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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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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick