On how the Metssuccessfully wooed him before he signed with them in November

They had to winover [my wife] Sarah by showing her that this is a family organization. Theyincluded her, they talked to her, and they wanted her opinion. My wife's theopposite of me--she's someone everybody likes, and she's very quiet. Not likeme, the guy everybody thinks is a jerk.

On his favoriteNew York City food

Pasta, fromLittle Italy. I've never had a bagel--my usual breakfast is an eggsandwich--but if I did, I'd probably have one with cream cheese and jelly.

On saying lastJuly that his Phillies had "no chance of making the playoffs"

I would neverhave said that in the media before talking to my teammates. I talked to everyone of them, and every one said, "You know what? You're right. Something'sgot to be done." Obviously things changed after that. [The Philliesfinished one game out of the wild card.] Whether I was wrong or whether I wasright, we made a good run for the playoffs. I stand up for what I believein.

On his requestfor a no-trade clause

I want thesecurity and stability to have my family with me and to know where we're goingto be. Having that security allows you to be closer [as a family]. We got ahouse in Connecticut, and we'll put the kids [William, 7; Jeremy, 5; andOlivia, 2] in school there.

On New York Citylife

I'll be playingball. I'm not going to have much time to do things. I'm not excited about thetraffic. I told [Mets pitcher] Tom Glavine that he's welcome to drive and I'lldrive in with him. I'm just a country boy, but I can fit in.

On raisingalpacas at his farm near Charlottesville, Va.

It's something tobreak up the monotony of playing baseball all the time. We have around 40 ofthem. They get to know you. You take them to [alpaca] shows, you breed them,you sell them. We have clothes made out of them. For some people it's just anego thing, like owning a racehorse.

On pulling out ofthe World Baseball Classic

You always wantto play for your country. But I didn't feel like I could in good conscience tryto push myself to that level in early March. I could hurt myself. I think it[the WBC] is a great idea. It's good for baseball. I just think it's not goodfor Billy Wagner.

On his springtraining lifestyle

We got a littletown house with enough room for the kids to run around. Pretty much we just eatout every night, go to the pool, go to the ballpark, let the kids take BP. Wejust do whatever we can do to keep them satisfied.


PHOTOPhotograph by Michael Heape