The LA Dodgers won the World Series with a game 6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays last week in what ended in one of the more 2020 ways possible. As we know, Justin Turner received a positive COVID test back mid-game and was subsequently removed from the game and sent to a space to quarantine while the team finished the job. After the club won, Turner wasn’t about to let his team celebrate without him and returned to the field, which is a whole other can of worms on its own.
But the question is, how do you get coronavirus in a ‘bubble’?
Reliever Joe Kelly had that same question… and you know Kelly is going to bring the heat with something like this.
“I want to know who gave him the Corona,” Kelly said on Boston radio network WEEI. “If it’s a bubble how do you get the Corona in the bubble?”
It turns out that the bubble wasn’t actually much of a bubble at all. Of course, that was obvious to anyone already in just watching the games. More than 11,000 fans had been allowed at the ballpark for each game since the NLCS. And three games were played with the roof closed. Moreover, some media members weren’t forced to stay in the isolated environment, like for example, broadcaster Joe Buck who continued his duties calling NFL games for FOX and bouncing around from ballpark to ballpark.
So with Turner’s positive, it’s safe to say that the bubble in fact burst. And according to Kelly, it seems like it was doomed to fail from the start.
It makes sense [someone got the virus]. It’s a secure zone, but it was the first time in my life I have felt insecure. I was insecure in the secure zone. It wasn’t called the bubble. It was called the secure zone, for people who don’t know.
We were at a nice hotel, a beautiful hotel in Las Colinas and there is a golf course there and I happened to have a room, a villa, on the 18th green, which is pretty crazy because it’s a secure zone, but my room, I would say, is no more than 20 yards from the green it’s still open to the public. So it’s a bubble except golfers are hitting golf balls next to my window and then crossing the secure zone tape line. People are yelling at them and the golfers are yelling back saying, ‘No, I’m going to get my ball.’ It wasn’t as secure as one might think because like I said there was still a golf course open to the public 20 yards away from us every single day.
So yeah, not exactly an airtight bubble or ‘secure zone.” Kelly continued.
We weren’t allowed to play golf according to the rules and the tiers, but I saw a lot of golf clubs in the hotel. I know for fact that people staying in the hotel were playing golf that weren’t baseball players. It was media. It was on-field talents. Umpires. They were still allowed to play golf, but we weren’t because apparently the coronavirus knows baseball players should get it more than PR and hotel staff and umpires. It’s a smart virus.
Kelly -1, bubble – 0. The always verbose right-hander wrapped up his thought.
It doesn’t make sense. Hotel staff… they come deliver room service. They’re supposed to leave it at the door and numerous times they come in the room and deliver your food and these hotel staff members go home every single day to their family and not stay at the hotel so how is it a secure zone or bubble? Yeah, we got lucky I feel like. If we weren’t aware as players to try and stay away from getting it and we let our guard down I’m sure it could have been more than just one.
For Major League Baseball to come out and throw Justin Turner so very firmly under the bus with their statement the day after the World Series just shows the insecurities of the league over their ‘secure zone.’ It was doomed to fail from the start because the league is not smart enough or thorough enough to be successful in potentially volatile situations where public perception will damn them. MLB was soft in creating their bubble and may have just created a fancy prison for the players over a safe environment for the entirety of staffers.
But in a world with Rob Manfred at the helm, that just seems like par for the course.
However, if the plan is to ensure at least one scandal per offseason to keep baseball relevant and in the public eye throughout the year, Manfred is knocking it out of the park.