It would appear that the Houston Astros are at it again. As an illegal bat was used in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series to earn a hit, and a run.

This infraction might be easily overlooked if it had happened to another franchise, but the Houston Astros are responsible for baseball's biggest cheating scandal since the Chicago Black Sox scandal of 1919. The Astros rode their "trash can/wire buzzer" cheating scheme all the way to a World Series championship, and faced very limited penalties for it. In fact, all of the punishments for the scandal wrapped up in the summer of 2021. Which has led a lot of baseball fans to wonder why they would ever stop cheating if they weren't going to be penalized. Because remember, no players were every punished for cheating to a championship.

So what happened in Game 1 of this year's World Series?

Fox just casually drops during their broadcast that Maldonado used an illegal bat in Game 1 of the World Series. He used that bat to go 1 for 3 with an RBI in the game. The Astros were once again caught cheating in the World Series.

Now there have already been plenty of damage control articles getting sent out by the Astros organization and Major League Baseball. These articles try to justify that the bats were banned for "player safety" and offered no competitive advantage to Maldonado in the World Series. But not so fast.

In Verducci's report on the Fox Broadcast he specifically mentions the barrel of the bat is bigger. Which would of course be an advantage to the hitter. However, you will notice in these reports that line is specifically left out...

In this NESN report they skip right over the relevant line of player advantage. They literally take Verducci's quote right up to the barrel part, then jump it when they pick back up.

Not only is damage control taking place from MLB, but Maldonado even tried his own damage control. After being outed, he claims he couldn't even tell which bats were which, but then doubled back and said all he was trying to do was honor Albert Pujols by using the bats. So he couldn't tell them apart, but knew with ones were given to him by which is it?

Again, if this was ANY OTHER FRANCHISE, it would be a big nothing burger. But the fact this comes from a franchise with a huge, confirmed, track record of cheating is a big problem. Based on the reactions of Major League Baseball, it's one they would like to ignore, just like the last time.

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