NEW YORK — Bartolo Colón wanted to say goodbye to the major leagues with the New York Mets, and, of course, his home run was going to be celebrated.
Four months past his 50th birthday and five years removed from his last big league pitch, Colón was honored by the Mets on Sunday when he announced his retirement after 21 big league seasons.
“My first home was Cleveland,” Colón said through an interpreter during a pregame news conference, “But now I’m here with the Mets and I feel really comfortable here.”
Colón went 247-188 with a 4.12 ERA and 2,535 strikeouts in 3,461⅔ innings. A four-time All-Star, he started his big league career with Cleveland in 1997 and won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award with the Los Angeles Angels.
He pitched for 11 big league teams but is repeatedly reminded of his batting feat. On May 7, 2006, Colón homered off the San Diego Padres‘ James Shields, becoming — at 42 years, 349 days — the oldest player to hit his first major league homer.
“The only thing I could think about when I was running the bases was those bases were getting further and further away,” Colón said.
Colón finished with an .084 average and 11 RBIs in 299 at-bats.
“Prodigious power,” former Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Colón, who lives in New Jersey, threw out a ceremonial first pitch this May 7 and another on Sunday to former teammate Brandon Nimmo as Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” played on the audio system.
Colón pitched for the Mets from 2014 to 2016, earning his final All-Star selection. Collins, who managed Colón in New York, presented the pitcher with his framed No. 40 jersey after a news conference attended by more than 20 of Colón’s family members and friends.
Among the clips shown on the scoreboard before Colón’s first pitch was his behind-the-back flip to throw out Miami‘s Justin Bour in 2015 as well as an over-the-shoulder catch he made on a bunt pop-up by Philadelphia‘s Freddy Galvis the next season.
“This guy was a better athlete than people give him credit for,” Collins said. “Held runners, great fielder.”
Buffs fall out of AP Top 25; Buckeyes up to No. 4
Colorado and Deion Sanders fell out of The Associated Press Top 25 college football poll Sunday after a resounding loss in one of the weekend’s showcase games, and the teams toward the top of the rankings were shuffled and tightened.
A season-high six teams received first-place votes, the most since the 2016 preseason poll. Georgia is still where it started at No. 1 but is down to 55 first-place votes out of a possible 63.
Michigan remained No. 2 and got a first-place vote. Texas stayed at No. 3 with two first-place votes. Ohio State moved up two spots to No. 4 and got a first-place vote after beating Notre Dame with a touchdown on its final offensive play.
The Fighting Irish slipped to two spots to No. 11.
The Ducks’ blowout of Sanders’ Colorado team knocked the Buffaloes all the way out of the AP Top 25 from No. 19.
Colorado has been the story of the early season, starting 3-0 after winning just one game last season. The Buffaloes jumped into the rankings with an opening-week upset of TCU, last season’s national runner-up.
After the Buffaloes were dominated at Oregon, USC comes to Boulder next week to give Colorado a chance to either jump back in the rankings or become an afterthought for voters for the rest of the season.
Utah’s victory over UCLA sent the Bruins falling out of the poll, leaving the Pac-12 with six ranked teams after two weeks with a conference-record eight.
Six teams receiving first-place votes is the most in a regular-season poll since Nov. 1, 2015.
In that poll, Ohio State was the No. 1 team, and like Georgia, it had been that way since the preseason as the defending national champion. The Buckeyes received only 39 first-place votes. No. 2 Baylor got six first-place votes, as did No. 3 Clemson. No. 4 LSU got five. No. 5 TCU received four and No. 7 Alabama had one.
Three teams entered the rankings this week, all for the first time this season:
No. 23 Missouri is ranked for the first time since a brief stay in 2019.
No. 24 Kansas is ranked for the second consecutive season. The Jayhawks have not had two straight years with poll appearances of any kind since 2008-09.
No. 25 Fresno State, which has won 13 straight games, the second-longest streak in the country behind Georgia, finished last season at No. 24.
Joining Colorado and UCLA in falling out the poll was Iowa. The Hawkeyes have yo-yoed in and out of the rankings and did not receive a point this week after getting shut out at Penn State.
The SEC moves back into the top spot, though more than half are in the bottom batch.
SEC: 7 (Nos. 1, 12, 13, 20, 21, 22, 23)
Pac-12: 6 (Nos. 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 19)
ACC: 4 (Nos. 5, 15, 17, 18)
Big Ten: 3 (Nos. 2, 4, 6)
Big 12: 3 (Nos. 3, 14, 24)
Mountain West: 1 (No. 25)
Independent: 1 (No. 11)
Ranked vs. ranked
No. 10 Utah at No. 19 Oregon State: First ranked matchup between the two after 25 meetings.
No. 24 Kansas at No. 3 Texas: The first time the Jayhawks have played the Longhorns when they are ranked.
No. 13 LSU at No. 20 Ole Miss: The 11th ranked matchup in the rivalry.
No. 11 Notre Dame at No. 17 Duke: Maybe the biggest home game in Duke history will be the first trip to Durham, North Carolina, for ESPN’s “College GameDay.” With Duke off the board, only six schools in Power 5 conferences have not hosted the pregame show: California, Illinois, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia.
Ohio State’s victory over Notre Dame helped the Buckeyes creep up a spot to No. 3 in the AFCA Coaches Poll. No. 1 Georgia earned 61 of 64 first-place votes, while No. 2 Michigan earned two votes and No. 8 Washington got the other.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Texas lands 4-star Baker, No. 2 OT in 2024 class
Four-star offensive tackle Brandon Baker committed to Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns on Sunday night.
The Mater Dei High School (California) product would be the first ESPN 300 offensive tackle to sign with the program since Devon “DJ” Campbell, Kelvin Banks and Neto Umeozulu were all part of a 2022 class that was ranked fifth by ESPN.
Texas’ offense has averaged 432.8 total yards through four games (seventh in the Big 12) and is fifth in the conference with 277 passing yards a game.
Yanks miss playoffs: A lot ‘that needs to be fixed’
NEW YORK — The end has officially arrived for this year’s New York Yankees.
While a bevy of key injuries and a season’s worth of offensive struggles long made it seem that their run of six straight postseason appearances was likely going to be halted, that conclusion mercifully and officially arrived on a soggy Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Under a steady, relentless rainfall and amid powerful, gusty winds brought on by nearby Tropical Storm Ophelia, the Yankees lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-1, falling out of contention for the American League’s final wild-card spot.
“It sucks,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “That’s what you work hard toward all year round — the wintertime, spring training, on through the season — for an opportunity to play in October and compete for a championship.
“So the reality of that not being in play sucks.”
Yankees captain and outfielder Aaron Judge said he plans to take a vocal and proactive role this offseason in ensuring the organization trends back to where it was prior to this season.
“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Judge said. “So we got to hit the ground running, especially when the season ends. We’ve got a lot to work on, a lot of things to change and a lot of stuff going on around here that needs to be fixed.”
Asked what some of those things were, Judge declined to answer, saying they’d stay “in-house.” He added that he has some ideas of changes that need to come, and he plans to work with key decision-makers throughout the major and minor league parts of the organization to ensure they take hold.
In the National League, the Diamondbacks still hold a one-game lead over the Chicago Cubs for that league’s final wild card.
Sunday’s loss also dropped the Yankees to 78-77, as they continue flirting with the possibility of being the first set of Bronx Bombers since 1992 to finish a season with a losing record.
“I feel like this club right here can win,” starting pitcher Carlos Rodon said. “It’s kind of one of those things where we have to turn the page and move on. Obviously, we have like six or seven games left, and so we have to finish strong with those and show what we can do on the field and move on from there, and look forward to next year.”
Infielder DJ LeMahieu, a veteran who has played for the Yankees the past five seasons, said improvements he has seen in recent weeks by many of the team’s young call-ups give him belief in what the organization’s future can be.
“The most frustrating part of this year is we know we’re good enough to be where we want to be, we just haven’t done it,” LeMahieu said. “[But] overall, there’s definitely a lot to look forward to. But we know this year’s not good enough.”
Before this season, 2016 was the last time the Yankees missed the playoffs. It was a similarly underperforming team, one that featured the likes of aging All-Stars Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran.
But following that year’s disappointing finish, New York made postseason appearances annually from 2017 to 2022, including three trips to the American League Championship Series.
It was a run powered by a team of younger, up-and-coming stars. It was paced by the likes of Judge, who won American League Rookie of the Year honors in 2017.
This year’s Yankees have seven games remaining, including a make-up against Arizona on Monday that was scheduled after Saturday’s game was rained out.
Judge, who has been playing the past two months through a toe injury that landed him on the injured list for 51 midseason games, still plans to stay in the lineup often this final week.
“There was talks of stuff getting shut down, but I’ve got to be out there,” Judge said. “I’m a leader on this team, and especially with the young guys we’ve got coming up — you got to show them that you got to post, even if you’re not feeling good, not feeling great. You’ve got to be out there every single day for your teammates.
“So I’m going to be out there.”
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