NEW YORK -- As if the Mets needed any more travel issues, their 11-day, four-city, roughly 5,000-mile road trip ended like this: sitting on a bus on an airport tarmac, waiting for a plane to take them home.
An engine problem with the Mets' original plane forced them to wait more than two hours for a replacement to reach Denver, where they finally took off around 10:30 p.m. MT. A three-hour flight and two-hour time change meant the Mets arrived in Queens after 4 a.m. ET, preventing most players from reaching their homes until well after 5 a.m.
Understanding that hectic travel schedule, manager Terry Collins scrapped batting practice Friday and shifted the club's mandatory reporting time back to 5:30 p.m. ET, several hours later than normal. Quipped Collins: "I've got to make sure 25 guys get a little coffee."
"Our guys, some of them are beat up and some of them are just stinkin' tired," Collins said. "It's a lot to ask of anybody."
Even starting pitchers Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee, who flew directly from Chicago to New York on Wednesday evening, endured flight delays before finally landing. Thursday's starter, Jeremy Hefner, attempted to travel early to Denver, but flight delays forced him to take the team charter instead.
It all made for yet another crazy week for the Mets, whose trip to Denver was made necessary by multiple winter weather delays in April. But they finished 7-4 on the 11-game trip, ensuring that their extra-large coffees did not go to waste.
"That was a brutal trip," first baseman Josh Satin said. "We won, so it was worth it, but that was brutal."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.