Is Troy Tulowitzki riding a tainted cycle?
Troy Tulowitzki near the beginning of cycle night, in an image broadcast by ESPN.
On Monday night, Troy Tulowitzki hit for the cycle against the Chicago Cubs, becoming just the second player in Major League Baseball history (after the Red Sox's John Valentin) to complete this feat and make an unassisted triple play, as Tulo did in 2007. But it didn't take long for naysayers to suggest that the last piece of the cycle puzzle, a triple, actually was something less than that. In ESPN's SportsCenter account of Tulowitzki's accomplishment, host Scott Van Pelt asked, "That's not an error?" while watching a throw to third miss the bag by a mile, allowing Tulo to slide in easily. And yesterday, 104.3 The Fan's Mike Evans and Sandy Clough spent much of their afternoon-drive program rankling fans by arguing that the triple ruling was only made because it completed the cycle -- an example of home cooking, scoring-wise.
Are they right? The clip in the ESPN video above isn't 100 percent clear-cut -- but after re-watching it several times, I'd say Evans and Clough have a point. Not that Tulo's accomplishment should be marked with an asterisk. Every baseball stat is impacted by on-the-field rulings -- legit home runs that are improperly judged fouls, base stealers ruled safe when replays show they were really out. Still, Tulowitzki's lucky he had the night of his life at Coors Field instead of Wrigley. Just sayin'.
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