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Rod Carew says rift with Arte Moreno is the reason he won't visit Angel Stadium

Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

ANAHEIM, Calif. — One of the most celebrated players in Angels history is so estranged from the club that he believes there is only one possible path toward reconciliation:

"If they sold the team," Rod Carew said on Wednesday.

The Hall of Fame first baseman, now 78, is so fed up with the Angels — namely owner Arte Moreno and team president John Carpino — that he considered asking Major League Baseball if he could order the removal of all references to him in the stadium, including his retired No. 29, any murals and video clips, and the statue of his daughter, Michelle, who was 18 when she died of leukemia in 1996.

"I was going to put it in my backyard," Carew said of the bronze bust of his daughter and her pet dog, which was dedicated as part of the Michelle Carew community courtyard in 1999. "But it's about the fans seeing those things and saying, 'Oh, he was here once,' so I decided against it."

Those fans, Carew said, are why the 18-time All-Star and seven-time American League batting champion chose to open up about his strained relationship with the organization for whom he played the final seven years of his 19-year career, leading the Angels to division titles in 1979 and 1982, and spent eight years (1992-99) as the hitting coach.

"I encounter Angels fans everywhere, and they say, 'Hey, we don't see you around the stadium anymore,' " said Carew, who lives in South Orange County with his wife, Rhonda. "Well, that's not because of me. It's because of the people upstairs."

 

Neither Carew nor his wife, who was a 53-year season-ticket holder before opting not to renew her two seats behind home plate this year, have set foot in Angel Stadium since 2022.

The couple had lunch with Carpino and team chairman Dennis Kuhl in December 2022, a meeting in which Carew asked if he could attend Angels spring training as a guest instructor and work with hitters occasionally throughout the season. Carew has been a special assistant to Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter since 2013.

"The Twins told me if you want to go to spring training with the Angels, that's fine, if you want to work with a hitter or two, that's fine," Carew said. "They didn't have a problem with it."

The Angels did. Carpino denied the request, telling Carew it would be a conflict of interest for him to work for two franchises and that some Angels coaches and scouts might not feel comfortable speaking honestly about players with an employee from another organization in the room.

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