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Astros catcher caught using illegal bat in World Series opener


The Houston Astros can’t seem to escape the cheating allegations.

Catcher Martín Maldonado used an illegal bat in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday night, according to MLB.

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

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Martín Maldonado of the Houston Astros hits an RBI single in the second inning during Game 1 of the 2022 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022 in Houston.
(Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Maldonado obtained 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 is 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 before 2010 were not required to meet these specifications. Thus, Pujols was able to use the bat for the rest of his career. Maldonado hasn’t been allowed to bat since he started his MLB career in 2011.

The Astros became notorious for being the culprits of the most infamous sign-stealing scandal in baseball history in 2017. The trash can scheme helped them win a World Series that year.

Martin Maldonado of the Houston Astros during a World Series practice at Minute Maid Park on October 27, 2022 in Houston.

Martin Maldonado of the Houston Astros during a World Series practice at Minute Maid Park on October 27, 2022 in Houston.
(Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

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No player was punished for the scheme, but the team was fined $5 million and lost two draft picks, and manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended and fired. .

It was also rumored that Jose Altuve wore a buzzer on his home run in the 2019 ALCS, although this has not been confirmed.

Maldonado was a member of the 2019 Astros but not on the 2017 roster.

Houston Astros' Martin Maldonado (15) hits an RBI single in the second inning in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022 in Houston.

Houston Astros’ Martin Maldonado (15) hits an RBI single in the second inning in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022 in Houston.
(Logan Riely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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He went 1 for 3 with an RBI on Friday, but the Astros lost in 10 innings to the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-5. He batted and lined out in his first two at-bats in Game 2 on Saturday.

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