What happened in Arlington?
Major League Baseball employees from the Commissioner Rob Manfred on down should be very grateful that the Los Angeles Dodgers won game six of the 2020 World Series and won the baseball championship in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday. It is unknown whether a game seven could have been played after the Dodgers Justin Turner’s positive COVID-19 test result was revealed late in game six. The protocol chain broke down. Turner was pulled from game six after the positive test was confirmed. But there seemed to be some ambiguity with Turner’s testing. The decision was made to let Turner play despite a questionable test result. This was not supposed to happen according to the procedure developed by scientists who were in charge of keeping the players and others connected to MLB healthy. Turner came down with the illness despite being in a baseball bubble in the Arlington, Texas area. MLB designed its 60-game schedule and playoffs with the thought to get everything done by a second wave of the illness. Texas has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases since MLB decided Arlington was a good place for the playoff run.
What was more troubling was Turner was not isolated and came onto the field to celebrate the championship with his teammates and in some pictures was not wearing a mask. Instead of getting civic recognition in Los Angeles for winning a title, Dodgers personnel will be isolated. There are other people who have been with Turner who need to be tested, such as the hotel and restaurant workers along with transportation people who have been exposed. This was the situation Major League Baseball officials were hoping to avoid but also knew could play out. There is no game seven, but MLB needs to investigate what happened and why its measures failed. Why wasn’t Turner isolated? MLB officials need to provide answers.