I missed like the last month of the season, but it had hurt for a long time. I finally went and got it fixed at the end of the year, after thinking, 'There's nothing wrong. There's nothing wrong.' I finally got it done myself and it turned out it was all messed up, but it's a lot better now.
You were directed that the Mets might be a good option for a pitcher coming off surgery. Why was that the case?
I got my surgery and one of the guys I talked to had played with the Mets. I had offers from a couple of other teams, but I figured since they [the Mets] knew a lot about me and what I was doing at that time, it seemed like a good place to go. I guess it was.
After your outstanding year in the minors, what was it like to get that call and make your big league debut (Sept. 2 at Florida)?
It was pretty awesome, I don't know. I guess I can't explain it. I've been waiting so long for it and I finally got it.
You had come pretty close before, nearly making the 2004 Red Sox out of spring training. Knowing what the Sox accomplished, have you thought about what that would have been like?
That was pretty cool too. I was down to the last two guys and then they wound up picking some other guy with more experience. I don't know. Things happened and I never made it back up there. It would have been nice, though.
Spending most of your career bouncing around the minors, did you ever come to doubt that you might realize that big league dream?
You know what? I guess everybody doubts it. Guys here might doubt how they're going to be next year. You never know.
What was the biggest factor in finally achieving it this year?
I would guess getting my arm fixed, and knowing that I'm getting a chance here. Everybody's experience has helped out.
Is there anything you're able to do differently now as a result of the surgery?
Throw a lot harder. Some of the off-speed pitches don't make my arm as sore anymore, so it doesn't take as many pitches to get loose.
Now that you've made it to New York, could you see yourself in a role with the Mets and living in this city in 2006?
You never know, I guess. I'd like to think so. I'd been to New York once before and looked around Times Square, and it was pretty amazing. It's the biggest city I've ever been to. You could get lost real easy. It's huge.