January 15, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Bobby Murcer is gravely ill

Former Yankee Bobby Murcer disclosed that he has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor after undergoing tests last month. He was selected for the All Star game five times, and has been a broadcast announcer for the Yankees since retiring. He played a total of 13 seasons with the Yankees from 1965 to 1983. He finished his career with 252 home runs and a .277 batting average. He also played for the Giants and the Cubs. See New York Times. It is especially noteworthy that he replaced fellow Oklahoman Mickey Mantle in center field.

Ballpark controversy in Miami

The Florida Marlins are still pushing hard for a new stadium in downtown Miami, but the state legislature would still have to approve money for it, and that is a very uncertain prospect. The officially designated "blighted neighborhood" would have to be expanded to encompass the plot of land where the stadium would be built so that it would qualify for tax breaks via the Community Redevelopment Agency. Miami Mayor Manny Diaz is touting the economic development benefits, but folks who were hoping that such funds would be used for new low-income housing are very angry, needless to say. See Miami Herald, via Neil deMause, who says this news casts doubt on the whole project; see baseballprospectus.com. Hat tip to Mike Zurawski. Why do stadium projects have to rely upon some obscure tax law gimmick?

Bowl game in Canada?

Matt Bahm informs me that Rogers Centre in Toronto played host to the inaugural International Bowl on January 6, the first time an NCAA football game has been played in Canada. Is this another side-effect of global warming?

UPDATE: Details on the Cincinnati Bearcats' 27-24 victory over the Western Michigan Broncos can be found at: TSN.ca.