— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 28, 2020
The Dodgers finally broke through to win the World Series, but the story of the night was Justin Turner’s COVID-19 arrogance.
Congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers on winning the 2020 World Series and breaking a 32-year drought for the franchise. Their reward should be lengthy suspensions for Justin Turner, Dave Roberts, Andrew Friedman, and anyone else involved in the decision-making that ensued afterward.
Game 6 had no shortage of drama. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash pulled Blake Snell in the sixth inning when he was twirling a gem and that decision backfired in a major way. The Dodgers quickly scored two runs to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Cash’s decision to pull Snell was the story of the night. Until it wasn’t.
Third baseman Justin Turner was pulled from the game in the eighth inning. Perhaps it was a defensive substitution by manager Dave Robert.
Nope. Turner tested positive for COVID-19…in the second inning! A second positive test was revealed in the eighth inning and he was pulled. According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, Turner was immediately put into isolation.
Turner’s positive COVID-19 test was the story of the night. Until it wasn’t.
The entire world felt for Turner. He achieved the accomplishment of a lifetime but wasn’t able to enjoy it with his teammates. Check that, a deadly and contagious infectious disease wouldn’t stop him from enjoying this moment.
Turner returned to the field to celebrate with the rest of the Dodgers, hug every teammate he could get his hands on, take off his mask for pictures, and thumb his nose at any COVID-19 protocols. To be honest, I’m surprised that his wife was the only one he was swapping spit with on the field. Might as well go all the way and plant a big wet kiss on Clayton Kershaw for good measure.
Justin Turner is on the field with the trophy. pic.twitter.com/MFn7DDH1om
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) October 28, 2020
Let’s be clear, what Turner did is infinitely worse than banging on a trash can. The Dodgers, rightfully, were upset with the fact that the Houston Astros cheated their way to a World Series title in 2017. But the Astros were not playing games with life and death.
While this was going on, droves of reporters were falling all over themselves to congratulate MLB on making it through the season and somehow avoiding any season-ending coronavirus calamities.
Let’s hold our breath before we declare this a major victory.
Sure, all the players on the field are young, healthy adults who can and likely will beat COVID-19. What about the families of the players who came into contact with Turner? What about the older coaches and front office members who were on the field celebrating? What about the television camera operators and production crews?
Listen, the world we live in sucks right now. No one wants to be the stick in the mud and write this column about Turner, but actions must have consequences.
That goes for Turner, the Dodgers, and perhaps most for Manfred. In a season that was bungled from start to finish by the commissioner, this was a horrendous look for baseball.
Turner needs to receive a lengthy suspension for the 2021 season, MLB should come down hard on the Dodgers as an organization, and Manfred should resign as commissioner.
It’s insane that this is the story following a World Series win, but here we are. Is it 2021 yet?