The Houston Astros‘ players and fans are constantly chided by every other MLB team’s fan base over the 2017 cheating scandal.
While it is not worth rehashing that as other bombastic and disingenuous news websites tend to do, it is worth focusing on the here and now, and the reality of the illegal bat used by Maldonado.
Martin Maldonado requested bats from Albert Pujols as both an honor to his retirement as well as a quality piece of lumber. Major League Baseball officials notified Maldonado prior to Game 2 that the bat was outlawed. There are two key things to know about the illegal bat used by Maldonado in Game 1, where he went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Did it help?
The first, and most important thing, to know about the illegal bat used by Maldonado, is that it did not help Maldonado play better. Major League Baseball declared that Maldy received no competitive advantage as a result of his use of that illegal bat.
Now all the Astros haters and cheating scandal lovers who claim the Astros were “the only team” to cheat in 2017 will continue to paint Houston in a negative light. They’ll say it just shows how they are still a ‘bunch of cheaters,’ even if the illegal bat did nothing to benefit the Astros.
Why was it illegal?
The other big lie the Astros’ haters will repeat is one of omission. The haters won’t mention the reason why the illegal bat was declared as such by Major League Baseball. The brand of bat Maldonado used was banned because it has a greater chance of splintering, so in order to keep players safe, it was banned.
Players who began their career prior to 2010 when it was banned, like Pujols, were still allowed to use the model. Maldy did not rack up any service time until 2011, so he was not grandfathered in.
Love or hate the Houston Astros, an honest baseball fan will ignore the noise of this ‘scandal’. As most assuredly know, the non-issue has been and will continue to be hyped up by sour reporters and fan accounts in an attempt to try and detract from the Astros’ dynasty status. This is nothing more than a last-ditch excuse to cling to with the ‘Stros rolling towards a second World Championship.
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