The Dodgers and Justin Turner have released responses to his conduct in the wake of the team’s World Series victory.
Though the win was assured when Julio Urias toed the mound in the ninth, the surrounding joy paled in comparison to the wave of controversy which arose when the reason for Turner’s mid-game departure became evident.
A positive COVID test resulted in Turner’s removal, but by the end of the team’s well-earned celebration, the third baseman emerged from the dugout, was seen hugging his teammates, and posed mask-less with both the trophy and next to his cancer-surviving manager Dave Roberts.
After a thorough investigation by the league, the team and Turner released their responses (and apologies) on Friday, and it appears as if no discipline will be handed down.
Turner won’t be punished for his actions, it appears, but unfortunately that’s not the Dodgers’ problem anymore; without a contract for 2021, he’s no shoo-in to return to the roster anyway. This is now a morality issue for every MLB team to deal with.
As Turner put it in his personal apology, “Kourt and I hold ourselves to the absolute highest standards. We worked diligently to comply with all of MLB’s protocols throughout the season.”
While true, Turner put his own emotional stability over those beloved protocols the second the season was over, and refused to be denied a chance to celebrate at the expense of the safety of others. That will always be an accurate assessment.
Based on the way MLB acted throughout the early summer of 2020, we’re not at all surprised Turner is walking away unscathed.
After all, once it was clear that Rob Manfred was going to be able to make it through the full 60-game schedule and Bubble Playoffs, with all his money intact, his care about safety protocols went right back out the window, as it was through the lion’s share of the summer’s financial negotiations with the players.
We hear Turner’s apology, but it’s difficult to take any of this seriously. He did what he wanted to do because he wanted to do it. Quite simple.