Sale of Cubs before Opening Day up in air



The Cubs are likely to remain under the ownership of Tribune through the early part of the season. Cubs chairman Crane Kenney said yesterday that it "will be a challenge" to complete the sale of the team by Opening Day on April 6 and that talks between the Ricketts family and the Tribune are ongoing. Tribune owns The Baltimore Sun. He said that none of the remaining issues "are in any way fatal to the transaction." The Ricketts family won exclusive negotiating rights on Jan. 22 in a deal worth about $900 million. A top baseball official, speaking on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press, said a vote by owners to approve the deal isn't likely to take place until mid-May at the earliest.

World Baseball Classic: : Adam Dunn, playing first base for injured Kevin Youkilis, made a wild throw that led to four unearned runs and Venezuela won Group 2 by beating the Americans, 10-6, to conclude second-round play in Miami. Both teams had already qualified for the semifinals this weekend in Los Angeles. Venezuela will play the second-seeded team from Group 1 on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, and the Americans will play in the other semifinal Sunday. The semifinalists from Group 1 will be South Korea and the winner of last night's game between Cuba and Japan. Youkilis, a Boston Red Sox, will miss the rest of the event because of a sprained ankle. He'll wear a walking boot for several days, the Red Sox said.


Astros: : Third baseman Aaron Boone will have open-heart surgery to replace an aortic valve. Boone, 36, said he has known about his heart condition since college but tests after his routine physical determined he needed surgery. It is not an emergency, but doctors indicated the procedure was needed. He said doctors told him he could play baseball when he recovers. Boone, who played for the Nationals last season, isn't sure if he'll play anywhere. In 12 seasons, he hit .264 with 126 home runs and 555 RBIs.

Pirates: : Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, one of Pittsburgh's top two starters at the beginning of last season, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis in a surprising move. This spring, Gorzelanny was 0-0 with a 7.00 ERA in only nine innings.

Yankees: : Hideki Matsui won't play in the outfield until at least interleague road games in June and will be restricted to designated hitter and pinch-hitting appearances until then. He is recovering from left knee surgery in September.

Indians: : Reliever Adam Miller, 24, is facing career-threatening reconstructive finger surgery if he is unable to find a new way to pitch effectively. Miller, who underwent surgery on his right middle finger last year, will spend the next seven to 10 days throwing to see whether he can command his pitches without pain.

Cardinals' Warner has hip surgery


Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left hip. The team said the operation to repair a torn labrum and "clean up some loose fragments" was performed Tuesday by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo. Philippon, who operated on New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez's hip last week, said the surgery went well and Warner's range of motion with the hip immediately improved. Warner, 37, started all 20 games last season in the Cardinals' run to the Super Bowl. He is expected to be ready for voluntary team workouts that begin May 19. The surgery comes two weeks after he signed a two-year, $23 million contract to stay with the Cardinals.

Bills: : Running back Marshawn Lynch said he expects to be suspended by the NFL for his latest run-in with the law and he has gotten the message that the league "won't tolerate any more screw-ups" from him.


Browns: : Receiver Donte' Stallworth said in a statement that he is "grief stricken" over his car accident that killed a pedestrian on a causeway linking Miami and Miami Beach. He was cooperating with police and no charges have been filed.

UM women defeat Dartmouth in 2OT


Karri Ellen Johnson completed her hat trick by scoring the game-winner with 2:11 left in the second overtime to lift No. 2 Maryland over host Dartmouth, 13-12, at Scully Fahey Field. Laura Merrifield also had a hat trick for the Terps (7-0). The Big Green (2-3) forced both overtimes with goals by Kat Collins with 17 seconds left in regulation and Sarah Plumb with one second left in the first overtime.

No. 20 Loyola 16, No. 11 Cornell 9: : Grace Gavin scored three of her game-high seven goals in the opening two minutes as the Greyhounds (5-1) upset the Big Red (11-2). Loyola led Cornell 11-2 at the half.

Mount ends season in loss to J. Madison


et cetera

A late 15-3 run propelled James Madison's men's basketball team past Mount St. Mary's, 69-58, in the first round of the inaugural tournament in Harrisonburg, Va. Jeremy Goode led the Mount (19-14) with 11 points. Devon Moore scored 21 for the Dukes (20-14). Kelly Beidler's tip-in early in the second half lifted the Mount to a 37-34 lead, but the Dukes answered with a 9-0 run.

More college basketball: : Jack McClinton (Calvert Hall) hit seven three-pointers and scored 25 lead Miami (Fla.) to a 78-66 win over host Providence (19-14) in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. The Friars got within four of Miami (19-12) with 3:08 left, but McClinton - who made seven of his 14 three-point shots - responded with two of them in a row. ... A.D. Vassallo scored 33 and host Virginia Tech (19-14) scored on its first five possessions in the second overtime to outlast 46 points from Duquesne's Aaron Jackson, 116-108, in the NIT first round. The Dukes ended their season at 21-13. ... Also in the NIT, host Baylor (21-14) beat Georgetown (16-15), 74-72, to earn its first postseason win since 1950.

NBA: : Forward Wally Szczerbiak (sprained left knee) could be out for three weeks for East-leading Cleveland.