Astros catcher accidentally (?) cheated in Game 1: report originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

So the Houston Astros could be cheating in the World Series. Sound familiar?

In the lead-up to Saturday night’s Game 2 of the World Series, FOX released a short 50-second segment on Martin Maldonado and his at-bat change from Game 1 to Game 2.

The reason? Major League Baseball told him that the bat he used in Game 1…was not legal.


Here’s a snippet and transcription:

“Martin Maldonado is using a different bat today here in Game 2. He found out today from MLB that the bat he used last night was not a legal bat. It was a model he got from Albert Puhols and he used it because he thought it was very similar in size and weight to his own model. The trunk, he said, was slightly larger. He also thought it was a way to honor a baseball legend, of course, who is retiring at the close of the season, but here’s the catch, guys: In 2010, Major League Baseball changed the specifications of the bat, and the bat that Puhols modeled was more wasn’t legit unless you played before 2010 she had a grandfather. So Albert Puhols could use that bat, but Maldonado, who started his major league career in 2011, had no legal opportunity to use that bat.”

Does this… sound like cheating? And while it’s obviously not as egregious as the Astros’ concerted cheating efforts that put a big asterisk on the team’s 2017 World Series title, it’s still a rough look for a franchise that seems frustrated to still be associated with fraud years later.

Guess what, guys: if you keep getting caught breaking the rules, that reputation is going to be hard to shake.

Reporters discussed the Pujols-to-Maldonado at-bats before Game 1, so it certainly wasn’t some big behind-closed-doors conspiracy:

But still, shouldn’t there be some kind of consequence for that? Can you imagine if we found that out after Maldonado drove in the game-winning run in Game 1? That would be a huge disaster for Major League Baseball. Instead, the Phillies won Game 1 and it was all for naught.

Hang in there, Houston.