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Houston Astros catcher Martín Maldonado allegedly used an illegal ex-St. Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols in Game 1 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.
Tom Verducci announced the news during FOX’s broadcast of Game 2 of the Fall Classic.
“Martín Maldonado is using a different bat today here in Game 2,” Verducci said. “He found out from MLB today that the bat he used last night was not a legal bat. It was a model he got from Albert Pujols, and he used it because that he thought it was very similar in size and weight to his own model. The barrel he said was slightly larger. He also thought it was a way of honoring the legend baseball, of course retiring at the end of this season.
“But here’s the catch, guys: In 2010, Major League Baseball changed the specs of the bat, and that bat – that Pujols model – was no longer legal, unless you played before 2010, it was forfeited” , Verducci continued. “So Albert Pujols could use that bat, but Maldonado – who started his Major League career in 2011 – was not legally able to use that bat.”
The concern in question was the size of Maldonado’s bat barrel, which exceeded the maximum allowable limit after MLB enacted a rule change during the 2010-11 offseason.
“Baseball is also changing the specifications of all bats, reducing the maximum barrel diameter from 2.75 inches – which has been the standard for more than 100 years – to 2.61 inches,” said a report from The Associated. Press March 2011.
Talkin’ Baseball provided a bat comparison between Games 1 and 2:
Maldonado went 1 for 3 with a second-inning RBI single in a 6-5 loss.
He resumed the start on Saturday for Game 2.