Trouble on the Rails
October 9, 2012 — It’s a good thing tonight’s ALDS Game 3 wasn’t scheduled for last night.
If there had been a game in New York last night, it would have been played between two very tired teams.
The Yankees and the Orioles both planned to travel back to New York on chartered trains, and they both planned to arrive in New York City at about 3 in the morning.
Those plans changed when the Yankees’ train encountered electrical difficulties and came to a gradual halt about a half hour outside of Baltimore.
Coincidentally, the train coasted to a stop in Aberdeen, which is the home of the Orioles short-season Single-A club and is located a stone’s throw from Cal Ripken Jr.’s hometown.
I was already asleep when the train stopped, but I realized what was happening when Andy Pettitte walked into the car I was in and make the following announcement.
“Wake up, ya’ll… this train is done.”
A few players asked what Pettitte what he was talking about, and the pitcher divulged the information he had received.
We waited on the train for nearly an hour, while Yankees officials got the buses that we had been using in Baltimore to pick us up and take us to New York.
That hour was not filled with frustration, but instead the players were amused by the situation.
Pitching coach Larry Rothschild jokingly asked CC Sabathia if he wanted to take the time to throw a bullpen session, while another Yankees official simply said, “There’s one thing about the New York Yankees … We travel first class!”
A few minutes before the buses arrived, I feel as if I witnessed a scene out of a movie. The entire team exited the train to wait for the buses in the station’s deserted parking lot, and as soon as we stepped onto the pavement, it began to rain.
When I looked to my right, I saw Derek Jeter putting his hands out to gauge how hard the rain was coming down. To my left, Alex Rodriguez stood laughing at what was happening. It seemed as if wherever I looked, there was a legendary Yankee standing in the parking lot, located in a residential neighborhood, taking it all in while waiting for a bus that still wasn’t in site.
“This is like being back in the minors,” Nick Swisher yelled out. “It’s pretty cool.”
Instead of getting into New York’s Pennsylvania Station in the middle of the night, we arrived there (on two buses) at 7 in the morning.
As for the Orioles, they were stuck on the tracks behind our train, and they too had to switch to buses. However, in their case, it took longer for the buses to arrive (since they had to come from further away) and they pulled in to New York City at about 9 am.
–Alfred Santasiere III