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  •   Major League Sports

    | The Sporting News | Total Baseball | Instant Sports | 1998 World Cup |
    | FIFA | LiveSoccer | SoccerCity |

    The Web offers dozens of sites for baseball fans, ranging from the catchall sites offered by the likes of ESPN and CBS to pages dedicated to individual players (usually created by fans with too much free time). These go beyond the usual:

    The Sporting News: Where other sites largely rely on the wire services for coverage of individual teams, the Sporting News' site provides weekly updates from reporters who cover the teams on a daily basis. But its scoreboard, box scores and game reports leave a bit to be desired.

    Total Baseball: The online version of Major League Baseball's official encyclopedia has two standout features: the encyclopedia itself, including lengthy profiles of a number of all-time great players and extensive statistical data on them and everyone else, and Total Baseball Daily, a lively column available for e-mail subscription at no cost.

    Instant Sports: Last season's free live scoreboard is now the "At the Park Real-Time Scoreboard," where paying customers ($19/season) can watch their favorite team's games unfold pitch by pitch, with commentary of a sort (in the form of supplemental statistics) and news flashes from other games in progress. The site is heavy on numbers, but almost unbearably light on prose.

    – Greg Mott

    Major League Soccer and two-time defending champions D.C. United garner most of the soccer coverage here, but that's sure to change with the 1998 World Cup – just a couple of months away. Hit these sites for the best international coverage:

    1998 World Cup (official site): This has all the basics – news, participating teams, ticket information and more – in an easy-to-navigate format in both French and English. There's also an extensive section on the history of soccer, including a detailed breakdown of every World Cup ever played, the origins of the sport, its history in France, recommended reading and more.

    FIFA: Beyond breaking news, tournament and competition results and world rankings, the online presence of FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association, the sport's governing body) serves up complete archives of its monthly magazine and newsletter. And everything here comes in English and Spanish versions.

    LiveSoccer: This slick, multimedia-rich (read: slower to download), well-organized site provides fans with an updated daily scoreboard and standings chart from the major European leagues and nations. It also offers exclusive interviews with soccer personalities such as Ronaldo and Pele.

    SoccerCity: This site features thousands of links to soccer clubs, sorted by continent and tournament, along with connections to mailing lists and newsgroups and even fantasy league links.

    – Gagan Nirula

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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