Red Sox now wait for Cook's decison on opt-out

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Red Sox now wait for Cook's decison on opt-out

BOSTON -- The Red Sox allowed the May 1 midnight deadline on minor league pitcher Aaron Cook to come and go without purchasing his contract, which, in effect, puts the ball in Cook's court.

Cook has 24 hours -- or, until midnight Wednesday -- to inform the Red Sox whether he'll choose to opt out of his current minor league deal and become a free agent.

If he chooses to do so, the Sox will then have an additional 48 hours from the time they're notified to either release Cook or add him to the 25-man major league roster.

The Sox have informed Cook and his agent, Joe Bick, that they intend to pitch Cook out of the bullpen, at least for the time being. Cook, meanwhile, would prefer to start.

It's possible that should Cook wait until midnight Wednesday to inform the Red Sox of his decision to opt-out, that the pitcher could remain in limbo until midnight Friday -- or 48 hours from notification -- before the issue is resolved.

In the meantime, the Red Sox optioned Lars Anderson to Pawtucket after the game, signaling that a pitcher to replace him on the roster will be by game-time Wednesday.

The Sox earlier Tuesday optioned Junichi Tazawa to Pawtucket to create room for the addition of shortstop Jose Iglesias. The Sox felt they needed an extra infielder available to them to Tuesday night with Kevin Youkilis (back) still unable to play.

Manager Bobby Valentine had Youkilis with a bat in his hand on the top step in the ninth inning, but Valentine later admitted that Youkilis was just a decoy and was unable to hit.

If Youkilis has to go on the disabled list, the Sox would presumably replace him with Will Middlebrooks, who is off to a terrific start at Pawtucket.

Middlebrooks would have gotten the call Tuesday rather than Iglesias, but he had jammed his thumb in at-bat Sunday and the Red Sox wanted him to prove that he was healthy at Pawtucket before promoting him to Boston.

McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

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McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

BOSTON -- If you think John Farrell's decision to hit Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff for one night is the reason Bradley's 29-game hit streak came to an end, I've got some swamp land you might be interested in buying.

Such silly talk first surfaced mid-afternoon when the lineup was announced. With Mookie Betts getting his first day off this season, somebody had to hit leadoff. Farrell went with the guy who was leading the league in hitting.

That sounds reasonable. But not to some, who cried that putting Bradley at the top was (take your pick) disrupting Bradley's routine, putting him in a place with which he wasn't familiar, or asking him to change his approach.

Of course, none of those made much sense.

First of all, Thursday night marked the sixth (SIXTH!) different spot that Bradley has hit during the hitting streak. He had hit second, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. So the notion that any change was disruptive was absurd.

As for the notion that Bradley would treat his at-bats differently because he was leading off? Also wrong. Bradley's major adjustment since spring training has been being aggressive early in the count. So, do you know how many pitches Bradley saw in four at-bats as the leadoff hitter? Eight.

Does that sound like someone who was being forced to be more patient for the night, or someone changing their approach by working the count more?

Finally, Bradley hit two balls on the screws -- one to the warning track in right, just in front of the bullpen in his first at-bat and another in front of the center field door, some 400 or so feet away, in his third.

Streaks come to an end, even when hitters belt the ball hard. Twice.