You won’t believe this, Los Angeles Dodgers fans … but the Houston Astros have attempted to cheat during the 2022 World Series. Shocker. And once again it’s somehow being downplayed. Commissioner Rob Manfred envisioning this team being punished by the court of public opinion couldn’t be more wrong.
During Game 1 against the Philadelphia Phillies that saw the Astros lose 6-5 in extra innings, two instances occurred that revealed Houston’s unsavory practices hitting the spotlight.
The first was clear for everyone to see. In the bottom of the 10th with the Astros trailing 6-5 and runners on second and third, Aledmys Diaz was at the plate facing a 1-0 count against reliever David Robertson. The right-hander came up and in with an off-speed pitch and Diaz slightly leaned into it and tried to sell that he was grazed. He wasn’t. The at-bat continued.
Then, on the third pitch of the at-bat, Diaz FULLY leaned into a slider that was just off the plate on the inside corner and the ball hit off his elbow pad. He tried to take first base, but the home plate ump wasn’t having it.
He sent Diaz, who had no interest in being at the plate, back to the batter’s box. The result was eventually a game-ending groundout.
Dodgers fans won’t be shocked to learn the Astros tried to cheat again in the World Series
No penalty for trying to cheat twice. The karmic retribution was Diaz being the final out of the game, but the Phillies still had to work to get him to do that after he attempted to bring Chas McCormick to the plate.
The Astros did get away with something, however. Fans didn’t learn until Game 2 that Martin Maldonado was apparently using an illegal bat that was gifted to him by Albert Pujols in Game 1. Maldonado went 1-for-3 with an RBI in Game 1, which could’ve been a difference-maker in a one-run affair.
During the FOX broadcast of Game 2, it was reported this particular bat model was deemed illegal back in 2010, and was only grandfathered in for approved use by veterans like Pujols. Anybody who debuted from 2011-present day is forbidden from doing so.
Guess when Maldonado joined MLB.
Just ask yourself: how many times on any broadcast of any game throughout the course of a 162-game season do you hear a story like this? Almost never, but when it is, you can be assured it’ll have to do with the Astros.
Another interesting question to ask is: how long had Maldonado been using that bat? Was he using it in the ALCS as he abused the Yankees with a .286 AVG and .929 OPS in three games?
We’ll wait and see how Astros fans try to dig out of this hole. Each and every year, their excuses and blind defense of their team get more delusional.