Or to paraphrase Alan Partridge, “needles to say, Pedro Martinez had the last laugh”. From the New York Daily News’ Christian Red.

“When a report reveals that close to 100 players were using steroids, I thank God that I’ve always pitched clean,” Martinez said in an interview in Spanish with the Dominican newspaper Listin Diario. Martinez was in Santo Domingo Thursday to receive a plaque recognizing his baseball accomplishments, part of an awards ceremony for the Dominican winter baseball season.

“Even when I felt pain in my arm, I got on the mound and pitched in that condition. I was a dominant pitcher in the steroids era,” said Martinez. “That was a difficult period for pitchers and it makes me happy that all I have done in baseball has been clean. No one can question me.”

Martinez, who returned from rotator cuff surgery on his pitching shoulder to make five starts in 2007, also said he had planned to try and pitch for the Licey Tigers team this winter in the Dominican, but that the Mets had advised him against doing so. With one season left on his four-year deal with the club and with GM Omar Minaya so far failing to sign a replacement for departed southpaw Tom Glavine, the Mets can ill afford to lose Martinez.

And on that note, Steve at the Eddie Kranepool Society can accept the pursuit of Jon Lieber under the circumstances. And while I’d rather see Lieber in a Mets uniform than stomach the thought of Kyle Lohse cashing in, it does appear as the notion of strating Aaron Heilman will never be seriously considered.