Daily Herald
Levin being patient, but he's still in mix to buy Cubs
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
Published: 3/12/2008 12:13 AM

It's been almost two years since word started making the rounds that the Cubs would be up for auction.

And a year since they actually went on the block.

But still no "book'' is available to potential buyers with the detailed financial information.

"I just hope I can buy the team while I still have the strength to walk up the ramp at Wrigley Field,'' said Chicago Wolves owner Don Levin. "Cities have been built and razed in less time.''

But there is good news for those who know Levin would be an excellent custodian for Cubs fans:

Levin is still interested in buying the Cubs despite all the delays and the controversy over selling Wrigley Field separately, and he's also one of the select few to receive the OK to see the book and bid on the club.

"I know I can get the book. I've been approved to get the documents,'' Levin said. "But to my knowledge, there's nothing out there yet, and there probably won't be until arrangements are made with the state over the sale of the park.

"We're almost to the beginning of the season and they don't want to be disruptive. We may not see anything happen with the sale of the team all season again.''

In the meantime, the sale of Wrigley Field has serious financial implications for the next owner.

"I'm keeping an open mind at this point since we obviously don't know what the bottom line will be,'' Levin said. "If the state gets too greedy with the lease, well, that won't help the seller get what he's looking for.

"I have to assume Sam Zell is a very smart guy and that he believes he'll get the most return this way, but he has to make sure it's a good lease for the team, and that from a revenue standpoint it's good for the team, or he won't be able to get what he wants for the team.

"I just have to believe that he wouldn't do this without real thought and consideration for everything involved, but we have to see the numbers first to know anything.''

In the meantime, prospective owners like Levin can only wait to see what Zell does with Wrigley Field.

"Some people might not like that, but it's his team, so he can do what he wants,'' Levin said. "I'm still interested and I have to believe it'll work out better for the buyer this way, not just the seller.

"If not, it won't work.''

Third option

In spring training, 17 days is a lifetime, so don't believe all you hear from Arizona or Florida about what may become of Joe Crede with more than two weeks left before the regular season begins.

What hasn't changed in months is the White Sox' desire to move Crede and the hope that Josh Fields gets to play early and often at third base in Chicago.

The rest, for now, is just posturing by those looking to deal Crede and those hoping to acquire him. But it's in no one's best interests, either in Chicago or elsewhere, for Crede to begin the season as the Sox' starting third baseman.

The line

The odds on Tiger Woods going undefeated in 2008 are 80-1, but that number ought to be about 3,000-1.

As for the odds on him winning the grand slam, they've fallen from a far-too-low 40-1 to start the new year, to as tiny as 8-1 at some Vegas books.

Even though we've been suggesting Woods could do it since as far back as January, it's nevertheless a monumental feat and the odds ought to be at least 200-1.

I still believe that if Woods can win the Masters, he will take them all this year, but in order to win at Augusta, he's going to have to hit some fairways.

It'll be interesting to see if Woods is willing to leave his driver in his bag if he can't hit it straight, when he can clearly win without it.

Ivan Boldirev-ing

The Wolves will wear special St. Patrick's Day jerseys for home games tonight, Friday and Saturday, and then auction/raffle them off for charity. In the past 12 years, the jerseys have raised more than $250,000.

The Wolves also will sell green replicas for the first time both at games and online. Visit chicagowolves.com for more info.

Bull stuff

ESPN.com's Bill Simmons: "What if Chicago had fired Scott Skiles in 2006 instead of giving Tyson Chandler away and blowing its cap space on Ben Wallace?''

Shecky Greene-ing

Dan Daly of the Washington Times: "Chinese officials are accusing the Dalai Lama of trying to undermine the Beijing Olympics. What's he planning to do, open a bunch of off-track Tibetting parlors?"

Best headline

Deadspin.com: "Billy Crystal signs with Yankees; Red Sox counter with Wilford Brimley.''

And finally …

Comedian Alex Kaseberg: "Let's be honest: Any tournament without Tiger Woods is like going to watch Caddyshack and getting Caddyshack II instead.''

brozner@dailyherald.com