Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Andrew Friedman commented on third baseman Justin Turner joining his teammates on the field for the World Series championship celebration Tuesday night despite being forced to exit Game 6 of the World Series after his COVID-19 test came back positive.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Friedman said Turner had "a mask on and [was] staying socially distanced."
As seen in photos taken of the celebration, however, Turner was next to his teammates and coaches without a mask:
Per Bradford William Davis of the New York Daily News, Friedman added: "He wanted to be on the field and take a picture with the trophy. ... I don't think there was anyone that was going to stop him from going out."
Friedman was later asked why the team didn't follow proper protocols with Turner, but he said, "We did. When he came out of the game he was quarantined in a doctor's office over to the side."
The GM noted that interaction between Dodgers players was "pretty high" since they were in the bubble together in Arlington, Texas, and added: "Now it's important to make sure we don't spread it."
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Turner's COVID-19 test from Monday came back as inconclusive during the second inning of Game 2. The lab then ran Turner's test from Tuesday immediately, and it returned a positive result.
Major League Baseball then contacted the Dodgers and told them to pull Turner from the game, with Edwin Rios replacing Turner in the eighth inning.
Turner tweeted the following after the World Series-clinching game:
Passan noted that while Turner was asked to isolate after his test came back positive, he was not stopped from going on the field after the game.
Turner was seen embracing teammates and holding the Commissioner's Trophy while wearing a mask, but he briefly had no mask on while a part of the team photo.
When asked about those around Turner not wearing a mask for part of the celebration, Friedman said: "If there's people around him without a mask, that's not good optics at all."
The 35-year-old Turner has spent the past seven seasons with the Dodgers, who picked him up on the cheap in 2014 after the New York Mets parted ways with the then-utility man.
Turner quickly became the Dodgers' starting third baseman and a key part of all the success they have enjoyed in recent years. He became L.A.'s career leader in playoff home runs this postseason with 12, and he hit .320 with two homers in the Dodgers' World Series win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Dodgers' World Series win was their first from 1988, but MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred called the moment "bittersweet" after Turner's positive COVID test overshadowed the accomplishment to some degree.