Baseball's self-righteous Carew on Carew: making good, and then doing great. The reading is as easy as M.V.P., once past the phoniness of Berkow's first-person, but the writing is an ill-advised mix of sentimentalized personal history (honoring mother, denouncing father) and game-talk--techniques, records, player-analyses. Carew proceeds chronologically: growing up poor and black in Panama where he was king on the ball-field; adapting to New York where he didn't play for two years; coping with prejudice in the South of the minor leagues--passively, because ambition superseded militancy. When the Minnesota Twins took him on, Carew had to shape up as a second-baseman and even refine his spectacular hitting-instincts; practice has always been his secret, he says--and ""moodiness"" has always been his problem. Aloof, cocky, quick to feel slighted and quicker to threaten to pack up and leave, Carew nearly lost Ms wife Marilynn, who here makes it everybody's business that Rod Carew's infidelities were too much for a union already strained by the pressures and loneliness of an on-the-road bail-player's life. Earlier he expounds on their courtship and marriage: Marilynn is white and Jewish; their daughters are ""tan,"" the in-laws are happy. . . .And later, ""The public is fickle,"" but ""Marilynn and the kids are behind me. That is the most important thing in my life."" Rod Carew's temperament-problems stand out even when they're not specifically at issue; but then he is, after all, a Personality.