Justin Turneris breaking his silence about the COVID debacle during Game 6 of the World Series -- saying he's apologized to his teammates for "failing to appreciate" the dangers of the virus.
MLB has also wrapped up its investigation into Turner -- and is admitting the league could have handled the situation better.
The Dodgers star 3rd baseman was pulled from Game 6 in the 7th inning right when MLB and Dodgers officials learned a recent COVID test of his turned up positive.
But, Turner returned to the field with his wife Kourtney after the game ended to partake in the victory celebration with teammates, coaches and others.
At the time, MLB blamed Turner for not following COVID protocol -- claiming he "emphatically refused to comply" with official orders.
Now, Turner is speaking out in a statement saying ... "I will not make excuses for my conduct but I will describe my state of mind."
"Winning the World Series was my lifelong dream and the culmination of everything I worked for in my career."
Major League Baseball has completed its investigation of the events following the Los Angeles Dodgers Victory in Game Six of the World Series. The following statements from MLB, Justin Turner, and the Dodgers were released today. pic.twitter.com/cVu1E6g7lT
"After waiting in the isolation room while my teammates celebrated on the field, I asked whether I was permitted to return to Sheffield with my wife in order to take a photograph."
"I assumed at that point that few people were left on the field. I was under the impression that team officials did not object to my returning to the field for a picture with my wife."
"However, what was intended to be a photo, capturing the two of us, turned into several greetings and photos where I briefly and unwisely removed my mask."
"In hindsight, I should have waited until the field was clear of others to take that photo with my wife."
"I sincerely apologize to everyone on the field for failing to appreciate the risks of returning to the field. I have spoken with almost every teammate, coach, and staff member and my intentions were never to make anyone uncomfortable or put anyone at further risk."
MLB commish Rob Manfred is also speaking out -- saying MLB has concluded its investigation into the COVID incident and feel they could have handled it better.
Manfred essentially says Turner deserves some blame for the incident -- but not all of the blame.
"Mr. Turner has publicly recognized that his conduct was wrong and has expressed remorse for that conduct," Manfred says in a statement.
Manfred says there were multiple "miscommunications" in the insanity following the game and MLB could have done a better job communicating the protocol to Turner.
"In retrospect, a security person should have been assigned to monitor Mr. Turner when he was asked to isolate, and Mr. Turner should have been transported from the stadium to the hotel more promptly."
It seems MLB will NOT punish Turner for the incident.
"I am closing this matter by applauding Justin for accepting responsibility, apologizing and making a commitment to set a positive example going forward."