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A Gimenez by any other name

By Sheldon Published: August 9, 2009

CHICAGO: It's G as in George not G as in gorge and certainly not J as in Jose, even though that appears to be the most common mispronunciation. [ep
    It has been Chris Gimenez's lot in life to hear people call his name and wonder if they're talking to him or someone else. [ep
   The Indians' newest utility infielder/outfielder/catcher constantly listens to people -- even stadium public address announcers who should check -- say his name incorrectly. [ep
   How often do people mispronounce his name? [ep
   ""Just about all the time,'' Gimenez said. ""Usually, they say Jimenez (HIM-en-ez). It doesn't affect me -- it's like, "Let's see how bad you butcher it today.' Hopefully, not too bad.'' [ep
   If Jimenez is the No. 1 wrong way to say his name, Gimenez ( with a hard G as in great) is next on the list. [ep
   ""Even when I say it to people, they don't listen,'' Gimenez said. ""I have to spell it out. I feel bad for my fiance, because she's going to have to spell it to people too.'' [ep
   Correcting people's pronunciation is not Gimenez's favorite pastime. Most of the time, he just lets the faux pas pass without comment. [ep
   ""I just let it go unless they butcher it too bad,'' he said. [ep
    The derivation of his name is Spanish. In other words, at one time, it properly was pronounced Jimenez. But that was at least a three generations ago. [ep
   ""When my great grandfather came over here from Spain, we think that when he got to Ellis Island, they changed his name to make it sound more American,'' Gimenez said. [ep
    Would he ever change his name back to its original spelling and pronunciation? [ep
   ""If I ever did something like that my dad would rip me a new one,'' Gimenez said. ""When people say it wrong, I take it with a grain of salt. There's no reason to change it.'' [ep
   Gimenez has dealt with this kind of nuisance far longer than he's been in the public eye as a professional baseball player. [ep
   ""When I was a kid, everybody called me Gomez,'' he said. ""There was something about me in our hometown paper, the Gilroy (Calif.) Dispatch, when I was a freshman in high school, and they called me Gomez. From that time on, I was Gomez.''[ep
   Gimenez's teammates have no problem pronouncing his name. [ep
   ""Everybody in the clubhouse calls me "G,' '' he said. ""But they call Grady (Sizemore) "G,' too. We've talked about us getting mixed up. Maybe they should call us G-1 and G-2. At least everybody knows my name starts with a G.'' ¶
   ANOTHER GLITCH -- For the second time in his recovery process, Jake Westbrook has to cease throwing. ¶
   He was scratched from his start in Akron on Sunday and will visit Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles today to check on recent soreness in his elbow. Indians team doctors already had examined Westrbook, but Yocum is the doctor who did the surgery to reconstruct his right elbow last year. ¶
  The question is whether the pain Westbrook is experiencing is normal -- something he must learn to deal with as he continues to pitch -- or whether there is a structural problem that will need medical attention. ¶
    During his rehabilitation program, Westbrook was shut down for two weeks after feeling soreness in the elbow. He was expected to rejoin the Tribe rotation in about two weeks before this latest setback occurred. ¶
   WHO'S ON SECOND? -- Nobody is handing the everyday second base job to Luis Valbuena just yet, but when next spring training arrives, he will be the frontrunner. ¶
   ""The way he's playing now, he's earned a leg up on everybody else,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""He's doing a good job at the highest level, and he continues to get better.'' ¶
   When he was acquired from the Mariners last winter, Valbuena was touted as a good hitting prospect whose defense might be suspect. Instead, he has been solid in the field (at second and short) and has steadily become acclimated to major-league pitching. ¶
   Valbuena usually takes a seat when a lefthander is on the mound. ¶
   ""I think he'll be pretty good against righties and lefties,'' Wedge said. ""But sometimes he'll have to be protected against certain left-handers.'' ¶
   PROVING HIS POINT -- Lonnie Chisenhall's promotion from Kinston to Akron is backed by these Carolina League rankings: he led the league in RBI (79), was tied for third in home runs (18) and third in slugging percentage (.492), fourth in doubles (26), fifth in hits (107) and second in extra-base hits (46). ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Hector Rondon (3-2, 2.57 ERA) gave up one earned run (two total) and eight hits in six innings, but Columbus lost 2-1 to Buffalo. *elip Cord Phelps had three hits and one RBI in Kinston's 7-1 win over Salem. Recently acquired Scott Barnes pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out four. *elip T.J. House (4-8, 2.84 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings, allowing one hit and three walks, as Lake County defeated Lakewood 7-1. *elip Second-round draft pick Jason Kipnis hit his first home run of the season and singled in Mahoning Valley's 9-0 shutout of Vermont. Ninth-round choice Preston Guilmet (5-2, 2.72 ERA) pitched five scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out 10. ¶

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