"It must be impossible for a Spanish person to order seltzer and not get salsa."

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

Regular readers of this space know that one of my favorite pastimes is arguing with Indians iTrac vision trainer Jason Stein, not-so-affectionately known as the “Master of Self-Promotion.”

The most heated of these arguments pertained to Clarence Clemons’ heroic/historic saxophone solo on “Jungleland” (which Stein callously dismissed as superfluous) and a debate over which American music legend has proven more influential, Bob Dylan (yes) or Willie Nelson (definitely not).
 
fajitas.jpgWell, Stein and I are at it again. This time, the argument pertains not to music but to Mexican. I referred to the food item that blankets a chicken fajita as a “wrap.” This immediately offended Stein, a native Texan and a self-described expert on Texican grub.

“Why do you call it a wrap?” he said in his Texan twang. “It’s a tortilla.”

I argued that a tortilla in chip form is known as a “tortilla chip” or simply a “chip,” and a tortilla in wrap form is known as a “tortilla wrap” or simply a “wrap.” Stein counters that a tortilla that’s fried becomes a “tortilla chip,” but the tortilla on its own is known just as a “tortilla” and never a “wrap.”

Somebody — anybody — please chip in, cast a deciding vote and wrap up this Mexican standoff.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…

  • It’s natural – maybe even a little fun — to speculate that the Twins will come beating down Mark Shapiro’s door to get  Kerry Wood. But the Twins already have a projected Opening Day payroll nearing $100 million, and they’d have to assume quite a bit of Wood’s $10.5 million contract (plus the vesting 2011 option) to make it worth it for the Indians to move him. So for now, I wouldn’t expect much on that front. But Wood will obviously be on the trading block all year, as this story discusses.
  • laffey.jpgAaron Laffey started against the Mariners today and turned in two scoreless innings, just as he did in his first outing of the spring, against the Reds. The scoreless appearances can’t hurt Laffey’s hopes of landing one of the two open spots in the rotation. That’s a lesson he learned last year, when he went into the Cactus League season with the approach of working on his pitches and not necessarily worrying about the results. “That didn’t work out in my favor,” he said.
  • No, it did not. Laffey was passed over for the fifth starting spot and was none too pleased about it. He sulked for a little while, then reported to Triple-A Columbus, only to be called up two weeks into the season to help out the rotation when Scott Lewis went down with an elbow injury. Laffey remained in the bigs from there on out, minus his stint on the disabled list with an oblique injury.
  • This time around, Laffey said he’s working on his pitches behind the scenes, in his bullpen sessions. Specifically, he’s changed the grip on his two-seamer, trying to get more consistency with his location. The 57 walks allowed by Laffey in 121 2/3 innings in the Majors were rather uncharacteristic. “[The new grip] keeps the ball on the center of the plate and also has more depth to it,” he said. Laffey has had a coach stand in the box while he warms up in the bullpen to get a feel for the pitch. Then he takes what he’s learned about it into the game and, to this point, has fared quite well.
  • Manny Acta said the Indians will take results into account, of course, but he said execution of pitches is what really counts. “It’s about getting first-pitch strikes, which we preach, and staying ahead of the hitters and keeping the defense involved,” Acta said.
  • Justin Masterson worked 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Acta had to pull him because of his pitch count. Masterson had trouble controlling his sinker.
  • Lots of Indians alumni in the Mariners clubhouse, including Cliff Lee, Ryan Garko, Franklin Gutierrez, Milton Bradley, Josh Bard, Mike Koplove, former pitching coach Carl Willis (now the M’s Minor League pitching coordinator) and former catcher Tim Laker (now the manager at Double-A West Tennessee). I talked with Garko and Lee about all the movement in Cleveland over the last two years. Here’s that story.
  • I told you a little bit about Wes Hodges the other day. Formerly dubbed the Tribe’s “third baseman of the future,” he’s now facing the possibility of moving to first base full-time at Triple-A Columbus this season. He started at first base today and had a big game, contributing a pair of two-run doubles. “He can swing the bat,” Acta said. “He’s able to use the whole field.” Acta said Hodges’ position is a matter of inter-organizational debate, but he’ll “probably” end up at first. “If his bat comes around,” Acta said, “that’s going to be his ticket.”
  • Luis Valbuena also had a nice day, going 3-for-3 with a double in the third, an RBI single in the sixth and two runs scored.
  • Rule 5 pickup Hector Ambriz has logged two scoreless innings in two appearances, but they’ve both been adventures. He gave up a pair of hits to the Reds on Saturday and got out of it. Today, he walked the bases loaded with two out but got Guillermo Quiroz to fly out to end the inning. “He looked like he had his adrenaline pumping,” Acta said. “You can’t blame somebody who wants to impressive, but at times that’s not the way to do it.”
  • They played Bob Seger’s “Fire Down Below” on the PA before today’s game. Sweet.

~AC

24 Comments

Long time no comment here, but it’s good to know I’m not the only Seger fan. Tough to find a friend there lately.

As a Native New Mexican I must tell you my dear AC that it is certainly never called a wrap. A tortilla on its own is known as a tortilla. The wrap portion comes if something is actually wrapped inside a tortilla. To be honest I have never heard of a wrap being called a tortilla wrap. Sorry AC! I agree with you on most things but not this time!

Sorry AC – I have to agree with tribetime8 and, more so, toejam07. A wrap is more like regular bread, while a tortially is usually thinner and made from corn. But you’re still 2 for 3 against Stein, so no worries.

The way I think of it is that it’s a tortilla if it’s made out of corn, and it’s a wrap if it’s made out of anything else. Wraps also tend to be a bit thicker, and really only apply to non Tex-Mex food, IMHO.

yeah, a tortilla doesn’t necessarily have to wrap something. Calling a tortilla on its own a “wrap” would be like calling a piece of bread a “sandwich” or a tomato, “sauce” … on the subject of Hodges, have they simply given up on him from a defensive standpoint as a 3b? It’s not like he’s ever been a dominant force from an offensive standpoint, and as a 1b, he’s a lotless likely to break into the big leagues as an Indian.

I’m sorry fellow commenters, but, a tortilla can be made of both corn and flour. Regardless of the thickness, it is the same thing. And, I’m sorry Anthony, but I’m afraid the proper term for what you are describing is, in fact, a tortilla. I see a “wrap” as a name for the whole dish, not the tortilla itself. Just as you wouldn’t call a tortilla a “burrito” or a couple of slices of bread a “sandwich.”

I am a longtime Springsteen fan and I have to admit that Clarence’s solo is one of rock n roll’s all time best. Here’s a bit of interesting minutiae: A number of years ago I watched a DVD on the making of the Born To Run album that included some studio footage of the albums recording sessions. Their is footage of Clarence recording his Jungleland solo with Springsteen coaching him through it note for note. So although Clemons played it, apparently Springsteen wrote it. If you want to check it out pick up : “Born To Run: 30th Anniversary 3 disc Set”.

I am a longtime Springsteen fan and I have to admit that Clarence’s solo is one of rock n roll’s all time best. Here’s a bit of interesting minutiae: A number of years ago I watched a DVD on the making of the Born To Run album that included some studio footage of the albums recording sessions. Their is footage of Clarence recording his Jungleland solo with Springsteen coaching him through it note for note. So although Clemons played it, apparently Springsteen wrote it. If you want to check it out pick up : “Born To Run: 30th Anniversary 3 disc Set”.

You didn’t credit George Castanza from Seinfeld for your title quote.

wow, I guess I am the only commenter that actually agrees with AC on this whole wrap/tortilla issue.

When I go to the bar to order a pint and some food, I have never seen a ‘sandwich’ (for lack of a better word) referred to as a tortilla. I.e. a buffalo chicken tortilla. It’s simply a buffalo chicken wrap. IMO a wrap simply engulfs the food.

Additionally, I would consider the above picture to simply be a chicken fajita, not a chicken fajita wrap nor a chicken fajita tortilla. Tortilla implies flatness to me. I do use the term tortilla loosely to typically associate with chips, as in (tortilla) chips and salsa. I think of wraps as an entree and anything less would be a tortilla-like appetizer.

as for Hodges, I would totally disagree with you ST that he has never been a dominant force from an offensive standpoint. Check his minor league statistics from 2007 (Kinston) and 2008 (Akron). He was labeled a hitter with a poor glove from the word go and has unfortunately lost a significant amount of time to develop into an average fielder.

I would totally agree with you that he has no future with the Indians as a first baseman. None. However, a below average-to-average fielding third baseman with a plus-bat is someone that organizations are typically willing to deal with b/c of the trade-off.

I know that I have been clamoring for the Indians to jettison Jhonny Peralta since we acquired Mark DeRosa but I would stand by my point that IF 2010 (and probably 2011) is supposed to be a rebuilding year than I would be hard pressed to pay Peralta his salary for his production at the plate and in the field. I would rather save that money and reinvest it later, not to mention giving Marte a legitimate shot.

Marte is equivalent to Brady Quinn IMO: highly touted, mismanaged in Cleveland, and perhaps may only succeed if they get out of town. RAther unfortunate for both individuals.

AM, I believe you’re actually disagreeing with AC. You’re saying a wrap simply engulfs the food, which I think everyone agrees with. But AC is arguing that “wrap” and “tortilla” are interchangeable.

The simple fact that you can make “wraps” using an out covering OTHER than a tortilla would prove AC wrong on this one. In fact, just do a search for “flat bread wrap” and you’ll get a whole lot of links to sites that feature wraps made from something other than tortillas. Or do a search for “pita wraps” and you’ll get even more.

All wraps are not tortillas and all tortillas are not wraps.

Tony Sipp is having a rough spring so far.

“All wraps are not tortillas and all tortillas are not wraps.”

That statement eerily reminds me of my 8th grade geometry class. “Every square is a rhombus, but all rhombuses are not a square.”

I don’t know AM, I think you an I must disagree on the definition of “dominant force”–Hodges had an .821 OPS in AA at 23 years old. Good? Sure. Great? Hardly. Valbuena for example had an .864 OPS in AA at age 22, Donald had an .889 OPS at age 23, and they’re both 2nd basemen, where good offensive production is a bonus, while at 1b, good offensive production is a necessity. It makes more sense to get the guy as much work at 3b as possible, I don’t get having him lose development time at 3b so he can play 1b where their need is nonexistent and where he has limited value as a prospect. I also wonder who would play 3b at Columbus if Hodges were moved to 1st. It’s not a big deal, since Hodges probably doesn’t have a future with them either way, but I find it odd.

AC, once again, I must disagree with you. It is clearly a Tortila. This is a mexican dish and should use the mexican lingo. However, if this were used in a wrap, for instance at Applebees you can get a crispy chicken wrap, then it is a wrap. It is not the item you are describing but rather the use. Atleast we still have the Athens wal-mart.

I suppose we could be arguing semantics here. I know you and duane_kiper are very much rooted in the OPS evaluation of a player and that’s justified. I have always maintained that OPS should not be the only barometer. Like I said, semantics. You are probably right though: good, yes. Dominant, probably not.

However, I would consider 22 doubles, 15 HR, 71 RBI and .288 avg in 393 ABs at Kinston to be quality numbers that also improved the following year in Akron (29 doubles, 18 HR, 97 RBI, .290 avg in 504 ABs). The biggest issue for Hodges was losing out on development for 2008 and 2009.

I would consider the ages of our prospects to be relatively useless information (albeit valid in this discussion I suppose) given Mark Shapiro’s organizational creed to simply not draft high school players in the early rounds. It takes more money to sign them away from college and their age naturally creates a high risk-high reward scenario Shapiro is not willing to undertake. Although he has claimed that this coming draft will have a different philosophical approach.

I normally dont read the comments on your blog, but……….I am winning by a land slide!!!!!!!! Once again, Texans Know All!

I read the title of this blog post exactly as George said it on tv yesterday during 7:00 show on TBS. It was the craziest thing I have ever experienced.

I don’t know why you’re so anti-OPS, AM. It’s a good summary of a player’s offensive abilities. Rather than compare doubles, HRs, walks and BA, why not just compare OPS? It’s a sum of all of those. The only major things that are neglected in OPS are strikeouts and stolen bases, as far as impact on offense is concerned .. .and yeah, I agree those are decent numbers for a 3b prospect, especially when your organizational alternatives are Jhonny Peralta and Andy Marte. But Jordan Brown is considered too light of a hitter to be a good 1b prospect, and Hodges hasn’t put up numbers nearly as good as Brown’s (or Marte, for that matter). If they really are converting him to 1b, for all the talk about his bat, that’s a huge negative for Hodges, because the only reason to do it that I can see would be if they’ve concluded he can’t develop into even an average defender at 3b–and that pretty much kills his shot at being anything other than a fringe major leaguer, because 3b is the only position where his bat could be a plus.

I must say that I laughed out loud at “Why do you call it a wrap?” he said in his Texan twang. “It’s a tortilla.” Mostly the Texas twang thing because I love your impression. I think that Jason was winning until he posted a comment to say that Texans know all..I will now vote against all things my boyfriend argues with you about :) Hope you guys are enjoying Spring training and thank you for the humorous updates about my favorite team!

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The crazy thing is that my best friend and I had this same argument about 2 months ago. He tends to carry a 9mm pistol in his IWB holster though, so I tend to let him win the arguments on the days I know he’s packing.

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9-5-12 sitting two seats behind a guy with a back pack that says jason stein cleveland indians my curiosity got the best of me. After a few minuites of google i figured out this guy must really be someone. So i politly ask him what itrak was and he politly responded. after listening to his response and readind this article i concluded he not only knows training he knows tortillas. i agree with him

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