After a Major League Baseball season unlike any other, the Los Angeles Dodgers are World Series champions, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6 to win the best-of-seven series four games to two.
Los Angeles has waited 32 years for this moment – and it came during a pandemic, in front of a limited crowd of predominantly Dodgers fans at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. It also comes just over two weeks after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship for the first time in 10 years.
It was a World Series matchup that provided a thrilling finish to the MLB season. In a way, that’s remarkable, as seven months ago, it was tough to believe that a season would even be possible because of the pandemic.
And on Tuesday night, MLB couldn’t escape coronavirus fears. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was removed from Game 6 before it ended because he received a positive Covid-19 test. The on-field celebration took place with the Dodgers wearing masks.
“It’s a bittersweet night for us,” MLB commissioner Manfred said in an on-field interview on 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 a positive. He was immediately isolated to prevent spread.”
On Twitter, Turner thanked those who reached out to him.
“I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of LA,” Turner wrote.
Turner, however, would return to the field to celebrate with his teammates.
While it was the Dodgers’ third World Series appearance in the last four years, they had not won it all since 1988 – a full decade before the Rays’ inaugural season. This was Tampa’s second World Series appearance, the other coming in 2008.
“I had a crazy feeling that came to fruition,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s just a special group of players, organization, just all that we’ve kind of overcome, I just knew that we weren’t going to be denied this year.”
Snell’s outing not enough for Rays; Seager wins World Series MVP
Courtesy of a Randy Arozarena first inning home run, the Rays had a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth, and their starter, Blake Snell, was pitching a gem. He went 5 1/3 innings, striking out nine, but Snell – after 73 pitches – was pulled by manager Kevin Cash after giving up a hit to Austin Barnes.
It’s a decision that will likely be discussed by fans during the offseason, if not longer.