Meet the people who work at the ballpark

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Not the players and the umps, but the behind the scenes folks like vendors and security guards and stuff.  Daniel Paulling of the Kansas City Star has interesting profiles of a bunch of them who work at Kauffman Stadium.  This bit — about a security guard who works down by the players’ wives section — caught my eye:

Burnett has developed a system where he can spot people who have
moved down to better seats.

While he doesn’t want to share too
many secrets, he said the way a person acts and other little things are
big giveaways.

It’s not terribly hard to spot people trying to trade up.  The key is what you do about it.  Some guys — like this guy — kick ’em back to where their real seats are.  Other guys just turn a blind eye, realizing that as long as the real ticket holder isn’t there it probably doesn’t matter.

But some guys — like the ushers at a ballpark I’ve been to a few times but which I won’t identify because I don’t want to get anyone in trouble — will steer you directly to a primo, unoccupied seat as early as the first inning for as little as a finsky.  They’ll even wipe it down for you as if you bought the seat yourself.

But, hey, if the guy in Kansas City wants to leave a few Lincolns on the table, that’s no skin off my nose . . .

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.

Report: Phillies making Maikel Franco available in trade discussions

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.

Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.

It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.

Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.