- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Nationals’ Alfonso Soriano isn’t the first athlete to attempt to impose his will on his bosses. Here are a few other notable players who pouted and grandstanded until they got their way — or were shown the door:

ELWAY STIFFS COLTS

John Elway, the top overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, refuses to sign with the Baltimore Colts and threatens to play baseball instead. The Colts traded Elway to the Denver Broncos.

PIPPEN POUTS

With 1.8 seconds left in a tied Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the New York Knicks in 1994, Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen sits out the team’s final play. Pippen was upset that the potential winning shot was designed for teammate Toni Kukoc.

‘OPERATION SHUTDOWN’

During 2002 spring training, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Derek Bell (right) threatens to go into “Operation Shutdown” after being told he must compete for a starting job. (He hit .173 the season before.) The Pirates released him on March 31, despite owing him another $4.5 million in salary.

BONNIES TAKE EARLY SEAT

The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team refuses to play its final two games in 2003 after being forced to forfeit six Atlantic 10 conference wins for using an ineligible player. The school then goes on to win nine games in the next two seasons combined.

Tim Lemke


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