The Brewers are hoping to be the laughingstock of the league.
At least that appears to be their aim after they announced an unprecedented, late-season addition to the big-league club, calling up relief pitcher and semi-amateur comedian Tim Dillard. He’ll join Milwaukee on Tuesday for its final six home games, lending his sense of humor – and, fingers crossed, Tim Kurkjian impression – to the close of the organization's challenging first rebuilding campaign.
Dillard, who made more than 70 appearances for the Brewers from 2008 to 2012, will become a temporary member of their social media team, general manager David Stearns said Monday morning in a refreshingly fun press release.
"Everyone in my position looks for the five-tool player, but on rare occasions you find a guy who brings something just a little different to the table," Stearns said. "There’s no doubt that Tim has a skill set that you won’t find anywhere else. He has been part of the Brewers family for many years, and has kept everyone laughing since day one."
The sidearming right-hander spent parts of 14 professional seasons with the Brewers and was with their Triple-A affiliate, Colorado Springs, in 2016, when he somehow compiled a 7-1 record despite a 5.13 ERA in 23 appearances out of the bullpen. For his major-league career, Dillard is 1-4 with a 4.70 ERA in 84 1/3 innings. Incidentally, he owns a .500 batting average, having gone 1 for 2 in his career at the plate.
When not pitching in relief for the Sky Sox this season, Dillard earned attention for his comic relief, creating unique content such as his Dubsmash videos – short films involving teammates lip-syncing – and developing the mIlb Network, in which he interviews players about the minutiae of minor-league life.
"I’m excited for the opportunity to join the Brewers social media team," said Dillard. "I worked hard and pitched well in relief all season. And, while this might not be the exact opportunity I was seeking, it still allows me to throw a few ‘curveballs’ in September. I’m a pitcher first, but there’s nothing wrong with having a little clubhouse fun. I never thought my antics would catch the attention of a media scout."
In his temporary and explicitly non-pitching role, Dillard will help offer a lighthearted and humorous presentation of the Brewers, who’ve traded away most of their well-known players and have a record of 68-92 in the first year of the organization’s reconstruction. While with the team, he’ll create content featuring players, coaches and fans and span all forms of social media, including Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram Takeovers, as well as Facebook Live Videos and even a Reddit AMA.
And, we hope, provide more wonderful baseball impressions like these.
Fans can follow along with the fun using the hashtag #BrewersLastCallUp and by checking out Dillard’s social media pages (@DimTillard on Twitter and Instagram) along with the Brewers official social media handles (@Brewers on Twitter and Instagram, Brewers on Snapchat, and Facebook.com/Brewers).
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.