin turner dodgers
Justin Turner poses with Dodgers teammates after winning the World Series. Eric Gay/AP Images

according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal

On the field, Turner took photos with his teammates, took off his mask, and generally did not social distance.

Turner tweeted after the game that he was feeling well and was asymptomatic.

Passan reported that the Dodgers would have to retake tests upon returning to the hotel.

Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers president of baseball operations, told Rosenthal that the Dodgers would have to engage in contact tracing.

"I think from our standpoint, I think the people who were around him were the people that would be in the contact tracing web anyway, which is how closely a lot of us have been around each other. Now I think subsequent tests we're going to take are really important to figure out what we do and to make sure any of us that are potentially positive do not spread it to other people."

Read the original article on Insider