ARLINGTON, Texas – No large dogpile, no champagne and a mask on nearly every face — the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their first World Series title since 1988 in a manner no one could have imagined prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
They started the party without Justin Turner, too, after their red-headed star received word of a positive COVID-19 test in the middle of their clinching victory.
Turner was removed from Los Angeles' 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 on Tuesday night after registering Major League Baseball's first positive test in 59 days. He wasn't on the field initially as the Dodgers enjoyed the spoils of a title earned during a most unusual season.
He returned to the diamond about an hour after the game, hugging longtime teammate Clayton Kershaw and sitting front-and-center for a team photo next to manager Dave Roberts with his mask pulled down under his bushy beard.
“Thanks to everyone reaching out!" Turner said on Twitter. “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.”
Major League Baseball insulated postseason teams in neutral-site bubbles after traveling them across the country during a shortened 60-game season. Turner was the first player since the playoffs began to be flagged for the coronavirus.
MLB received Turner’s Monday sample from the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Utah in the bottom of the second inning, when lab president Dr. Daniel Eichner called deputy commissioner Dan Halem, who was in New York, a person familiar with the call said, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details were not released.
Eichner told Halem the result was inconclusive. MLB receives many inconclusive results, so Halem told Eichner to run Tuesday’s pregame sample from Turner. That result came back positive in the sixth inning, the person said.