It’s 2:32pm on Friday April 21st, 2017. My name is Tim Dillard. Besides being a Christian, a husband, and father of three, I’m also a veteran minor league baseball pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers Organization. This is blog number (not sure), that I’ve written for MLB Trade Rumors… and they still use the same google image of me where I’m sporting the “only a mother could love” face.
2:35pm My attributes include, but are not limited to: Pitching over 1,200 professional innings without a pick-off, seeing over 400 feature films, being an experienced baseball juggler, playing guitar till my wife made me sell the guitar, eating a PB&J sandwich in thirty-one different states, making Al Roker burst into laughter, and I once successfully shot a bird with a Nerf Bow ’n’ Arrow. (bird was fine, but I still feel bad)
2:40pm Anyway, FYI – After yesterday’s rainout here in Colorado Springs, today’s early work on the field was cancelled because of a wintery-mix precipitation. So I have about an hour to squeak down some chronological kerfuffle from my brain before the double-header starts.
2:41pm BTW – I used the word kerfuffle because it was the Thesaurus.com Word of the Day on Wednesday.
2:41pm TMA – This is the abbreviation I just made up… it means Too Many Abbreviations.
2:42pm To write these things I sometimes put in headphones and try listening to classical wordless music. But I’m currently enjoying an interesting mix being played in the clubhouse. Right now it’s U2’s Where the Streets Have No Name. Back in 2004, I wasn’t a huge U2 fan, but then my teammate (and super-utility man) Vinny Rottino said I need to be a huge U2 fan. I said ok.
2:45pm During a road trip the other day in Nashville, I was walking toward the stadium when a man in the street told me, “Hey Tim! I’m 55 years old, and you’re the reason I joined twitter!” Then he asked if we could take a selfie. I said ok.
2:48pm That was a good day too because later that night, The Oak Ridge Boys sang the National Anthem before the game! Growing up in the south, The Oak Ridge Boys were standard listening procedure in the car and at home. In fact, out of all the “special memento” baseballs I have, only three are worthy of the shelf in my office. One is a ball signed by Richard Sterban and the other Oak Ridge Boys, one is signed by actor Jon Gries who played Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite, and the last one is signed by freaking Ichiro Suzuki!
2:52pm I got Ichiro’s autograph in 2006 during the first World Baseball Classic. Team Japan was using the Brewers minor league clubhouse for a few days, so a small group of us players timidly walked into their locker room, found Ichiro, and formally presented him with a baseball and a fresh tipped Sharpie.
2:54pm NOW PLAYING: Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum
2:54pm The availability of music nowadays is fascinating. My car in high school only had a cassette player. (that’s what was used for music before CDs) Actually, my first few seasons in pro ball, I used a portable CD player. (it was anti-skip)
2:57pm Music is a huge part of the baseball world. For instance, the first home game back after a road trip, you are guaranteed to hear The Boys Are Back in Town from the press box. Clever.
2:58pm Some songs are played at nearly every game, like: Put Me In Coach or The Chicken Dance. And when it’s “Kids’ Day” at the field, we hear a steady barrage of Let It Go and Spongebob Squarepants. Thankfully, stadiums are starting to cut back on the most over-played song of all time… YMCA.
3:01pm Come to think of it, a few days ago I was on a television show because of music! Via Skype, teammate Ivan De Jesus and I were on the American Spanish language Miami morning show Despierta Ameríca that airs on Univision. A great interview with lots of laughs and lots of singing! I’m a big fan of the Latin hits! Muy Bueno!
3:10pm All this typing made me hungry so I took a break. You guessed it… PB&J.
3:10pm NOW PLAYING: Lose Yourself by Eminem
3:11pm Mom’s spaghetti is great, but meals in minor league baseball can vary depending on places and circumstances. Like in 2009, veteran outfielder Mike Cameron was rehabbing with us in Triple-A, and he bought us an awesome post-game spread! Sitting shoulder to shoulder in a tiny clubhouse at Omaha’s old Rosenblatt Stadium, we ate steak and lobster with real utensils! On real plates!
3:14pm The following year, we arrived in Memphis around 2:00am after a long bus trip, and was greeted by legendary closer Trevor Hoffman! Like zombies we walked into the lobby and saw a rehabbing Hoffman surrounded by fifty pizzas, coolers of soda, chips, and cookies!
3:16pm NOW PLAYING: La Bicicleta by Carlos Vives & Shakira
3:15pm The hardest I worked for a post-game meal was on Margarita Island in Venezuela. Around 1:00am I found myself hiking through a backyard, an abandoned casino parking lot, and into a wooded area. Only to emerge on a dead-end street lined with food trucks! Muy Bueno!
3:17pm But probably the most interesting meal I’ve encountered in baseball was in Mexico. After a game, the home team brought us a huge table with a giant fish on it. It was sliced open and we just grabbed and ate. I honestly can’t remember how it tasted, but I do remember the in-meal entertainment was the rambunctious cock fight going on over by first base.
3:18pm Almost time to “SUIT UP” for the game!
3:20pm NOW PLAYING: a commercial… by AT&T.
3:20pm Some people don’t like AT&T, but I actually love AT&T.
3:21pm Nine years ago my wife and I rented a small house in Arizona for spring training. We went to an AT&T store and got a USB thing for internet. I immediately plugged it into my Xbox, and started downloading episodes of The Office and Lost.
3:23pm After streaming for two weeks (“That’s what she said!”), AT&T cut our service off, called me up, and said, “Hello Mr. Dillard, we stopped your internet because you’ve gone over your available usage.” I said ok.
3:24pm Then said, “Your bill Mr. Dillard… is $12,237.”
3:24pm (insert scared/hurl emoji)
3:25pm SOooo… I’ve set many kinds of baseball records at various levels with different teams over my career, but setting the record for highest bill in AT&T history… that is special!
3:26pm NOW PLAYING: Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson
To Be Concluded…