But no worries. A few handy cab drivers later, and the group was back on the road and arrived at the park ahead of the second team bus that came later on the 25-minute trek from the team hotel in Irving.
"We'd just gone down the street. We weren't even to the highway yet and the transmission just completely blew," said Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley. "We stopped at a red light and he tried to gas it and bzzzt, it just ratted. We just stood on the side of the road with our thumbs up."
Manager Eric Wedge hearkened back to the good old days -- before cell phones -- when a few Spring Training road trips grinded to a halt on the side of the road, with someone hiking to find a pay phone to get help.
"Hey, if you've played in this game long enough, you've had more than one bus break down on you," Wedge said. "And I guarantee that bus was in a lot worse shape than the one they were on this morning."
Indeed, Kelley was one who had a better story.
"In Venezuela [playing Winter Ball], we hit another bus and blew our windows out. That was a first," Kelley said. "We stopped, but the other guy kept going. It was like a sideswipe and all the sudden, boom, the windows were flying. They were plastic, so it's not like we were dodging glass, but it scared ... us."
Wedge wasn't on the broken-down bus Saturday, as he'd driven to the park earlier, but he appreciated the humor in the situation.
"Why not?" Wedge said with a laugh. "Just another story for you guys."