It’s 7:19am on Monday January 8th, 2018. Wow, hard to believe it’s 2018! I mean, my whole life I’ve been under the impression that I would have a flying car by now! Televison, movies, 80’s toys, and my imagination have all fueled my expectations of having a car that can take off and fly through the air. Soooo if you’re a scientistic aero-engineer person reading this brilliantly well written article right now… FIGURE IT OUT ALREADY! Anyway, my name is Tim Dillard. For the last 15 seasons I have been a pitcher in professional baseball. Mostly in the Minor Leagues, but I did strike out new Yankees skipper Aaron Boone in the big leagues 10 years ago. And because of my HIGHLY ordinary career… MLB Trade Rumors has declared me worthy enough to write words down for you to read.
7:23am And in case you haven’t heard, and judging by the lack of views and comments you haven’t… this is my TENTH time writing my Inner Monologue! I’m typing this particular morning because after several weeks of winter break, my children are finally going back to school! (THANK GOD!) Except for my two year-old. He’ll wake up in exactly 35 minutes… his unfathomable internal clock is exceeded only by his ability to Spider-Man up the side of his crib.
7:25am The offseason winter break is almost over as well, and then it’s spring training. Currently I’m signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for my 16th season. And every week the entire winter, a member of the training staff will text me to see how my workouts are progressing. Which is great, because when I first started playing professional baseball I didn’t have a cellular phone… so they would have to call me up on my parent’s cordful house phone. One time my dad woke me up after lunch to tell me that my trainer was on hold. Things have changed, because yesterday, when asked about workouts, I messaged back that I was wrestling with my kids.
7:29am But much like other veteran ballplayers after being gone for seven months, the offseason is all about family. And really just getting back to the simple things in life like eating dinners together, vacations, Little League games, birthday parties, visiting friends, school programs, soccer matches, Lego building, Googling third grade math questions, gymnastics class, basketball, performing on stage at Premios Univision Deportes… you know, the normal stuff.
7:32am My typical offseason day consists of: Wake up, bake the Eggo’s, pack the school lunches, drink the coffee, drink more of the coffee, and then work out or find some house work to do unil the bus drops the kids off. In fact, the day I got home from the regular season last year… I walked in and changed nine lightbulbs. To me, that perfectly sums up the offseason lifestyle.
7:34am Who am I kidding? The first thing I do when I wake up is check Twitter… and yes I do hate myself for it. But after that, I do some of that other stuff I listed. Last week I woke up to a tweet from Major League Baseball that featured a video of a player exercising, and they hash-tagged it #NoOffseason. Actually, they tweet the #NoOffseason hashtag quite a bit… during the offseason.
7:38am Hold on… the newest kid may have awoken?
7:41am Never mind. That was an Amazon delivery person. (paper towels) You ever find yourself just buying crap in hopes that one day you’ll get an Amazon drone visit?!? Yeah me neither.
7:42am As of now the child is still asleep, but I must stay on alert. Because last week he snuck out of bed, silently scaled the cabinets, and snagged some old baseball cards off a book shelf. And rather than recognize my child’s immediate danger or applaud his impeccable balance… I got caught up reading the backs of the baseball cards just like I did growing up!
7:44am I would like to say, that before Al Gore’s internet, the back of a baseball card was the BEST way to find fun facts and hobbies of my favorite players.
7:45am Like… according to one of my cards of Ricky Henderson, he enjoys swimming and fishing. A 1991 Score card states that Ken Griffey Jr. played 3 years of football, and 4 years of baseball in high school. This Robin Yount card tells me that he wants to be a pro golfer and race motorcycles one day. A 1987 Barry Bonds card says he majored in Criminal Justice at Arizona State. Who knew?! And also in 1987, Topps informs us that pitcher Sid Fernandez wears uniform #50 for two reasons. One, his native home of Hawaii is the 50th U.S. state, and second, his favorite tv show is Hawaii Five-O.
7:51am Next offseason… I want the, “Writing Cool Facts on the Back of Baseball Cards” job! (I bet that could also get me a lifetime supply of that pink rectangle gum included in old baseball card packs that disintegrated immediately after touching saliva)
7:52am In all seriousness though, most Minor Leaguers get jobs in the offseason. The BIG bucks are in the BIG leagues, and that only leaves the small bucks for the minor leagues. A few years ago I played winter ball down in Venezuela. One year I worked at a leather factory where I would measure, fold, and ship giant cowhides. (I also operated a forklift without a license) Another offseason I worked landscaping after I got turned down at the local sporting goods store for lack of experience.
7:55am One of the highlights of spring training is hearing about where teammates worked during the offseason. Over my career I’ve heard: hitting lessons, pitching lessons, baseball camps, bartender, waiter, barber, UPS driver, golf course attendant, Lowe’s clerk, roof shingler, Office Max clerk, landscape “engineer”, Lululemon sales associate, and one very special shortstop who was once in charge of putting stickers on fruit.
7:58am But right now it’s January, and every non-MLB-contract ballplayer is slightly paranoid about being ready to compete for a job in the coming spring training.
7:59am And speaking of paranoia… I think I hear “Eggo.” echoing down the hallway.
To Be Concluded…