Cheating Again? Astros Catcher Used Illegal Bat In World Series

The Astros cheated? What else is new?

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October 29, 2022

The Houston Astros are back in the World Series and so is the skepticism about their ability to play a fair ballgame. Ring a bell?

In 2017, the Astros became the hottest topic in the sports realm for their trash can-banging scandal which placed a major asterisk on their Fall Classic victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

During Game 1 on Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies, Astros catcher Martín Maldonado stepped up to the plate and swung what is now being described as an illegal bat, according to the FOX World Series broadcast.

Watch the live broadcast clip here, courtesy of FanDuel.

“Martín Maldonado is using a different bat today here in Game 2,” Fox Sports’ Tom Verducci reported during the broadcast. “He found out from MLB today that the bat he used last night was not a legal bat. It was a model he obtained from Albert Pujols, and he used it because he thought it was very similar in size and weight to his own model.”

Verducci added: “(Maldonado) also thought it was a way to honor the baseball legend, of course retiring with the close of the season, but here’s the catch to it, guys: In 2010, Major League Baseball changed the bat specifications and that bat that Pujols modeled was no longer, except if you were playing prior to 2010 it was grandfathered. So Albert Pujols could use that bat but Maldonado, who began his major league career in 2011, was not legally able to use that bat.”

Now, while it’s hard to give the Astros credit for obvious reasons, Maldonado’s reported conflicting explanation doesn’t do Houston any justice. At first, Maldonado claims that he wasn’t able to differentiate between his bat and the illegal bat, then in the same report, he claims that it was used as a tribute to Pujols?

Tough sell? Perhaps. Nevertheless, Maldonado bringing “illegal” back to the Astros will surely get the couch conspiracy theorists raddled. Especially considering that during the Phillies 6-5 Game 1 victory over the Astros, Maldonado — while using the illegal bat — went 1-for-3 at the plate, knocking an RBI single in the second inning.

The Astros leveled the World Series at 1-1 Saturday by earning a 5-2 win in Game 2.

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Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images
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