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Dodgers return to mountaintop with first World Series title in 32 years
SportsPulse: The Los Angeles Dodgers are 2020 World Series champions. USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale reflects on the Dodgers finishing off the Rays to win the World Series for the first time since 1988.
Major League Baseball accepted part of the blame for third baseman Justin Turner’s actions during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ World Series celebration when he returned to the field after his positive COVID-19 test, saying there was miscommunication, and determined that he will not be disciplined.
MLB released the findings of its investigation on Friday, noting that it “revealed additional relevant information that, while not exonerating Mr. Turner from responsibility for his conduct, helps put into context why he chose to leave the isolation room and return to the field.”
“First, Mr. Turner’s teammates actively encouraged him to leave the isolation room and return to the field for a photograph. Many teammates felt they had already been exposed to Mr. Turner and were prepared to tolerate the additional risk,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in the statement.
“Second, Mr. Turner believes that he received permission from at least one Dodgers’ employee to return to the field to participate in a photograph. Although Mr. Turner’s belief may have been the product of a miscommunication, at least two Dodgers’ employees said nothing to Mr. Turner as he made his way to the field, which they admitted may have created the impression that his conduct was acceptable.
“Third, during the somewhat chaotic situation on the field, Mr. Turner was incorrectly told by an unidentified person that other players had tested positive, creating the impression in Mr. Turner’s mind that he was being singled out for isolation.
He was shown on the field hugging teammates, kissing his wife, holding the World Series trophy, and posing for team pictures with his mask off, sitting next to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, a cancer survivor.
In MLB’s statement issued Friday, Turner explained his side of the story.
“After waiting in the isolation room while my teammates celebrated on the field, I asked whether I was permitted to return to the field with my wife in order to take a photograph. I assumed by that point that few people were left on the field. I was under the impression that team officials did not object to my returning to the field for a picture with my wife.
“However, 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. 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. I have spoken with almost every teammate, coach, and staff member, and my intentions were never to make anyone uncomfortable or put anyone at further risk.”