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It’s showtime again in LA as the world’s highest-priced sports team are closing in on their first appearance in the World Series for 25 years

Alex Rodriguez is still owed $100m from his Yankees contract

Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez set to return as drugs storm finally hits

A-Rod suspended until end of 2014 but appeal allows first Yankees game of the season last night

With the National Baseball Hall of Fame weekend kicking-off today, how exactly do you qualify?

There is a strict code to adhere to if a player is going to be considered for inclusion in a rather exclusive club

Alex Rodriguez is said to be involved in the latest drug scandal rocking baseball

Baseball: New York Yankees' Alex 'A-Rod' Rodriguez faces life ban after drug link

Six years after supposedly closing the books on its “steroid era”, baseball is embroiled in a new drug scandal that has already felled one of its top stars, and could end the career of Alex Rodriguez, its highest-paid player.

The Numbers Game, by Chris Anderson and David Sally

Roberto Martinez is a fan of football analytics, the science of compiling and analysing the rapidly increasing plethora of data on every aspect of the game. He subscribes to a sophisticated software package, yet one is entitled to ask just how much use this is, given that under the Spaniard's charge Wigan have just been relegated.

Liz Moore: ‘Heft’, her second novel, is moving but never maudlin

Paperback review: Heft, By Liz Moore

He's big and round, in a good way

Lavonne Paire-Davis: Baseball player

Lavonne "Pepper" Paire-Davis, who died on 2 February aged 88, was a star of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and an inspiration for the film A League Of Their Own. Paire-Davis was a model for the character played by Geena Davis and served as a consultant on the 1992 film.

Meet me in St Louis

The seventh-inning stretch was minutes away, but the crowd at the Busch Stadium had itchy feet. Throughout, spectators had been filing to and from the hotdog stands, or making come-hither gestures to the peanut vendor. Everyone was distracted.

MVP winner Pablo Sandoval

San Francisco Giants sweep aside Detroit Tigers to rule baseball

They don't have the big names, a Triple Crown winner or a $200m-plus slugger. But for the second time in three years the San Francisco Giants rule baseball, clinically completing a four game sweep of the Detroit Tigers to win one of the most lopsided World Series in recent years.

Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits a home run against the Yankees

Baseball: Detroit motor to World Series as battling Giants do it the hard way

The comeback team against the would-be comeback city. Such is the 2012 World Series which opens tonight in what is probably the major leagues' most beautiful ballpark, where Barry Bonds used to lash his steroid-fuelled home runs into San Francisco Bay.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Failings of previous owners continue to hurt Liverpool reveals owner John Henry

Owner John Henry says Liverpool face a huge financial challenge to compete with the very best as the Premier League side continues to pay the price for the failings of the previous regime.

At bat, Harper is an electrifying mix of power, swagger and recklessness of youth

Baseball: Nats' new kid on the block causing a commotion in the capital

Washington National's bat out of hell Bryce Harper on track to have best season by teenager in a century

Toronto friendly to kick-off Liverpool's pre-season tour

Liverpool will begin their pre-season tour of North America with a friendly against the Major League Soccer side Toronto FC on 21 July. The match will take place at the 47,000-capacity Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team.

The100-year-old Fenway Park nestles in Boston's modern city centre

More than a baseball park – a true American icon

The history of Boston Red Sox's famous 100-year-old home stretches far beyond bats and Babe Ruth, says Brian Viner

Albert Pujols left the St Louis Cardinals last December and signed for the Los Angeles Angels

Baseball: Go west to see the best

As the new season begins, there has been a power shift from the East Coast, with TV deals, star names and big bucks going to LA

A view of dodger stadium

Baseball: Magic Johnson set to buy Dodgers for record $2bn

A group spear-headed by former basketball great Earvin "Magic" Johnson agreed to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team for a record $2bn, team owner Frank McCourt announced yesterday, capping a two-year drama that started with McCourt's divorce and wound its way through bankruptcy court.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project