Miguel Cabrera‘s pursuit of baseball history will last at least one more day after a controversial free pass.
Cabrera, needing only one hit to become the 33rd player in major league history with 3,000 hits, was intentionally walked in the eighth inning Thursday of the Detroit Tigers‘ 3-0 victory over the New York Yankees.
It was the fourth and final plate appearance of the afternoon for Cabrera, who flied out in the first inning and struck out in each of his next two at-bats.
Cabrera was slated to bat again in the eighth with two outs, but the Yankees and manager Aaron Boone opted to walk the two-time MVP intentionally, loading the bases and setting up a lefty-lefty matchup of Detroit’s Austin Meadows against New York southpaw Lucas Luetge.
Cabrera did not appear upset at the Yankees’ decision after the game, telling reporters “it’s baseball” and noting he missed on his three precious chances at the 3,000-hit milestone.
But the crowd at Comerica Park voiced their displeasure with the intentional walk, loudly booing and chanting “Yankees suck” as Cabrera took his free pass to first. Those boos quickly turned to cheers when Meadows blooped a two-run double to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“I know history is very important,” Cabrera said, according to MLB.com. “But we need to win first. It’s not about me. It’s about the team.”
Cabrera’s next chance for 3,000 hits will come Friday, when the Tigers open a three-game home series against the Colorado Rockies.
Cabrera, 39, is attempting to become the seventh player in MLB history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. He also would become the first Venezuelan-born and seventh Latino to reach the 3,000-hit mark, a list that includes Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente and Rod Carew, as well as Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodríguez, Adrián Beltré and Albert Pujols.