After finishing first in the first half of the season, and clinching the coveted play-off spot that goes with it, the Bismarck Larks have had their struggles so far in the second half of the season. The Northwoods League season has three weeks left in the regular season, and right now the team is on the All-Star Break.
When that break ends, the Larks have to get back into the swing of things to finish out the season strong. Larks first baseman, Matt Warkentin says, "I think the three-day break is going to be good for a lot of guys to get away from the game a little bit because we have some guys that are banged up and tired and fatigued, so I think everyone's going to come back refreshed after that and just ready to play, and there's only a couple of weeks after the All-Star Break to the playoffs, so I think it should be motivating everybody for sure."
Matt and Michael Farnell are the Larks participating in the Home-Run Derby. Four Larks, plus Sean Repay and his coaching staff are participating in the All-Star Game tonight in Kalamazoo.
While most of the guys are headed home to relaxing until they have to head back to the ballpark, but the break takes on a different meaning for each of the players.
Outfielder Connor Bock says, "I think it just depends on the guys. I mean, certain guys have definitely played a lot more, and maybe need that break, more than others, and we use that to kind of relax and get their minds off of baseball. And some people might use it to get in the weight room, keep working, and keep thinking about baseball and getting ready for that next half to start."
"I think the key is just to have some fun and kind of relax a little bit and enjoy your day off, but still be prepared to be locked in,” adds infielder Ripken Reyes. “A lot of these guys are prepared to come every single day, and I think they deserve it, a day off for sure."
Ripken is one of the guys that will not get to relax much during the break, as he is one of the four Larks picked to play in the All-Star Game tonight.
"It's very humbling, and I'm very appreciative, especially to Bismarck, the organization and the fans and my teammates,” says Reyes. “A big tribute to Coach Repay and the rest of the coaching staff, as well as my teammates. We've worked really hard, and it's well deserved."
You can hear more from Ripken Reyes tomorrow, when Kaleigh puts him in this week’s Sports Spotlight.