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by alex ciepley
It's been a gross weekend in New York, not that I've really seen much of it. I've been holed up in my apartment working on some freelance projects, assisting my carpal tunnel in its quest for Total Right Arm Domination as I pound away on my keyboard and mouse.
I did have an awesome dinner in Queens on Friday night with some workmates. We ventured out to Astoria (one of the closest neighborhoods to Manhattan) to try out a Thai place that my Thai grocer in Chinatown swears by.
I'd never been to this restaurant, though their online menu excited me because of a couple items I've had trouble finding stateside. I also called them to arrange for the kitchen to ready a couple dishes not on the English menu.
I lived in Thailand for about a year and a half before I moved to New York, and I immediately knew why the local Thais swore by it. The food was a trip down memory lane for me. Roasted eggplant salad with chicken, exploded catfish salad with mango, whole fried fish in tamarind, panaeng and mussaman curries. The whole shebang. Our group finished off about twelve dishes (including desserts), a welcome retreat in an otherwise dreary couple of days in the city.
Cubs news? Not much, ho hum, though now my undies are telling me once again that Sosa just may be traded: he's at least trying to get kicked off the island by asking the player's union to void a bit in his deal that guarantees his salary for 2006 if he's traded.
Alex Rodriguez had problems with the union last offseason when it looked like he was going to become the shortstop for the Red Sox (I'd guess the Sox are fine that deal didn't go down). But Rodriguez was trying to get guaranteed money lopped off his contract, while Sosa is trying to drop a clause. Sosa may get his way, and if he does, it seems the Cubs could end up with a Floyd or Piazza by winter's end.
The Cubs are having a so-so go of it in the AFL. The top Cubs prospect, first baseman Brian Dopirak, is still slugging well (277/333/506 in 86 at-bats), but his 20 Ks and only 5 BBs show that he has a ways to go to improve his plate discipline. Still, he's awful young, so he can hopefully turn any frowns upside-down.
Jacob Fox and Geovany Soto are splitting catching duties, but neither one is hitting all that much. Carrie Muskat has the scoop on Fox over at Cubs.com. Ronny Cedeno isn't hitting (179/257/269), Adam Greenberg is (323/364/419), but without power.
Sean Marshall has a nifty 8:1 K/BB ratio so far, which is probably the best note among the pitchers. Russ Rohlicek has whiffed 24 in 18 innings, though he's also walked a fair share. That sure sounds like a lot of guys the Cubs already have populating their bullpen. Jae-Kuk Ryu has been just awful, slapping up a 6.41 ERA.
For more prospect news, both Cubs and otherwise, be sure to check out brYan over at Wait 'Til Next Year. Bryan's been doing a great job with some in-depth looks at young 'uns throughout baseball.
I guess I'll venture out into the cold now. It's pretty sad to stay indoors too long, even if the weather is yucksville. Besides, I have some ripe bananas and my mom's recipe for banana cream pie, so maybe I'll go pick up the missing ingredients and have myself a sugar orgy.