Metro Nashville At-Large Council Member Sharon Hurt said Wednesday during a virtual meeting of the Joint Pubic Safety and Health Committee that there should be stronger legislation for those not wearing masks and suggested they be charged with murder or attempted murder.
I only watched briefly, until they awarded the MVP trophy. I didn't see Turner up to that time, but lots of players had masks off or lowered at points captured on camera. I also saw groups on people in the stands in what I would consider to be closer than social distancing recommendations, some in the same state. He should not have returned, especially if we are all going to treat this seriously. However, clearly not everyone is or has been treating this seriously. The other thing to consider is what kid of contact did Turner have prior to the confirmed positive? He could have been spreading it for days or weeks already to the same group of players.
It will be interesting to see if any other players end up revealing confirmed cases.
Also of note that across 3 major card-related message board type sites that I frequent regularly, I did not see a single thread about the WS victory, at least not earlier today or late yesterday. It seemed odd, but it is possible that I missed one or more. Even though the Dodgers have a deep and long standing following, it has always seemed like they are underrepresented in online communities for some reason.
One final interesting fact/thought. Aside from 1994, where there was no post season, the Dodgers were World Champions in the last major shortened season in 1981. How weird.
I realize Covid is serious and it is reckless to expose your teammates for the sake of a WS celebration, but he had already played nearly and entire ballgame with these guys so presumably the damage was done. Going out for the celebration probably didn't make the risk of transmission significantly higher because they'd all been exposed by that point.
I'm really torn with how I feel. Speaking purely on a technical aspect, no he absolutely should not have gone out. There were protocols in place that are there to be followed. It was a selfish act on his part with no regards to others and their safety/wellbeing in a very sensitive time in our country. Now speaking on the other side of the coin, you're in the heat of the moment, and have finally accomplished the ultimate sports victory. You work your whole life for this moment, and winning it multiple times in your career is very highly unlikely. At age 35 you only have a few years left to try and accomplish it again and you want to celebrate with your teammates. I would like to think I would choose to stay away and somehow celebrate later, but until you're put into that situation, who really knows.
On a side note, how unbelievably close was MLB to an absolute worst case scenario of having someone test positive during the playoffs...let alone the World Series....let alone deep into a World Series series...and when it very easily could've gone to a game 7. As much as I was rooting for the Rays to win, what would've happened had they won game 6 and forced a game 7? So many questions...Does game 7 even get played?...a week later...2 weeks later...does it ever get played if there are outbreaks on either team caused from Turner....do they have a shared World Series this year if they don't play game 7....? So many what if's were avoided, and while this Turner situation is a bad look, it could've been a horrible position for MLB to be put in when all eyes are on them.
The argument that Turner had already exposed his teammates is weak at best. If you're already drunk, does that make it a reasonable decision to drink more? No, because there is an unknown line between "hangover" and "blood toxicity". The same is true of exposure to a virus.
Additionally, there would clearly be teammates that were not in the dugout during the game, like the vast majority of the pitching staff. Now add in members of the media that would have been on the field like reporters, camera operators, etc. Then add in baseball executives (I hate Manfred, but not enough to wish potential death on him.) Now add in family members that went from having secondary contact to direct contact.
Turner absolutely should not have been on the field and should be punished for it.
All that said, MLB is throwing him under the bus and that is also not fair. He made a really stupid, bad decision. Punish him. Stop this "he refused to comply" crap that we all know is bull. MLB never really cared about protocol or he would have never taken the field when an inconclusive test popped. Students can't go into classrooms until they get a negative test after getting an inconclusive test because there are clear CDC guidelines for such events. Those guidelines don't say "except for baseball." Hell, the NBA made one of the Rockets' most versatile players sit out the last two games because he had potential contact with someone outside of the bubble. This is not unprecedented.
I suspect he will get a hefty suspension, which will probably greatly hurt the value of any contract he signs this offseason.
The bottom line is this. Manfred needs to do something now, or his credibility is shot. MLB has protocols. Turner clearly violated them, and if a stiff punishment doesn't come down, Manfred will look like a fool.
I feel it was deeply irresponsible. However, the whole thing goes beyond just Turner. He knew he was positive and apparently left his isolation against orders. That he had already been around his teammates while positive is no excuse. Not everyone who comes in contact with an infected person gets infected instantly on first exposure, and running around in close quarters, yelling, hugging, kissing, etc. is an extremely unnecessary risk for anyone who had missed it the first time. Plus, there were people besides teammates on the field who hadn't been in close contact with him previously, and that's the primary worry. We could easily hear the news in the next couple days that multiple people out there have tested positive. So whatever the punishment is for failing to follow the rules should be imposed at their most extreme. Ideally, he would bear the brunt of whatever costs are incurred by people who test positive that can be traced back to the game, though monetary compensation is hardly the only solution. Plus, there may not be a way to definitely trace back new infections to contact with Turner. After all, how did he get it?
However, my real problem is with baseball. How was the game played without definite results being known? "Inconclusive" is a very withered fig leaf for allowing the game to go on. They should have held up until a positive or negative was known on all subjects, period. And how was he allowed on the field after the positive? I realize locking him in a room is extreme, yet here we are. Selfishness is the greatest underlying comorbidity in all this.
Given what goes on daily (and often on TV as well) with regard to masks, distancing and the likes, I hardly think Turner should be turned into THE example for this behavior. What he did was wrong and careless, for sure. Still, there is some merit to the argument that he was already in close proximity to teammates and other staff while positive, plus it is often too late for most airborne diseases/viruses as once the symptoms are showing, the damage has likely been done already. It's not like he walked into a group of complete strangers, who were unaware of his condition.
Every player on that field knew Turner was positive, so were they being forced to get close to him, make contact, etc? Presumably, their guests also knew this, but that can not be confirmed for certain by me. Again, I didn't see him out there when I watched, so I don't know what kind of close contact he had and with who. I seem to recall several instances where 1 or more players had no masks or lowered masks and were hugging or otherwise touching. Kershaw comes to mind, but I could be wrong.
I know it would be incredibly hard to miss out on the celebration. Something like that is often a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone who has already beaten long odds to even be playing MLB to begin with out of the millions who wished for and/or tried to make it. An individual like Turner, who played through most of the great, yet disappointing stretch of years where they came so close and with the contributions he had made to the team, having to miss it would have been heartbreaking. If nothing else, he should have at least been able to be "on the sidelines", celebrating in somewhat close proximity to, but safely distanced from his teammates.