The 2004 Bill James Handbook. Richard Lederer and Aaron Gleeman love it (scroll down to Dec. 8 for Aaron's take). I must pick this up very soon. ... Lederer points out some great Pedro stats: Martinez gave up 10 earned runs in one outing last season and only 36 in his other 28 starts. Excluding that one bad performance, Pedro's ERA for the year was a microscopic 1.78. Pedro's Component ERAs (a statistic that estimates what a pitcher's ERA should have been based on his pitching performance) have been equal to or even lower than his actual ERA every year from 1994. Pedro has had five years with ERCs under 2.00 with a career average of 2.27. He is also number one among all active pitchers in career ERA (2.58), W-L % (.712), OBA (.206), OBP (.268), SLG (.315), OPS (.583), BR/9 (9.55), H/9 (6.72), and K/BB (4.38). In 2003, Martinez was #1 in opponents' OPS (.586), nearly turning all batters into the status of Ramon Santiago (.576), the least productive offensive player in the AL. ... Yet, some writers have to take potshots at him in everything they write [cough]CHB[/cough]. And then those writers act surprised when the player doesn't want to speak to them.
Martinez must respect Michael Silverman of the Herald because he spoke at length with him yesterday. ... David Ortiz says that Manny Ramirez recently told him, "I feel like I have nine toes in Texas and one in Boston." ... Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks is expected to talk with John Henry in the next couple of days. Baseball's annual winter meetings start tomorrow in New Orleans. ... Andy Pettitte joins Jimy Williams in Houston and the Yankees are attempting to trade Jeff Weaver to the Dodgers for Kevin Brown. Is LA that stupid?