NEW YORK -- When Billy Wagner signed with the Mets before the start of the 2006 season, there was reason to wonder how a country boy from Virginia would enjoy pitching and living within the fast-paced life that New York City presents.
But as Wagner sat in the Braves' dugout before Friday night's game at Citi Field, it was apparent that he had developed a good relationship with the executives, stadium workers and media members he encountered during his four seasons with the Mets.
"The thing I liked most about playing here was that you always had to be ready to play," Wagner said. "It's not just the fans, but the media, too. You always had to be on your 'A' game. It gets very taxing, but it was exciting and a lot of fun."
Wagner successfully converted 101 of the 118 save opportunities he had during his first three seasons with the Mets, then missed most of the 2009 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 38-year-old closer has allowed three hits and two earned runs in the six innings he has pitched for the Braves this year.