After the Orioles completed a four-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with a 5-2 win Thursday night, the real battle began.
The plane that was supposed to take them to Boston for Friday’s series opener against the Red Sox wasn't expected to arrive in Baltimore until at least 2 a.m. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. at Fenway Park.
“We’ve got no plane,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Before Thursday’s rain-delayed game, which ended at 11:13 p.m., Showalter said the storms ravaging the East Coast would keep their flight from landing in Baltimore until at least 10 p.m. That time was pushed back further and further as the night progressed, and the 2 a.m. estimate was a best-case scenario, Showalter explained.
“So many dynamics with a 1:30 game tomorrow,” Showalter said. “Weather issues there. ... Seeing if we can get permission to fly" Friday morning.
The Orioles also are exploring busing or taking a train to Boston, which Showalter said are 8.5-hour trips. In that scenario, leaving at 2 a.m. likely would force the club to travel directly to Fenway Park to prepare for its game.
“I don't expect anything right now,” Showalter said. “I'm assuming the position and going down there and see if we can fly our wings or something.”
The Orioles aren’t the first team with major travel problems this year.
In late May, the Detroit Tigers’ team plane broke before leaving Boston for Cleveland. The Tigers arrived at Progressive Field from the airport at 4 p.m., three hours before their series opener. They were swept by the Indians.
“We've got some issues,” Showalter said. “Seems like we've had a lot of them this year with our air travel.”