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Mets' Wagner drops out of World Baseball Classic






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(Original publication: March 1, 2006)


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Saying he's not physically ready to compete, Mets closer Billy Wagner has withdrawn his spot on the United States team in the World Baseball Classic.


Wagner told USA Team officials Tuesday night his preference was to get ready for the season with the Mets.


"I put a lot of thought into it," Wagner said this morning. "I want to be comfortable with my new teammates and surroundings. Every player wants to play for his country, but I have to be concerned with what is best for me. ... Right now, I'm not in shape to help the U.S. team."


Wagner said pitching on adrenaline is a big part of his game, but he's not in game condition yet, and the combination of the two could lead to injury.


"I always give 100 percent, and my biggest worry is just trying to make it happen on the mound," Wagner said. "That could be a problem."


Without Wagner, no Met will represent the United States, but third baseman David Wright and catcher Paul Lo Duca could be selected as alternates.


With Wagner out, the Mets have 10 players plus coach Manny Acta (who'll manage the Dominican Republic) participating in the World Baseball Classic: Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, Juan Padilla and Pedro Feliciano (Puerto Rico); Jose Reyes and Duaner Sanchez (Dominican Republic); Endy Chavez, Jorge Julio and Victor Zambrano (Venezuela) and Dae-Sung Koo (South Korea). ...


Notes: Left-hander Tom Glavine will start today's intrasquad game. ... Steve Trachsel, who left camp Tuesday with a virus, is still on the travel squad and expected to start tomorrow against St. Louis. ... The only projected starting position players not making the trip to Jupiter tomorrow are Lo Duca and left fielder Cliff Floyd. ... Infielder Bret Boone remains out of camp attending to personal issues, manager Willie Randolph said.

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