Ryan O’Rourke has made 54 appearances out of the Twins’ bullpen the past two seasons, and almost all had a common denominator — he got sick before each appearance.
The 28-year-old left-hander told TwinCities.com he always finds a private spot to do his business.
“I don’t do it in the public’s eye,” O’Rourke said. “I go in the bathroom, or sometimes it’s just on the back of the mound. But, yeah, it happens.”
O’Rourke says he’s been like this since his college days. While in the minors, he says the grounds crew would even wait with a new bag by the bullpen trash can before his appearances.
“It just happens,” O’Rourke said. “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.”
In his second big-league season last year, O’Rourke gave many opposing batters the jitters, averaging 8.6 Ks per 9 innings, with a 3.96 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.
For Leiter, who participated in the inaugural WBC, the solution is similar to that of any fractured locker room in any sport. There’s a simple remedy for some American fans’ seeming indifference to the WBC: winning.
“You’ll get more interest if we can get to the finals,” Leiter said. “We’ll see if their success will translate to more people watching.”
The United States’ highest finish in the WBC is Cheap Jerseys America fourth in 2009, so it’s easy to see why fans in this country might not care. Why tune in for an event your team has no hope of winning? Clearly, though, the rest of the world takes the tournament seriously. International TV ratings are through the roof after just three cycles.