Sunday, September 21, 2008

Billy Wagner's Career May Be Over

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By BEN SHPIGEL\New York Times

When he signed a four-year deal with the Mets before the 2006 season, Billy Wagner had it all figured out. He would win a World Series, reach the 400-save plateau and retire to his alpaca farm in Virginia, never to be heard from again.

Even though he needs reconstructive elbow surgery that should keep him out through the end of next season, Wagner has not abandoned those goals. It will, he said, just take longer to achieve.

Drawing strength from the chip-on-the-shoulder mentality he has cultivated since breaking into the majors as a 5-foot-9 reliever with a Division III college pedigree, Wagner challenged people to doubt him. At the end, he broke down as he discussed the reaction of his oldest son, Will.

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