When Taylor Swift announced her 1989 World Tour concert schedule last year, the Houston Astros ensured fans that Minute Maid Park would not be taken over by a pop star should the Astros make the playoffs. Of course, the jokes flowed like milk and honey from the promised land of baseball social media because the lowly Houston Astros had not even been mentioned among playoff contenders for a decade.
Well, the laughing matter lasted for a few months until the Astros won some games. And kept winning. And still didn’t drop out of the playoff picture until suddenly…the season was over! And Houston defeated the Yankees in the Wild Card game! And hosted the Royals for two games in October at Minute Maid Park!
Due to Houston’s success, the concert had been pushed up to an Astros road trip in September as to ensure it stayed out of the way of the beautiful game. But what Taylor Swift did for the Astros was invaluable. Intense karma entered Houston to support the youngsters making a playoff push, and validating one of the most sarcastically-retweeted tweets of all time:
— Houston Astros (@astros) December 11, 2014
Swift also provided me with some baseball writing gold in July when she visited Nationals Park. However, the Washington Nationals did not benefit in the same way Houston did.
The Nats, who were far and away the preseason favorite to win it all given their deep pitching rotation, suffered a major collapse at the end of July and throughout August in the weeks following Swift’s D.C. appearance. Not to mention, the home game following the concert featured three power outages forcing a suspension of play.
Well who was the last one to use Nationals Park last? Taylor Swift.. I blame her for the power outs tonight. We now have #BadBlood
— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) July 18, 2015
Other factors to blame for the Nationals’ collapse, however: Jonathan Paplebon, Drew Storen, Me, and a Chia Pet.
2015 was not the year of the curse, reverse curse, or broken curse though, because baseball’s most ominous spell is still cast over the Chicago Cubs and their inability to return to, let alone win, the World Series.
Although, the Cubs did win their first playoff game in 12 years with a victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Wild Card game. Then, in game three of the NL Division Series, they won their first playoff game at Wrigley Field since the Steve Bartman incident of the 2003 NL Championship Series.
Bartman’s attempt at catching a foul ball is cited as a reason for the Cubs’ demise during 2003’s NLCS, which propelled the Marlins to their second ever World Series victory in just their 11th season.
Meanwhile, at Wrigley Field in 2015, the legendary Laurence Leavy, aka Marlins Man, was in attendance for Chicago’s NLDS game three win. His prominence was fitting gesture of thanks on behalf of all Marlins fans for the events of 2003 as well as an ironic blessing for the Cubs.
They then defied the odds and knocked-off the top-seeded St. Louis Cardinals all together in the NLDS. In game four, they clinched a playoff series at Wrigley Field for the first time EVER.
Their luck ran out, though, at the hands of Daniel Murphy and the New York Mets. Murphy homered in every game during the NL Championship Series in which he also hit .529 with six RBI during New York’s four-game sweep.
The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908 or even played in it since 1945. In ’45, with the Cubs up 2-1 in the series, Billy Sianis and his billy goat named Murphy were asked to leave Wrigley Field due to the goat’s stench. Sianis actually had a separate ticket for Murphy and was not pleased about the forced exit. He apparently declared “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” upon his departure. The Cubs lost game four, but did end up winning game six at Wrigley Field before losing game seven–never returning to the World Series since.
So in 2015, a different Murphy–Daniel–ensured the Cubs stayed out of the World Series for at least another year and the curse lives on.
People have tried reverse the curse by bringing goats on to Wrigley Field, eating goats, and even severing goats heads.
Further information on the curse: 2003 was the Chinese Year of the Goat…and you know what happened. Back to the Future II predicted the Cubs to win the World Series on October 21, 2015. On that exact day, they lost to Daniel Murphy and the New York Mets in the fourth and final game of the NLCS.
Put this all together and what do we get? A magic formula to reverse the curse!
Back to the Future needs an additional sequel that predicts each of the following events in sequence perfectly:
The Cubs make the playoffs in a specific Year of the Goat sometime in the future.
Steve Bartman emerges from hiding and buys a female billy goat that he names Murphy. He breeds said goat, who has one unblemished male offspring that Bartman names Taylor. Ceremoniously, he and Laurence Leavy (Marlins Man) meet outside the front entrance to Wrigley Field and they slaughter Taylor, painting the entrance with his blood.
During the first playoff game at Wrigley Field of this postseason, Bartman returns to hiding and Leavy sits in Bartman’s seat from game six of the 2003 NLCS at Wrigley Field. Taylor’s mother, Murphy, sits where Billy Sianis and the original Murphy sat during game four of the 1945 World Series.
At some point during the game, a foul ball is hit to the exact spot where Bartman sat in ’03 and Leavy is sitting now. Wearing his Marlins jersey, Leavy does not interfere and a Cubs outfielder makes the catch. Only then will the curse be broken.
Once the Cubs win the World Series, Taylor Swift emerges from the ivy of Wrigley’s walls where she has been living since the postseason started, and performs a celebratory concert on the pitcher’s mound. Bartman also emerges from the ivy because he has been hiding there too since 2003. Leavy and Murphy also walk onto the field and together they take a bow, closing the book on the greatest baseball story ever told.