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 of the Dodgers had been removed from the clinching Game 6 after receiving a positive result on a coronavirus test.
Turner, 35, a third baseman who has been with the Dodgers since 2014, was replaced during the eighth inning of the game against the Tampa Bay Rays, which the Dodgers won, 3-1, to claim the title. Turner was not spotted on the field during the initial stages of the Dodgers’ postgame celebration on the field at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Tex., but he was later seen holding the trophy and mingling with other players on the field.
“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.”
After the game, Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts offered few details other than to say that a team trainer had told him that Turner, one of the team’s leaders, needed to come out of the game immediately because he had tested positive.
“That hurts,” Roberts said. “I haven’t had a chance to see Justin yet. I don’t really know all that went into it. I just know that I had to get him out of the game after the seventh inning. I’m still trying to learn but I can’t wait to see him.”
Turner, with and without a mask, was later shown sitting between Roberts and Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, as part of a team photo.
Turner went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts before he was replaced by Edwin Rios at third base.
During the regular season, players and on-field staff members were tested for the virus every other day. 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.
For the final three rounds of the postseason, the Rays and Dodgers, like other teams in the playoffs, were in so-called bubbles, restricted to hotels closed to the public and taken to and from the stadium.
“Congratulations to the LA Dodgers on winning the World Series,” the M.L.B. players’ association said in a statement on Twitter. “We’re obviously concerned with respect to the report of a positive test and we will work with players, their families and the league to see that all precautionary health and safety protocols are followed.”