Justin Turner’s extended flirtation with free organization finished where it started – with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
En route to a $34 million, two-year contract that was declared Friday, the third baseman had questions about whether he would get back to his old neighborhood group and contemplated whether his veil less appearance on the field to commend the Dodgers’ World Series title would hurt him.
Turner got yanked from the securing Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning last October in the wake of testing positive for the Covid. He wasn’t at first on the field as his colleagues commended the establishment’s first World Series title since 1988.
All things being equal, Turner was kept to a little room at Globe Life Field in Texas, tormented as he watched the embraces and high-fives go on without him. Significant League Baseball said he abused COVID-19 conventions by getting back to the field, pulling down his cover and modeling for photographs. After an examination by MLB, Turner was not focused and he gave an expression of remorse.
“It was extremely difficult. I experienced just about every range of emotion that you can possibly have,” he said Friday on a virtual call from spring training in Arizona. “For me, sitting back in that room and watching the guys dogpile, personally, it felt like it was the third time I had to sit and watch a team celebrate winning a World Series. That was tough.”
Turner and the Dodgers were on the losing end of World Series appearances in 2017 and 2018 – with Houston and Boston, separately, celebrating on Los Angeles’ home field.
“I still have not been able to be on the field for the last out and celebrate a championship,” Turner said, “and that’s something I’m determined to show up and work for every day and have that experience at the end of this year.”
Turner was at first uncertain what his veil less appearance would mean for him in free office.
“Going into the process, it was definitely a big question mark and a big unknown as to how people were going to perceive that and how people were going to pursue me,” he said. “Once I got into conversations, not only with the Dodgers but other teams, and cleared the air on that stuff, it all kind of just started moving forward and building momentum.”
Turner turned into a free specialist toward the finish of last season when his $64 million, four-year contract lapsed. He hit .307 with four homers and 23 RBI in the pandemic-abbreviated season and .293 (17 for 58) with three homers and six RBI in the postseason, including .320 with a couple of solo homers in the World Series.
Turner, who turned 36 in November, has been with the Dodgers since 2014. He was one of a modest bunch of free specialists still unsigned until not long before the beginning of spring preparing.
“It felt like it took forever,” he said, adding that his primary objective was to sign with a fighting group that could offer him an opportunity to win a different universe Series.
How close did he come to marking somewhere else?
“There were some times where I was like, ‘Oh man, like, this doesn’t look good, like I’m not sure what’s going to happen,'” he said.
Dodgers fans weren’t bashful about telling Turner they needed their red-unshaven veteran back. He saw their remarks via web-based media and he heard them during his and his better half’s daily canine strolling custom.
“There were people walking down the streets yelling, ‘You got to sign back. You got to come back,'” said Turner, whose normally unruly beard was neatly trimmed for spring training. “That’s why I love them so much. They are the best fans in baseball.”
Like most free specialists, Turner was complimented to be pursued by different groups keen on his administrations.
“But at the end of the day it all worked out how it’s supposed to,” he said, “and I’m back in Dodger blue like I was supposed to be.”