Martin Maldonado, the Astros’ catcher, was forced to use a different bat for Game 2 of the World Series on Saturday night after learning the Albert Pujols model he used in the first game was no longer legal in the major leagues. Martin was born on August 16, 1986, he is a Major League Baseball (MLB) catcher for the Houston Astros who is Puerto Rican. He has previously played in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels, and Kansas City Royals.
According to reports from Game 1 of the 2022 World Series on Saturday, Astros starting catcher Martin Maldonado had handed the retiring icon Albert Pujols a dozen bats to use in the series because he thought they would be of higher quality given Pujols’ stature.
He declared that a rule is a rule and that he must respect to it. Because of this, he did not use the bat that day.
He utilized a Marucci AP5 bat in Game 1 that was a Pujols model. For safety reasons, Major League Baseball altered the standards for bats in 2010, reducing the barrel’s diameter from the previous 2.75 inches to 2.61 inches.
“Martin Maldonado is using a different bat today here in Game 2. He found out from MLB today that the bat he used last night was not a legal bat. It was a model he obtained from Albert Pujols, and he used it because he thought it was very similar in size and weight to his own model. The barrel, he said, was slightly bigger. He also thought it was a way to honor the baseball legend, of course retiring with the close of the season, but here’s the catch to it, guys: in 2010, Major League Baseball changed the bat specifications and that bat that Pujols modeled was no longer, except if you were playing prior to 2010 it was grandfathered. So Albert Pujols could use that bat but Maldonado, who began his major league career in 2011, was not legally able to use that bat.”
Up until a later report during Game 2 on Saturday, it was a curious little anomaly. Pujols’ bats are really prohibited by current MLB regulations, but he is permitted to use them since he was grandfathered in after a rule change in 2010, according to Fox Sports’ Tom Verducci.
The Pujols model was not used by MLB to determine if Maldonado had a competitive edge, and it looked that the mix-up was an honest error. Maldonado hit.186 this season and.209 over the course of 12 seasons.
The AP5 was “one of the original models I worked with Albert to design,” according to bat manufacturer Jack Marucci.
According to a text Marucci sent to The Associated Press, “He was the first player to offer me a bat to mimic.”
It wasn’t the first time Maldonado had used the bat.
When he and Pujols were teammates with the Angels in 2017 and for a portion of the 2018 season, he noted, “I used it back when I played with him, but he was my teammate, maybe three at-bats.”
For the majority of fans, though, the Astros’ cheating issue left little room for nuance, so the Maldonado revelation reawakened a lot of anger still directed at the franchise. and some playful rage.
Though the league also reduced the maximum circumference from 2.75 inches to 2.61 inches, as Verducci reported, some also pointed out that MLB’s 2010 rule change was essentially to outlaw low-density maple bats because they kept shattering.