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MLB

Yankees invoke ire of Detroit fans

Looking for only one more base hit to induct Miguel Cabrera into one of the most exclusive clubs in MLB, the New York Yankees decided to walk him.

Jeffrey May
Update:
Looking for only one more base hit to induct Miguel Cabrera into one of the most exclusive clubs in MLB, the New York Yankees decided to walk him.
Icon SportswireGetty

If you needed any further proof that the Yankees are indeed the evil empire, I submit for you consideration their intentionally walking Miguel Cabrera as he had 2999 career base hits.

Needing only one hit more to enter the extremely exclusive 3000-hit-club, Miguel Cabrera came to bat with men on second and third and was given a free pass by the Yankees.

To be fair to the pinstripes, it is a solid baseball decision. Down by one in the eighth inning, the last thing you want to do with men in scoring position is take a chance on one of the game’s all-time best contact hitters putting something in play.

The Tiger fans certainly didn’t see it that way, though, booing loudly as Yankee manager Aaron Boone signalled for the pass to be issued. In a similar call to last week’s decision by Dodgers coach Dave Roberts to pull Clayton Kershaw after seven perfect innings, this is one of those decisions that makes perfect sense on paper, but makes fans question if the coaches have the bigger picture in mind.

Miggy was already 0-3 on the day and could just as likely gotten out as put the ball in play. Yes, the matchup behind Cabrera was favorable, with Austin Meadows struggling against southpaws, but if you want to be brutally honest, potentially taking one on the chin in the first month of the season is not going to sway the Yankees’ season one way or the other.

In, perhaps, a case of cosmic justice, Meadows plunked a blooper to center field, scoring two runs.

Boone defended his decision as a “baseball call for me,” but acknowledged that it was a “little more gut-wrenching than usual.” When asked if he expected to be booed, he responded, “... Yeah, of course. Certainly understand that. Don’t necessarily like being in that position, but that’s part of it.”

“Boonie’s obligation is to his own team and their chances of winning,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch told MLB.com’s Jason Beck after the game. “He had the matchup behind Miggy that he wanted. So you could see it coming. I know our fans responded accordingly, but I totally get it.”

As for Miggy? He wasn’t concerned at all. He has been very vocal throughout the season about the game being a team sport and not about individual achievement. “My on base percentage went up!” Cabrera laughed. “And we scored two runs. That’s the beauty of baseball... I would rather go 0-for-3 and see my team win.”

Speaking to MLB.com, Cabrera said, “I know history is very important, but we need to win first. It’s not about me. It’s about the team.”

The 39-year-old Venezuelan is on single away from becoming the seventh player in MLB history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. He would be the first Venezuelan and seventh Latino to reach the 3,000-hit mark, alongside Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodríguez, Adrián Beltré and Albert Pujols, as well as Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente and Rod Carew.

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