Relievers are creatures of habit who often have odd rituals. However, few of those rituals rival that of Twins left-hander Ryan O’Rourke.
O’Rourke recently revealed that he vomits before almost every pitching appearance, a “tradition” that dates back to his collegiate career and resulted in minor-league grounds crews waiting with a new trash bag when he entered the game.
“It just happens,” O’Rourke told the Pioneer Press. “I’m pretty pumped up out there. I think everything is culminating as I’m getting ready for my big moment, whether it’s energy or what. I like the competitive aspect. I think this is just a way for me to release a little bit of my nerves.”
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O’Rourke explains that he doesn’t do the deed where fans can see him and noted that hoops Hall of Famer Bill Russell also had a nervous stomach before big games in his career, which included 11 NBA championships.
Understandably, teammates might not be too eager to have a locker near O’Rourke or even sit near him in the bullpen. Take Twins starter Phil Hughes, for example: