Astros’ Martín Maldonado Used Illegal Bat gifted by Albert Pujols in World Series Game 1

Credit: AP

The Houston Astros can’t seem to get away from allegations of cheating. According to Dailymail, catcher Martin Maldonado used an illegal bat in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday night.

During the Game 2 broadcast Saturday night, FOX’s Tom Verducci revealed that Maldonado found from MLB earlier Saturday that the bat he used on Friday was not legal.

Maldonado got Albert Pujols’ bat and used it because it was similar in size and weight to the model he uses. The bat’s barrel is slightly larger than what is allowed. Maldonado also wanted to pay tribute to the future Hall of Famer, who retired this season after hitting 703 home runs in his career.

Major League Baseball changed bat specifications in 2010, rendering Pujols’ model illegal. However, the league stated that players prior to 2010 were not required to adhere to those specifications. As a result, Pujols was able to continue using the bat for the rest of his career. Since the start of his MLB career in 2011, Maldonado has been forbidden from using the bat.

The Astros have become notorious for being the perpetrators of the most infamous sign-stealing scandal in baseball history in 2017. That year, the trash can-banging scheme helped them win the World Series.

Although no players were punished, the team was fined $5 million and lost two draft picks, and manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were both suspended and fired. It was also rumored that José Altuve wore a buzzer during his walk-off home run in the 2019 ALCS, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Maldonado was a member of the 2019 Astros but was not on the team in 2017. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI on Friday, but the Astros were defeated 6-5 in 10 innings by the Philadelphia Phillies. In his first two at-bats of Game 2 on Saturday, he struck out and lined out.

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