The Phillies could be sold within 2 years, columnist Stan Hochman said on Comcast SportsNet's "Daily News Live" yesterday. The team vehemently denied there was a movement afoot to buy the team.

Hochman said his statement was based on a reliable source who said that a solid bid had been made to buy the team, but that the offer had been rejected. The source indicated that one owner balked at the offer and that the current owners have an agreement that any sale be based on unanimous approval.

The source indicated that the prospective buyers planned to approach the holdout owner in an effort to convince him to sell. The would-be buyers are based in Philadelphia, and well-established in the community, Hochman said.

Phillies vice president for public relations Larry Shenk called the report "totally ridiculous and absurd . . . The rumors are totally inaccurate and false. There is absolutely no truth to this story at all." *