On how the Mets successfully wooed him before he signed with them in November
They had to win over [my wife] Sarah by showing her that this is a family organization. They included her, they talked to her, and they wanted her opinion. My wife's the opposite of me -- she's someone everybody likes, and she's very quiet. Not like me, the guy everybody thinks is a jerk.
On his favorite New York City food
Pasta, from Little Italy. I've never had a bagel -- my usual breakfast is an egg sandwich -- but if I did, I'd probably have one with cream cheese and jelly.
On saying last July that his Phillies had "no chance of making the playoffs"
I would never have said that in the media before talking to my teammates. I talked to every one of them, and every one said, "You know what? You're right. Something's got to be done." Obviously things changed after that. [The Phillies finished one game out of the wild card.] Whether I was wrong or whether I was right, we made a good run for the playoffs. I stand up for what I believe in.
On his request for a no-trade clause
I want the security and stability to have my family with me and to know where we're going to be. Having that security allows you to be closer [as a family]. We got a house in Connecticut, and we'll put the kids [William, 7; Jeremy, 5; and Olivia, 2] in school there.
On New York City life
I'll be playing ball. I'm not going to have much time to do things. I'm not excited about the traffic. I told [Mets pitcher] Tom Glavine that he's welcome to drive and I'll drive in with him. I'm just a country boy, but I can fit in.
On raising alpacas at his farm near Charlottesville, Va.
It's something to break up the monotony of playing baseball all the time. We have around 40 of them. 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 an ego thing, like owning a racehorse.
On pulling out of the World Baseball Classic
You always want to play for your country. But I didn't feel like I could in good conscience try to 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 good for Billy Wagner.
On his spring training lifestyle
We got a little town house with enough room for the kids to run around. Pretty much we just eat out every night, go to the pool, go to the ballpark, let the kids take BP. We just do whatever we can do to keep them satisfied.
A FOUR-TIME ALL-STAR, WAGNER, 34, HAD 38 SAVES AND A 1.51 ERA FOR PHILADELPHIA LAST YEAR.