Originally Posted by PalehosePlanet
Don't forget that the Red Sox and Braves had 9 and 9.5 game wild card leads on Labor Day last year and both blew it. Also, the 2007 Mets led by 7.5 games w/17 games to go and choked.
I don't consider the Rangers in that group because they did make the playoffs -- however briefly.
One of the problems with the wild card is that the Rangers technically made the postseason. If you blow a 5 game lead with 9 to play and finish second, you have no business making the postseason. Really, the Rangers didn't make the postseason. They had a one-game playoff with another second-place team for the opportunity to make the postseason. And they lost, completing their collapse. I hope the new wild-card format restores respect for division titles.
Wild card leads don't really count in collapses. They weren't going to win anything. There is no such thing as a wild card title. The Rangers collapse was worse than any of the others you cited, in part because everyone in the sports media was talking for six months about the Rangers winning the West being the only sure thing in the American League, longer if you go back to the wake of their last World Series loss.
The Rangers had been in first place since April 9, Alex Rios having knocked them out of first with a home run in the second game of the season before winning 11 of their next 12. And I would be very surprised if Ron Washington isn't managing the Rangers when they open their 2013 season.