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As an Atlanta Braves team propelled by a barrage of trade deadline acquisitions clinched a World Series title in Houston, GM Alex Anthopoulos was home in Georgia following a positive COVID-19 test, per reports.
Notably absent from the celebration after the Braves’ Game 6 victory over the Houston Astros, Anthopoulos watched from home with his family as Atlanta claimed its first championship since 1995. He told reporters he tested positive on Saturday, but is not experiencing symptoms.
“I wanted to keep it quiet to not take any chance that I would be a distraction before the end of the series,” Anthopoulos told ESPN’s Buster Olney. “I’m totally fine. I watched with the whole family at home. Very happy.”
Anthopoulos joined the Braves in November 2017, and has overseen the club’s rise out of a rebuild and back to NL East dominance. After reaching the NLCS in 2020, the Braves got off to a sluggish start in 2021. When MVP contender Ronald Acuña Jr. went down with a knee injury in July, many assumed the Braves would sink into a lost season.
But Anthopoulos did not see it that way. He quickly swung a trade with the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Joc Pederson. Then, on the day of MLB’s trade deadline, he acquired three more outfielders to completely revamp a decimated unit and bolster his team’s chance and rallying in a lackluster NL East.
His aggression paid off. They stormed past the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies to win the division, and then the new faces sparked the Braves’ run to the World Series.
One of those deadline additions, Eddie Rosario, carried the Braves past the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. And another, Jorge Soler, won World Series MVP on Tuesday night after walloping a go-ahead home run that soared over Minute Maid Park’s train tracks.
It is the first title for Anthopoulos, who previously ran the Toronto Blue Jays from 2009 to 2015, steering that franchise back to the playoffs after a lengthy drought.
MLB avoided any disruptive COVID-19 outbreaks in the playoffs, though Soler missed time earlier in the postseason after a positive test. Anthopoulos’ decision to stay home comes a year after Justin Turner received word of a positive test during the clinching game, but later joined the Dodgers’ title celebration on the field.