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 hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness