KANSAS CITY -- Royals reliever Kyle Farnsworth has a simple approach to trade rumors.
"I don't read anything, I don't watch anything, whatever happens happens," Farnsworth said. "My job is with this team right now and what I'm supposed to do out there. That's where my focus and concentration is at, not on anything else."
This came up on Friday as the clock ticked under the 24-hour mark toward Saturday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Farnsworth, who is having a good season for the Royals, is one of the names that invariably comes up when relief pitchers are mentioned. His record in 36 appearances: 3-0, 2.27 ERA and a 35-12 strikeout-walk ratio for 43 2/3 innings.
The Mets popped up in Friday's rumors -- that Jeff Francoeur angle just won't die -- and the Red Sox were mentioned earlier. Farnsworth is working under a $4.5 million contract this year, with a $5.25 million club option for 2011. If traded before the end of the World Series, he can void the option and take the $500,000 buyout.
Doesn't Farnsworth check in with his agent about trade talk?
"There have been one or two times, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm on this team right now and my job is right here," he said.
Farnsworth has been traded three times in his career and, after 12 years in the big leagues, being the subject of a trade rumor is old stuff.
"I don't even pay any attention to it," Farnsworth said with a laugh. "I've got bigger stuff to worry about."
Heat forces home-plate ump from game
KANSAS CITY -- Home-plate umpire and crew chief Wally Bell left Friday's Royals vs.Orioles game in the sixth inning after being examined by assistant athletic trainer Kyle Turner.
Bell left the game suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion. The game-time temperature was 92 degrees with a heat index of 100.
With the scored tied at 3, Bell stood up from behind home plate and was met by third-base umpire Laz Diaz and Turner.
After further inspection, Bell and Turner walked off the field. Second-base umpire Todd Tichenor filled in for Bell behind the plate for the remainder of the game.
Athletic trainer Nick Kenny examined Bell and said his vitals were stable and he would not need to be transported to a hospital.
Aviles could see time at hot corner
KANSAS CITY -- According to Royals manager Ned Yost, Mike Aviles may be seeing some time at third base in the near future.
Veteran Wilson Betemit has taken over third base since Alberto Callaspo was traded last week, but Yost said that isn't an everyday solution.
"Betemit has been a guy that, over long periods of playing time, tends to develop some leg problems," Yost said. "So we're trying to find a way where he can play four or five days a week. Mike's played in the Minor Leagues [at third base,] and you find a way to get [Chris] Getz in the game."
If Aviles were to play third, Getz would likely play second base and bat leadoff, solving two of the Royals' needs.
"It's time we start inserting [Getz] into the lineup more, to see what exactly what we have," Yost said. "It just gives us more options."
"Mike can play third, Mike, as we know, can play short and he's developing into a second baseman," Yost said. "He can be another valuable part to what we're trying to do later."
Aviles took ground balls at third base before the start of Friday's game. Aviles missed most of the 2009 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Yost said Aviles' arm is ready to make the throw from third to first base.
"He's coming along fine, and that's why we brought him out today," Yost said. "We wanted to see what he looked like, and he looked plenty fine over there. He's getting stronger and stronger all the time."
So when can Royals' fans expect to see Aviles at the hot corner?
"Maybe, probably, maybe, maybe, maybe [Saturday,]" Yost said. "We'll see. I'm serious, maybe [Saturday.]"
Confidence is key for struggling Wood
KANSAS CITY -- Royals reliever Blake Wood will be the first to admit that he has had a tough time on the mound lately, but the key is to remain confident.
After picking up his second loss of the season on Thursday night in extra innings, Wood is trying to maintain that confidence.
"I decided that no matter what happens, I'm just going to stay confident," Wood said. "[Thursday night,] it just happened that I gave up a run and a leadoff walk. That's all there was to it."
Over his last seven appearances, Wood has given up seven earned runs in four innings with five walks and three strikeouts.
"I had a tough stretch there in New York, and a couple of games before that, but I feel confident again," Wood said. "[Thursday night] I was just a little wild. I think one thing you can't do is lose your confidence. That's something I kind of did in New York a little bit and it definitely cost me."
Royals host baseball clinic for kids
KANSAS CITY -- In a stretch where the Royals are playing 20 games in 20 days, any time off is valuable. That, however, didn't stop a handful of Royals players from coming to Kauffman Stadium on Friday morning for a baseball clinic.
Major League Baseball Players Alumni hosted a clinic on Friday to help over 250 underprivileged kids in the Kansas City area. The Players Trust's City Clinics program is a grass-roots campaign developed by -- and featuring the active participation of -- current Major Leaguers to promote the game of baseball to underprivileged children, ages 6-16, in select cities across the U.S. and Latin America.
Royals outfielder Mitch Maier, along with Billy Butler, Mike Aviles and Brian Bannister all pitched in their time to help out with the clinic: Answering questions, signing autographs and giving pointers on different aspects of baseball.
"It's awesome," Maier said. "I was a little kid coming to camps, I was these guys' age. Having an opportunity to come out and talk to guys who were professional ball players would've thrilled me."
Maier added his biggest concern was making sure the kids were having fun.
"It's great to come out and hang out with them and give them some lessons," he said. "Whether it's hitting or pitching, or just having fun -- making sure they're having fun."
Keith Munns, who works for the Major League Baseball Players Alumni, said the clinics are a great opportunity for less fortunate kids to learn about baseball.
"We're just promoting the sport of baseball to the kids," Munns said. "It's kind of a grass roots project, because right now you're competing with soccer and basketball. So this is just to bring them out and get them excited about baseball.
"It's cool, because you see them having a good time running around and asking the players different questions. Then we give them lunch and send them home. It's just a good experience, you feel good about doing it."
Royals to honor Negro Leagues
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals will honor the Negro Leagues on Saturday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
Gates A and E in the Outfield Experience will open at 3 p.m. CT, and all other gates will open at 4:30 p.m. CT as the Royals host a pregame party, featuring $1 hot dogs and soft drinks. All proceeds benefit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Fans will have the opportunity to visit with former Negro League players during an autograph session from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. CT.
For Saturday's game against the Orioles, both teams will wear Negro League uniforms. The Royals will wear 1949 Kansas City Monarchs home uniforms, and the Orioles will wear the Baltimore Elite Giants road uniforms from the early 1950s.
The first 20,000 fans will receive a replica Monarchs hat.
Outfielder David DeJesus' autograph session in the Majestic Team Store at Kauffman Stadium for Saturday morning has been canceled. In light of his recent injury and surgery, The Royals canceled the appearance. ... The Royals are 7-3 and the Orioles are 8-3 in extra innings this season. ... In his debut for Class A Wilmington, newly acquire pitcher Will Smith worked seven innings, allowing one run on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Smith was acquired along with Sean O'Sullivan from the Angels for Alberto Callaspo. ... With his leadoff double in the fifth inning, Jose Guillen now has 300 career doubles.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Samuel Zuba is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.