Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner poses for a picture with his wife Kourtney Pogue after the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series in game six of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field, October 27, 2020..
Kevin Jairaj | USA TODAY Sports | Reuters
Major League Baseball concluded its investigation of Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner and ruled he will not be disciplined following his actions after the team’s World Series win last month.
In a statement, the league said it gathered “additional relevant information” that led toTurner’s’ decision to join teammates on the field for a photograph despite his positive test for Covid-19.
MLB received Turner’s positive test during Game 6 of the World Series on Oct. 27 against the Tampa Bay Rays. The league removed Turner from the contest and placed him in isolation.
After the team beat the Rays 3-1 to win its first title since 1988, Turner left isolation to return to the field for a team photo and was shown not wearing a mask.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Turner’s Dodgers teammates “actively encouraged him” to join the team, and some players “felt they had already been exposed to Mr. Turner and were prepared to tolerate the additional risk.”
Manfred also said Turner assumed he “received permission from at least one Dodgers’ employee to return to the field to participate in a photograph” with his wife, Kourtney.
MLB also partly took the blame for the incident, saying it could’ve “handled the situation more effectively. For example, in retrospect, a security person should have been assigned to monitor Mr. Turner when he was asked to isolate, and Mr. Turner should have been transported from the stadium to the hotel more promptly.”
In a separate statement, Turner apologized and refused to “make excuses for my conduct.” He described his “mindset” for breaking protocol, adding that “winning the World Series was my lifelong dream and the culmination of everything I worked for in my career.
“What was intended to be a photo capturing the two of us turned into several greetings and photos where I briefly and unwisely removed my mask,” Turner added. “In hindsight, I should have waited until the field was clear of others to take that photo with my wife. I sincerely apologize to everyone on the field for failing to appreciate the risks of returning to the field.”
Said Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten: “The events involving Justin Turner during the World Series celebration unfolded rapidly and chaotically, and were ultimately regrettable. The Dodger organization takes the health and safety of everyone associated with staging a baseball game extraordinarily seriously, and are committed to putting in place better processes for future events.”