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Like Stripes On the Fur Coat of a Tiger - 08/27

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks that a deal between the Tigers and Pirates for shortstop Jack Wilson is dead.

There have been no trade talks between the Pirates and Detroit Tigers for "several days, maybe more," one source said yesterday. Two other sources offered similar accounts, one saying that the Pirates have made up their minds to wait until the offseason to shop Wilson again.

So how about another shortstop rumor instead? A source has told MLB Trade Rumors that the Atlanta Braves might look into trading Edgar Renteria during the off-season and giving Yunel Escobar their shortstop job. We know that the Tigers pursued Renteria before, and they're mentioned as one of three teams that "could" be interested in making a deal if he's available.

Tyler Kepner expresses admiration for Carlos Guillen's on-field play, and the clubhouse demeanor of Curtis Granderson, Todd Jones, and Sean Casey on his NY Times blog.

I guess I haven't been paying enough attention, but I was under the impression that Jeremy Bonderman had developed a change-up and was becoming confident enough to throw it. Yet both Jim Leyland and Chuck Hernandez attribute Bondo's recent struggles to the lack of a third pitch (preferably something off-speed).

According to Sports Club Stats, the Tigers currently have a 30.8% chance of making the playoffs. (That probability increased 1.4% after beating the Yankees yesterday. It'll be interesting to see what those numbers are if Detroit wins tonight.)

If the Tigers decide they need to trade for another hitter to replace Gary Sheffield (who's currently sporting a cortisone patch), will they be getting into the Mike Piazza business? Ken Rosenthal sees it as a possibility. (via MLB Trade Rumors)

In today's Detroit News, Lynn Henning details the job duties of clubhouse attendant Jim Schmakel. I'm envious, as this is a piece I would've loved to write when I was working for a local sports magazine. (I did get to talk to the guy who rubs the baseballs down with mud, however. Maybe I'll post that article during the off-season.)