It’s 4:13pm in Pheonix, Arizona. Thursday March 1st, 2018. My name is Tim Dillard. I’m a Minor League baseball player in spring training hoping to win a job for my 16th professional season. Currently though, I’m seated in a hotel hallway waiting patiently for the maintenance man to fix whatever’s wrong with Room 124. About this time last year MLB Trade Rumors asked if I’d be interested in writing for them. I told them I was VERY interested… but couldn’t promise the same enthusiasm from the reader. So I’m taking this hotel hallway hiatus to explain how I got here today.
4:18pm: After the Triple-A season was over last year, the Milwaukee Brewers signed me back, and extended me a BIG invitation… to Minor League spring training camp. They offered free coffee at all of their Minor League affiliates, so it was a no brainer.
4:20pm: Two weeks ago I loaded my spikes, gloves, cup, and other equipment into my 2005 Mercury Mariner (Mercury was a car company that used to exist) and drove 1,600 miles from Nashville to Phoenix. Leaving behind my wife, my three kids, my friends, my dog, my house, my bed… actually it wasn’t that hard leaving the dog behind. That’s not mean to say. She’s like 84 in dog years, and probably doesn’t even know I left. And just like everybody else… there’s a good chance she’ll never read this anyway.
4:23pm: During last year’s drive to spring training, I visited the vast and awe inspiring Grand Canyon for the first time! Truly amazing! So to try and top that marvelous experience, I stopped this year and visited the one and only Meteor Crater just outside of Winslow, Arizona!! It was ok I guess… seemed a bit small.
4:27pm: The maintenance man is still working hard. And I really need to get in the room to charge my computer, but honestly if my computer dies and I can’t finish this… it’s probably best for everyone.
4:28pm: Anyway, when the 27-hour cross-country meteor adventure ended, I once again found myself in the spring training atmosphere. You know, spring training is hard for a baseball player. It’s long hours, very difficult, very tiring, and very demanding… but good thing for me I’m a pitcher! And today, pitchers were done before lunch, so after a few awkward minutes on the treadmill, I skedaddled over to Taco Bell! (If the $1 Beefy Fritos Burrito doesn’t sum up the Minor League lifestyle…. nothing does.)
4:33pm: Pitchers however, do have in-depth conversations about the pitching craft — like the other day during stretch when we were talking about pick-off moves to first base. I, without being asked, decided to just start dropping all sorts of knowledge on the subject. But after several minutes of talking, one of the young guys asked me just how many pick-offs I had in my career. I pretended to think for a moment (like I don’t know ALL my stats off hand), then answered: “Well, in my career I’ve thrown over 1,200 innings… and um… yeah I’ve never actually picked anyone off before.” They all looked a bit surprised. Then shaking his head, the young buck said: “Are you for real? You’ve thrown over 1,200 innings? Wow, how old are you?”
4:39pm: So yeah, so far it’s been a typical spring training for me.
4:39pm: Earlier today, a group of pitchers were in the clubhouse talking about the upcoming season. They were picking brains, listing philosophies, and asking each other all sorts of questions. I kind of walked into the discussion right after I completed a heavy total body lift. (And by heavy total body lift I mean… filming a dumb video for my social media. In my defense, I did film it in the weight room!) But not really knowing the topic, and not really hearing the question, I was asked something by one of the guys. I could’ve said nothing or asked them to repeat the question. But instead I just made up an answer. With four sets of eyes on me, and ears waiting to listen, I dug deep. Looked straight at them and said: “W.W.N.R.D.”
4:44pm: “W.W.N.R.D.? What’s that mean?” Making sure I had all my letters correct I said with utmost confidence: “W.W.N.R.D…. What. Would. Nolan. Ryan. Do.”
4:45pm: Not entirely sure if what had just came out of my mouth made sense or not… I just went ahead and treated it as a mic drop moment, and sauntered out the door back toward the weight room. (I had forgotten my camera stand in there.)
4:48pm: When I walked back into the weight room, I noticed a Yankees game was on TV and CC Sabathia was pitching. With name-dropping in mind, I quickly jumped on a treadmill and started talking to the guy jogging next to me. “Yeah. I was teammates with CC Sabathia with the Brewers way back in 2008 you know. In fact, about a month ago I actually FaceTimed with CC on Bill Hall’s iPhone for like 7 minutes!”
4:52pm: It was only then I noticed the rookie Dominican pitcher take out his tiny headphones, look at me and say: “Hola Dealer!”
9:02pm: Alright I’m back. Here’s the update. My computer gave up and ran out of juice earlier. I was finally able to get into the hotel room. Apparently my room or the room above had a plumbing problem. The maintenance man was very nice, but I could’ve done without that empty Taco Bell bags comment.
9:04pm: It’s getting late… time for Advil. W.W.N.R.D.
To Be Concluded…
I don’t like these to be honest.
That’s too bad, because I’m sure Tim thinks the world of the commentary you contribute…
Then you don’t like fun or happiness. These are great. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.
Fun or happiness? I love minor league baseball and I love articles about baseball. These articles are just not very good to me. I’m sure others agree,but look what happens when you say something a little negative? That is what comments are for. I could care less what Tim thinks. Also I’m just commenting, I’m not getting paid for it.
I’ll give you this: it takes a special kind of talent to post so often while providing so little…
Then why are you even here ?
I don’t even post that often for someone who has been on this site for well over a decade. Just because I don’t like one small section of the site doesn’t say anything really.
No but the fact that you feel it necessary to make a negative comment on something you “don’t like” says a lot really
While I appreciate folks who appreciate these posts, as I do, I also have to stand up for the right of our readers to politely state their opinions in the comments.
Sounds to me as if bruinsfan94 has given Mr. Dillard’s peculiar art a reasonable chance and simply does not enjoy it. It is within his/her rights to state as much.
“Agree to disagree” is typically a nonsense statement, but I think this is one place where it may be aptly utilized.
Thanks Jeff, just not my cup of tea. I actually have a real love of minor league ball and hope Mr. Dillard gets a shot at his dream.I just don’t personally care for his style of writing, which is clearly unique on this site.
nah, I’m gonna vote on burning him at the stake. That’ll teach ya what unpopular opinions get
It says your sense of humor sucks. So that’s something .
Lol that actually is pretty fun.
No one asked you Mr. Important
maybe send them an email instead
You would get it more if you had lived the milb lifestyle. Or a baseball fan! But hey way to be a keyboard warrior!
So sensitive. Sorry these are just poorly written. Doesn’t add anything to anything. I skip over every one. Why would I care about the inner ramblings of a career minor leaguer? Hell I don’t care about the inner ramblings of Mike Trout.
It’s interesting that you say you skip over every one, yet you observe they are poorly written. How would you even know this, if you skip over them? Perhaps you need to learn to express yourself better. By the way, I’ve read both your posting and Tim’s– it’s pretty clear that Tim expresses himself more clearly than you do.
“I skip over every one.” – Guy who didn’t skip over an article clearly labeled “The Inner Monologue of @DimTillard”
“I skip over every one.”
Apparently you missed skipping over this one.
“ . . . I don’t care about the inner ramblings of Mike Trout.”
Yet you believe others care about your ramblings. Funny dat.
I understand you bruins 94. To these guys is basically “shut the f up if you dont have anything politically correct to say” so to them its foreign to want to comment on how certain content doesnt appeal to them on a site that usually does. Its a sin to show a different opinion if it might hurt someones feelings even if no insult was hurled…. so yeah i totally get how these guys feel towards you bruins94. You went against god himself the minor leaguer so now you must be the one whos feelings get hurt Haha
Sure the guy might be a bit of a wet blanket but “Funny Dat” come on majorflaw you’re better then this.
Lol, your criticizing something many people like, and you don’t expect any backlash?
Again, why so many comments if you don’t care? By the way Tim is not a pro writer
He’s just a ball player
Just a ball player
and that’s what he writes like
and that’s why it’s so great!
Well he gets paid to write so he actually is kinda a pro writer. The style that he has chosen to go with just isn’t good to me and doesn’t add anything to the site.
“ . . . come on majorflaw you’re better then this.”
I’m really not, have you seen my hidden comments at the Great Orange Satan? Appreciate the kind thought but I’ve actually been quite restrained compared with my usual output.
Is there some context for “funny dat” of which I’m unaware? Seemed harmless enough when it was said to me.
Also, Collin, there’s some hidden context here. bruinsfan has been pretty obnoxious to several people over the past 48 hours or so. Perhaps he’s being afforded a shorter rope than others. Not apologizing, mind you. Just esplaining.
This is the weakest of strawman arguments. Not politically correct things are being said on both sides (Bruins’ initial comment, backlash he received). So that’s a terrible argument.
Bruins is certainly entitled to his opinion, and it is not blasphemy if he dislikes Tim’s articles (as you alude to in your comment). But his opinion offered nothing constructive. If he had a valid point about how these articles are somehow damaging the site, then it is important to share! But if he offers an opinion that offers absolutely nothing and is negative for no reason, then yeah, it will be off-putting to a group of people who are here for entertainment.
How would you feel if you were buying a new pair of shoes and someone walked up and said “wow, those are ugly!”? Or if you bought a car and people walked up and said “those cars are terrible!”? Or if you went to a concert and your friends all told you the band was lame? I doubt you would respond “Thank you for your opinion! And especially thank you for not being politically correct and keeping in your controversial opinions!” Instead you would probably respond a lot in the same way we are to Bruins.
Just busting beans. Just kinda surprised you went with a urban colloquialism. Yea the flurry of posts on that FA article last night was one for the ages. I see xabial is ok because he left a post on that article not long ago.
Weird that this sparked a debate over one dude’s dull opinion, rather than the dog meat served at Taco Bell…
I want to go get a beefy nacho griller just to spite you.
The fact that they use beef as an adjective and not as a noun says it all.
Just can’t find anywhere in my area that serves tofu burgers and kale fries through a drive thru window.
How many people actually play minor league baseball? I’ve been a clubhouse attendent and a bayboy, and a fan my whole life.
I for one really like these. So many people don’t even see the players as people anymore so articles like these, which really show the human side of the spot, are really refreshing to read. Also, if you don’t like them, you’re totally free to not click them
Shoudn’t take a stupid article to know these guys are humans. How does this even show a human side? The human side is guys giving little kids balls or autographs, waving to fans, helping out his community or native country.
Your opinion is certainly noted, and valid. Here’s what I don’t get, and I think others don’t get as well: if you don’t like them, why bother complaining about them? And why say that you skip over them when your comments make it obvious that you have read at least some of them? You have to know that you’re setting yourself up for being criticized. Why not email those that run the site, instead of putting this out there as cannon fodder for everyone on the site?
Because that is what the comment section is for. Why would I email them to complain about free content? I’ve read this one and one or two others when it frist started. I usually just avoid them. I just don’t understand why we are heaping praise on mediocre non content on a site full of well written baseball information.
Most people are stating they find these humorous and enjoy the insight into the life of a ballplayer.
And this is a blog. Blogs make money by getting clicks. Based on the comments and people enjoying this article, this series gets clicks. Sure, people come for the rumors, but to have a dose of humor added to this site is a pleasant bonus to the usual content.
I wish we could avoid your comments because they’re mediocre non content
He doesn’t email the site because his goal is simply to be a troll. He’s just trying to piss people off. The best way to handle it is to simply give him the thumbs down, but never reply directly to them.
So you want to read about guys signing autographs and waving to fans? That sounds, um… fun and interesting. 😉
You say this is poorly written. How so? What exactly is bad about it?
It’s hard to believe people complain about these when so many articles here lately have been basically “The Nats thought about calling Jake Arrieta’s agent”
Yea strange people like rumors also, It was only me who said I didn’t really care for this. Most of the people who comment seem to like it but I would guess if you did a poll, most people by far prefer rumors then this garbage.
I wonder what the poll would say if we asked people if they thought you were garbage?
I don’t like eggplant. So I don’t eat eggplant. It seems pretty simple to me. I guess I should learn from you and seek out people discussing eggplant so that I can go complain.
Eggplant for the win. Well done, Sir!
This is awesome as usual. Here’s hoping you finally get the call up (and healthcare for life).
He already had a MLB career that ended in 2012. Since then all minors except ST. At 34 he is near the end of the road as a player
Then I hope he continues having fun doing what he loves.
The Brewers continue to bring him back each season because he is something of a cult favorite, and they have even used him in the PR department. He has also done some videos that are pretty humorous. And I admire him for his dedication to baseball, still going for it when it appears that it will never happen for him again. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he gets a career in broadcasting when he finally does retire from the game.
These are brilliant, a real insight into the humanity of what we watch. If people don’t like them, just scroll on by. Keep up the good work, and good luck Tim.
I think the coolest thing comes in the fact that if you ever get a chance to chat with him in person for even a minute, you realize he is exactly like this in even casual conversation too.
This isn’t an act he puts on at all; this is just Tim. He’s one awesome dude
basic white dad
“Shut up and pitch” playing with y’all. Relax. , he shows there are comedians in all walks of life and don’t take anything too serious. Except cancer. You should probably take cancer seriously.
Funny. Pretty long minor league career and some MLB experience to boot. Too bad no minor league pickoff data on BR but IP right on.
Bet no plumbing problems in MLB hotels so a sense of humor is needed.
Cruel comments about the Dog though.
I love these. Great outlook on life from a guy who has lived his dream. He’ll make a great coach some day.
I don’t want to brag, but I vaguely remember sitting in Terrace level seats watching Tim Dillard walk a guy at Miller Park. At least I think it was him. I forgot my binoculars that day. It was either him or CC.
Anyway, I liked this a lot (the article, not the terrace seats)
I can see how those two are easily confused
W.W.N.R.D.? He’d probably stop eating Taco Bell for starters.
He certainly did…when he was with the Crew he might have been eating there.
dynamite drop in monty
I had no idea it would be so much. I won’t pay it.
As A lifelong Brewer fan thank you for your hard work for the team. I also used to own a 2005 Mercury mariner and the sunroof always leaks water.
This honestly may be the most underappreciated MLBTR comment I’ve ever seen. Proud to be the first to up-vote it.
I love this! But I don’t understand why people who don’t like it still feel the need to either read it or comment that they don’t like it.
Another solid article…thanks! I actually enjoy the more casual writing style, as not everything needs to be buttoned up and perfect. I’d rather have a pro player write an article about baseball life than a pro writer try and wing it.
These stream-of-consciousness bits you share with MLBTR are freaking awesome. Like, better than Taco Bell awesome (I got the affection, too).
Please keep them coming. As a Braves fan, watching for these posts have been the highlight of my offseason.
Next year I’ll be watching MLBTR for 4 things: notification that we didn’t sign Harper, notification that we didn’t sign Machado, notification that we didn’t sign Donaldson, and notification that Dimmy T has made another post.
(How cool would “Dimmy T” look on the back of a jersey…)
Anyway, for those of us who never got to sniff anything behind HS/college ball, these are great and humorous insights into the day-by-day of organized ball. And for the vast majority of us who didn’t have the cojones to follow our passions, it’s great to hear the story of those who did.
Keep ’em comin’, Dimmy T.
Wait…….You didn’t stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona? Now that would of been a awesome @DimTlillard video production.. But you always have the ride back from lower AZ to correct that Glen Frey error..
It is a wonder a rook did ask you if you ever had a “Robin Ventura” moment…
Great first step into the deep end my friend……….Swimmfuggles are optional.
Tldrn after the dog stuff.. come on man it’s your dog.
I really don’t think he was being serious about his dog! It was his sense of dry humor. Some just don’t get it!
Love these. If you don’t like them….don’t read them….but thats too complicated to figure out so just leave negative messages instead.
These are great. Please keep submitting them! For those that don’t like them, note the writer’s name and don’t read them…it’s that simple…
Tim is an excellent wordsmith and has a future as a reporter or writer in baseball. I enjoy getting a unique inside look at real minor league baseball. It’s a refreshing changeup from the constant copycat stories that i read on other outlets.
I hope he writes a book about his career after he retires. So many have done this about their lives in the majors , but I don’t know if it’s ever been done about the minors . I’d think it would sell and I’d buy it Tim. Good luck this year!
Best stuff on the net! Love the dry and witty humor! :-).
This is a fantastic piece of writing, I really appreciate the quick wit… I already want to know more about you and your career, like how close you believe you are to being able to crack the majors again, is the burning desire to play ball still as fiery as it was at its peak, what is the biggest difference in your game in your opinion that has kept you a career minor league pitcher versus a major leaguer?
I really hate how I load this app and all I see are annoying trade rumors getting in the way of the Dim Tillard posts.
One thing this Taco Bell comment made me wonder about: don’t minor leaguers have any kind of a nutrition program? We know they don’t earn much, but do they also end up scrimping when it comes to their diet? That seems like it can’t be true, in a pro sport where so much money flows. It seems like it would be too obvious that these guys need to be fed well.
I don’t think they have much in the way of a per diem ! Plus normal minor league salary is pretty low . I think Tim makes the major league minimum since he’s had quite a bit of big league time.