Sport

A weekly look at the biggest talking points in the NFL

Baseball: Wells swells with pride at his perfect pitch

IT WAS already a good season for the New York Yankees. But things got even better on Sunday when David Wells, their left-handed pitcher, threw a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins in front of 50,000 fans at the Yankee Stadium. He pitched to 27 batters, and got 27 outs: no errors, no hits and no walks, an unmarred record.

Baseball: Money game turns surreal

Major League baseball starts in style today. Rupert Cornwell on a new comfort zone

Tom Clancy puts up $200m to join the costly hunt for sports world kudos

The best-selling author Tom Clancy (estimated gross income for 1996-97 $50m) is trying to buy the Minnesota Vikings football team. Rupert Cornwell asks why the fabulously rich and famous do such crazy things.

Athletics: When gold medallist Tom McKean was left feeling as naked as a couple of hotel guests

MIKE ROWBOTTOM ON THE TORONTO SKYDOME LIFT

Baseball: Cleveland clinch upset

The Cleveland Indians, the team most thought would be a soft touch in the post-season, are heading to the World Series for the second time in three years. The Indians made it to the Series against the Florida Marlins by beating the Baltimore Orioles, 1-0, on an 11th-inning home run by Tony Fernandez on Wednesday.

Flat Earth: Broken promises

It's nice to learn that not every American male has lost his sense of perspective or humour. Looking at the rise of the Promise Keepers, one has to admit to wondering sometimes.

Baseball: Red faces for the Indians

The Baltimore Orioles started well in their attempt to reach a World Series since 1983, taming the Cleveland Indians 3-0 in the first game of the American League Championship Series.

Baseball: Atlanta's pitching can prevail in the year of big hitters

It's October, which in America means the baseball play-offs, and the annual question of the 1990s: who can stop Ted Turner's Atlanta Braves winning the World Series? Rupert Cornwell weighs up the form, and also considers how the sport's most famous record improbably survived another year.

Baseball: Seattle's Buhner betters Baltimore home-run record

Seattle broke the record for most home runs by a team in one season on Tuesday night when Jay Buhner struck the 258th and his 40th, a 484- foot power drive against Anaheim.

TODAY'S NUMBER 91

TODAY'S

Leagues end the isolation

Baseball

THEATRE With David Benedict

Damn Yankees is at the Adelphi Theatre, London WC2 (0171-344 0055) 29 May to 16 Aug

Baseball: Clemens starting to repay Blue Jays

It is beginning to look as if 34-year-old Roger Clemens is worth the huge free agent contract he signed to join the Toronto Blue Jays in the off-season.

Braves can answer the big question

Rupert Cornwell, in Washington, previews the new baseball season

And where does the Bulger murder come in? It's Blake Morrison's equivalent of coming out

There's been so much flak and flap, cries of "obscene" and "How dare he?" that I'm beginning to feel that I'm alone in appreciating As If, Blake Morrison's controversial book about the murder of Jamie Bulger and the subsequent trial of his 10-year-old killers, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. I am probably alone in my reasons for appreciating it. Which are all the reasons why its critics - many and loud - apparently detest it. I like, they loathe: the style - or, more precisely, the styles (part-journalism, part-autobiography); the mode (confessional) and the subject-matter. The last of these, of course, is objected to both in itself - what's to be gained from reminding us? - and (this circles back to style) because Morrison has been accused of appropriation: of stealing the subject for his own (dead) ends. What, nay-sayers thunder, entitles Morrison to fuse, with disturbing, misplaced candour, his life, his children, his upbringing, his parents, with the Bulger murder? Why would a nice, well-brought-up lad want to - morbidly choose to - tell us of piddling stones he chucked as a boy, as if there were a vital connection between such naughty high spirits and savage acts committed with bricks and iron bars? As if. As if: Morrison's point, exactly.
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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