Just before the Dodgers were presented with the Commissioner’s Trophy for winning the 2020 World Series on Tuesday night, the FOX broadcaster Kevin Burkhardt announced on the air that Justin Turner, the Dodgers’ longtime third baseman, had been removed from the clinching Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays after receiving a positive result on a coronavirus test.
Turner, 35, who has been with the Dodgers since 2014, was replaced during the eighth inning of the game, which the Dodgers won, 3-1, to claim the title. Turner was not on the field during the Dodgers’ postgame celebration, but his teammates were certainly around him before and during the game.
“It’s a bittersweet night for us,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said during an interview with FOX after presenting Corey Seager with the World Series Most Valuable Player Award.
“We’re glad to be done. I do think it’s a great accomplishment for our players to get this season completed, but obviously we’re concerned when any of our players test positive. We learned during the game that Justin was positive and immediately isolated him to prevent the spread.”
Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts was asked in an interview on FOX after the game about removing Turner, but Roberts offered few details. “There was something that happened with Justin that I really can’t speak to that we had to take him out of the game,” Roberts said. “It’ll come out later, but right now I just really can’t speak to it.”
Turner went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts before he was replaced by Edwin Rios at third base. About 45 minutes after the game, Turner wrote on Twitter, “I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine.”
During the regular season, players and on-field staff members were tested for the virus every other day. But during the postseason, the testing was increased to every day. As of Friday, there had not been a positive virus test among M.L.B. players for 54 consecutive days.