Oct 28, 2020 - Health

MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test

Photo of the Dodgers team after their World Series win

Justin Turner (front center) and the Los Angeles Dodgers pose for a photo after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series. Photo: Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner will be investigated after he left isolation to celebrate with the team on the field, the MLB said in a statement on Wednesday. Turner’s case is the first positive of the playoffs, which closed with the Dodgers’ 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the Dodgers’ first World Series title since 1988, and it now threatens to be overshadowed by the possibility of an outbreak. Outbreaks sidelined at least two teams before the MLB announced that the playoffs would adhere to the "bubble" concept adopted by other leagues.

Driving the news: Turner was removed from the game at the bottom of the seventh inning after his test returned positive.

  • MLB security and some Dodgers officials explicitly told Turner not to go on the field after the game, but Turner “emphatically refused to comply.”
  • At least some Dodgers officials supported Turner’s return to the field, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
  • A masked Turner carried around the trophy and was in close proximity to teammates throughout. At one point, he took off his mask to take photos with the team; most of the people around him did not wear masks.
  • Nobody on the field appeared to question Turner’s actions, according to CBS Sports.

Between the lines: Turner and some other Dodgers players actually challenged the need to play in a playoffs bubble in September, per The Athletic.

Where it stands: Dodgers’ traveling party underwent nasal swabs on Tuesday, according to the MLB. Both teams were tested.

The bottom line, per Axios’ Kendall Baker: It's unclear how COVID-19 infiltrated baseball's month-long playoff bubble when the NBA and NHL went nearly three months without a single case.

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