With the possible exception of Ryan Dempster picking the Cubs to win the World Series, there’s no delusional thinker optimist I admire more greatly than Pedro Martinez, who dismissed suggestions Johan Santana is the Mets’ new no. 1 starter.  From the AP :

The three-time Cy Young Award winner said he hasn’t paid much attention to the fallout from the Mitchell Report, and he didn’t watch Roger Clemens testify before Congress on Wednesday. But Martinez said he’ll probably get caught up on his computer now that he’s in camp.

Martinez did have some pointed words, however, for the reporter who once called him a prima donna.

“I have a small frame and when I hurt all I could do was take a couple of Aleve or Advil, a cup of coffee and a little mango and an egg — and let it go!” he said.

Martinez’s point: He wasn’t going to try human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing substance. In fact, he would welcome a more stringent drug-testing program in baseball.

“I wish that they would check every day. That’s how bad I want the game to be clean,” said Martinez, who had his best years with Montreal and Boston from 1997-2003. “I would rather go home (than) taint the game.”

“I dominated that era and I did it clean,” he said. “I can stand by my numbers and I can be proud of them.”

The Mets recently acquired two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana from Minnesota, a move that should take pressure off Martinez, who missed most of last season following shoulder surgery.

“Ahh, I can breathe,” Martinez said. “I’m extremely happy to have Johan here. It’s like a big glass of cold water when you’re thirsty.

“I can’t wait to give him a big hug and tell him, ‘Hey, we’re together.’ One from the left side, one from the right side.”

Still, Martinez isn’t planning to play second fiddle to anyone.

“I know Johan is an ace. And when I get the ball, I’m an ace,” he said. “When I get the ball as a starter, I’m the guy styling.”

On an unrelated note, Goatriders Of the Apocalypse takes a bit of offense at reports Cubs IF Aramis Ramirez has ties to cockfighting in his native Dominican Republic (“I’m sure that there will be tons of people that point out that cockfighting is legal in the DR – I would like to remind those people that in some parts of the Middle East it is totally acceptable to stone to death women who have been unfaithful and the death penalty is carried out with a sword”).

I’m hoping that the Cubs inform Ramirez that no players on their team will be allowed to participate in this gruesome public display, regardless of whether or not it’s permitted in their home country. He should also be fined a very substantial sum in order to compensate the club for the moneys that they will have to spend to mitigate the damages he has caused.

As for Ramirez? Hopefully in his afterlife someone will strap razor blades to his elbows, shins and head and let him do battle with Pedro Martinez. Such an ending would only be fitting.

If news of Ramirez’ off-field exploits causes nearly the same damage to Cubs revenues that Pedro’s cockfighting cameo did to Mets ticket sales, a fine of about $5 should do the trick.

With the Yankees’ Legends Field complex being renamed George M. Steinbrenner Field, Peter Abraham suggests the Boss throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium’s final opening day.  It’s a terrific idea, and I would urge the Mets to follow suit — surely there’s a urinal at Port St. Lucie’s Tradition Field that can be rededicated to honor Jeff Wilpon?