HOUSTON– Martin Maldonado he had to change bats between the first two games of the World Series, because the one used in Game 1 is no longer allowed by Major League Baseball.
The Houston Astros catcher used one of six bats that his former Los Angeles Angels teammate, Albert Pujols, gave him for the Fall Classic; Marucci AP5 model, according to The Associated Press.
“It’s a bat that’s not illegal,” Maldonado told ESPN Digital on Saturday after the Astros’ 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. “It’s a bat that I can’t use because of the length of service I have in the Major Leagues. It’s a bat because of the way it splits, because of the slightly wider wood, I can’t use it”.
“I went up in 2011 and those rules passed in 2010,” he added. “I had to have been in the big leagues in 2010 to be allowed to use it.”
Maldonado, who had a hit in three at-bats and an RBI in Game 1, commented that in reality the difference with the current ones has to do with manufacturing details and wood.
In 2010, Major League Baseball changed the specifications for safety purposes, lowering the diameter from 2.75 inches to 2.61 inches. Players who debuted in that year or earlier were allowed to continue using it.
“It’s a bat that breaks, which can create a little damage because of the type of wood it is,” he explained. “It’s very big, although I didn’t really feel any difference. It is the same as the one I use, although mine is a little smaller”.
Maldonado said Major League Baseball said he couldn’t use him anymore when he arrived at the ballpark Saturday afternoon.
According to various reports, Major League Baseball will not fine or sanction Maldonado, since there is no competitive advantage with the use of that bat, nor did they find evidence that he had used it in bad faith.
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MLB prevents Maldonado from continuing to use Pujols’ bat