The Rays had an extraordinary adventure in Cuba, honoring their sport and country by being perfect ambassadors.
Unfortunately, the adventure continued once the Rays attempted to leave the country, including mechanical failures for the plane, and something like nine hours on the tarmac. PerMarc Topkin:
The Rays had two planes leaving Havana after the game. The one carrying ownership, team executives, sponsors, media and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman was delayed a few hours, landing at 10:30 p.m.
The second plane, carrying players, coaches and front office staff was initially delayed while the party milled about the small airport, then on the scheduled plane â and then, when a mechanical issue was discovered, had to switch to a different plane.
The news of the delays were captured best by Chris Archer's twitter account:
Great trip to Cuba. But....we haven't left yet. We've been stuck on the runway for the past 6 hours. Safe to say we are a bit delusional— Chris Archer (@ChrisArcher22) March 23, 2016
Ps. The shower at the stadium in Cuba today wasn't working after the game. So many guys have not showered....— Chris Archer (@ChrisArcher22) March 23, 2016
The flight is less than an hour's journey, so snacks were also an issue for the team:
"I'm thankful.. For lays potatoes chips" (only thing we have to eat)- Brad Miller— Chris Archer (@ChrisArcher22) March 23, 2016
The team flight did not arrive until 5 AM.
Back in the US, safely.— Chris Archer (@ChrisArcher22) March 23, 2016
It's been a long night but the @RaysBaseball team is happy to be back home!— Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria) March 23, 2016
Home sweet home— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) March 23, 2016
The televised Rays game this afternoon will have quite a different look, per Marc Topkin:
...the Rays will send a mostly minor league team and coaching staff to Fort Myers to face the Twins today, although RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who didn't make the trip, is still scheduled to pitch. Manager Kevin Cash had been planning to go, but will not.
Hopefully the club will be feeling fit and fine by tomorrow...
"Our sleep debt is irreversible"- Richie Shafer— Chris Archer (@ChrisArcher22) March 23, 2016
Uh... let's hope not.
Welcome home, Rays. Now get some sleep.