Several prominent athletes have already voiced their concerns about traveling to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics because of the Zika virus, and Detroit Tigers reliever Francisco Rodriguez doesn’t blame them.
Rodriguez contracted the Zika virus while spending time in his home country of Venezuela during the offseason. The 34-year-old said he dealt with severe joint pain, body aches and headaches for two weeks, and it took him two months to fully recover. As the symptoms worsened, he knew something wasn’t right.
“It wasn’t a cold, trust me,” Rodriguez told Katie Strang of ESPN.com. “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.”
The Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and is particularly dangerous for women, as it can cause birth defects and other complications. Rodriguez is now cautioning any athletes who plan to partake in the Rio Olympics to educate themselves on Zika risks.
“If they have plans to have kids in the future, you’ve got to think about it,” he said. “You have to be aware of that as well. You have to do some homework, some research about it.”
Hope Solo already said she is not going to let the Zika virus stop her from playing for Team USA this summer, while one NBA superstar isn’t quite as comfortable with the idea. PGA superstar Rory McIlroy, who is engaged and has plans to start a family in the near future, could also skip Rio.
The outbreak has become a serious concern. As Rodriguez knows first-hand, there is good reason for that.
Francisco Rodriguez was set to make his spring training debut with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, but that may not be happening anymore because he plays baseball. What do we mean by that? Baseball has to be the only sport where a player could suffer a foot injury by stepping on a prickly plant.
“They took out a lot of the thorns but there’s still some in there,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke explained. “I don’t think it’s that big of a setback but I imagine he’s pretty sore today. You know how little some of the thorns are and they break off in there. So, I don’t know. But that’s what’s going on.”
Rodriguez was already a few weeks behind the other Brewers pitchers as he was waiting for a work visa in Venezuela.
“He may still say he wants to pitch (Thursday),” Roenicke added. “It’ll be tough to keep him back, the way he is. I just have to talk to him and see how he’s doing.”
Note to Frankie — wear shoes when you’re in Arizona from now on.
We already saw one MLB pitcher get scratched from his spring training debut after he lost a battle with a fishing knife. It wouldn’t be spring training without pitchers accidentally slicing their hands or stepping on dangerous plants.
Pitchers are taught to point at pop-ups to help fielders locate the ball off the bat. It’s especially helpful for catchers when they’re chasing down foul balls, and it can sometimes be helpful if players lose balls in the lights. Closer Frankie Rodriguez has always taken this to the extreme, and it makes him look especially foolish.
Take the home run ball Brooks Conrad blasted in the bottom of the 9th in Atlanta Thursday to tie the game. Everyone knew the ball was gone as soon as it left Conrad’s bat. At that point most pitchers are yelling curse words, tossing gloves, and turning to the umpire for a new ball. Not Frankie. He was pointing to help his right fielder locate the ball in the seats.
I’m sure Carlos Beltran appreciates the help, but unless he’s got a rocket up his butt, there ain’t any hope for a ball like that. Nice try, Frankie. Remember, pointing at balls only helps when they’re routine popups, not 400-foot home runs.
Mets closer Frankie Rodriguez is known as a hot head who isn’t afraid to show his emotion on the hill. He likes to celebrate wildly after saves, and he took particular joy in closing out the Yankees in the opener of a three-game series Friday night.
“You’ve got 50,000 people. Probably, you’ve got 35,000 screaming and booing you at the same time. So to make them quiet, make them ‘shut up’ at the end of the game is quite nice,” K-Rod said, according to Ian Begley.
Frankie has been lights out this season, converting 15 straight saves without allowing a run in his last 18 innings. Not only is he shutting up Yankees fans, but he’s also on pace to finish over 55 games which would trigger his $17.5 million vesting option for next season, so he’s understandably happy. Maybe he also takes joy in shutting up Yankees fans because of his past beef with one of their pitchers. Or maybe it’s much simpler than that — there are two kinds of baseball fans, ones who support the Yankees and everyone else. Perhaps K-rod falls into the latter category.
Keep doing what you’re doing Frankie. If not to keep Mets fans sane, then to keep your family out of danger.
Francisco Rodriguez was in court Wednesday to face seven counts of criminal contempt charges for violating a restraining order. The Mets pitcher sent 56 text messages to the mother of his children, Dalan Pena, after he was ordered not to contact her in the wake of his Aug. 11 attack against her father.
Hothead fireballer K-Rod once beat his girlfriend so badly she had to be hospitalized, a Queens prosecutor said Wednesday.
“He’s not naive and loving,” Kessler told Queens Justice Ira Margulis. “He’s merely manipulating and controlling.”
Rodriguez’s attorney naturally refuted the claim, and a D.A. saying the incident happened doesn’t necessarily make it true. The alleged incident supposedly occurred in Venezuela and the Mets say they saw nothing about it when doing their background check before signing the right-hander.
A prosecutor’s job is to make the accused look bad, so Kessler obviously has a motive. That being said, it seems like it would be extremely risky for him to make such a claim without some sort of evidence to support it. That would be a pretty elaborate and severe story to pull out of thin air. We aren’t saying it’s true, but let’s just say it wouldn’t shock us if it were.
The Mets hit a trifecta on Wednesday night in a way that only they can. Their bullpen blew a 2-0 lead, star pitcher Johan Santana was sued for sexual assault in civil court, and closer Frankie Rodriguez was arrested and charged with third-degree assault. Here are the details on the fight:
Rodriguez and his wife’s father brawled in a tunnel just outside the Mets clubhouse in the moments following the team’s 6-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
The father-in-law suffered facial abrasions and was taken by ambulance to Flushing Hospital shortly after the 10:15 p.m. incident, police said.
When approached and asked about the scene in the hallway, the visibly angry Rodriguez snapped, “Mind your own f—–g business,” to a reporter who witnessed the altercation.
K-Rod was taken into custody by NYPD after leaving the clubhouse. The obvious question everyone is wondering is what sparked the incident. While we don’t have the answer to that question, we do know that Frankie just became the hero of many men who have wished to do the same thing. Imagine how much worse it would have been had K-Rod actually pitched in the game and blown the save!
Mets’ Francisco Rodriguez arrested after allegedly punching father-in-law, charged with assault [NY Daily News]
Chalk this up as a first for Brian Bruney being mentioned here at LBS. The former Diamondback and current Yankee reliever (on the DL because the umpires stiffed him, by the way), had some biting remarks towards Frankie Rodriguez following Friday night’s Luis Castillo dropped popup debacle at Yankee Stadium. Likely thinking he was in the friendly confines of Trenton’s minor league system (he was there on rehab), Bruney had this to say:
“Couldn’t have happened to a better guy on the mound, either. He’s got a tired act. I think that’s bad, but two years ago, when he lost the game…I don’t know if anybody saw it, I did. He was in Oakland and he was pitching for Anaheim, didn’t get a call, and so he was like complaining. The catcher threw it back and he just kind of did one of these (Bruney half-heartedly holds his arm out) and hit off his glove and bounced behind and the guy from third scored and they won the game. He gets what he deserves, man. I just don’t like watching the guy pitch. I think it’s embarassing.”
As an Angels fan who watches most of their games, I know the exact moment to which Bruney was referring. I loved Frankie with the Angels and I’m a big fan of his, but I have to side with Bruney regarding the overall message. Frankie does celebrate too much and his antics do show up the batter. I don’t like it when guys loaf on fly balls either catching them or running them out, when pitchers celebrate after strikeouts or saves, or when batters pimp home runs. Frankie’s one of the worst when it comes to closers. I’m glad finally someone pointed it out and I don’t care if Bruney’s weaker accomplishments make him appear less credible. I think it’s pathetic that K-Rod says you have to perform well for your opinion to mean anything and that he wound up approaching Bruney during batting practice. Frankie’s an excellent pitcher but his excess celebration is just that — overboard.
The moment Frankie Rodriguez signed with the Mets I knew things wouldn’t end well. I’ll admit they have started out well on the field considering K-Rod has gone 12/12 in save chances, tying for the major league lead. Well if it wasn’t the bats of the Braves, Phillies or Marlins that struck him down, perhaps it was the stroke of God. Frankie endured a difficult and scary situation on Saturday:
Rodriguez suffered the back spasms — the first of his career, he said — while running in pregame warmups and was unavailable to pitch the ninth inning. J.J. Putz closed out the game in K-Rod’s place.
The Mets gave Rodriguez muscle relaxers before the game, but he collapsed shortly after waving off help from trainer Ray Ramirez and trying to leave the clubhouse under his own power.
The Post observed Rodriguez weeping from the pain after being helped into a golf cart, and a stretcher and emergency medical technicians were called to the scene.
Dude, if Frankie wound up freaking crying, you know these back spasms were a serious deal. I really feel bad for the guy. This really sounds scary and dangerous — I bet he’d trade the spasms for his ankle injuries of last year any day. I’m telling you, the Mets are freaking cursed. Nothing ever works out as planned for them. Hopefully Frankie gets better — he’ll still always be an Angel even if he’s wearing a Mets uni the next few years.
There’s no two ways about it — being a huge Angels fan, I have plenty of affection for Frankie Rodriguez. He was lights out in ’02 when the team won the World Series, and he’s been a stud in the pen ever since. You can’t possibly be an Angels fan and not love Frankie. Sure, he makes saves more adventurous than they need to be, but he still gets the job done more often than not; there’s much more to like about him than not to like. Anyway, that all being said, I’m getting sick of people suggesting that Frankie is a candidate for the Cy Young Award in the AL this year (ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian on Thursday night on SportsCenter for one). On what grounds? The fact that he happens to play for the team that’s won the most and that’s happened to generate the most save chances in the league? The fact that he might wind up breaking a record because of this? I agree, he’s having a special season in terms of the numbers, but I can’t agree that his season is worthy of Cy Young contention.
Frankie hasn’t pitched a fraction of the innings that studs like Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay — my top two candidates — have thrown. These guys are giving 7, 8, 9 innings an outing for their team — all quality innings, too. These guys have been unhittable for most of the season, being more effective than Frankie who only has to pitch one inning at a time. Not only have Lee and Halladay been spectacular making them more deserving than K-Rod, but Frankie isn’t even the top closer in the league. Joe Nathan (the best closer in baseball the last five years), Jonathan Papelbon, Joakim Soria, and Mariano Rivera have all been more effective this year pitching a similar amount of innings. The only difference between Frankie and those other four guys (aside from those guys being more effective) is that Frankie has more saves. That’s it. Doesn’t mean he’s been any better, just means his team has created more save situations. I’m not hating on Frankie here because he’s a reliable closer and has been one of the most reliable closers over the past few years, but he just has no business being mentioned in any Cy Young talk. As far as I’m concerned, it’s between Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, and pretty much nobody else. Plain and simple. Let’s just hope the writers don’t screw this up as they’re so frequently known to do.
The big hubbab around Angels camp is that closer Frankie Rodriguez is headed to arbitration in what could be his final year with the Angels. This is a huge deal for me as an Angel fan, and applies to almost any baseball fan whose bullpen could use a closer. When asked if this could be his last season with the Angels, K-Rod said “Yeah, probably. If they wanted me here, they would have done something a long time ago.” We can’t make the Angels out to be the bad guys just yet — they offered him a lucrative three-year $34 million deal. Frankie turned it down because he saw what the dumbass Yankees gave Mariano Rivera — $45 mil over three years — and he wants that sort of kesef. Gilbert at Obscure Sports Quarterly says it’s not time to panic just yet. I agree, and would add a few more points to that.
For one, as a baseball fan it’s important to keep tabs on how much other teams are spending on players — that sets the market and impacts the ability of your team to keep its players. That’s why I was so upset the Angels spent $90 million on Torii Hunter. Amongst other things, I was upset that signing priced the market so high, and I knew it would make it tougher for the Angels to re-sign Frankie, John Lackey, and Kelvim Escobar. And that’s exactly what’s happened. The Angels had no problem dropping $90 mil on Hunter when $75 was probably sufficient. Now they’re balking over $10 million to Frankie? Great. Next, the gap between what the Angels are offering Frankie and what K-Rod wants is the second largest of all arbitration cases this spring. That’s bad news. That means the Angels will be finding faults and picking on one of the faces of their organization. Arbitration is a nasty, nasty aspect of the game and it kills me as an Angels fan to think their objective in the negotiations is to diminish his value.
It would not be the end of the world if Frankie weren’t retained at the end of the year, but I think the team would be a lot better off with him than without him. Still, as Gilbert said, a lot can change in a year (and I remember a certain closer giving up a certain home run to a certain Red Sox left fielder to end a certain playoff game). And if Francisco Cordero got $46 million over four years from the Reds, it makes me cringe to think what Frankie will be due on the market. I can’t stand arbitration. $90 million to Torii Hunter spent freely, and now the pockets are tightening over an extra $2.5 million to Frankie? That’s not a good sign and I’d like to see it change.