Buster Posey is ESPN’s “Next” athlete. Uh-oh.

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Since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has named someone their “NEXT” athlete.  It’s the person who, according to ESPN, “is a future leader or trailblazer in their sport.”  They just named Buster Posey their NEXT athlete for 2011.  Buster Olney has a nice writeup of Posey here.

I think Posey has as bright a future in baseball as anyone.  But for his sake, I hope that ESPN has changed its criteria for choosing its Nexteroo.  The last two baseball players chosen:  Joba Chamberlain and Kaz Matsui.

Yeah, well, the title isn’t the NEXT good athlete. Just NEXT.

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.