Sport Alex Rodriguez is still owed $100m from his Yankees contract

A-Rod suspended until end of 2014 but appeal allows first Yankees game of the season last night

Baseball: Mighty Big Mac homes in on legend

St Louis Cardinals slugger prepares for what may be a record-breaking showdown with Chicago Cubs rival

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.

Faith & Reason: Memo to the President: put that bible away, Bill

Bill Clinton has to choose between being pious and presidential. It is his attempt to have it both ways that has got him into such a mess

Baseball: Fists fly as Orioles lose again

THE Baltimore Orioles, pride of the city and of Washington DC, have barely hit anything this season. But they managed a few good hits on Tuesday night. It was just a shame that the contacts were knuckle on jaw.

Baseball: Wells swells with pride at his perfect pitch

IT WAS already a good season for the New York Yankees. But things got even better on Sunday when David Wells, their left-handed pitcher, threw a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins in front of 50,000 fans at the Yankee Stadium. He pitched to 27 batters, and got 27 outs: no errors, no hits and no walks, an unmarred record.

Cricket: Robinson's idol work

Stephen Brenkley meets a man revelling in taking guard after one of the greats

Playing fastball with Fidel's field of dreams

JOE CUBAS does not scare easily. But he admits he felt very spooky when he hid behind a tombstone in a Mexican cemetery one November night last year. The lure of 5 per cent, though, kept him from fleeing.

In today's world baseball's traditional popularity is at serious risk

IN A time before blanket television coverage, player power and salaries to dwarf what some people get for running countries, baseball stood at the centre of American life.

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

Design: Massive attack

Forget Bill Posters, meet Peter Arnell. He started the rage for the giant `vertical surface' wall-ads that are fast covering swathes of Manhattan.

Sport on TV: Master of the dressing-room expletive revealed in Hitlerian rant of `the Scally Messiah'

SWEARING in football documentaries has become a bit of as cliche, but it must be said that managers really are masters of the art. John Sitton, then Leyton Orient's co-manager, gave a magnificent, peerless performance a couple of years ago, but Peter Reid, in charge at Sunderland, isn't very far behind, as he demonstrated in Premier Passions (BBC2), the first of a five-parter following the Wearsiders through an anguished 1996-97 season.

Theatre: Good, better or best?

When is a play a play, and is a comedy a play or not? Is a new play the same as a lost or unperformed one? What's the difference between best opera and outstanding achievement in opera? It appears that the organisers of the prestigious Olivier awards are not so sure...

Tom Clancy puts up $200m to join the costly hunt for sports world kudos

The best-selling author Tom Clancy (estimated gross income for 1996-97 $50m) is trying to buy the Minnesota Vikings football team. Rupert Cornwell asks why the fabulously rich and famous do such crazy things.

Health: Americans attracted by magnetic cure for pain

Chuck the aspirin bottle and make way in the bathroom cupboard for magnets. It sounds like quackery, but, as David Usborne finds out, the American medical establishment is beginning to give magnet therapy a closer look.

An ending or a new beginning? The diary of Harold Evans, 691/2

The news that Harold Evans was leaving the biggest book publishing job in New York, prompted a flood of gossip, vindictiveness and media obituaries. But Evans told a different story: he was off to the `Daily News'. But, asks Peter Pringle, what is the real news?
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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