Bengals minicamp might have opened Thursday with the promise of a new season on the horizon, a chance to put aside the bad feelings associated with last year's 7-9 campaign. Instead, the day was shrouded in controversy regarding the team's most talked-about player, Chad Johnson. The disgruntled wide receiver, who has demanded a trade and said he feels alienated from teammates and coach Marvin Lewis, reported for workouts, was cleared to practice and then sat out most of the day's activities. Lewis, throughout the day, repeatedly tried to downplay any friction between player and team and seemingly reached out to Johnson. Wearing a microphone for Cincinnati.Com at the start of the 3 p.m. workout, Lewis walked up to Johnson, who was stretching. Lewis asked when Johnson was going to give him some love. Johnson said the situation was about business. Business is about playing, Lewis told Johnson. Johnson said it's frightening when a great player is angry. At one point during the afternoon, after the Bengals had said Johnson had passed a physical and had been cleared to practice but refused, agent Drew Rosenhaus, working from an SUV in the parking lot, responded. "Chad is not refusing to practice. He's not practicing because he has an (ankle) injury that easily could lead to an operation," the agent said. (Cincinnati Inquirer) Comment
Barring an unforeseen calamity in today's bullpen session, the Cardinals anticipate activating exiled closer Jason Isringhausen before next week's three-game series against the Royals. Isringhausen drew positive reviews from Wednesday's 1 2/3-inning outing at Class AA Springfield and is scheduled to throw at Busch Stadium this afternoon for the first time since landing on the disabled list May 16. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Comment
Commissioner David Stern restated his unwavering support for his referees on Thursday and said he was not concerned that at least one referee, Dick Bavetta, had been the subject of inquiries by federal agents. Hue Hollins, a retired referee, told The New York Times on Wednesday that two agents from New York visited him last summer and asked about Bavetta and Tim Donaghy, the disgraced referee who has admitted to working with gamblers. (New York Times) Comment
Austria's Gyorgy Garics (right) attempts to kick the ball past Poland goalie Artur Boruc in Euro 2008. (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)
1935 -- James Braddock beats Max Baer for heavyweight title 1937 -- Joe DiMaggio hits three straight HRs against St Louis Browns 1989 -- Pistons sweep Lakers in NBA finals 1995 -- Devils beat the Flyers, head to their first Stanley Cup finals
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