Late last week, Rob Manfred put out a statement about Justin Turner’s actions after the Dodgers won the World Series in 6 games. Turner was pulled midgame after receiving a positive Covid test. The statement can be found right here:
In this statement, Manfred tells a bit about what transpired that night. Turner returned to the field after receiving a positive test for a disease that put the entire season in jeopardy multiple times. MLB throughout the season had to cancel games and jump through so many hoops just to make sure that a season would actually happen. Now when there is a blatant disregard of protocol regarding a positive test, you would think the punishment would be pretty hefty right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong. Manfred decided that Turner’s actions were just a basic misunderstanding and that things can all be swept under the rug like nothing ever happened.
This is not at all how this should have been handled. Turner should be held responsible for what he did. It was selfish, it was inappropriate, it was horrible for not only baseball but for humanity. Justin Turner should have thought more about the example he is setting as a premier player on one of the most popular baseball teams in the country, if not the world. There are people all around the country who saw Turner test positive for Covid-19 and then return to the field hugging his teammates (mostly without a mask on). Justin Turner should be held responsible for his actions in the form of actual punishment. The league deciding that this is okay is extremely unfair to the rest of the league, especially to teams like the Marlins and Cardinals who had so much of their season affected by outbreaks on their teams. You also saw teams like Cleveland who took matters into their own hands when they had players break protocols to prevent the contraction of Covid-19. When Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger broke protocol, Cleveland optioned both players to their alternate training site for a bit, and it ultimately got Clevinger out of Cleveland and to San Diego.
You would expect that the COMMISSIONER of MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL would do something more about an event that puts a season at risk. Nope. Rob Manfred has shown again that he really just doesn’t understand what is good for growing the game and what is good for the game in general. If I was a player on another team, I would be furious. Just because it was a Dodger and it was in the World Series, doesn’t excuse you from a worldwide pandemic. If it were up to me to assess the situation, I would fine Justin Turner a hefty sum of his playoff bonuses and maybe even more, and suspend him half of next season, however long that may be. This isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and the punishment should fit the crime. Turner was putting players, staff, and all of their families in danger. Turner deserves to hear about this well into this offseason. Manfred needs to be better. Baseball deserves better.
Featured image: Manfred’s statement from @Dodgers on Twitter