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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic