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Everything you need to know about Justin Turner’s positive coronavirus test

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and third baseman Justin Turner sit for a group photo.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and third baseman Justin Turner join the rest of the team for a group photo after winning the World Series title on Tuesday.
(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Here’s everything you need to know about Justin Turner’s positive coronavirus test result and why he left Game 6 of the World Series:

Why did he leave the game?

At the start of the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ title-clinching win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night, Justin Turner unexpectedly left the game. Edwin Ríos entered as a defensive replacement at Turner’s position at third base.

After the game, news broke that Turner had tested positive for the coronavirus. MLB said it found out about the result in the seventh inning, leading to Turner’s removal from the game before the eighth.

He spent the remainder of the game isolated in a clubhouse doctor’s office, according to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

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MLB says Justin Turner ‘emphatically refused to comply’ with league security when he returned to the field after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Turner tweeted after the game that he felt “great” and was not suffering from symptoms but had “experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine” watching the end of the game.

Did Turner celebrate on the field?

Not at first. When the final out was recorded, Turner was nowhere to be seen. When the Commissioner’s Trophy was awarded, he still wasn’t on the field.

But about an hour after the game, Turner emerged alongside his wife, Kourtney, and posed for pictures near the mound holding the Commissioner’s Trophy. He greeted several people in the dugout with hugs, including players’ wives and longtime team photographer Jon Soo Hoo.

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He kept his mask on initially, walking around the infield as teammates approached him for an embrace. He and Kenley Jansen shared a long hug. He later put one arm around Friedman while carrying the trophy in the other.

As the team gathered for a photo with the trophy minutes later, Turner waited for the rest of the players to get in position, then plopped down in front, about an arm’s length away from teammates in either direction. He removed his mask and smiled as the camera flashed.

Complete coverage of the Dodgers winning their first World Series championship since 1988 after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2020 World Series.

Before the photos were done, manager Dave Roberts — a survivor of Hodgkin lymphoma — came rushing onto the field, having just completed his postgame video call with the press. He sat down directly beside Turner, mask also off, laughing and smiling as the final shots were captured.

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Then, Turner stood up and began strolling around the infield again, his mask still removed. Friedman, who had sat near Turner without a mask during the team pictures, approached Turner near the first base line. Friedman’s mask was now on. Turner’s was not. They talked for a few minutes before Turner went back to his wife, got a couple more photos with the trophy, then walked off the field and out of sight.

Did Turner follow MLB’s protocols?

Not according to the league. MLB issued a statement Wednesday saying “it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others.” The statement also said the league would open an investigation into the situation.

Now what?

According to MLB’s statement, the Dodgers underwent nasal swabs upon returning to their hotel Tuesday night, and both teams were tested again Wednesday. Their travel accommodations back to their respective home cities would be determined once MLB said they were “approved by the appropriate authorities.”

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