When we posted Outside The Confines on Wednesday, the biggest story of Tuesday night snuck by until the morning, but certainly doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed, and it’s one of the two big stories about bad decisions this week.
On Tuesday night as the Dodgers celebrated their first win in 32 years, the events were tainted by the news that Justin Turner had left the game in the eighth inning due to a late-arriving positive COVID test. While plenty of questions linger about how it took so long for MLB to get the results, or why Turner was allowed to play with an inconclusive test result, everything else paled in comparison to what followed.
As the Dodgers celebrated on the field, Turner defied MLB regulations, security demands, and common sense, and returned to celebrate with his team. While he started out wearing a mask, he posed maskless next to cancer-survivor Dave Roberts, kissed his wife, and appeared in close proximity to reporters, staff, family of other players, and a plethora of people who did not volunteer to be exposed to his illness.
Much of what was written since Wednesday morning has been about that topic, but the biggest news of Thursday evening was the White Sox decision to hire Tony La Russa as their new manager. The 76-year-old Hall of Famer has three World Series victories under his belt, but it has also been a decade since he last managed a team, and plenty has changed in baseball in that time.
Plenty of questionable choices were made this week, so there’s a lot to read.
- Ginny Searle writes about how different rules seem to apply to those with fame and fortune, and Justin Turner used those rules to risk others.
- Bill Shea looks at how MLB is experimenting with new ways of marketing its stars. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Tony La Russa is not what modern baseball, or the modern White Sox, need now, writes Michael Baumann.
- Jeff Passan suggests that the Turner moment was the most 2020 way possible for the season to end.
- On a sunnier note, the final moments of the World Series finales since 1988.
- And this video similarly collects every finale since 1943.
- An epidemiologist weighs in on how MLB should have handled the messy Justin Turner situation. Story by Jayson Stark. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Ben Lindbergh is pretty sure the Blake Snell pull in Game 6 is a surefire sign of the “Starting Pitcher Apocalypse.”
- ESPN brings us the most exciting moments of the 2020 postseason.
- With many opinions about the Blake Snell decision filling up social media, Ben Clemens takes a moment to appreciate just how good the pitcher was.
- Similarly, Craig Edwards writes a defense of Kevin Cash’s decision to pull the dominant starter in the sixth inning.
- Keith Law spotlights the top 40 free agents available this offseason. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Jesse Rogers and David Schoenfield take a pro-con approach to what will or won’t work with the White Sox decision to hire Tony La Russa.
- LA landmarks celebrate the Dodgers win.
- Randy Arozarena was a star in the postseason, but he couldn’t do it all by himself, writes Tony Wolfe.
- Dave Roberts is only the second black manager to win a World Series, and the first man to do it, Cito Gaston, reflects on Roberts’ win. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Bradford Doolittle brings us the top moments that brought the Dodgers to their 2020 World Series victory.
- Scott Merkin breaks down the White Sox decision to hire La Russa.
- The Dodgers have long had the shadow of almost-wins hanging over them, now Jay Jaffe writes that they’ve chased off those ghosts.
- Happy National Cat Day!
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.