Sport

A weekly look at the biggest talking points in the NFL

Baseball: White Sox sign Belle for a cool $50m

The Chicago White Sox have made Albert Belle the game's highest-paid player, signing him to a five-year contract estimated to be worth more than $50m (pounds 30m).

Baseball: City enthralled by Yankees

If you have friends in New York, do not try to call them tonight. Phones will be off the hook across the city as the World Series returns from Atlanta to the Bronx and the New York Yankees attempt to turn their thrilling come-back against the Atlanta Braves into final and magnificent victory.

Yankees given hope by Williams

Baseball

postcard; FROM NEW YORK

A whole new ball game: Imagine if the Prince of Wales were to appear in public one morning with delicate, well-proportioned ears, or if Arsenal fans were to turn up for a match dead sober and singing hymns. There might be a moment of relief, but it would quickly be engulfed by the loud resentment of the angry multitudes. When something famously horrible stops being horrible, the public's expectation is betrayed, leaving people painfully in need of a new institution of public derision. That is pretty much the state that New Yorkers found themselves in last week, as the no-good Yankees -or, as the Broadway musical styles them, the "Damn Yankees," - reformed themselves, winning the American League baseball pennant after 15 consecutive years of defeat and shame. For the first time since 1981, the Yankees have a chance at winning the World Series, and the Bronx's Yankee Stadium is not lying fallow at Series time. In other words, those low-down, scum-sucking, Steinbrenner-tormented, pennant- losing Yankee devils are once again the beloved Bronx Bombers, and everyone's favourite angels in the outfield.

Yankees triumph

The New York Yankees put together six runs on three homers in the third inning to beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-4 and reach their first World Series since 1981 against St Louis Cardinals or Atlanta Braves.

Umpires may still strike despite Alomar's ban for spitting

Roberto Alomar, the Baltimore Orioles' second baseman, will serve his five-game suspension for spitting at an umpire next season after withdrawing his appeal against the ban. However, this still leaves the umpires to decide whether to boycott further matches in the divisional play-offs of the American and National Leagues in protest of what they believe is a too lenient penalty.

Self-interested game spits in the public's face

Rupert Cornwell reports from Washington on the affair that threatens baseball's play-offs

Spitting spat puts play-offs in a spin

A threat by umpires to boycott the play-offs after a player spat at an official was yesterday called off at the last minute.

Enlarged play-offs provide thrilling finale

Rupert Cornwell on the season when baseball's record books were rewritten

Baltimore Orioles beat Detroit Tigers 5-4

Baseball

Invasion of the slugfest makes baseball tedious

SPORT IN ANOTHER COUNTRY : Rupert Cornwell, in Washington, yearns for the pitching duels of summers past

Say hello to Big Frank, a rough diamond

BEING THERE; Simon Garfield goes to Hull and back to watch Britain in the quest to escape the minor leagues of European baseball

Broken nose fails to break Ripken's run

Cal Ripken, who has played 2,239 successive games without breaking a bone, broke his nose during a team photo session before the major league All-Star game in Philadelphia yesterday.

Snow stops start of season

Baseball
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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

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Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

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The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

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