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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

Baseball: Johnson loses Blue Jays job

TIM JOHNSON, the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, yesterday had his US major league baseball career derailed after he lied about his military service in Vietnam. He was about to start his second year with the Jays, but has been fired by the American League team and replaced by the veteran Jim Fregosi.

Baseball: Brown strikes it rich

KEVIN BROWN yesterday became baseball's first $100m man, by signing a seven-year $105m (pounds 63m) contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Baseball: Clinton law to benefit players

PRESIDENT CLINTON signed a bill on Tuesday which overturns part of US Major League baseball's 70-year-old anti-trust exemption, putting baseball on a par with other professional US sports on labour matters.

Baseball: Braves in trouble as Brown strikes form

THE SAN Diego pitcher, Kevin Brown, dominated the Atlanta Braves with a three-hitter as the Padres beat the hosts 3-0 to go two up in the National League Championship Series.

Baseball: Cubs are tamed by Smoltz

THE CHICAGO Cubs found out that regular-season dominance means little once the play-offs start. Atlanta's John Smoltz dominated the Cubs on Wednesday in a 7-1 victory, breaking the Braves' five-game losing streak against Chicago.

Baseball: Yankees close in on all-time wins record

THE NEW York Yankees are just one win away from breaking a club record which has stood for 71 years after sweeping both games of a double- header with the Central Division champions, the Cleveland Indians, on Tuesday. They won their 108th and 109th matches of the season to stand within one victory of the 1927 Yankees record of 110 wins.

Baseball: Ripken's home run ends at 2,632 games

NOTHING IN baseball is eternal. Not Roger Maris' home run record, pulverised in 1998 by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Not the failure of the hapless Chicago Cubs to put together a winning team (they might even make the play-offs this year). And now not even the Ripken streak.

Baseball: McGwire moves one up on Sosa

MARK McGWIRE, the St Louis Cardinals slugger, hit his 63rd home run of the season on Tuesday night, extending the all-time record and pulling one ahead of Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa.

Let's not talk about sex

America's Puritan

Baseball: Record still on for slugger Sosa

baseball:

BASEBALL: McGwire barrage edges towards record

MARK McGWIRE slugged his way to the brink of immortality on Wednesday night, striking two home runs to move within two of Roger Maris' 37- year-old Major League record.

Baseball: McGwire's gain eclipsed by Mets

MARK McGWIRE, of St Louis, regained pole position in the major league home run standings but the New York Mets took over the lead in the National League wild-card race with an 8-3 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday.

Baseball: Money game turns surreal

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

Ice Hockey: Birmingham franchise fix

THE American businessman Blake Cullen has pulled out of the running for the Birmingham Superleague franchise because he refuses "to wait another year".

Rupert strikes out Ted

Murdoch wanted one of baseball's mightiest teams. His media - and sporting - rival Ted Turner said: `I'll squish him like a bug.' He didn't, of course. By Rupert Cornwell
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