Collapses happen in a lot of ways. A team can unravel at the worst time against a hated rival and never recover (1978 Boston Red Sox), or it can fall victim to a historically hot team (1951 Brooklyn Dodgers), or it can simply choke in the season’s final weeks (2007 New York Mets, 1964 Philadelphia Phillies), or it can go completely to hell in a once in a lifetime, chicken-and-beer fueled blaze of glory (2011 Boston Red Sox). But collapses rarely take place under the radar, so much so that the sports world is hardly aware it’s happening.
Put it this way: In the 111-year history of the New York Yankees franchise, the team has never blown a division lead of at least 10 games, not in all the times the Bombers held such a lead in the AL or AL East (and there have been many times). But that is what’s happening as we speak, no matter how many times Derek Jeter puts on his annoyed cool face or Joe Girardi maintains an even keel. The Yankees are collapsing, in slow-speed car chase form.