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


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.



Leagues end the isolation


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.
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn