Dodgers Win World Series


Shirley Huang, Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate their first World Series title since 1988, defeating their opponents, the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1 in the final game.

Though it had been 32 years since the LA Dodgers last won the World Series title, what is even more remarkable is that the team had managed to win during a pandemic. Precautions had to be made in advance, including shortening the season from the usual 162-games to just 60-games. Games leading up to the World Series were relocated to be in teams’ home stadiums to minimize travel, allowing in only a limited amount of fans in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. The World Series game, in particular, had been held at the Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The World Series had not taken place at a single venue since 1944.

Unfortunately, even after placing so many restrictions and alterations, Major League Baseball (MLB) could not entirely escape exposure to the pandemic. The LA Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for coronavirus and was immediately pulled from participating in the final game of the World Series. Turner was the first player since the playoffs began to contract the virus. His position was filled in by Edwin Rios.

“It’s a bittersweet night for us,” MLB commissioner Manfred told FOX Sports.

“We’re glad to be done. I think it’s a great accomplishment for our players to get the season completed, but obviously we’re concerned when any of our players test positive. We learned during the game that Justin was positive. He was immediately isolated to prevent spread.”

Nonetheless, this did not stop Turner from reuniting with his teammates on the field shortly after the Dodgers won the World Series title. Though Turner had been asked to isolate himself after testing positive, Turner decidedly ignored these precautions. He hugged his longtime teammate Clayton Kershaw and sat next to a maskless Dave Roberts, the team manager, surrounded by the rest of the team to have their championship photo taken.

Though it is understandable that Turner would want to celebrate the victory with his team members, his decision was reckless and irresponsible as he has now risked the health of all he came in contact with.

When asked his opinion of Turner returning to the field to celebrate the Dodgers’ win, Mookie Betts defended his teammate.

“He’s part of the team,” Betts said. “Forget all that, he’s part of the team. We’re not excluding him from anything.”

It remains unclear why Turner only received his test results after the game had started as the players should be notified beforehand to ensure the health and safety of all team members. An investigation is now taking place as to how Turner contracted the virus.

“The Commissioner’s Office is beginning a full investigation into this matter and will consult with the Players Association within the parameters of the joint 2020 Operations Manual,” the MLB announced.

Both the Dodgers and Rays, along with staff members, have been tested again and their travel back home has been postponed until it is “approved by the appropriate authorities.”

As for the game itself, Turner’s absence in the final game did not prevent the Dodgers from claiming the World Series title. They seized their moment when Blake Snell was untactfully pulled in the sixth inning. Prior to this move, Snell had executed one of the greatest pitching performances of the entire postseason, having struck out nine batters and thrown just 73 pitches.

Nick Anderson was called upon to take Snell’s place, which some thought was a poor choice considering he had struggled in the postseason.

With Snell out of the game, the Dodgers were up 2-1, and they never looked back. They had claimed their long-awaited title in Game 6, having won by 3-1. This marked the end of a frustrating championship drought for the LA Dodgers in addition to concluding the shortest, most bizarre season in MLB history.

“I think this group has come together,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, “and this group is as close together as any team I’ve ever been part of.’’


Photo courtesy of LATIMES.COM