There are things that are difficult for any man to say---"I feel (insert any abstraction)" or "You're right, honey, I don't need another beer" or "Okay, Jeter is not really gay."
But, far and beyond, the most difficult thing a man can say is "I was wrong."
You will rightfully note my past posts titled "A Salty Sack of Suck" and "They're Going To Be Fine (Notes From an Asshole)" and "Charlie Says, 'Relax." And it seems like each baseball season I come out spewing optimism, followed by a complete and total rejection of the team where I make cynical and snarky comments (perhaps posting South Park video clips), which ultimately results in contrition, and reverts back to a renewal of my pessimism.
Right now, however, the Red Sox are playing, as advertised: Like the Best Team in the History of Professional Sports. Baseball fans are now seeing what will happen when this line-up, busting at the buttons with potential, will look like running on all cylinders. Crawford is starting to earn his money (relatively); Lady Ellsbury is red hot; Youk is Youk; Pedey is Pedey; and even the aforementioned "Salty Sack of Suck" is starting to make Theo look good. Josh Beckett is back to his "I'm an asshole so try to hit my shit" self. My man-crush Jon Lester is stellar, and even Tim Wakefield---who, if you have a baseball soul, you have to love---has been solid.
The cynic is saying that I'm jinxing the bastards by writing this, but the realist knows that this is a team that is, far and beyond, better than any of their opponents. When sportswriters looked at the 2011 Red Sox on paper, they unanimously agreed that this team has an unfair advantage. When they started the season like late-Bea Arthur doing the pole vault, baseball fans outside of the Hub rejoiced with indignant high-fives, and Sox fans, like myself, resorted to apocalyptic posts and snide scoffs.
So here it is: I was wrong.
The 2011 Red Sox are the real deal, folks. They are the team to beat. And while I wouldn't waste the gas money to see John Lackey pitch at McCoy if I were stranded in Pawtucket;and if Josh Bard doesn't develop a second pitch he's going to continue to throw batting practice at the set-up position; and Dice-K can stay forever in Japan, as far as I'm concerned; this team is clearly very good. The team to beat.
I was wrong.
For the first time in my life, I'm not worrying about the Red Sox. This, of course, could be (to use the cliche) the Kiss of Death, but, for now, I'll save my fretting for the Bruins, trying to win the first Cup in 39 years against a formidable Vancouver team.
And, by the way, Jeter is gay. It was all histrionics. You get the point.