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 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: Home run history for McGwire

MARK McGWIRE became the first National League player in 49 years to hit 54 home runs in a season when he sent a pitch from Justin Speier over the centre-field wall in the eighth inning of the St Louis Cardinals' 7-6 home defeat by the Floria Marlins on Wednesday night.

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

Baseball team owners allow Murdoch to join their club

WHAT does the man who has everything buy? A baseball team. Rupert Murdoch will purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers for a reported $311m (pounds 195m) to $350m after overcoming one of those annoying obstacles that the seriously wealthy despise - getting permission.

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

Turner moves to keep Murdoch off the Dodgers' pitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The media magnate Ted Turner, owner of the Atlanta Braves team, planned to make a rare appearance at a baseball owners' meeting today in an effort to block his media rival Rupert Murdoch from buying the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Football: No more jokes if United move to Wembley



Don DeLillo's latest epic, Underworld, brilliantly interweaves voices, incidents and telling details into a moving, empowering people's history. Blake Morrison hails a great American novelist

How 'The Fish' came to mend racial bridges

Phil Davison reports on the baseball triumph that has managed to heal the rifts of a divided state - for now

Baseball: World Series - Cuban upstarts pitch for world domination

Tonight in Miami's Pro Player Stadium, a Cuban defector and rookie pitching star called Livan Hernandez will open hostilities in one of the most intriguing World Series in years.

Baseball: Marlins quick to join big fish in ball pond

Kevin Brown pitched a complete game as the Florida Marlins became the quickest expansion team to reach the World Series by beating the defending champions, the Atlanta Braves, to win the National League Championship Series.

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.

Murdoch's empire scores a media double

In LA the Dodgers fall, while in New York a rival editor is sacked
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine