As a young boy in America, there is perhaps no singular, shared dream more ubiquitous than winning a World Series, and the situation is always somehow fairly similar: Game 7, bases loaded, two outs, full count, bottom of the ninth. That’s when we send a homer flying high over the wall in center field, to the roar of the rowdy crowd.
Baseball is more than simply a sport here in the US. Rather, it’s a lifestyle and a source of national pride. Even those who don’t play find themselves chomping at the bit to get back to the ballpark, to catch a game under the lights with a hot dog and a cold one.
And sure, the 2020 season was quite different – mostly on account of COVID-19 and the necessary measures needed to keep the players and coaches safe, but that doesn’t mean that winning the World Series was any less powerful an experience, and the celebrations that ensued were certainly part of every little leaguer’s fantasy.
But, for Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the situation was certainly unique.
Turner, 35, was mysteriously removed after the seventh inning of Los Angeles’ 3-1 title-clinching victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night before MLB commissioner Rob Manfred revealed the player’s positive test, saying he’d been “isolated to prevent spread.”
Turner then ignored the protocols put in place to keep his team safe, and returned to the field to celebrate the victory.
Major League Baseball was furious with the decision.
“Turner was placed into isolation for the safety of those around him. However, following the Dodgers’ victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others,” MLB said in a statement.
“While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.”
The positive test and Turner’s on-field celebration has apparently delayed travel plans of both the Dodgers and Rays, MLB said.
“Last night, nasal swabs were conducted on the Dodgers’ traveling party,” according to the league statement. “Both the Rays and Dodgers were tested again today and their travel back to their home cities will be determined after being approved by the appropriate authorities.”
The Dodgers seemingly downplayed the risk that Turner’s celebration posed, stating that his teammates were already going to be subjected to contract tracing on account of their time around the third baseman.
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