Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: Twins goal this season: Make Mauer an Everyday Joe

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 29, 2014 - 10:41 PM

The move became real in February, when Mauer reported to camp without his shin guards, chest protector and catcher’s mask. And even while he explains how he has embraced the change, it’s not hard to detect his mixed emotions.

“I came up a catcher, and it was kind of my identity back there. I’m definitely going to miss it — I do miss it,” Mauer said. “I miss calling a game, and working with the pitcher, and trying to do little things that most people don’t recognize but that have a huge impact on the game.”

But catching would mean risking another concussion, with the likelihood that each one could be progressively worse. Perhaps six months of fogginess instead of three, 139 games missed instead of 39. And even less time with his wife and daughters.

“I think that did it,” said Glen Perkins, Mauer’s teammate and fellow Minnesotan. “He’s got a family to think of.”

The Mauer twins

Now 8 months old, Emily and Maren Mauer weigh about 20 pounds apiece. Or just about perfect for an upper-body workout.

“He puts them in car seats, and carries them around like he’s weightlifting,” Teresa, grandmother to Joe’s first children, said, laughing. “I think he [considers] it part of his training. You never see him with just one.”

It has been enjoyable for his friends and family to watch him widen his list of priorities, too, from hitting and catching to bottles and diapers, all with his patented cheerful stoicism. Mauer made it easier for his siblings, cousins and in-laws to take part in raising the twins, too, by abandoning his normal habit of skipping Minnesota’s winters for his Florida bachelor pad. Mauer jokes that the decision was based on deepening his roster of baby sitters, but his parents believe it’s more about nesting.

“I think he realized it’s time to come back. Maddie’s family is in Minnesota, we’re all there, all his nieces and nephews and cousins are there,” Jake Mauer Jr. said. “When you’re young and single, where else would you be but in Florida? But now he’s thinking of other people, too.”

Thinking, raising, doting. The stuff most men turn to as they reach 30 years old, as Mauer did last June. He may have the wealth and the fame and the accomplishments, but those around him believe that Mauer sort of knew all along that more important stuff would come along.

“He’s always been a family man at his core, and now he’s got his own kids,’’ said Twins President Dave St. Peter. “That doesn’t change who he is, it reinforces it.”

It likely reinforces his instinct to shy away from public life, too, to minimize the intrusions that his profession, not to mention the modern social-media watchdog culture, makes on his family. But Mauer always has been even-keeled, compliant. He signs autographs, makes public appearances, represents his team. This July, he will be Minnesota’s ambassador to the All-Star Game, adding responsibilities as host to the burden of playing baseball.

“He’s been given a lot of attention, had a lot of demands placed upon him, and sometimes he gets a little tired of that,” Antony said. “But I don’t think he’s ever disrespectful to people or doesn’t treat people well. I wouldn’t expect that to ever change.”

No, because change is something that happens around Mauer, not to him. He’s getting older — “It’s a little weird being the old guy,” he admits — but doesn’t feel like he’s nearing any sort of a finale, not for a long time.

In fact, he feels like he’s just getting to first base.

Down the line

Lesson No. 1 at Tom Kelly’s school for converted first basemen involved the dress code.

Look at your uniform, the manager told his new star pupil. There is no armor around your legs, no padding on your chest. Forget your instincts about bracing for collisions, because contact is a bad idea for an infielder.

  • related content

  • Joe Mauer and fans in Fort Myers, Fla.

  • A face in the crowd: Joe Mauer mixed and mingled with the crowd date at the Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla., this spring.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Ervin Santana signing by the Twins?

Weekly Question