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Text messages from press row ...

July 07, 2009|JERRY CROWE

FROM NEW YORK — Outside his Southern California cocoon, Manny Ramirez should expect less adulation and more agitation tonight in Queens. . . .

New York Mets fans already are in a foul mood because David Wright & Co. have fallen below .500. . . .

A weekend sweep by the Philadelphia Phillies prompted this New York Post headline: "Just Aw-Phil!" . . .

The same cannot be said of the new Yankee Stadium. . . .

Pitchers who have given up cheap, wind-aided home runs might disagree -- and a price tag of $1.5 billion seems a tad excessive -- but the new ballpark in the Bronx is spectacular. . . .

It's a shrine to Yankeedom. . . .

As Lonn Trost, the club executive who oversaw construction of the new stadium, said upon its opening this spring, "We consider this whole building to be a museum." . . .

For sure, it celebrates the past while embracing the future via countless television monitors, a giant video board in center field and unusual, fan-friendly touches such as a farmer's market. . . .

The coolest attraction might be a holdover from the previous Yankee Stadium, still standing across the street: Monument Park, where Yankees immortals such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the like are honored in a leafy, reverential setting. . . .

Speaking of all-time Yankees greats, Derek Jeter has an aura about him that only deepens with time and carries himself with a style and grace reminiscent of Joe DiMaggio. . . .

Or Roger Federer. . . .

Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal, declining to choose between Sunday's championship match at Wimbledon and last year's epic All England Club finale as the greatest of all time: "We prefer to look at these terrific two finals like 'The Godfather' and 'The Godfather: Part 2': long, different and equally brilliant, with fabulous period costumes." . . .

For your consideration: Andy Roddick, best actor in a supporting role. . . .

A streamlined Vladimir Guerrero and the Angels seem poised for a strong second-half push to the playoffs. . . .

Steve McNair appears to have lived the last few months of his life the way he played football: recklessly. . . .

Trevor Ariza's agent owes the former Laker an apology. . . .

Ron Artest might turn out to be a handful, but he's a more prolific scorer than Ariza, a bigger and stronger defender than Ariza and might be eager to remake his head-case image. . . .

Or so Lakers fans hope. . . .

Grant Hill, reportedly being wooed by the Boston Celtics to help return them to the top of the Eastern Conference, has never played for a team that won a playoff series. . . .

Their refusal to play at Indian Wells is understandable, but what do Wimbledon finalists Venus and Serena Williams have against the annual WTA Tour stop in Carson, which is just down the road from where they grew up in Compton? . . .

Perhaps, like a number of fans and other players, they preferred when the tournament was played in Manhattan Beach. . . .

Rutgers, which last week agreed to a home-and-home series against UCLA in football that includes a 2017 game at the Rose Bowl, has played only once in California, losing at Cal in 1999. . . .

Reader Jackson E. Eckstein of Oceanside, identifying himself as a longtime USC season-ticket holder, e-mails to call it "absurd" that a ranking of the greatest football coaches in Pacific 10 Conference history would not include UCLA's Red Sanders near the top, noting, "I knew greatness when I saw it." . . .

Nick Daschel of BusterSports.com, which compiled the list that was topped by Pete Carroll, explains that the rankings covered only the last 50 years, which the website considers to be college football's "modern era." . . .

The Long Beach Armada of the independent Golden Baseball League tonight will host Michael Jackson Night at Blair Field, where anyone dressed like the King of Pop will be admitted free to a game against the Chico Outlaws. . . .

Reflecting the motto of face-stuffing baseball fans everywhere, a sign posted at a concession stand in the new Yankee Stadium suggests, "Eat with one hand, high five with the other."

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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