Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Justin Turner was pulled from Game 6 of the World Series after testing positive for COVID-19. But when the game was over, he was back with the team celebrating a World Series championship. In the eighth inning, Turner left the game but returned to the field an hour into the celebration, wearing a mask, which he removed when taking a team photo.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Turner was asked to stay off the field, but he and the Dodgers "insisted" that he celebrated with his teammates. "He wanted to come out and take a picture with the trophy," Dodgers president Andrew Friedman said, as reported by USA Today. "Him being a free agent, I don’t think anyone was going to stop him from going out. I think he was mindful of other people, especially other people he hasn’t seen around." Before Turner celebrated with his teammates, he gave an update on his health.
"Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all," he wrote. "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." According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, Turner was tested on Monday, and during the second inning on Tuesday, the lab doing the COVID-19 tests told the MLB that Turner's test came back inconclusive. It is unknown why his tests' results came after the start of the game since it's done beforehand. But once the lab found out Turner tested positive, the MLB called the Dodgers and told them to pull the veteran infielder.
"It's gut-wrenching," Corey Seager said, who was named World Series MVP. "It hurts me. I can't imagine how he feels. If I could switch places with him right now, I would, because that man, more than anybody, deserves to take a picture with that trophy, celebrate with us, have his family around and enjoy this moment, and that got taken away from him, and that's not right. That doesn't sit well with me." Turner is the first player to test positive for the coronavirus since the playoffs started four weeks ago. If the Rays won Game 6, Game 7 would likely have been delayed due to Turner's positive test.