Rod Carew calls possible Angels sale 'happy news' on Twitter – Los Angeles Times
Rod Carew made it clear there is no love lost between him and Arte Moreno, calling Tuesday’s announcement that the Angels owner is exploring the possibility of selling the franchise “happy news” on Twitter, a development that gave him “renewed hope that my relationship with the Angels can be fully restored.”
But Carew’s animus toward the organization for whom he played the final seven years of his 19-year Hall-of-Fame career and spent eight years (1992-99) as the hitting coach actually predates Moreno, who purchased the team from the Walt Disney Co. in 2003.
When Mike Scioscia took over as Angels manager in 2000 and brought in a new coaching staff, Carew arranged to spend part of spring training that season in Florida with the Minnesota Twins, the team with whom he spent the first 12 years of his playing career, and part of it in Tempe, Ariz., with the Angels.
But when Scioscia found out Carew had been in Twins camp, he no longer was welcome in Angels camp.
“Mike Scioscia said it’s either one or the other, and I said to myself, ‘Minnesota has been treating me great for so many years, does he think that I’m gonna give away secrets?’ No,” Carew said by phone from his home in South Orange County.
“All I wanted to do was to try to help the kids improve. I wasn’t giving away secrets, so I said to him, ‘No.’ After that, it was kind of tough even going to ballgames. Then I finally stopped, and I only go to games now when the Twins are in town.”
Arte Moreno is exploring selling the Angels. Will the team move? Who will take over? What’s next for Shohei Ohtani? Early answers to key questions.
Carew, a .328 career hitter and seven-time American League batting champion who helped the Twins reach the AL Championship Series in 1969 and 1970 and the Angels win their first two AL West titles in 1979 and 1982, said he had a decent relationship with Moreno for the first several years Moreno owned the team.
“But as time went on, Arte didn’t do anything about it,” Carew said of his riff with Scioscia and his deteriorating relationship with the team. “Then, there was a little resentment. Even though [Moreno] would have me in his suite, I didn’t feel comfortable, but I was trying to be a nice guy and not have any problems with the organization.”
Carew spent several years in the early 2000s as a special assistant to then-team president Dennis Kuhl and began a long run as an Angels alumni ambassador in 2006.
But he said his relationship with the Angels took a decided turn for the worse after he suffered a massive heart attack in September 2015 and underwent a life-saving heart-and-kidney transplant in Los Angeles three months later.
“No one from the organization called me to see how I was doing, and the only person who visited me in the hospital was Tim Mead,” Carew said, referring to the former Angels vice president of communications.
“The Twins president [Dave St. Peter] flew out and visited multiple times. He’d sit in my room and talk to me, and here the Angels are, right close by, and they didn’t do that, and it really ticked me off because I felt I was a big part of the organization.”
Carew and his wife, Rhonda, teamed with the Angels to launch a yearlong campaign to promote awareness of cardiovascular disease, and the former first baseman kicked off the campaign by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a June 14, 2016 game against the Twins in Angel Stadium.
“The fans here have always treated me great — I liked playing here, and I liked coaching here,” Carew said. “Then all of this stuff started to happen, so I said, well, I’m just gonna stay with Twins because they treated me better than the Angels have.”
When Joe Maddon returned to the organization as manager in 2020, he invited Carew and other former Angels to spring training to work with players. But plans were not finalized by the time the COVID-19 pandemic shut down camps in early March, and Carew never made it to Tempe.
Carew, along with several other alumni ambassadors, was furloughed at the beginning of the pandemic, and when fans and a 162-game schedule returned last season, Carew was not retained.
Arte Moreno has started exploring the option of selling the Angels, the team announced Tuesday. Here’s some of what our staff has written about Moreno and the current state of the Angels.
But with the possibility of a new owner and new management, Carew hopes his relationship with the Angels can be restored to a point where he can work for them again.
“When [Moreno] came in and took over, there was a difference,” Carew said. “He was really good. He would walk around the stands and say hello to people, talk to them. Then that stopped, and they were headed to a different place.
“He had something going on with the fans and the club, and then it just changed, to where they were just thinking about the bottom line. It’s OK to care about the bottom line, but if that’s all you’re going to care about, you’re not going to put a good team on the field.”
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Mike DiGiovanna has been covering Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Times since 1995 and spent 19 years as the Angels beat writer and two seasons on the Dodgers. He won Associated Press Sports Editors awards for game-story writing in 2001, feature-story writing in 2017 and breaking news in 2019. A native of East Lyme, Conn., and a graduate of Cal State Fullerton, he began writing for The Times in 1981.
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