Perhaps the most unusual baseball season in history ended on a strange note.
As the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated winning the World Series with their Game 6 3-1 victory over the Rays, it was revealed that third baseman Justin Turner was removed from the game after because he had a COVID-19 test return positive during the middle of the game, per the Fox announcers.
Turner, who started the game and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, was lifted for Enrique Hernandez in the eighth inning, but his mid-game positive COVID test raises questions about the protocol MLB was following.
MLB insider Ken Rosenthal shared that his test from the day prior to Game 6 came back positive in the second inning, and so his test from earlier on the day of the game was expedited. When that one came back positive as well, likely ruling out the chance of a false positive, he was pulled from action.
Even more questions were raised after Turner rejoined his teammates on the field after the game to celebrate the victory. He was seen hugging many teammates, holding the trophy and even taking pictures without a mask on.
According to Rosenthal, though, he had been asked not to return to the field.
"Why he went on the field, when he is positive... that is an excellent question," Rosenthal said. "My understanding from various people is that he was told not to go on the field, or asked not to go on the field. He insisted upon it, the Dodgers insisted upon it and that is why he was out there."
In addition to insisting on being out there, MLB writer Jared Diamond reports that Turner refused to leave after MLB officials instructed him to return to isolation.
Turner's teammates seemed not to be bothered, at least from what we've heard so far, including from Mookie Betts.
World Series MVP Corey Seager also felt strongly that Turner should be out there, saying that he deserved to take the picture and celebrate with everyone "more than anybody," while Turner being unable to do so wouldn't "sit well" with Seager (via Rosenthal).
As for Turner's health, he tweeted out that he said he was feeling fine after the game before heading back out onto the field for the ensuing celebration.
Baseball endured COVID breakouts on the Marlins and Cardinals this year, and the season appeared to be in jeopardy at one point.
The league created a “bubble” for the postseason, playing all the games at neutral site locations.
MLB began allowing limited capacity fans at Globe Life Park in Texas where the Dodgers have been playing since the NLDS.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details