The LA Dodgers are World Series champions in a scenario that no one could have imagined before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Star player Justin Turner was pulled from Game 6 with two innings remaining after being informed that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
“I had to get him out of the game in the seventh inning. The trainer telling me that he had to come out immediately, because he tested positive,” Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said of the situation.
However, the third baseman then returned to the field after the Dodgers won the series. He was seen taking off his mask for the celebratory picture.
“He was in the team picture. I didn’t touch him, just because I didn’t know. But it was really crazy,” Roberts said.
Mask off? pic.twitter.com/LsYVhN1b3D
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) October 28, 2020
“Having a mask on and staying socially distant, he wanted to come out and take a picture with the trophy,” team President Andrew Friedman said.
But Turner wasn’t physically distancing himself from others, and was even seen hugging others.
Baseball insiders say Turner was asked not to go out onto the field, but he insisted, as did the team.
After the game, Turner tweeted that he was feeling “great” and wasn’t experiencing any symptoms.
“Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all,” he wrote. “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 #WorldSeriesChamps.”
Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all. 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#WorldSeriesChamps
— Justin Turner (@redturn2) October 28, 2020
Major League Baseball opted to use bubble sites for its playoffs after the success the NBA and NHL had with the format earlier this year. The World Series was played at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas in front of 11,000 fans. MLB last issued an update on its daily COVID-19 testing on Oct. 23, saying that it had been COVID-19-free among all teams for 53 consecutive days.
The Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Tuesday night to win the World Series for the first time since 1988.