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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: McGwire in 500 club

MARK McGWIRE became the fastest player in major league history to hit 500 home runs, then took his total to 501 on Thursday. With two out in the third inning of a game against the San Diego Padres, the St Louis Cardinals slugger hit a pitch from Andy Ashby on to the grassy area beyond the centre-field fence to become the 16th member of the 500-homer club.

Baseball: McGwire achieves Stadium landmark

MARK MCGWIRE completed his collection of home-run stadiums in Cincinnati, as the St Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-5.

Baseball: Cone's perfect pitch

DAVID CONE pitched what was only the 14th perfect game in American Major League history on Sunday night, as the New York Yankees beat the Montreal Expos 6-0 here.

Obituary: Eddie Stanky

NICKNAMES, AFFECTIONATE and otherwise, have been common in baseball since before the turn of the century.

Will Murdoch blow the whistle?

After Man U the tycoon may shelve his European ambitions, says Peter Koenig

Baseball: Soaring salaries pile on pressure

After the Year of the Bat, hopes are high for the new baseball season.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 28,600

TODAY'S

Paperback roundup

A History of the American People by Paul Johnson, Phoenix pounds 12.99. "The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures," Johnson states in his opening sentence. That's probably a truism, but it doesn't do any harm to be reminded of the obvious once in a while. When it was published last year, Johnson's vast book attracted some ridicule for its factual clangers - among other things, apparently, Johnson claimed that Edison invented the telephone. To be fair, a book on this scale is bound to have a few mistakes: cf Norman Davies's Europe: A History. The important thing is getting them corrected, and not only does the Edison one not reappear in this edition, Johnson goes so far as to include his private address for any reader who wants to point out any other errors or take issue with his opinions. Now why would anybody want to do that?

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: $91m Piazza enters the pay stratosphere

MIKE PIAZZA, the catcher for the New York Mets, is to become baseball's highest paid player after signing a seven-year deal for $91m (pounds 56m). The Mets, who have become very much New York's other team as the Yankees have soared into the stratosphere, will keep one of their best talents on board.

Baseball: Yankees bask in moment of glory

World Series baseball: Comparisons with the best are made as New York celebrates

Baseball: TV group pitches to buy Yankees

ANOTHER GREAT name in sports looks set to be sold to a media company just weeks after Manchester United passed into the empire of Rupert Murdoch.

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: Sosa so happy to make play-off

SAMMY SOSA was unable to match Mark McGwire's all-time home run record but went one better than his St Louis rival in another way - by booking a play-off berth with his Chicago Cubs side.
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?