It wasn’t winter’s approach or the fact their team rightly belongs in Brooklyn and not Los Angeles that cast a pall Tuesday night over the Dodgers’ World Series win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
What spoiled the night was when Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who’d left the game abruptly in the seventh inning after learning he’d tested positive for COVID-19, decided to break league rules and return to the field to celebrate, unmasked and not distanced, when his teammates clinched the Series.Turner’s unwillingness to sacrifice those minutes of exuberance was extraordinarily selfish, and the worst possible message he could have sent to millions of baseball fans watching.
League officials’ reluctance to enforce rules that should have kept Turner in isolation was reminiscent of MLB’s early mishandling of the pandemic, when lax rules for players’ off-field behavior and refusal to limit game locations sparked outbreaks that nearly canceled the entire season.
While baseball bumbled and the NFL has fumbled, the NHL and NBA showed the way. Their players faced rigid testing and quarantine protocols and sacrificed seeing family and friends to play in bubbles. In both indoor leagues, COVID was quashed.
Containing a virus, it turns out, is not a game.
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