Rod Carew calls Angels possible sell ‘happy news’ on Twitter

Rod Carew made it clear there is no love lost between himself 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 he played the final seven years of his 19-year Hall-of-Fame career with and spent eight years (1992-99) as the hitting coach for 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 he spent the first 12 years of his playing career with, and part of it in Tempe, Ariz., with the Angels.

But when Scioscia found out Carew had been in Twins camp, he was no longer 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.”

Carew, a .328 career hitter and seven-time American League batting champion who helped the Twins reach the American League 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-transplant procedure 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.”

Former Minnesota Twins and Baseball Hall of Fame member Rod Carew sits in the Twins dugout.

Former Minnesota Twins and Baseball Hall of Fame member Rod Carew sits in the Twins dugout during a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox on March 18, 2019, in Fort Myers, Fla.

(John Bazemore / Associated Press)

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.”

Carew, along with several other alumni ambassadors, was furloughed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and when fans and a 162-game schedule returned for the 2021 season after the pandemic-shortened 2020, Carew was not retained.

But with 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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