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Why Would Jim Thome Be in Detroit?

I know this is pretty rumor-ish, but it's making the rounds on Twitter (via ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick) and might just interest you.

MSG.com's Tina Cervasio, in town to cover tonight's Knicks-Pistons game, says she saw Jim Thome at a Detroit-area hotel today. That led Crasnick (in addition to his colleague Jorge Arangure) to wonder if Thome was in town for baseball reasons.

The Tigers' front office is on vacation until January 4, which might lead one to presume that no one is around Comerica Park even if Thome and his people wanted to talk. But the lights aren't completely out over there until after the new year, are they?

Anyway, this could be complete speculation. Maybe Thome is in town to check out the casinos, as Craig Calcaterra joked. Or maybe he had a hankering for some coney dogs.

The idea of a former Tiger Killer coming over from the dark side is intriguing, however. So is that left-handed power bat.

This year, Thome hit .249/.366/.481 with 23 home runs and 77 RBIs in 434 plate appearances. All but 17 of those PAs were with the Chicago White Sox. Thome was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the very end of August, and only appeared in 17 games.

UPDATE: Thome may be in the Detroit area for a funeral (via Larry from South Side Sox). See, we said this was pretty rumor-ish.

UPDATE #2: At Circling the Bases, Calcaterra calls this "the thinnest rumor of the year."