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Yanks forced to bunk in airport en route to KC

Club encounters weather, plane issues prior to off-day arrival
Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- If ever the Yankees needed an off-day, Thursday was the time.

Due to a myriad of travel complications on Wednesday night in Washington, D.C., the team had to spend the night at Dulles International Airport. The Yanks finally took off for Kansas City on Thursday morning and were fortunate there was no game to be played until opening a three-game series against the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

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KANSAS CITY -- If ever the Yankees needed an off-day, Thursday was the time.

Due to a myriad of travel complications on Wednesday night in Washington, D.C., the team had to spend the night at Dulles International Airport. The Yanks finally took off for Kansas City on Thursday morning and were fortunate there was no game to be played until opening a three-game series against the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

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"Just one of those things where life happens and plans get a little off-kilter," manager Aaron Boone said. "The best part about it was the way the guys handled it. They were pros about it. There wasn't a lot of griping. The guys just kind of laughed it off and I'm proud of the way they handled it."

The scheduled flight was initially delayed because of weather and there was also a mechanical issue with the plane. It all led to a flight regulations issue which forced a cancellation and hotels in the area were booked by the time the Yankees knew for sure they couldn't make the late-night trip.

Reliever Dellin Betances got off the plane and retreated to an airport lounge where he slept in a recliner.

"It was dark and quiet," Betances said. "I think that was a smart move on my part. It's not like sleeping in your bed, but I tried to make the most of it."

Boone said he stayed on the plane through the night and was able to improvise well enough to get some sleep.

"I think I wound up with six or seven hours [of sleep]," Boone said. "It was a little odd waking up and 'Oh, we're still here.' And I couldn't claim jet lag because we weren't in the air. I had a good blanket. I was good to go."

There were no reports of any player developing a stiff neck or other minor ailments.

"Anything that could have happened would have already [shown up]," Boone said. "Hopefully, it's something to look back on and laugh at."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

New York Yankees