LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. - Unlike CC Sabathia, who had to be dragged kicking and screaming and enticed with a $161-million contract and an opt-out clause, Francisco Rodriguez actually wanted to be in New York.

He got to see New York on Wednesday -- well, Long Island City, not Flushing or Manhattan -- as the Mets introduced him at their annual Christmas party at the Citigroup Building.

"I think that New York, one of the reasons I came here was the atmosphere, it's so different than how it is in different ballparks," said Rodriguez, who looked dapper in a black three-piece pinstriped suit before he donned a white pinstriped Mets jersey with No. 75 on it.

"Seventy-five -- that's the number of saves he's going to have," manager Jerry Manuel quipped as he helped his new closer put on his uniform top.

Rodriguez saved a major-league record 62 games for the Angels last season and agreed to a three-year, 37-million pact with the Mets last week at the winter meetings.

The Mets held their holiday party in Long Island City because Citi Field is not quite ready to host such a bash. Pitcher Mike Pelfrey played Santa Claus as the team hosted 100 New York area children.