The coda to an unforgettably weird 2020 baseball season came when Justin Turner celebrated with his Dodgers teammates in the wake of a mid-World Series COVID-19 diagnosis. That incident led Major League Baseball announce a “full investigation into this matter” in a statement that flatly panned Turner for his recklessness.
Now, the league and MLB Players Union are “moving closer to a resolution” of the case from a disciplinary perspective, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter links). Just when we’ll learn of the outcome isn’t known; neither is it clear what range of punishment is under contemplation.
The league and union typically interact regarding disciplinary matters. There’s a reason that most PED or domestic violence-related suspensions are announced alongside the player’s decision not to challenge the result.
That was all the more necessary here. The league’s coronavirus protocols were jointly developed and obviously required significant buy-in from union officials and the players they represent. And Turner’s covid-shedding celebration presents a situation without any obvious precedent.
It seems we’ll have a final determination — and an opportunity for Turner to make some amends — before free agency begins in earnest (whenever that may be). Turner is one of the top available players on the open market this winter. It’s an open question whether and how the surreal scene will impact his free agency.