Minnesota Twins: Ryan O’Rourke’s Pregame Ritual

Major League players can be a superstitious bunch, having different pregame rituals that they must adhere to. Minnesota Twins reliever Ryan O’Rourke might be taking that a little too far.

Some baseball players need to eat a certain meal before a game, like Wade Boggs and his fried chicken. Others need to show up at a certain time, take a specific number of swings in the cage, or throw an exact number of warmup pitches. There are a lot of little rituals that make up the game of baseball. And yet, Minnesota Twins reliever Ryan O’Rourke may be taking that a bit too far.

See, before virtually every game he appears in, O’Rourke vomits. Yes, he throws up prior to his appearance on the mound, making any gum he may be chewing all the more important. In his case, it is a matter of nervous energy, which gets him so wound up that he makes himself sick.

While one can imagine that being a Major League pitcher can be a nerve wracking experience, this is not a new situation. O’Rourke has dealt with those same nerves since high school, and had the same release back then. The stress of being on the mound has always brought that same feeling to the Twins reliever, showing that a love of the game can be even stronger than becoming that worked up over an outing.

Given his performance last year, one can argue that his pregame ritual works. In 2016, O’Rourke posted a 3.96 ERA and a 1.120 WHiP, striking out 24 batters in his 25 innings of work. He held left handed hitters to a .077/.167/.192 batting line, showing that he can be a weapon against same side hitters late in games. As the Twins look to revamp their bullpen, O’Rourke could become a solid piece going forward.

One just has to hope that O’Rourke can find some healthier way of dealing with those nerves. Vomiting that often cannot feel good, and there may well be a few longer term health risks involved. But, whatever works, right?

It may not be pretty, but it works. Minnesota Twins reliever Ryan O’Rourke has pregame ritual, and that involves throwing up before making an appearance.

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