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April 6, 2012

Pebble Hunting

The Pacers

by Sam Miller

There’s a Robert Frost poem called “Icewater Puddles” that you’ve probably read. It’s about a young husband who walks slowly along a snowy path to his factory job each day but then races back home in the evening, because he’s so excited to see his wife. The closing couplet is, of course, this:

A young man can’t keep steady pace,
The same path leads to hell and grace.

It’s probably not Frost’s finest couplet*, but it was rattling around in my brain Thursday morning when I woke up. There are various things about Opening Day that are unique to Game 1, and one of those things is this: everybody makes the same joke, and nobody laughs at it. The people who don’t laugh at it make the same joke a few minutes later, because it just can’t be helped. At 10:05 a.m. Pacific, I opened a tab to Twitter and searched for the phrase “on pace.” And for 12 hours, I read the same joke hundreds and I would estimate thousands of times. This is me making you look at it.

Which idiot is going to say it first? Team is on pace to go 162-0. Cubs on pace to go 162-0 if they keep this lead!!!! The Cubs are currently on pace to go 0-162. #TheirYear. Breaking: Blue Jays on pace for 162 wins. The Braves are on pace to go 0-162. The Tigers are on pace for an 162-0 record, with 162 walk-off hits. I bet they pull it off. red sox on pace for a 0-162 season. Indians on pace to go 0-162 in 2012.The Washington Nationals are on pace for 162 wins this year, people! Woooo! The Phillies are on pace to win a franchise record 162 games and the Pirates are on pace to lose an astounding 162 games. The New York Mets are currently on pace to finish the season 162-0 #justsayin

Braves on pace to score zero runs on the year! Marlins on pace to score 81 runs. Blue Jays on pace to strike out 4374 times this season. Pirates on pace to score a whopping 0 runs this season. On the plus side, the Red Sox are on pace to score 18 runs a game against non-Verlander pitchers. Indians on pace to score 60% more runs than any other team. The Phillies on pace to score 162 runs this season. Phillies on pace to ground into 486 double plays this season. On negative side, Tigers not on pace to score 1,000 runs this season. They're on pace to score 0. Tigers on pace for 1,458 double-plays this season hit into. Tigers on pace to get leadoff hitter on 1458 times this season, & Doubled 1458. Tigers now on pace to only be put out by double plays. The Cubs are on pace for 486 errors this season.

Best part of opening day in mlb is the pace players are on, arencibia is on pace for 486 rbis. Don't look now...but Fielder, Jackson and Avila are on pace for 162 RBI's. James Loney is already on pace for 162 RBIs. I'll still take the over. chooch is on pace for 162 rbis this year. David Wright is on pace for 162 rbi's baby! Hannahan on pace for 486 RBIs.

Anybody that hit a homer today is on-pace to hit 162 homers this year #HadToSayIt For those of you who doubt that Bautista will have a follow-up season, let me remind you that he is on pace for 162 home runs. Actually, he's on pace for 324 homers since this game is only half over (13 of 27 outs). Begging your pardon - based on his average plate appearances the last two seasons, Bautista is on pace for 335 HR. So since jose is on pace for 162 does that mean JP Arencibia is too? Kemp on pace for 162 HRs. Fun fact: Hammerin Jack Supermanahan is on pace to hit 162 dingers this year. Is anyone today on pace for 162 home runs yet? FYI: Red's Jay Bruce on pace to hit 162 homers on the season. (I'm just saying.) Jake Bruce.... On pace for 162 HRs.

One of my favorite parts of April: He's on pace for..." statistics. Not being sarcastic, either. Santos is on pace for 162 saves, right? Velverde is on pace for 162 blown saves. Chris Perez is on pace to blow 162 saves this season. Tyler Clippard is on pace for 162 wins. P Kerry Wood & Carlos Marmol are on pace for 162 blown saves & losses. (lolololol) Valverde on pace for a 49-0 season. Johnny Cueto is on pace to finish the season with a 0.00 ERA. Romero on pace for an ERA of about 8. Masterson is on pace for MLB record 1839 strikeouts this season. Tommy Hanson is on pace to pick off half of all baserunners. Bedard on pace for a magical 2012. Justin Verlander is currently on pace for 34 no-no's #goodstart

Drew Stubbs on pace for 162 walks this season. Miguel Cabrera on pace to walk 486 times this year. Ian Desmond on pace for 324 hits this season. Jackson is on pace for 162 triples. (Vicente Padilla is on pace to give up an infinite amount of tripples.) David Ortiz is on pace for more than 500 hits. Victorino is on pace to break Rickey's single-season stolen base record. Ty Wiggington on pace to lead the team in WAR. Jimmy Rollins on pace for 540 bunt singles this year. Kershaw is now on pace to win a batting title! yeah! Miguel Cabrera on pace for 400 broken bat line outs that nearly kill Kevin Youkilis.

Galvis is on pace to make 1200 outs this season. Brennan Boesch on pace to hit into 648 double plays this season. The good news is Drew Stubbs is only on pace for 162 strike outs. Plus side, Pedro Alvarez is only on pace for 162 strikeouts. Dan Uggla is still on pace for over 300 strikeouts. Uggla on pace for 486 errors. Kershaw on pace for 682 trips to the shitter. Mets are on pace to put 162 players on the disabled list this year. Bourn on pace to steal 0 bases for the season. Casey Kotchman on pace to end season 0-for-1,164. Casey Kotchman of the Cleveland Indians is on pace to go 0 for 1134 this year........... Casey Kotchman on pace for an 0-972 season, cool free agent signing. Indians 1B Casey Kotchman is on pace to hit .000 with 162 RBIs.

Hey guys also multiply everything by 162 and find out what players are on pace for. Jays are on pace to go 182-0 whaddup! Blue jays on pace for 165-0. Way to represent T.O. JP Arencibia your on pace for 386 rbis think you can keep it up? #thisistheyear Jay Bruce, on pace for 160 HR this year #nastynati. 3 walks for Miggy today. On pace for 426 for the year

I'm on pace to drink 1458 beers this baseball season. (one an inning. #classic) Jack Hannahan is on pace for whatever he's done in the last 15 minutes, multiplied by a lot. The Nationals are on pace to play 162 games.

​So those are approximately 100 tweets about one day of baseball. I’m not mad at you guys (one of mine is even in the mix). This is just the way we watch baseball: a fresh start each April, and anything can happen. In increments of 162.

*Frost did not actually write a poem called “Icewater Puddles,” nor did Frost actually write that couplet.

Sam Miller is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Sam's other articles. You can contact Sam by clicking here

Related Content:  Twitter,  Opening Day,  Game 1,  On Pace,  Pace

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