The Houston Astros can’t seem to escape cheating allegations.
Catcher Martín Maldonado was using an illegal bat in Game 1 of the World Series Friday night, according to MLB.
Tom Verducci of FOX revealed during the Game 2 broadcast Saturday night that Maldonado found out from MLB earlier Saturday that the bat he used Friday was not legal.
Maldonado got the bat from Albert Pujols and used it because he thought it was similar in size and weight to the model he uses. The barrel of the bat is slightly larger than what’s allowed.
Maldonado also wanted to honor the future Hall of Famer, who retired this season after hitting 703 career home runs.
In 2010, Major League Baseball changed bat specifications, making Pujols’ model illegal. However, the league said players in the league prior to 2010 did not have to abide by those specs. So, Pujols was able to use the bat for the remainder of his career. Maldonado was not allowed to use the bat since his MLB career began in 2011.
The Astros have become notorious for being the culprits of the most infamous sign-stealing scandal in the history of baseball in 2017. The trash can-banging scheme helped them win a World Series that year.
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No players were punished for the scheme, but the team was fined $5 million and lost two draft picks, and manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were suspended and fired.
It was also rumored that José Altuve wore a buzzer during his walk-off home run during the 2019 ALCS, although that has not been confirmed.
Maldonado was a member of the 2019 Astros but not on the 2017 roster.
He went 1-for-3 with an RBI Friday, but the Astros lost in 10 innings to the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-5. He struck out and lined out in his first two at bats of Game 2 Saturday.
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