Scott Rice is on pace for the second-most appearances ever

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Apparently the Mets really like to use their left-handed specialists a lot.

Pedro Feliciano led the league in appearances in 2008, 2009, and 2010 while pitching for the Mets, setting the all-time record for appearances by a left-hander in 2010 with 92. And now the Mets’ current southpaw specialist, Scott Rice, is on pace to break that record.

Rice, who’s a 31-year-old rookie getting his first taste of the majors after 14 seasons in the minors, has appeared in 30 of the Mets’ first 50 games. That puts him on pace for 97 appearances, which would be the most ever by a lefty and the second-most of all time behind only Mike Marshall’s ridiculous, Cy Young-winning 1974 season in which he threw 208 innings in 106 appearances.

Here’s the all-time leaderboard:

Mike Marshall     1974     106
Salomon Torres    2006      96
Kent Tekulve      1979      94
Pedro Feliciano   2010      92
Mike Marshall     1973      92

Not bad for a guy who had a 4.40 ERA at Triple-A last season and was pitching in an independent league in 2011.

Derek Jeter-Jeb Bush reportedly in agreement to purchase the Marlins

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UPDATE: In the wake of the earlier reports now come multiple reports that, yes, Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush are in agreement to purchase the Miami Marlins. No one in the know is commenting officially, however.

A purchase price is not yet known, though it is expected to be, at a minimum, $1.4 billion, which was the sale price of the Mariners last year. Reports are that Jeter and Bush are still seeking funding sources, but that rival groups have dropped out and that Jeff Loria and the Jeter-Bush team have a handshake agreement.

There are, as we have seen in recent years, a few hurdles to get over, primarily the finalization of funding. But at the moment it appears as if Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush are going to be the next owners of the Miami Marlins.

2:44 PM: There are a couple of confusing and potentially conflicting reports swirling about the Miami Marlins sale right now.

When last we heard, there were two high-profile groups with reported interest. One run by Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and politician Jeb Bush. The other run by Hall of Famer Tom Glavine and . . . son of politician, Tagg Romney.

Today Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg reported that the Jeter-Bush group has “won the auction” for the team. Mike Ozanian of Forbes reported earlier in the day, however, that they haven’t “won” anything. They merely remain the last group standing and that they have submitted a “non-binding indication of interest,” which, as the name suggests, means very little formally. They’re still seeking funding sources. Ozanian reports that the Glavine-Romney team is out.

That’s all a bit confusing, but given how team sales tend to go — slowly, with pretty established and plugged-in sports business types deliberately reporting the progress of negotiations — Ozanian’s report feels a bit more credible. Either way, I’d say it’s way, way too early to photoshop a Marlins cap on old pictures of Derek Jeter just yet.

UPDATE: Then there’s this:

Which does make it sound more official, but leaves open the question of whether Jeter and Bush have the money together.

The first native Lithuanian in MLB history made his debut last night

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Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.

Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.

That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.

Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.