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Big League Stew

Cardinals don’t think their travel problems will affect do-or-die Game 6

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

BOSTON — If the St. Louis Cardinals were in need of team bonding time, they got it Tuesday when their plane to Boston was delayed seven hours because of "mechanical issues."

In Internet land, it was meme and hashtag inspiring, but none of us jokers had to play a do-or-die baseball game the next day. The Cardinals arrived at 11 p.m. ET, too late to get dinner from a restaurant once they got here. There was enough time for a good night's sleep, sure, but it's not ideal for getting the psyche prepared for the most important game of the season.

The ordeal calls to mind 2004, when the Cardinals had rough accommodations in the World Series in Boston. These plane problems, of course, happened in St. Louis. Regardless, that's two World Series against the Red Sox where the Cardinals didn't have the best travel situation. Manager Mike Matheny, however, wasn't playing the victim card.

"How that affects us?" he said before Game 6. "I don't think it really does. We've been resilient, but you take what comes and we adjust and get ready for the next day."

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(Big League Stew)

Matheny did say the team handled it well. As well as a group of players and their families (including many children, babies and toddlers, on up) could sitting on a stalled plane for seven hours. It's a good thing they didn't have to go all "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" to get here.

"It was amazing how the guys handled that long of a time, especially as we had lots of family, lots of kids," Matheny said. "Impressive, to be honest with you. I didn't hear any complaining at all. Normally guys are, even if they're just in jest, they're still throwing some things out there, but we didn't hear anything. But guys did what they do. They hung out with their families. They hung out with each other. There was a lot of fooling around going on. Guys were making the best of a situation they knew we didn't have any control over."

Joe Kelly — who may start a potential Game 7 if the Cardinals win Wednesday night — was one of the players who passed the time on Twitter. He must have had a phone/tablet charger handy. We know how quickly that eats your battery.

"We messed around on Twitter, looked at tweets, #cardinalsplaneproblems was going around, which was pretty funny," Kelly said. "We had a good time with it. We enjoyed it. We don't want to do it all the time, but it wasn't that bad."

How this really affects the Cardinals? We'll find out soon. Maybe it has no effect. Maybe it's the thing a road team needs to gather steam to win Games 6 and 7 in the World Series. Or maybe it's another advantage the Red Sox have going into Wednesday night's potential clincher.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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