The Milwaukee Brewers have three new members joining their broadcasting crew for the coming season, according to the Brewers and Bally Sports Wisconsin, formerly FOX Sports Wisconsin.
The first new broadcaster is Tim Dillard ,who pitched for 16 years in the Milwaukee Brewers organization and has earned a major following on social media for his whacky antics. Then there’s Racine native and former major leaguer Vinny Rottino. Broadcasting veteran and former player Chris Singleton has also been added to the television team.
Dillard recently retired from an 18-year professional playing career, including 16 in the Brewers organization and parts of four seasons in the majors (2008-09, ’11-12). He spent the last two seasons with the Texas Rangers organization before concluding his playing career as a member of the Milwaukee Milkmen, who captured the American Association title last season.
“It’s a dream come true,” Dillard said. “I was part of the Brewers organization dating back to 2001. That’s a long time. I know everybody in the organization. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
The zany Dillard donned a tuxedo T-shirt and a suit jacket for a virtual meeting with reporters.
“For a formal announcement, I thought it was appropriate,” Dillard said. “But I’m gathering that it’s just kind of strange.”
Dillard will serve as the primary Brewers Live pre- and post-game analyst and will provide color commentary on select telecasts, while Rottino will also provide pre- and post-game analysis.
Dillard’s role will also include social media work.
“I’ll do whatever they let me do,” Dillard said. “If I have free rein of the stadium, I’ll take advantage of that. If they want me to do some stuff on social media, I’ll take advantage of that. The sky’s the limit.”
Dillard fittingly wrapped up his baseball playing career in Milwaukee last season, joining the Milkmen for the season’s stretch run and helping the team become champions of the American Association, an independent professional league.
“It’s probably not how I would have drawn it up going back to when I first got into baseball,” Dillard said. “I wanted a career with 10 years in the show. But looking back, 18 years, it’s just incredible. The people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve had and to actually end it in Milwaukee. I’ve just wanted to be in Milwaukee with something to do with baseball, so I got on with the Milkmen. They were going to win a championship anyway, but they allowed me to be a part of it. And we won, so I went out a champion.”
Rottino, who attended St. Catherine’s High School in Racine, had a 14-year playing career, including time spent in Milwaukee (2006-08). He has worked as a professional scout for the past four seasons.
“I grew up a Brewers fan and I was lucky enough to get a shot to play for the Brewers,” Rottino said. “I bounced around for a long time. Grinding for a long time. Really passionate about this game. I think I’ll have some pretty unique insights.”
Broadcasting hadn’t been something that had been on Rottino’s career radar.
“I didn’t think that this was going to be an option for me. I have no experience,” Rottino said. “But I love talking baseball. I just started exploring the idea of it and one thing led to another.”
Rottino resides in Racine with his wife and three young daughters.
“I’m a baseball lifer and a Racine lifer,” he said.
Singleton, a broadcasting veteran, has held positions with the Chicago White Sox broadcasting team, ESPN televised games and Baseball Tonight, and will continue as lead analyst for ESPN Radio’s baseball coverage. The former outfielder enjoyed a six-year Major League career.
“I enjoy all this broadcasting, from the actual game, strategy, moves and analysis but I also love the art of it and to synch up and work well with a partner so that you ultimately are delivering a product to the listeners and the viewers that is something that is enjoyable but also is something that empowers,” Singleton said.
Singleton will serve as a fill-in analyst for Bill Schroeder on about 20 telecasts this season.
“Tim, Vinny and Chris will be great assets to the broadcast team,” Brewers President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger said. “Tim has a long history with the Brewers and is a very popular and creative personality on social media. Vinny has a broad background both as a player in the Brewers organization and as a scout, while Chris brings years of experience as a player and national broadcaster.”
The lineup of new on-air talent will join the established crew of Brian Anderson, the primary play-by-play announcer, along with Matt Lepay, Jeff Levering and Craig Coshun. Schroeder will continue as lead analyst in the broadcast booth, with Sophia Minnaert returning as primary sideline reporter. Coshun and Dario Melendez will serve as the hosts for Brewers Live and will be joined by Dillard and Rottino. Brewers Live airs before and after each Brewers telecast on Bally Sports Wisconsin. Former Brewers pitcher Jerry Augustine will continue to provide analysis and coverage on the WTMJ-AM postgame show with host Matt Pauley.
Bally Sports Wisconsin’s regular-season coverage of the regular season begins on April 1 when the Brewers host the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day at American Family Field, marking the first game with fans in the stands in more than 18 months.