Cubs Sale

As reported by Phil Rosenthal in Friday's Tribune:

(Tribune Company Chairman and Chief Executive Sam) Zell said in a conference call with creditors
Thursday he now expects the confidential Cubs figures to be released to
potential buyers in the next 10 days or so and a sale to be completed
"sometime this year," regardless of what happens in ongoing
negotiations with the state over Wrigley, or whatever the park winds up
being called.

"You
ought to read the latest newspaper because it's all out there," Zell
said, noting there continues to be "steady progress" in talks for a
ballpark deal. "We're trying to do what is the optimum transaction with
the Illinois Sports Authority while simultaneously running with a book
on the Cubs going both ways, with or without the sports authority."


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Reader Crunch beat me to this by a couple minutes in the Comments, but Paul Sullivan of the Tribune writes that after making his Spring Training debut Saturday in a 6-2 Cubs loss to the Angels (2 runs, 3 hits allowed in 2 IP), Jason Marquis let it be known that he wants to be traded if the Cubs aren't going to let him start:

"I love Chicago. I definitely want to stay here...But I also signed as a starter...I love (Chicago), I love the fans, I love the stadium. I also have a family to worry about, too. I think I can take my services elsewhere...and help another team, in that capacity as a starter."

How Marquis's family would suffer if he was pitching long relief, I'm not sure.

Lou Piniella's response after he was informed of Marquis's comments:

"You know, that galls me about Marquis, it really does. I'm not pleased with that comment. We've had a good camp over here, everybody's getting an opportunity. Go out and win a spot in the rotation."

Sullivan also writes that Boston scout Keith Champion was at Saturday's game, which one might connect with the Cubs' reported interest in Coco Crisp. When Curt Schilling's latest injury came to light, Marquis's name came up as a possible trade target for Theo Epstein, but since the Sox recently signed The Pitcher Who Used To Be Bartolo Colon, their interest in Marquis might be less...if there was ever any to start with.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Sam Zell’s plan to sell Wrigley Field to the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority is “alienating would-be buyers” of the ballclub, A member of one of the prospective ownership groups says, “Splitting (the team and ballpark) absolutely diminishes the value of the team and my interest level.”

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