Twins reliever proudly admits he might have the majors’ most disgusting ritual
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.”
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:
Please don't throw up on me pic.twitter.com/zPy9WVM6FN
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) February 22, 2017
In 26 appearances last season, O’Rourke posted a 3.96 ERA and 1.12 WHIP and struck out 24 batters in 25 innings. And, of course, he likely lost his lunch 26 times.