Being a major league reliever can be hella stressful. You're often called upon with runners in scoring position, and a single ill-timed walk, gork, or Baltimore Chop can cost you the ballgame. Especially if, as in 2016, you're a lefty bullpen cat on the 59-103 Minnesota Twins.
It's enough to make you sick to your stomach. On purpose. Like, repeatedly.
As Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press found out, Ryan O'Rourke is an athlete who takes "leaving it all on the field" to new depths whenever he takes the hill. He heaves before he hurls, or hurls before he heaves, or, well, he barfs a lot. And has since college ball.
"Through his first 54 big-league outings over the last past two years, O'Rourke estimates he emptied the contents of his stomach close to every time.
'I don't do it in the public's eye,' O'Rourke said Tuesday. 'I go in the bathroom, or sometimes it's just on the back of the mound. But, yeah, it happens.'"
Last season, in 26 appearances, O'Rourke puked up 11 earned runs in 25 innings with 24 strikeouts, ten walks, and a 3.96 ERA. On a good team, these numbers might make a pitching coach nauseated, but on a historically bad one, O'Rourke led the Twins staff in WHIP. Besides, as the cookie-tosser notes, Bill Russell loved a good pre-game upchuck and he's got more rings than fingers.
However gross it may sound, it's O'Rourke's ritual, and he seems to see the humor (or maybe the spew-more?) in it.
"As a starter in the minors, O'Rourke said it became a running gag for the grounds crew to wait at the trash can with a new bag 'right before I went out there.'"
Bile means, Ryan. Whatever it takes. Just steer clear of your fellow teammates.