HANNIBAL, Mo. – Clayton Hicks had a simple message for his Hannibal Hoots team after beating the DuPage Pistol Shrimp 2-1 Sunday night.
"Enjoy the summer," said Hicks, the Hoots manager. "Just be a normal guy for a minute and take a break."
The Hoots got plenty of time to do that this week.
Monday and Tuesday were both days off for Hannibal before Wednesday’s home game against DuPage. Hicks encouraged his players to take advantage of the time off.
Some of the players spent time around Hannibal playing golf and hanging out with teammates. Another group made the trip to Busch Stadium to watch the St. Louis Cardinals host the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night.
"It’s a good time for the guys to reset and refocus," Hicks said. "Of course, you don’t want them to reset and refocus too much. But we’ve got a good group of guys."
As for Hicks, he went visit family in Indianapolis and spent time on the golf course.
"I think we all needed the mental break," Hicks said. "I love the game, but a mental break is nice. It was nice to get some family time and get away. I hope they’re all ready to go."
The small break couldn’t have come at a better time for the Hoots, who are 14-25 heading into Wednesday’s game. Hannibal lost both shortstops in Diego Munoz and Daunte DeCello to injuries, and had a handful of pitchers pick up injury knocks over the past week.
The days off allows the Hoots to find and bring in players to fill those spots. Hannibal also has the day off Saturday, and all but four Hoots players will get extra time off with the Prospect League’s all-star game upcoming July 22-23 in Normal, Ill.
Hannibal’s Jered Wegner, Joe Roscetti, Kyler Kent and Hunter Becker were picked to participate in the all-star game.
"It was good to split and get these days off," Hicks said. "It gives us time to find some guys and I think if we can get through this week we’ll be OK."