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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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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own