You may have heard some worry expressed about the Taylor Swift effect - how bad things happened to Washington, San Diego, and Houston after the 1989 tour came to town.
It's worse than that. Much, much worse. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Consider:
May 30 - Detroit
Tigers were 28-22 at the time, 2.5 off the lead. Detroit lost 12 of next 18 to fall to .500, 6.5 games back.
Jun 3 - Cleveland
Indians were 25-26, 5.5 back. They promptly went 8-15, falling 12 games back of the pack.
Jun 6 - Pittsburgh
Pirates were 30-24, 6.5 behind the Cardinals. After losing 3 of their next 4 games, they roared back with an 8 game winning streak, but then lost 5 of 6 to fall 8 games off the lead.
Jun 12 & 13 - Philadelphia
The Phillies stunk already - they were 22-29 when Tay Tay came to town. They'd lost 3 in a row, and would stretch that streak to 9 losses in a row. Manager Ryne Sandberg soon resigned. The Phillies would go on to lose 33 of 40 after Swift came to town, which is bad even by Philly standards. Maybe because she did two shows?
After the Philadelphia concerts, Swift embarked on the European leg of the 1989 tour. Premier League fans are welcome to follow up on this, if they so desire. She returned to North America in July with shows in Ottawa and Montreal. And then..
Jul 13 & 14 - Washington
The Nationals were 48-39, and held a two game lead in the NL East. Three weeks later, having lost 10 of 16, they were behind the Mets, and have been falling further back ever since.
Jul 18 & 19 - Chicago
The White Sox, 42-46 when Swift came to town, instantly lost 4 in a row. But they bounced back with a 7 game winning streak. They almost made it to .500, but lost 8 of 10... Meanwhile, the Cubs were 47-41 at the same time. They went 5-6 immediately afterward, but then went on an absolute tear, winning 15 of 16 games. They didn't move up in the standings, and were still 7.5 behind St. Louis when it was over. It's possible that the presence of two teams in the same city may have somewhat cancelled out any negative aspects to the Swift visit.
July 24 & 24 - Foxborough
These were the shows for Boston fans, and the Red Sox were 42-54 at the time. The team spun their wheels on the field over the next few weeks, going 10-12, but manager John Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma and had to leave the team.
August 8 - Seattle
The Mariners were 51-59 when Swift hit town. They lost 8 of their next 13. That probably just means they carried on as usual. It's still not good.
August 17 & 18 - Glendale
Glendale isn't Phoenix, but only in the same way that Missisauga isn't Toronto. These were the shows you went to if you lived in Phoenix. The Snakes were 57-59 before the shows. They lost 13 of their next 21
August 21-22, 24-26 - Los Angeles
Once more, two teams to which the effect may or may not apply. It wasn't the Dodgers. They were 67-53 and their 2 game losing streak did get stretched out to 5 games. But then they won 13 of 15 and put an end to the NL West race. It was the Angels who took the punishment - they were 63-58, in second place 2.5 behind Houston. They lost 8 of their next 10, and found themselves in third place, 7.5 games off the lead.
August 29 - San Diego
The Padres were 62-66 when Swift came to town. They've gone 12-19 since then. Which they probably would have done anyway, they're not very good.
September 5 & 6 - Denver
The Rockies have gone 8-15 since the shows.
September 9 - Houston
The Astros lost 10 of 15 after Swift's concert. Their 1 game lead atop the division has turned to dust.
September 11-13 - St Paul
The Twins immediate response was to lose 6 of their next 9 games, and are still hanging in the Wild Card battle by the skin of their teeth.
September 21-22 - Kansas City
The Royals have split the 10 games since Swift hit town.
She just left St. Louis after doing shows there on the 28th and 29th (the Cardinals split a double-header yesterday). She's in Toronto tonight and tomorrow. You've been warned. So... shake it off.
The good news - she's in Dallas on the 17th, if the Rangers are still around...