Red Sox pitcher Aaron Cook, currently in Triple-A Pawtucket after signing a minor league deal this winter, said that he is focused on pitching as well as he can rather than spending too much time thinking about whether or not he will exercise an opt-out clause in his contract if he is not called up by May 1. That said Cook -- who is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four starts -- said in an interview on the Mut & Merloni show that he feels that he is ready to contribute to a big league club.
"I just feel like I'm healthy. I feel like I've done what I've needed to do. Hopefully I will get a phone call [informing him of a promotion to the big leagues] by May 1st," he said. "[The opt-out date is] always in the back of your mind, but you can't control it till it comes. As of now, I'm still down here. I'm going to do what I can to try to win my next start, and when May 1 comes, me and my agent will have a conversation about what's going on if I haven't gotten a phone call yet."
Cook said that, for the first time in years, he feels like he is fully healthy at the start of a season. He was encouraged by his most recent start -- a seven-inning complete game in which he allowed just one run on Monday for the PawSox -- in which his velocity ticked up to 92 mph and by the fact that he is getting opponents to pound his sinker into the ground.
"The results are kind of speaking for themselves right now," said Cook. "I hit 92 a couple times last night. That's really encouraging to me not for the fact that I can throw hard but that I can sustain throughout the game, throw the ball where I want. ... I don't know where the top [velocity] would be for this year, but as long as I'm getting groundball outs and going deep into game, that's what I'm going off of, not how hard I'm throwing or how soft I'm throwing, but whether or not guys are still hitting the ball into the ground. When they start lifting the ball and hitting it off the wall, then we'll have something we'll have to go back and look a little bit closer."
Asked if he would extend the opt-out date beyond the May 1 opt-out (as Andrew Miller and Kevin Millwood did while in Pawtucket last year), Cook did not rule out the possibility, noting that he would still have a June 1 opt-out and he would receive a bonus for not exercising the May 1 opt-out.
"If I stick around a little longer, I have a June 1 [opt-out] and get a little extra bonus. There's another buyout bonus-slash-day in there," said Cook. "I don't know how much discussion there would be [of extending the May 1 opt-out]."
Even though he remains in the minors during a month in which he has looked like a pitcher who can contribute at the big league level, the 33-year-old said that he regretted nothing about his decision to sign with the Sox this offseason (in which he turned down other clubs).
"It was the opportunity that they were saying was out there. They needed to fill a couple starter roles. They didn't know what they were going to do with a few guys. I have a long history with the pitching coach, and it's such a great city to play in. Who would want to turn down the opportunity to play in Boston?" said Cook. "For me, it was the three things combined that led to my decision to sign here. It's been great. The organization has been awesome, coaching staff, major league, minor league, everybody has been great. I wouldn't change my decision for any other one right now."
Cook remains optimistic that things will work out with the Sox, thogh for that to happen, an opportunity would have to emerge. If the Sox keep their current five starters in the rotation (Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, Daniel Bard), Cook was asked if he would be open to working out of the bullpen in Boston.
"I do definitely view myself as a starter, but I have pitched out of the bullpen in the past. I probably have 40 or 50 appearances coming out of the bullpen," he said. "It's definitely something that is fun and interesting, but teams have expressed to me that they view me more as a starter. But for me, either way. If I get the ball and get to go out and pitch, I'll do whatever."
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Hour 4. Bradford joins the show to defend the fact that he attends Ortiz’s charity event for free. Alex doesn’t think it was unethical to out Hernandez.
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.
Hour 2. The guys talk discuss Hernandez’s gay lover with Reimer. Reimer says there aren’t a lot of straight guys looking to experiment. Bradford tells Mut he paid for his wife to attend the Ortiz charity event.
HOUR 3 - ESPN layoffs continue. One time Fauria didn't know Sage Steele's name so he called her "Rashard." ESPN has pretty much decided to punt on hockey. Marcus Smart responds to Jimmy Butler. Glenn dreams of the Celtics adding Gordon Hayward in the offseason.
HOUR 4 - The guys kept us updated on the wave of ESPN firings. Paul was blocked by Pete Abe. Fauria still hates Dan Dakich. Will Gerald Green be a factor, again, tonight? The lawyer for Kyle Kennedy (Aaron Hernandez' rumored gay lover) Larry Army gave a press conference.
Some house cleaning is being done at ESPN as reports of employee cuts begin to come out. And how pissed/not pissed should Matt Barnes be?
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
The article didn't actually reveal anything that wasn't already public record, but the Globe "expose" on Brady and his relationship with the Best Buddies charity certainly has everybody around here talking about it.
We spend some time talking Sox as news of the rain cancellation comes down. A few more thoughts on the spat in Baltimore and Dustin Pedroia, plus David Price takes to twitter for his "media session".
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are in after a Reimer Wednesday edition of K&C to recap a virtuoso Kirk Minihane off-the-rails performance
Buck and Reimer debate over whether it’s appropriate to speculate about Aaron Hernandez’s sexuality. Buck says his sources don’t corroborate what Michele McPhee and the Daily Mail have reported about the disgraced ex-NFL star’s love life. Reimer disagrees with the Boston Globe's assertion that there's a homophobic element to the Hernandez story.
Buck and Reimer share their coming out stories and discuss the different ways they decided to reveal their sexualities. Buck waited until more than 30 years into his career, whereas Reimer announced he was gay during his second appearance on WEEI. On that note, Buck presses Reimer on whether he's exploiting his sexuality to further his career.
Hour 4. Crazy Al calls in for the second day in a row. A terrible caller tries to make a point. The Arkansas inmates had interesting last meals. Tomase’s epic acceptance speech.More from this show
Hour 1. In a wild opening segment, Kirk and Gerry lash out at the Globe and Joe Sullivan. Reimer weighs in on Cyd Ziegler’s Hernandez take. Michael Holley thinks the Globe would do the same story on Ortiz as they did on Brady and Best Buddies.More from this show