The rich get richer as a home-run champion moves to New York

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THE PAST decade has been a resounding success for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) efforts to promote competitive balance. Back in 2000, when the New York Yankees, the sport’s richest team, were en route to winning their fourth championship in five years, MLB hired a “blue-ribbon panel” to propose reforms that would help clubs in smaller markets to contend for titles. Since then, the sport has added or fine-tuned a luxury tax on high payrolls, a sharing scheme for teams locally generated revenues, limits on payments to young players when they first enter the MLB system and an online streaming-video service whose profits are…Continue reading

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Personal pronouns are changing fast

NOT so long ago a man could be jailed in Texas for sex with another man. In 2015 a county clerk in Kentucky was jailed for refusing to certify the marriage of two men. Gay rights in America proceeded at an extraordinary rate between Lawrence v Texas (2003), in which …

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Giorgio Vasari, the man who created art history

Vasari made craftsmen into stars The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art. By Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney. Norton; 432 pages; $29.95 and £23.99. TOWARDS the end of his life Michelangelo Buonarroti, the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance, began burning his drawings. He did …

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Esther Kinsky muses on a river in England

Esther Kinsky goes with history’s flow River. By Esther Kinsky. Translated by Iain Galbraith. Fitzcarraldo; 368 pages; £12.99. To be published in America this autumn by Transit Books. IN HER post-war childhood beside the Rhine, the narrator of Esther Kinsky’s third novel learns that “every river is a border.” Flowing …