Rangers’ top pitching prospect Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez is trying to nip an issue in the bud.
As his name has gained more prominence, so has the confusion.
Media members routinely report his name incorrectly, calling him Alex Rodriguez or Chi Chi Rodriguez. In fact, his name was wrong on a video posted at the Star-Telegram’s YouTube site last week. Gonzalez politely pointed out the error and it was quickly corrected.
Now even former coaches are hitting him with the Rodriguez error. Padres catching instructor Riley Westman was introducing Gonzalez at dinner the other night and called him Chi Chi Rodriguez. It was clear to Gonzalez that Westman didn’t even realize what he’d said.
“He had a blank face and then started laughing,” Gonzalez said. “I always try to point it out. I don’t want to be confused as Alex Rodriguez or Chi Chi Rodriguez. I want to be Alex Gonzalez or Chi Chi.”
All the confusion compelled Gonzalez to take to Twitter on Saturday night to clear his name, or at least clarify it.
It’s not a problem for teammates. They never get that far when addressing each other. To them, he’s just Cheech or Chi Chi. Or even Gonzo, as pitching coach Mike Maddux prefers.
Gonzalez doesn’t care what nickname people use, as long as they get the last name correct. Especially if it means he’s on the big league club and not back in the minors, where he’s compiled a 2.93 ERA in two seasons.
“If he’s calling me a name it means I’m with him, right? I don’t care what he calls me,” Gonzalez said.
As long as you get the last name correct.
You said what?
Derek Holland caught himself before calling Colby Lewis a grandpa, but admitted it took some self-editing. Holland, 28, was extolling the virtues of having a mentor and called Lewis, who turns 36 in August, the “daddy of baseball” in the Rangers’ clubhouse.
“I was gonna say grandpa but I can’t do that,” he quickly admitted. Too late. Besides, pitcher Jamey Wright, 40, is the oldest player in the clubhouse.
Social media 101
Rangers players were given a social media briefing Sunday morning by Kevin Sullivan, former longtime Dallas Mavericks public relations chief. Sullivan went over the potential pitfalls of using Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media when engaging with fans or family in a public forum. Sullivan showed players how they could use social media applications to their advantage and how to be aware of potential traps that could embarrass them personally or the organization.
“Everybody likes a strikeout. Strikeouts are fun for the pitcher. They’re the ‘wow’ factor for fans. But reality is when you’re aggressive with your pitches, get them in the zone, force hitters in swing mode, you can get those quick outs and you can go deeper in the game.” — Manager Jeff Banister on steering All-Star pitcher Yu Darvish to throw inside early and often.