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: 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.

Essay: He was elegant and mysterious - and he didn't talk much

David Thomson honours the memory of Joe DiMaggio (left), a graceful hitter, a loyal ex-husband, and the greatest Yankee of them all

New York weeps for legendary Joltin' Joe

NEW YORK bowed its head in mourning yesterday for a man who in life was closer to the city's soul than almost any figure you can think of and who will always remain one of its most powerful and beloved legends. Joe DiMaggio, arguably the world's first sporting superstar, had passed away in Florida.

Obituary: Joe DiMaggio

BASEBALL IS a sport which reveres its statistics, one in which numbers can transcend simple arithmetic to become a catechism of faith. For the believer, 406 signifies only one thing - Ted Williams's average in 1941, the last time anyone batted over 400 for a season. Henceforth, 70 will be forever shorthand for Mark McGwire's single season home run record. Or take 2,632, the number of consecutive games played by Cal Ripken Jnr between 1982 and 1998, almost certainly never to be surpassed. And then there is 56. For the uninitiated, the figure is no more than part of the seven times table. For the baseball fan, however, it summons up at once Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak between mid-May and mid-July 1941, a record which also may never be broken.

Letter From America: Yankees banish `Boomer'

SPORT IS an unsentimental business, and New York is a cynical city. So you might not have expected anyone to have been especially surprised when the Yankees sent a much-loved baseball player into exile, since they gained a superior one in return. And you would be wrong.

Obituary: James Hammerstein

JAMES HAMMERSTEIN was a successful and complete man of the theatre. The son of the lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, he was born to the purple and could have remained in it, becalmed but important. He chose instead to begin at the bottom.

Baseball: Diamond passion of Castro's Cuba

The big money is made in America, but the game is still followed with revolutionary zeal by Fidel's followers

Off the peg: How an obscure US football team took over the world.

ou know those little things that at first you don't notice, but when you do, you start to see them wherever you look? On buses, in shops, in your dreams? Here's one: Michigan jackets. Or, more precisely, the official, thermally-padded, down-to-your-knees blue-and-yellow touchline jacket of the US college football team the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan jackets are all over my part of north London, like the uniform of an occupying army, and I don't know why. You see them at bus stops and chip shops, crossing parks at twilight and blocking out the supermarket checkout on a Saturday - MICHIGAN appliqued in block capitals across the bum in front of you and a giant M looming on the left breast when they turn around to pay. It's mostly black kids - because in London, at least, it's always the black kids who make the secret, impenetrable decisions regarding what goes and what doesn't in street fashion - but as well as young whites and Asians, I've also seen mums and dads and babes in arms dressed in man-made fleeces (three sizes too big, naturally) from the Great Lakes state. My American girlfriend thinks it's comical: why should the uniform of a mainly white and rural, huntin', shootin', one-time car-makin' state hold any fascination for London kids whose passions are hip-hop, Duke Nukem and yo-yo's? New York Yankees and LA Raiders gear you could understand, back when Public Enemy seemed to have nothing else in their wardrobe. But this is like turning up at a Bronx block party to find everyone wearing Leicester City shirts. Meanwhile the Michigan thing continues unabated. I've started to think of them all as the M People.

Mighty Ducks and the mightier dollar

Gerard Wright in Denver finds sport belongs only to the super- rich

Rest your weary head by the Ol' Miss

America's Deep South - home of the Blues, juke joints and Scarlett O'Hara - has embraced British-style bed and breakfasts. Matthew Brace spends a quiet night where once Civil War raged

Joe DiMaggio `gravely ill' with cancer

JOE DIMAGGIO, one of the greatest baseball players in American history, is gravely ill, a television station in New York has reported. It said on Monday that he had been in hospital to have a tumour removed from his lung, and suffered a heart attack last week.

Books: Mr Quail Bird and Woodbine Jack Cossacks on the road to Bethlem

Five extraordinary women who effortlessly outshone their menfolk: BY BARBARA TRAPIDO The Langhorne Sisters by James Fox Granta pounds 20

Baseball: Yankees reward All-Star Brosius

SCOTT BROSIUS, the World Series' Most Valuable player, has signed a three-year contract with the New York Yankees believed to be worth $15.75m (pounds 9.5m), it was confirmed yesterday.

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.
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