MLB Saves Record Holder Says He Caught Zika

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - APRIL 12: Francisco Rodriguez #57 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park on April 12, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Pirates 8-2. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Detroit Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez confesses that he caught Zika in the offseason.

“It wasn’t a cold, trust me,” Rodriguez told ESPN. “It wasn’t a cold. A cold, you have a sneeze, have a headache, take a couple Tylenol and you’re done. You don’t have a cold for two weeks, you don’t have a bodyache for two weeks, you don’t have headaches, throwing up, weaknesses for two weeks.”

Rodriguez spends the offseason at home in Venezuela. He said the symptoms lasted two weeks but he really didn’t recover for two months.

The disease spread by mosquitoes doesn’t seem to have adversely impacted his play this season. The 34-year-old owns 14 saves in 20 appearances and boasts a 3.86 ERA. Sitting on 400 saves, good for sixth on the all-time list, Rodriguez set the single-season mark with 62 in 2008 for the Angels.

Pau Gasol, Hope Solo, and Serena Williams, among other athletes, have all expressed concern about traveling to South America for the Summer Olympics because of Zika, which can unleash neurological disease in adults, birth defects in unborn children, and death in the weak or even in the weakened.

“I wouldn’t blame them,” Rodriguez explained to ESPN. “If they have plans to have kids in the future, you’ve got to think about it. You have to be aware of that as well. You have to do some homework, some research about it.”