Another busy day here and in Boston sports. The Red Sox are finally playing baseball…albeit exhibition games, Gary Payton should return to the Celtics today, and the Patriots say Hello, Goodbye.

Chris Snow has a feature on Kevin Millar, who keeps talking, having fun, and keeping things loose in the Red Sox clubhouse. Tony Massarotti looks at the (perhaps) kinder, gentler George Steinbrenner. Steven Krasner looks at Matt Clement, who started last night’s exhibition opener, and is being counted on to fill a hole in the rotation left by the departures of Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe. Jeff Horrigan looks at Terry Francona’s decision to give up chewing tobacco, a tough battle for the Red Sox manager. David Heuschkel has a combination story/notebook with a look at the huge upside of Matt Mantei and a look at last night’s game. David Borges looks at the rock star Red Sox. Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at congress sending out letters to several players, including Curt Schilling to testify about steroids. As Bryant observes, notably absent on the list is Barry Bonds. It’s “like doing Hamlet without Hamlet” he writes.

Horrigan’s notebook looks at the performance of Clement last night. Snow’s notebook has Clement and Jason Varitek already building a good relationship as pitcher and catcher. Krasner’s notebook looks at the Red Sox meeting some real heroes. Borges’ notebook looks at the performances of Clement and Byung-Hyun Kim.

Mark Murphy looks at the new options that coach Doc Rivers has now with Antoine Walker, and (most likely) Gary Payton. Tim Weisberg says that getting Antoine back was great for an immediate splash, but the team is going to have to win to keep the interest level up. Nick Tavares says that the return of #8 has brought the Celtics back to relevance. For now. Shira Springer says that the Celtics will welcome Payton back with open arms. Carolyn Thornton also reports on the impending return of Payton, as does Murphy’s notebook.

The Patriots lost yet another veteran of their three Super Bowl teams, as wide receiver David Patten signs a five year deal with Washington. Alan Greenberg and Tom E Curran report on the departure of Patten. Curran mentions Tai Streets as someone the Patriots could be interested in. Michael Felger reports on both Patten leaving and Duane Starks coming. Jerome Solomon and Michael Parente report on the arrival of Starks and the remodeling of the Patriots. Eric McHugh says that the Patriots will feel the loss of Joe Andruzzi and others.

Dan Shaughnessy shows his considerable skills as a writer with today’s touching piece on the sudden passing of Sutton High School coach Stephen Romasco, whose loss is being felt hard in that community. Nicely done, Dan.

David Scott weighs in on the BostonDirtDogs situation and the role of blogs and media. Jim Baker looks at BC’s struggles in the spotlight of national TV and has a number of other media related items. Bill Reynolds looks at ESPN Radio not renewing the contract of long time host Chuck Wilson. Andrew Neff gives us an update on the Portland Sea Dogs broadcast team.

Be sure to check out this space on Sunday, as there will be the debut of a new media column. It promises to have some very interesting revelations about the inner workings of certain newspapers and media outlets in town.

FSN has Celtics/Bobcats at 7:30. ESPN has Kings/Heat at 8:00 and Mavericks/Lakers at 10:30.