Twitter lost its mind over the weekend when the FOX broadcast of the World Series shared that Astros catcher Martin Maldonado was using an illegal bat. The bat, which Maldonado received from former teammate Albert Pujols from their playing days with the Angels, was outlawed in 2010. However, MLB was lenient with the players who were playing before 2010, so Pujols was able to continue using his bat, which had a bigger barrel size than the newer models. Maldonado, however, was not.
Maldonado was forced to switch bats, and the baseball world had a ton of fun pointing at the fact that, yet again, the Astros were cheating in an important game. It’s hard to blame Maldonado, as he most likely did not know that he was breaking a rule. But still, it was funny.
However, Astros fans weren’t too happy with the hate, so they did some digging of their own. They found (quite easily) that Max Muncy, who was teammates with Pujols last season when the Dodgers signed him in May, has also illegally used Tio Albert’s bat. Not as funny anymore.
Going yard with Tío Albert's bat. pic.twitter.com/vtNAN3b7LB
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 15, 2021
I guess Maldonado using it in the World Series makes it a bigger deal, but there’s not much of a story there. If anything, Pujols should have known better than to lend his bat to his teammates, as he was given an exception to use it in the first place.
If there’s anything that we can learn from this, it’s don’t be so quick to accuse before you know that your team is innocent first. When it came to sign stealing, that was an easy accusation to trash the Astros. This one? Probably better left untouched.
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