Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom had two press availabilities at the MLB Winter Meetings, and the BOSTON HERALD's Steve Hewitt writes it was "apparent how much more at ease" he appeared. Bloom did admit that he is "nowhere close to knowing everything he needs to know." But the "transition, thus far, has seemed smooth," and Bloom seems to be "gelling great with his new front office teammates" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/13). But the GLOBE's Dan Shaughnessy writes this has the "potential to be the worst Sox winter of all time." The Yankees sign P Gerrit Cole, and the Red Sox "answer with more pledges to lop" $35M from their payroll. The Red Sox are "asking you to cheer for careful management of the luxury-tax threshold" by Bloom, who "learned from the masters of cheap" with the Rays (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/13).
LOOKING NORTH? In N.Y., Marc Stein wrote Knicks Owner James Dolan has "reached the point where he understands" that the era of Knicks President Steve Mills "cannot continue -- and, most crucially, that the hiring of a proven program builder from outside the organization has to happen." There is a "growing cadre of NBA observers that believes Dolan is planning a legitimate campaign to try to lure" Raptors President Masai Ujiri (N.Y. TIMES, 12/11).
FAMILY TIES: In Montreal, Herb Zurkowsky wrote the sale of the CFL Alouettes "finally appears close," nearly seven months after the league assumed ownership of the franchise. In a "stunning revelation, don't be surprised if the Wettenhall family" are "involved again in some kind of capacity." The Wettenhalls owned the team for more than two decades starting in '97. Sources indicated that the family is "ready to put some money into the financially strapped club again," but their "stake in the team figures to be nominal" (MONTREAL GAZETTE. 12/11).