In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde wrote Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross' season is "about to begin" now that the team likely will miss the playoffs. There is "nothing quite like the moment" at the end of a Dolphins game that "marks the end of another Dolphins season and feels like the end of a lot of people's jobs, too." That is something that "everyone's grown awkwardly accustomed to around this franchise" over the past two decades. Three years into coach Adam Gase's regime, with such "obvious problems across the board, firing people is pretty much the easy part." Hyde: "Can the owner fix his football side?" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 12/17).
HONEYMOON PHASE: In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck writes the "honeymoon period" for new Orioles Exec VP/Baseball Operations Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde "figures to be a long one, since everyone seems to understand that turning last year's 115-loss team back into a consistent winner will require a lot of time and patience." For the next "few years at least, you probably won't be reading anonymously sourced tweets about friction in the front office." There will be "no unconfirmed reports that the GM and the manager don't get along," and no "behind-the-scenes struggle for the full faith of ownership" (BALTIMORE SUN, 12/18).