We just emptied out of a dead silent press conference room down the hall from the Met clubhouse. Billy Wagner was determined to return to baseball someday whether its next year or, more likely, in 2010. “Somewhere down the road I am going to help someone win a championship,” he said.
Wagner said he will have Tommy John surgery tomorrow. He will remain in New York for two weeks to rehab his knee (from where they will remove his new elbow ligament) and then he will return to Virginia. He won’t stay with the team because they won’t want him hobbling around, he said.
But the reason for all the silence at the end of Wagner’s 17-minute press conference was how he reacted to the final question. Earlier he had talked about how his wife refuses to let him end his career this way, how she wants him to work toward his original goals of 420 saves and a championship. Wagner was the asked how his older son, Will, handled the news. In a chilling moment, Wagner broke down in tears. He couldn’t speak, his face completely red beneath his hat. Omar Minaya, who was seated next to Wagner, patted Wagner on the back. Wagner raised his head and said: “He’s not ready for it to be over yet.”