For sale: one (losing) MLB team   

Updated: April 5, 2007, 3:55 PM ET

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Off Base

Real estate magnate Sam Zell's recent purchase of Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Cubs, led to the Cubs announcing the franchise will be put up for sale.

While reports indicated the Cubs would be sold at season's end, with rumors speculating on names like Mark Cuban and Bill Murray as potential buyers, Page 2 discovered the team has already been put up for sale on eBay. (Click on the red dots for further information.)

Ben Sheets gave Milwaukee fans reason to think that perhaps this season will end their 25-year postseason drought with an Opening Day two-hitter, the first such complete game two-hitter since Tom Glavine in 1992. But this week's award goes to Felix Hernandez, who brightened a cold Seattle afternoon with eight scoreless innings on Opening Day.

Hernandez was disappointing in his first full season last year but he lost weight over the winter and came into camp in better shape. He then struck out a career-high 12 batters in a 4-0 victory over Oakland. His line:

8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K

Six days shy of his 21st birthday, Hernandez was the youngest opening day starter since Dwight Gooden in 1985.

Looking for a great read for yourself or a friend? Check out the new book by contributor Alan Schwarz, "Once Upon a Game." The book is filled with wonderful reminisces from many players, including Pedro Martinez talking about learning English during long bus rides in the Pioneer League, Roger Clemens recalling his first 20-strikeout game, Curt Schilling on the Bloody Sock, Dontrelle Willis on his wild delivery and even Peanuts creator Charles Schulz on his love of baseball. You'll not only be buying a good book, you'll be helping in the fight against Alzheimer's -- 20 percent of the author royalties go to the Alzheimer's Foundation. You can see some of the players telling their stories on And also check out Alan's first book, "The Numbers Game." ...

There were several sad losses recently. Herb Carneal, the voice of the Minnesota Twins for the past 45 summers, died at age 83 the day before the season opened. His voice, as familiar to Minnesotans as Garrison Keillor's, will be missed this and every summer. ...

Charles Einstein died as well last month. Among his many talents. Einstein was the editor of the Fireside Books of Baseball, the enormously rich and varied collection of baseball writings. He also wrote the Pulitzer Prize finalist, "Willie's Time," about Willie Mays and America in the '50s. (Interestingly, he also was the half-brother of Albert Brooks and Super Dave Osborne.) There is no better way to remember Einstein than to pick up one of his books and dive in. ...

Ugueth Urbina may have been sentenced to 14 years for attempted murder in Venezuela this week but my man, Scooter, points out that if Urbina was left-handed, a team would still offer him a three-year, $7 million contract. ...

Jim Caple is a senior writer for He can be reached here. His Web site is at, with more installments of "24 College Avenue." His new book with Steve Buckley, "The Best Boston Sports Arguments: The 100 Most Controversial, Debatable Questions for Die-Hard Boston Fans" is on sale now.


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