NEW YORK – Justin Turner will not be penalized by Major League Baseball for returning to the field last week during ceremonies following the Los Angeles Dodgers World Series Championship, even though he tested positive for COVID-19.
The third base was withdrawn after the seventh round of the sixth meeting of the series against the Tampa Bay Rays on October 27. Major Baseball had just informed the Dodgers about the result of a coronavirus test. However, Turner returned to the field after his 3-1 victory and removed the face cover for a team photo.
“Our investigation revealed relevant information which, without removing any responsibility from Mr. Turner, helps to put in context the reasons why he chose to leave the room where he had been placed in solitary confinement to return to the field,” Major Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Friday.
“First, Mr. Turner’s teammates actively encouraged him to leave the room and return to the field for a photo. Several teammates expressed that they had already had close contact with Turner and were ready to accept the additional risks.
“Second, Turner believes he received permission from at least one Dodgers employee to return to the field and take the picture. Although Turner’s view of the situation may be related to a lack of communication, at least two Dodgers employees did not say anything to Mr. Turner as he entered the field, and they noted that it may have made him feel that his behavior was acceptable. .
“Third, while an unidentified person was on the field in a somewhat chaotic situation, Mr. Turner allegedly incorrectly informed that other Dodgers players had undergone positive tests, which gave Mr. Turner that he had been unfairly placed in segregation. “In the end, Major League Baseball could have handled the situation better. In retrospect, a security guard could have been assigned to Mr. Turner once placed in segregation, or Mr. Turner, for example, could have been quickly returned to the hotel.”
Manfred said he spoke to Turner and “I close this file by congratulating Justin on accepting full responsibility for the incident, apologizing and promising to be a positive example going forward.”
Turner said he saw the last two rounds of the fight with his wife Kourtney in a doctor’s office in the locker room of the stadium and assumed that Dodgers officials had no objections to it. let him return to the field. He added that he expected few people to remain on the field, and that he planned to take a picture with his wife soon.
“What was supposed to be a picture of the two of us, however, turned into several greetings and pictures, for which I briefly and ruthlessly removed the face mask,” Turner said in a statement. Looking back, I understand that I should have waited until the country was deserted to go there with my wife and take a picture. I sincerely apologize to all the people who were in the field for not realizing the danger of returning to the field. “
Turner, who will celebrate his 36th birthday on November 23, is a free agent after completing a four-season, $ 64 million. This was his seventh season with the Dodgers, who won their first World Series title since 1988.
He was the first Major League Baseball player in 59 days to test positive for COVID-19.
– By Ronald Blum, Associated Press
The Canadian Press