Mike Timlin

This article was written by Bill Nowlin

Right-handed reliever Mike Timlin pitched in more than 1,000 major-league games and has four World Championship rings. His 1,058 games rank him eighth all-time among pitchers. He played postseason baseball with 11 teams during his 18 years in the major leagues.1 The World Series wins were with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993 and the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.

In a big-league career that ran from 1991 through 2008, Timlin started four games and relieved in 1,054, thus averaging more than 58 appearances per season and facing a total of 5,082 batters in 1,024⅓ innings. His career ERA was 3.63, with a won-lost record of 75-73.

Timlin’s best pitches were described as “a sinking fastball that is regularly clocked at around 94 mph and a vicious, biting slider. … he keeps the ball low and induces groundouts.”2

Michael August Timlin was born in Midland, Texas, on March 10, 1966, and graduated from Midland High School, moving on to Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.3 After his junior year, he was a fifth-round selection of the Blue Jays in the June 1987 draft. Timlin was 6-feet-4 and listed at 205 pounds.

“Coming out of West Texas, all you know is oil fields and football,” he said in 2000. “Baseball wasn’t a real big thing. But it was a God-given ability for me to play baseball. I grew fast, but I grew skinny. I wasn’t a football player. It wasn’t for me.”4

Timlin’s parents were Jerome Francis Timlin Sr. and Nancy Sharon Beyer, known in the family as Sharon. “I never knew my father,” Mike Timlin said in a December 2021 interview. “He was gone before I was born. My mom raised me and my three older sisters alone. Her mom and dad helped out. We lived on our own but they lived in the same town. Basically, my father was her father. His name was Sylvester August Beyer – ‘Jake.’”5

Mike’s sisters were Jeri, Tracy, and Sherri. As of 2022, two lived near Austin, Texas, and Sherri lived in Maine. Their mother, Sharon, “worked for Exxon for 27 years,” Mike said. She worked in Midland, where Exxon had a headquarters office overseeing the exploration and drilling work done in the region. “She worked in the operations file room. She had a high-school education, but she had precedence over every well or operation that was in that area. All you had to do was mention the name of an operation – exploration or drilling – and she could locate the file and tell you what was in it.”

Jerome Timlin had been a truck driver. The first time Mike met him was when he was perhaps 11 or 12 years old, at a truck stop. There were two other times they met, once when Mike was in college and once when Mike was a major leaguer playing with the Red Sox in Texas.6  

Of his mother, Mike said, “It wasn’t real easy with four kids, but she did a hell of a job.”7

Her parents, Jake and Opal Beyer, helped. After elementary school, Mike would walk over to their house until his mother returned home from work. His grandmother had a home sewing shop where she worked on alterations and clothing and made quilts. Grandfather Jake, interestingly, worked for a different oil company, Gulf Oil.

It was at Midland High School that Mike began to blossom at baseball. Most of the time he played outfield. But one day when he was on the junior varsity team, playing against the varsity, his coach beckoned him to the mound. Mike told the coach he didn’t really want to pitch, but the coach – times were different – told him, quietly, “You’ll pitch because I’ll tell you to pitch. Otherwise, you can walk off the field.” As he tells it, Mike said, “‘OK,’ and I turned around and pitched. And I turned out to be a pitcher.”

When others were pitching, Timlin returned to center field, though he put in a bit of time as backup catcher and first baseman. His pitching earned him a half-scholarship to Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Before beginning his freshman year, becoming an architect had appealed to him, but the school didn’t offer appropriate programs. Instead, he majored in physical education. It was while pitching in college that he was spotted by pro scouts.

“The dream for most of the kids in Texas was to play for the University of Texas or A&M or a Division I school. At Southwestern, since we were just north of Austin, we played against University of Texas. The scouts were watching the games there. I pitched the first game of a doubleheader; I was facing off against Calvin Schiraldi. I lost that game, 1-0. I gave up three hits. He gave up one hit. I think that was the first time I was on somebody’s radar.”

Scout Jim Hughes contacted Timlin on behalf of the Toronto Blue Jays, leading to his being drafted, and ultimately came to Mike’s house to sign him for what was in 1987 a significant bonus.8

Timlin’s first assignment took him far from Texas – to Medicine Hat, Alberta, where he pitched in rookie ball in the Pioneer League. He started 12 of 13 games, and was 4-8 with a 5.14 ERA for the 26-43 Medicine Hat Blue Jays, who finished last in the North Division.

He showed far better in his first full season of pro ball, starting in 22 of his 35 appearances in the South Atlantic League’s Single-A Myrtle Beach Blue Jays and producing a 1988 record of 10-6 with a strong 2.86 ERA.

Timlin was asked to put in another year at Single A, in 1989 for the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Florida State League, and to begin to work primarily in relief (26 of his 33 games). He was 5-8 (3.25).

Over those first three years, Timlin essentially been converted to become a reliever. Pitching coach Bill Monbouquettehad counseled him at Myrtle Beach that he was “only a step or two away from the big leagues.” Timlin didn’t necessarily believe it at the time, but it essentially proved to be true.

The 1989 Dunedin team, though a Single-A team, had 15 players make it to the majors. 

Most of 1990 was at Dunedin as well, working exclusively in relief. In 42 games, closing 40 of them, he recorded a 1.43 ERA. Timlin also got substantial work in Double A for the Knoxville Blue Jays (Southern League); after arriving in late July, he was 1-2 in 17 games with a 1.73 ERA. He played winter ball for Lara in Venezuela.

The next year, 1991, Timlin made the majors. He debuted on April 8 and after pitching a total of 5⅓ innings, he was 2-0. His first two innings were at SkyDome against the visiting Red Sox. He faced six batters and didn’t let the ball out of the infield, though he did walk two. His first win came two days later, also against Boston. Working the top of the eighth, he struck out the first two batters and got a groundout from the third, then saw teammate Pat Tabler hit a three-run homer to boost the Jays to a 5-3 lead they maintained as Tom Henke closed the game.

Two days after that, on April 12, Timlin faced the Brewers and pitched the 9th, 10th, and 11th innings, allowing just a single. The Jays tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and won it on Mark Whiten’s leadoff homer in the 11th. Manager Cito Gaston was no doubt pleased. Pitching coach Galen Cisco was certainly pleased with Timlin’s first start, in Cleveland on June 12. Timlin worked six innings, allowing one hit, a high bouncer that was the only ball to leave the infield.9 “Impressive? He was nearly impeccable, and there’s a word I’ve always wanted to use.”10 Timlin was OK with starting, but he really appreciated the value he could bring out of the bullpen. “‘I don’t mind starting because I’m all for the team concept and that overrules what I want,’ Timlin said. He went on to suggest, though, that he sees himself as a stopper, saying ‘I’ve had success at it.’”11

In a game on August 1, Timlin went on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow. A very effective set-up man, Timlin was 11-6 (3.16) by season’s end. His 63 appearances were topped only by Duane Ward’s 81, but Timlin pitched one more inning than Ward. During the last stretch of the season, he became less effective.12

Timlin appeared in four postseason games, the four games the Jays lost to the Minnesota Twins in the 1991 ALCS. His ERA was 3.18 but he bore the loss in Game Three, when pinch-hitter Mike Pagliarulo homered off him in the top of the 10th. “It was a horrible pitch,” Timlin said afterward, “Right down the middle.”13 There was a reason he’d been less effective; after the season, he underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur and a chip from his right elbow.

The next year, 1992, the Blue Jays went all the way and won the World Series. Timlin didn’t join the team until June, as it took time to rebuild arm strength after the surgery.14 He pitched in six games in Dunedin and then in seven games for Triple-A Syracuse as part of his rehab, a total of 21⅓ innings. His first game with Toronto was on June 13. Of the first 11 batters he faced after rejoining Toronto, only one got a hit, a single. He bore a loss on June 18, giving up four runs (two earned) in two innings against the Tigers. His only two decisions in 1992 were both losses, the other one coming on July 29. By the end of the year, Timlin had worked in 26 games for a total of 43⅔ innings, with an ERA of 4.12, just marginally above the team ERA of 3.91.

Timlin pitched in the ALCS, with a hold in Game Three against Oakland and a scoreless eighth inning in Game Four. In the World Series, against the Atlanta Braves, he pitched a perfect seventh inning in Game Five and then earned a save in the final, triumphant Game Six. With a 4-3 lead in the 11th inning, two outs, and a runner on third base, Timlin took over from Jimmy Key. The speedy Otis Nixon thought to perhaps take advantage of a reliever who had worked only one inning in the past 13 days. On an 0-and-1 count, Nixon laid down a squeeze bunt. Timlin “fielded it cleanly and then threw what [fellow pitcher and teammate David Cone called ‘an Olympic shot-put.’ To Blue Jays fans, it was the longest throw in club history. But when it finally arrived, it was true.”15 Timlin hadn’t been caught unaware. First baseman Joe Carter had advised Timlin, “This guy will lay it down. You got to bounce off the mound.” Timlin said he was “surprised that he was able to remain calm. ‘It’s just a Single “A”???? should this be Single-A?  game,’ he said he told himself. ‘Just relax and throw strikes.’” Fielding the bunt, he said, “I wanted to tag him but he was already past me. Then I wanted to make sure I didn’t throw it over Joe’s head.”16 The Blue Jays had won the World Series. During the clubhouse celebration, the Jays chanted, “Pee-eff-pee! Pee-eff-pee!”17 The initials p.f.p. stood for pitchers’ fielding practice. Clearly, they appreciated Timlin’s work.

The Jays became repeat champions, winning it all again in 1993, beating the White Sox in the ALCS and the Phillies in the World Series. With 71 appearances, closer Duane Ward ranked first but set-up men Mark Eichhorn and Timlin were tied for second-most with 54 apiece – and Timlin did close 27 games. Timlin’s regular-season record was 4-2 with a 4.69 ERA, one of the higher ERAs in his career. It had been 5.64 as of August 12 and he was sent to Dunedin to work with coach Bill Monbouquette on his mechanics and control. That strategy seemed to work. He had a strong stretch-run drive in September, shaving off nearly a full run from his ERA. In the postseason, Timlin worked 2⅓ innings in the ALCS, allowing just one run, and 2⅓ scoreless innings in the World Series, appearing in Games Two and Four.

The Jays fell to third place in the strike-shortened 1994 season and fifth (last) in 1995, with the bullpen workload being spread more evenly among several. He missed 15 days in late May and early June with a right-shoulder issue. He wasn’t used as much in pressure situations. Timlin’s ERA climbed to 5.18 in ’94, the highest of his career until his final season in 2008.18

Timlin very successfully brought the ERA down to a career-best 2.14 in 1995. Again there was a mixture of set-up and closing work, and a brief trip to the disabled list. The Blue Jays finished in last place, 30 games out. His own record was 4-3.

In 1996 Timlin became the Jays’ closer, in 56 of his 59 appearances. His won-lost record was 1-6 but his ERA was good at 3.65, and he racked up 31 saves, including eight in September alone. After the season, the Jays signed him to a two-year contract – but he was swapped to Seattle on the last day of July 1997.

The season hadn’t started well. The very first pitch Timlin threw was on Opening Day at SkyDome, with the Blue Jays holding a 5-4 lead heading into the top of the ninth. Norberto Martin homered to left-center. The game was tied. Dan Plesac coughed up the winning run to the White Sox in the 10th. Timlin pitched quite well after that, and as July ended he was 3-2, 2.87, closing 26 of 38 appearances. Toronto traded for Jose Cruz Jr., sending both Timlin and Paul Spoljaric to the Mariners for a player who was believed could be a budding star. Timlin worked as set-up man for closer Heathcliff Slocumb. Timlin’s ERA was 3.86 (3-2).

Seattle won the AL West but lost the Division Series to Baltimore in four games. Timlin appeared just once, in Game One at Kingdome. The Orioles already had a 5-1 lead when he came in to pitch the sixth. Chris Hoiles hit a leadoff home run. Timlin was charged with three more runs, departing with just two outs.

Timlin worked the full 1998 season for Seattle. The team finished in the middle of the pack in the AL West. The closer’s role was shared by four pitchers, though Timlin’s 40 games finished ranked first, as did his overall 70 appearances. His 2.95 ERA was tops, better by more than two full runs than any other reliever on the staff. From May 26 to July 15, he allowed just one (inconsequential) earned run in 19 appearances. September was particularly strong, with seven saves and one win. He was an example of what a Chicago Tribune writer called an unsung workhorse.19

Entering free agency for the first time, Timlin signed a four-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles beginning in 1999. He was seen as a “proven closer,” something the O’s needed.20 He truly looked forward to the role, saying, “Any relief pitcher prefers to pitch the ninth. It’s nice to be out there to win the game and have everybody come out to shake your hand.”21 He was with them for a year and a half. The ’99 team finished in fourth place, 20 games behind the Yankees. The season started roughly, with a 6.45 ERA through June 8. Through the All-Star break, Timlin had 10 blown saves or losses. He began to settle down and 10 of his 27 saves came in September as he finished strong again. Timlin’s season record was 3-9, but with a solid 3.57 ERA that was more than a run better than the 4.77 team ERA.22

The Orioles, though, were less than satisfied and reportedly willing to eat a significant portion of Timlin’s salary if there was a deal to be made. Beginning 2000 on the DL with an abdominal strain, he had a dismal start to the season but got progressively better as the weeks went on. He brought his ERA under 5.00 in late July, but was traded on the 29th to the St. Louis Cardinals for a minor leaguer, first baseman Chris Richard, and cash.23 In the National League, the Cardinals used him less frequently to close games. He shaved a run and a half off his earned-run average, while working in 25 games.24

Timlin helped stabilize the bullpen and the Cardinals finished first in the NL Central. He worked in five more postseason games. The only one in which he surrendered an earned run (two of them) was in NLDS Game Two, which the Cardinals won, 10-4. They swept the Braves in the NLDS but lost the NLCS to the Mets, four games to one. Timlin bore the loss in Game Two in the ninth inning, 6-5, after his first baseman committed an error, followed by a sacrifice bunt and then a single.

In 2001 the Cards reached the postseason again, but lost out in the NLDS to Arizona. During the regular season, Timlin had worked in 67 games, closing 19, but the 67 games ranked him only tied for third in relief appearances by a frequently-used staff. He would have worked more but for arthroscopic surgery at the end of July to fix torn cartilage in his left knee. His 4.09 ERA was the highest among the five top relievers. His one appearance in the playoffs was in Game Three, when he got four groundouts, giving up just one single.

In 2002 Timlin was traded again at the end of July, this time to the last-place Phillies.25 He’d pitched very well for St. Louis – with a 2.51 ERA in 42 games (closing 10). In the mix was one solitary start – on April 19 in Milwaukee. It was his first start since the three he had in 1991, and also the last of his career. It didn’t go well; he gave up four runs in 4⅓innings. For the Phillies, he was 3.79 in 30 games. The team improved and finished in third place. For the season as a whole, Timlin gave up 15 homers. Never before had he topped nine.

A free agent once more, Timlin signed in January 2003 with the Boston Red Sox. He was with them for the final six seasons of his career, a team that made the postseason in five of those six years.

The original idea was to have Alan Embree, Ramiro Mendoza, and Timlin constitute a “three-headed closer committee.”26 As spring training progressed, the idea transformed into a “committee in short relief.”27 As it turned out, Timlin’s 72 appearances led the pitching staff, but only 13 of them were as closer. Byung-Hyun Kim and Brandon Lyon closed most of the games. Timlin was 6-4 (3.55) with 17 holds and two saves.28 He had a very impressive 7.22 strikeout-to-walk ratio (65 K to 9 BB) in 83⅔ innings. It was by far his best year in that department; for his career, Timlin’s K/BB ratio was 2.31.29

The 2003 Red Sox finished second to the Yankees in the AL East, beat Oakland in a five-game Division Series, and then lost to the Yankees in the 11th inning of Game Seven of the ALCS. Timlin pitched in eight of the 12 playoff games, a total of 9⅔ innings with an ERA of 1.38. In five of the eight games, he earned a hold. His longest stint was in Game Three of the ALDS, which ran to 11 innings, with Timlin working a perfect 8th through 10th. In Game Seven of the ALCS, when Boston manager Grady Little famously sent spent starter Pedro Martinez back out to pitch in the eighth – at which point Martinez coughed up three runs and brought New York into a 5-5 tie, Alan Embree faced one batter and got him out. Timlin finished that inning and pitched a scoreless ninth. Tim Wakefield took over and Aaron Boone homered off him to win the game, and the series, on his first pitch in the 11th. Had Little replaced Martinez after the seventh, it likely would have been Timlin who replaced him.30

In 2004 Timlin added 11 more postseason games to his growing total. He also earned another World Championship ring – despite a postseason ERA of 6.17. Terry Francona was Boston’s new manager. Timlin was back under a new two-year deal. Curt Schilling (21-6) was the new ace. Timlin (5-4, 4.13) led the team in appearances with 76 (and a nearly-identical 76⅓ innings pitched). Though he finished 12 games, the closer was Keith Foulke with 61 (in 72 appearances).

The Red Sox swept the Division Series from the Angels in three games, surviving Vladimir Guerrero’s grand slam off Timlin that tied the game 6-6. David Ortiz hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to win it. The grand slam was the only home run Timlin surrendered in 28 playoff games with Boston.31

In an understatement, Timlin said before the ALCS got underway, “The Red Sox have a long history of not quite getting there.”32 The Yankees got to him for two runs in Game One of the ALCS, and caused him to blow a save in Game Four – though the Red Sox famously won that game, kicking off an eight-game winning streak that catapulted them over the Yankees and into sweeping the World Series from St. Louis. Timlin pitched in Games One, Two, and Three of the World Series. The Red Sox had won it all for the first time in 86 years.

The year 2005 saw the Red Sox reach the Division Series but they were swept there by the ultimate World Series-winning Chicago White Sox. Timlin had led the entire American League in appearances, with 81 – exactly half of the 162-game schedule. He was 7-3 (his 13 saves were only two fewer than closer Foulke’s) with a 2.24 ERA. He allowed only two home runs all year long, and had a 2.95 K/BB ratio (59-20). He appeared in the postseason, pitching the final top of the ninth in Game Three, giving up one run as the White Sox prevailed, 5-3. Red Sox fans voted him the “10th Player Award.”

In the offseason, Timlin and catcher Jason Varitek were on the US team in the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic.

The 2006 season was an off-year for the Red Sox, who finished third. Timlin was back on a new contract, one he negotiated himself without an agent, part of an ongoing series of one-year deals that took him through 2008. He was 6-6 in a club-leading 68 games, gave up seven homers, and had a 4.36 ERA. He struck out 30 and walked 16. He battled injury during the season, missing games between May 25 and June 13 with a strained right shoulder and another week in the latter half of September.

Though missing more than five weeks with tendinitis – including all of May after May 2 – Timlin still appeared in 50 games, and picked up his fourth World Series ring, in 2007. His regular-season record was a modest winning one (2-1). Jonathan Papelbon was the closer. Hideki Okajima had the most relief appearances (66). Javy Lopez worked in 61 games (for Papelbon it was 59), but Timlin’s 55⅓ innings pitched were third on the bullpen staff, despite the long stretch on the DL. His 3.42 ERA was better than the team’s 3.87.

The 2007 Red Sox finished first in the division, two games ahead of the Yankees. On August 31 Timlin made his 1,000th major-league appearance. The Red Sox swept the Division Series (against the Angels) and the World Series (against the Colorado Rockies), but the ALCS was a hard-fought seven games against Cleveland – Boston winning the first one, then losing three in a row before coming back with the three wins necessary to prevail. Timlin wasn’t used in the ALDS. He pitched in the first three games of the ALCS, without giving up a run and he pitched a perfect eighth inning in Game One of the World Series. In Game Three, he got the final two outs in the sixth, then gave up singles to the first two batters in the seventh. Okajima replaced him and Matt Holliday homered, narrowing Boston’s lead to 6-5. The Red Sox added four more runs and won, Timlin credited with a hold. In Game Four, he struck out the only two batters he faced, to finish the seventh and earn another hold.33 The Red Sox won the game, 4-3, and thus the Series.

Timlin’s last season in the majors was in 2008. He was 42 years old, and when he and Tim Wakefield (41) combined on a shutout of the Tigers on May 6, it was said to be the first time in the modern era that two pitchers over 40 had done so.34 Though the other four relievers each worked more games, Timlin still got into 47. Papelbon closed 62, but Timlin was second with 26. His season ERA was elevated – 5.66. There was one more run at the postseason, Boston beating the Angels three games to one in the Division Series. Timlin again sat out the ALDS but when playing Tampa Bay in the ALCS, he pitched in Games Two and Four. He was saddled with the loss in Game Two, coming into an 8-8 tie game to pitch the bottom of the 11th at Tropicana Field. After walking the first two batters, then seeing both runners advance on a groundout that went third to first, he intentionally walked the next batter, but lost the game on a sacrifice fly by B.J. Upton. In Game Four, he entered in the top of the eighth in a game the Rays were winning, 11-2. A walk, groundout, triple, and single added two more runs before he induced a 4-6-3 double play. He had thrown his last pitch in the majors.

Timlin’s 46 postseason appearances place him sixth all-time, through the 2021 season.

Giving it one last shot, after something of a chance conversation with Colorado Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd early in the season, Timlin worked out for a month and then signed a minor-league deal in July 2009. He was sent to Casper, Wyoming, to pitch for the rookie-league Casper Ghosts – interestingly, a team in the same Pioneer League where he had first begun. He pitched well in two games there, and was promoted to the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox, for whom he worked 4⅔ innings in four games (six strikeouts, seven hits, two runs). When the Sky Sox left for a road trip and his status has not been clarified, he chose to officially retire, leaving on his own terms. 

After a lengthy career, Timlin was financially secure enough that he could pursue what interested him. He had married Dawn Wood in 1992 and the couple had two children – Jacob, born in 1996, and Mykayla, born in 2000. He became pitching coach for Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and served in that role for nine years, until both children had graduated. “Luckily, we won three state championships while I was there. I worked with some awesome kids. It was a great time. As soon as my daughter graduated, we decided I’m going to stop there, we’ll travel and go watch her play volleyball. She doesn’t play anymore but that’s what we do now. We just kind of travel and go and have fun.”

While in Boston, Dawn Timlin was known for her charitable efforts and running the Boston Marathon, which she did five times. Husband Mike said, “She does a lot of charity work. We’re involved with the Angel Fund there; we help Dr. Robert Brown at Mass General. We raise money for research for ALS. She does a lot of stuff helping raise money.”



In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted Baseball-Reference.com, Retrosheet.org, and SABR.org.



1 It could have been 12, in that he started the 2002 season with a Cardinals team that made it to the NLCS, but in late July he had been traded to the Phillies, who were not a contender.

2 Richard Justice, “Orioles’ Timlin Savors Closer Role,” Washington Post, February 28, 1999: D8.

3 Mike Stanton was a teammate of Timlin’s at both Midland High and Southwestern. Al Pickett, “Abilenian Pulls for Blue Jays, and Other Notes,”Abilene Reporter-News, October 3, 1991: 21. Stanton enjoyed a 19-year major-league career. His 1,178 appearances rank second all-time, following only Jesse Orosco’s 1,252. Timlin primarily played outfield at Midland High.

4 Mike Eisenbath, “Oft-traveled Timlin Is Relieved to Have Landed with the Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 18, 2000: D1.

5 Author interview with Mike Timlin on December 10, 2021. Unless otherwise indicated, all direct quotations attributed to Timlin come from this interview.

6 His father had two sons with him that latter time. See Gordon Edes, “Timlin Stands Tall off and on Mound,” Boston Globe, March 24, 2005: C1, C3.

7 Eisenbath.

8 It was only some years later, when visiting Midland and talking with his former high-school coach that the coach let Timlin know a letter of interest had come to the school from Stanford. “You got a letter from Stanford when you were in high school but I didn’t give it to you because I didn’t think you could make the grades.” Interview December 10, 2021. 

9 Associated Press, “Rookie Timlin acts like old pro,” Globe and Mail (Toronto), June 13, 1991: D12.

10 Neil MacCarl, “Toronto Blue Jays, “The Sporting News, June 24, 1991: 19.

11 Neil A. Campbell, “Jays Rotation Keeps Spinning,” Globe and Mail, June 19, 1991: C12.

12 In fact, the Globe and Mail’s Neil Campbell wrote that Timlin had become “dreadful recently as the setup man.” Neil Campbell, “What It Takes to Win a Pennant,” Globe and Mail, October 8, 1991: D11.

13 Jerome Holtzman, “Pagliarulo Pulls His Weight … and Biggest HR,” Chicago Tribune, October 12, 1991: A5. The Globe and Mail called him “one of the weaker links in the Blue Jay ’pen.” Neil Campbell, Globe and Mail, October 12, 1991: A14.

14 Larry Millson, “Timlin Armed and Ready,” Globe and Mail, June 13, 1992: A20.

15 Mark Newman, “What’s Past Is Past,” The Sporting News, November 2, 1992: 14.

16 Murray Chass, “Winfield and Carter: History Doesn’t Repeat,” New York Times, October 26, 1992: C1. Catcher Pat Borders agreed that they’d talked about the possibility of a bunt during a meeting on the mound. See Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, October 25, 1992: C1. Timlin also said, “I was hoping he’d pop it up to me or it would come right to me so I wouldn’t have to run over there and field it because I was afraid I was going to fall down.” Neil A. Campbell and Larry Millson, “Timlin Last on Scene That Cone Helped Create,” Globe and Mail, October 26, 1992: D5.

17 Chass. Timlin said he was one of the few pitchers who actually enjoyed pitchers’ fielding practice.

18 At one point, Larry Millson wrote, “You have to wonder how many more chances Mike Timlin will get in meaningful situations.” And that was early in the season. Larry Millson, “Blue Jays Bail Out Timlin,” Globe and Mail, April 21,1994: E10. 

19 Phil Rogers mentioned Timlin, Terry Mulholland, Jeff Montgomery, and a few others. “Attention, Shoppers: Stock Up on Durable Arms,” Chicago Tribune, October 25, 1998: 135.

20 Richard Justice, “For Orioles, Opening Move Is Signing Closer Timlin,” Washington Post, November 13, 1998: C1.

21 Justice, “Orioles’ Timlin Savors Closer Role.”

22 There was some suggestion that manager Ray Miller may have “misused his relievers” in 1999. See Dave Sheinin, “Comfortable and Effective? Timlin Hopes He Is Closer,” Washington Post, February 28, 2000: C6.

23 It was thought the Orioles might have paid as much as 50 percent of the remaining money on Timlin’s $16 million, four-year contract. Rick Hummel, “Jocketty Lands Bullpen Help in Trade for Orioles’ Timlin,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 30, 2000: D10. It was thought Timlin’s role was to set up closer Dave Veres.

24 Hummel summarized his time with St. Louis in 2000, grading him with a C+: “Timlin has well above average stuff but was less consistent than the club would have liked. He was among the most durable relievers, though, after coming from Baltimore.” Rick Hummel, “Cardinals Charge into Playoffs Earns High Grades,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 22, 2000: D11.

25 He was part of a five-player swap that also involved some cash. Accompanied by Placido Polanco and Bud Smith, he went to Philadelphia for Scott Rolen, Doug Nickle, and cash.

26 Michael Silverman, “Boston Red Sox,” The Sporting News, January 27, 2003: 57.

27 David Srinivasan, “RotoRap,” The Sporting News, March 3, 2003: 61.

28 He was deemed “one of the most dependable arms in Boston’s often-erratic bullpen.” Bob Hohler, “Francona on Deck for Sox,” Boston Globe, November 5, 2003: F56.

29 Though it was Kevin Millar who used the year’s team slogan phrase “Cowboy up!” most often, it was reportedly Mike Timlin who introduced it. Nick Cafardo, “Thrills Were in Season,” Boston Globe, October 8, 2003: 67. 

30 Bob Ryan, “His Appearance May Have Provided Relief,” Boston Globe, March 5, 2004: C6. Ryan wrote that Timlin had been “just about unhittable” in October 2003.

31 “I threw a not-so-great pitch to a really great hitter,” Timlin said. He felt he’d let his teammates down, but in the end the Red Sox won. Nick Cafardo, “Pick-Me-Ups Were a Relief to Timlin,” Boston Globe, October 9, 2004: E4.

32 John Powers, “A Clashing Combination,” Boston Globe, October 12, 2004: C2.

33 In the six 2007 postseason games, Timlin struck out seven of the 20 batters he faced, and walked nobody. The two runs that were charged to him came in on the homer hit after he had departed.

34 Associated Press, “Veteran Bosox Pitchers Share Historic Shutout,” Globe and Mail, May 8, 2008: S6.

Full Name

Michael August Timlin


March 10, 1966 at Midland, TX (USA)

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