Miguel Cabrera
Tommy Gilligan | USA TODAY Sports

Imagine if the move had actually worked out.

The Yankees were booed in epic, hilarious fashion after manager Aaron Boone intentionally walked the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera — sitting on 2,999 career hits — in the eighth inning on Thursday’s getaway game in Detroit, a 3-0 Tigers win.

Boone gave Cabrera the free pass not out of cowardice or spite, but for a totally reasonable baseball reason. Detroit had runners on second and third with two outs. So walking Cabrera loaded the bases and set up a force play at any base.

You don’t need to be Miller Huggins to realize it made perfect sense. But don’t tell that to the majority of the paying customers at Comerica Park. They booed relentlessly and even started a “Yankees suck!” chant. Cabrera’s mom was even pissed off.


The move didn’t even work out; Yankee killer Austin Meadows followed with a bloop two-RBI double to give the Tigers some insurance runs. The booing did not let up, even after Cabrera himself tried to calm everyone down while walking back to the dugout.

Anyway, the Yankees’ vaunted offense has now been shut out three times in the first 13 games and twice in the last four. There was a hint of a ninth-inning rally when Joey Gallo — yes, you read that right, the same Joey Gallo — got a one-out single. But Isaiah Kiner-Falefa promptly grounded into a game-ending double play.

The Yankees also had first and third with no outs and the bases loaded with one out in the eighth and failed to get a run home. Jordan Montgomery gave them six strong innings and the bullpen was fine.  But you can’t win when you can’t hit, and this team is now hitting .176 with runners in scoring position.

The Yankees head home now for a three-game set with the Guardians in the Bronx. Cleveland is trying to polish off a sweep of the White Sox as we speak.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.