January 29, 2010
It might not be the son that Twins fans were hoping for, but at least one of Jake Mauer's boys is realizing the value of staying close to home and working in the Twin Cities.
Though many feared that General Motors might hand it to Derek Jeter's sister, the more deserving Bill Mauer has been awarded his own auto dealership. On Monday morning, Mauer Chevrolet will open for business in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and it will be owned and operated by Joe's older brother.
But while Bill prepares to sell Malibus to Minnesotans, the Twins and their superstar catcher Joe Mauer(notes) do not appear ready to announce a contract extension by the time TwinsFest opens today. As Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes, the talks are still in the preliminary stage, but when the time comes to sign on the line which is dotted, Mauer — who turns 27 in April — probably would get something like $200 million over eight years.
It's a hometown discount to which anyone could agree.
But before we sign off on the TruCoat rust-proofing option, let's consider how Billy's deal also might help baby bro Joe stay a Twinkie until his mid-30s.
If the Mauer family has kept to a pattern all of these years, it's that it does everything together.
Just like their dad, all three Mauer boys went to the same high school and played ball in St. Paul. Billy and Jake, the oldest brother, continued as professionals in the Twins minor league system until 2005.
Everyone's star rises in the Mauer family. And they all seem to rise in the same cluster. If not for Twins road trips and spring training, would Joe ever leave the state?
You might be thinking that this isn't the best time to be opening an auto dealership. You also might be wondering where 29-year-old Billy got the money — $4.5 million! — for the deal. (None of your beeswax, that's where!)
But if the auto industry continues to crumble, and with the federal government not inclined to rescue it again — Wade Gustafson and Stan Grossman won't be of any help, either — Joe someday might have to bail out Mauer Chevy. It'd be much easier to do so if he's still based in the Twin Cities. From there he can, you know, keep an eye on things.
I'm telling you, the Mauer Chevy deal all-but cinches Joe Mauer staying with the Twins. It's only a matter of negotiating the contract and spending some of the late Carl Pohlad's fortune.
So go ahead and take the TruCoat, Twins fan. I hear they'll knock $100 off.
Call it a hometown discount.