Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner poses for a photo with his wife Kourtney Pogue after the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Tampa Bay Rays for the World Series in the sixth game of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field on Win October 27, 2020.
Kevin Jairaj | USA TODAY Sports | Reuters
Major League Baseball completed its investigation into Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner and decided he will not be disciplined following his actions after winning the World Series last month.
In a statement, the league said it had collected “additional relevant information” that led to Turner’s decision to take a picture with teammates in the field despite testing positive for Covid-19.
MLB received Turner’s positive test during the sixth game of the World Series on October 27 against the Tampa Bay Rays. The league removed Turner from the competition and put him in isolation.
After the team beat the Rays 3-1 to win their first title since 1988, Turner stepped out of isolation to return to the field for a team photo and was shown without a mask.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Turner’s Dodgers teammates “actively encouraged” him to join the team and some players “already felt they were being exposed to Mr. Turner and were ready to tolerate the added risk”.
Manfred also said Turner assumed he had “received permission from at least one Dodgers employee to return to the field to take a photo” with his wife, Kourtney.
MLB also partially blamed the incident, saying it could have “managed the situation more effectively. In retrospect, for example, a security person should have been assigned to monitor Mr. Turner when he was asked to isolate him and Mr.. Turner did.” should be brought from the stadium to the hotel faster.
In a separate statement, Turner apologized and refused to “make excuses for my behavior”. Describing his “mindset” for breaking protocol, he added that “winning the World Series was my lifelong dream and the culmination of everything I’ve worked for in my career.
“What was meant to be a photo that both of us captured turned into multiple greetings and photos of me briefly and imprudently removing my mask,” added Turner. “In retrospect, I should have waited until the field was clear of others to take this picture with my wife. I sincerely apologize to everyone in the field for not realizing the risks of returning to the field.”
Stan Kasten, CEO of Dodgers, said, “The events Justin Turner was involved in during the World Series celebration were quick, chaotic and ultimately regrettable. The Dodger Organization takes the health and safety of everyone involved in the process baseball game is extremely serious and committed to setting up better processes for future events. “