Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Midre Cummings, Orlando Merced, Denny Neagle and the Future of the Pittsburgh Pirates

My son (The Moose) recently checked out this Pittsburgh Pirates book from his school library.


Published in March 1997, the book details the history of the team from Honus Wagner and Pie Traynor to the 1960, 1971, and 1979 World Series Championships. The book's final page seemed optimistic about the team's future.


I guess the team did sail onward. It wasn't until 2013 that the Pirates had a winning record, and they haven't been very good in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Orlando Merced, Midre Cummings, and Denny Neagle (not Naegle) may have been looked to for leadership in the mid-90s, but they didn't bring a lot of wins. I just hope that if we read a 2017 version of a Pittsburgh Pirates book in 2037, we're in a good place.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fantasy Football

I've written about fantasy sports many times over the course of this blog's history. I went more than 20 years before winning a fantasy/rotisserie baseball title, and I had a long run of disappointing fantasy football seasons until fairly recently. I won't even mention the fantasy league I created based on VH1's Rock of Love with Bret Michaels (though I guess I did just mention it). Regarding fantasy football, I first started in 1991. There were no online drafts or automatic scoring. The draft was at someone's house, and we figured out who won by looking at the box scores the day after the game. With the #5 draft pick, I selected Jerry Rice, only the greatest wide receiver in NFL history. Unfortunately, it seemed like you needed a good quarterback to win the league, and John Friesz of the San Diego Chargers was did not meet this description. 

There was a time not so long ago that I was obsessed with fantasy football. I was in six leagues at once and was even part of a CNN article about fantasy football. (You can find it via a Google search.) Now, with kids, I don't have nearly the time or energy to devote to fantasy football. I mean, I'm still in 3 leagues, and I won all 3 leagues last year, so fantasy football is still part of my life, but not as much as it used to be. Fantasy football is big business, and there are daily, weekly, and season-long leagues, so you can participate in a Fantasy Draft right now. I just suggest not drafting John Friesz..


Good luck to everyone playing!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Friday Video: Taylor Swift

In the Taylor Swift-Katy Perry rivalry, I'm Team Katy. Despite the fact that she was awful hosting Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards (we can blame the writers, right?), I think we can all agree that it would be much more fun to hang out with Perry over Swift. Plus, Perry has a car named Kitty Purry. How adorable!

With that written, I really, really like several of Taylor Swift's songs. I've actually written about them once or twice. While I've now heard Swift's new song, Look What You Made Me Do, several times and it's starting to grow on me, this is definitely not her best work. Hearing it the first time, I didn't think it was good at all.



A few years ago, Swift wrote an amazingly catchy and fun song, Shake It Off. How did she go from that mindset to Look What You Made Me Do, where she is now no longer able to, well, shake it off? If she isn't the biggest pop star in America, Taylor is in the top 2. (Hi Beyoncé!) She has plenty of money and fame filled with commercial and critical success. Look what you made me do? No one is making her do anything. Yet, she still holds these grudges against Perry and/or Kanye West.

As a tangent, the new song features a line that the old Taylor is dead. Upon hearing this on the radio, The Moose (age 6) asked how old she was when she died and how old is the new Taylor. (He is obsessed with people's ages. During every song, he asks the age of the singer. I think I tell him that every current pop star is about 25 with the exception of Shawn Mendes who is probably 13.) Anyway, I tried to explain that Swift didn't really die and that this is her new mindset or something. I don't get it and he clearly doesn't either.

It's a holiday weekend, so I'll leave you with something happy. Here's Shake It Off:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Random Ramblings

- The Moose, who just started first grade, is interested in US Presidents and has a couple books about Presidents and likes a few YouTube videos with songs about the Presidents. Because of this, he can now list all of the American Presidents in order. It is really, really amazing, and I felt a little dumb as I needed to double-check if he was right. Do you know that the 11th-14th Presidents in order are Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, and Pierce without looking it up?

- As a bit of a tangent, you don't hear about many (any?) kids named Rutherford or Millard. These could be ideas for names for boy #3.

- Last week, I received a phone call, a text message, and an e-mail all at the same time with my child's bus information. That's efficiency! Of course, he doesn't take the bus to school, but we know the bus number and times if he did.

- The Moose's school had an open house along with a carnival last week. Near the end of the event, Pedro Tulo (age 3) decided that he wanted to climb up one of the giant inflatables. The only problem: he was a little scared about coming down, so I had to climb up and slide down with him.


- Over the weekend, I participated in an auction fantasy football draft via a video conference. At the same time, I was at my niece's birthday party with my The Moose at a trampoline/bounce house place. As expected, both when poorly. I didn't do a very good job with the draft, and I basically ignored my son during the entire party. (He was busy jumping and then eating, so he was fine...I hope.)

- Five years ago, I spent $64 on quarterbacks Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford as part of the auction draft. This year, I got the same two quarterbacks for a combined $6.

- Thanks to a free trial of Showtime, I'm finally watching Homeland. I just finished the amazing first season, but I'm not sure if I should continue. While I've enjoyed the first two episodes of season two, I heard that the show goes downhill after the first season. I guess I'll stick with it.

- I also watched a show called Search Party that aired in late 2016 on USA. Search Party stars Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat and is a "single-camera dark comedy about four self-absorbed twenty-somethings who become entangled in an ominous mystery when a former college acquaintance suddenly disappears." It's an odd show with several unlikeable characters but strangely worth watching because of Shawkat and guest appearances by Ron Livingston and Rosie Perez. The show actually had a really cool ending, and I'm curious to see if there's a season two. I don't know where the show would go from the end of season one, but I would tune it.

- On Tuesday night, 19 year-old Frances Tiafoe took arguably the greatest men's tennis player of all time to a 5th set in the first round of the US Open. I really wanted Tiafoe to win. If you've never heard of him (which is likely unless you really follow tennis), this Washington Post profile about him is definitely worth a read.

- Finally, here's something very random. Someone I know wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about North Korea. I definitely wasn't expecting to see this on my Facebook feed!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Video: Betty Dreams Of Green Men

Back in June, my brother mentioned that Celebrate Fairfax was mentioned in an episode of NPR's All Songs Considered. I was curious as to why, but we'll get to that momentarily. I regularly listen to NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast (my best podcast of 2016), so I thought that PCHH's Stephen Thompson, an editor and reviewer for NPR Music, would be discussing music. While it seems that Thompson often appears on All Songs Considered, he was not on this particular podcast.

At around the 36 minute mark of the June 13th episode, NPR Music's Lars Gotrich comes in and mentions that he saw Bush at the "Fairfax County Fair." The two other hosts were really dismissive of county fairs and a little of Bush. Clearly, they have never been to Celebrate Fairfax which features dozens and dozens of live bands every year. Anyway, here are the bands/musicians that were featured on this particular episode of All Songs Considered:

Guerilla Toss
Chastity Belt
Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton
Mt. Wolf
Gordi
Thoughts Of Ionesco

None of these bands/musicians will ever be big enough to headline a county fair. And maybe they don't want to headline a county fair, but just how dismissive the hosts were of "county fair" turned me off.

Anyway, the first song featured on All Songs Considered is Betty Dreams of Green Men by Guerilla Toss. The song was inspired by the "alien abduction" of Betty & Barney Hill in New Hampshire. It's such an interesting and unique song that I felt the need to share. I dig it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

2017 Eclipse

Monday marked the first total solar eclipse viewed from the contiguous United States since 1979. Despite having the eclipse on my radar since December when I visited Carbondale, Illinois (essentially the official eclipse city of America), I almost failed as a parent. It wasn't until Thursday that I decided to get solar eclipse sunglasses, but at that point, they were all sold out. Fortunately, a friend had an extra pair, so all was good in the world.

During lunch on Monday, I tried to explain to the kids what the eclipse was and used coins to demonstrate how we would see the moon blocking the sun. Between that and the looking at the eclipse map from Sunday's Washington Post, my six year old (The Moose) was excited. My three year old (Pedro Tulo)? Not so much though he liked playing with the coins.

At 1:00, I turned on TV to see the eclipse coverage on ABC. They had correspondents set up at multiple areas across the county starting with several locations in Oregon. After a few minutes of this, The Moose asked if there was any baseball on TV. There was not, so The Moose and Pedro Tulo watched an episode of Bubble Guppies.

Living in the Washington DC area, we expected to get approximately 81% coverage of the sun at the peak time of 2:42pm. I decided to take the kids outside (with eclipse glasses in hand!) around 2:00. It was at that moment that Pedro Tulo had a meltdown. How dare I make him wash his hands after going potty? Basically, meltdowns by a three year old for no apparant reason is much more common than being able to see an eclipse!


While we (meaning mostly The Moose and me since I don't think Pedro Tulo was able to see much beyond the brim of his hat) saw the eclipse, we missed out on the peak viewing thanks to clouds from about 2:20 until after 3:00. Still, I found this very cool. Plus, it was neat seeing other neighbors being outside also looking at the eclipse. It was a neat bonding activity.

My friend was in Carbondale and sent me some pictures from someone he was with. These are truly incredible.




I like how Metropolis, a place I also visited during last year's hockey road trip, celebrated the day.


So the next total solar eclipse is on April 8, 2024 visible from Texas to Maine. I'm between Texas and Maine! While this is still seven years away, I think I'd like to see a total eclipse if it is within driving range. Fortunately, Passover starts on April 22nd in 2024, so you don't have to have Matzah with the eclipse. Unfortunately, the eclipse is on a Monday again, and the kids will be at school. Couldn't the sun and moon change their schedules to have an eclipse occur on a weekend?

Anyway, I already put January 2, 2024 on my calendar to purchase eclipse glasses!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Video: Portugal. The Man.

There's a really good song getting major radio airplay (yes, I still listen to the radio) called Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man. (as opposed to Portugal. The Country.) Actually Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the two best soccer/football players in the world, is probably also known as Portugal. The Man.

While I don't understand the video or even the meaning of the song, I like it. (I'm really selling this, right?) One thing that jumps out is that the line "Oooooh, I'm a rebel just for kicks now" sounds very similar to "Oh yes, wait a minute Mr. Postman" from the 1960s Marvelettes' song Please Mr Postman. (Yes, I had to look up the name of the group.) Sure enough the writers of Please Mr Postman got writing credits here.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Andrew Stevenson! Jose Lobaton! Feel The Excitement!

Even though it is mid-August and there is still a month and a half left in regular season, the Washington Nationals have essentially won the National League East division barring one of the biggest collapses in baseball history. Therefore, the team can afford to lose a few games and let some of their best players rest. (The Washington Post's Barry Svrluga basically wrote the same thing on Monday.) That's what happened Sunday when I attended the Nats-San Francisco Giants game.

Meanwhile, prior to Sunday, the Moose (now 6) has been to two Major League Baseball games. In his first game, Max Scherzer threw a no-hitter and was one strike away from a perfect game. In the second game, the Pirates defeated the Nats in 18 innings. Although we left in the 15th, we saw two Presidential mascot races and participated in both the 7th and 14th inning stretch. The Moose was due to attend a regular, normal game.

With the Friday night game postponed due to rain and thunderstorms, the Nationals and Giants played a split double-header on Sunday with the first game starting at 1:05 and the second at 7:05. Apparently, Nats manager Dusty Baker gave Max Scherzer an option about which game he wanted to pitch. He picked the night game, meaning that we got to see the highly anticipated A.J. Cole-Chris Stratton pitching duel. Baker also seemed to give most of his veteran players the option of playing the day or evening game, meaning that we got to see Adrian Sanchez instead of Daniel Murphy, Andrew Stevenson instead of Michael A. Taylor or Howie Kendrick, and Jose Lobaton instead of Matt Wieters. With Bryce Harper going on the DL, we got to see a truly lousy Nationals line-up.

Let's go to the notes:

- We had really, really great seats. As an extra bonus, we were in the shade!


- Sunday was Boy Scouts game at Nats Park, so Baker and the Nats clearly DID NOT THINK OF THE CHILDREN when making the line-up.

- Due to the double-header, the Nats also cancelled the kids run around the bases activity they usually have after Sunday games. WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

- Chris Stratton's parents missed a golden opportunity to name their child Briggs. The middle name could have been "And" or just something that starts with N.

- If Stratton becomes an All-Star, this will be his breakout game, meaning that perhaps The Moose's streak of seeing something significant stays intact. Stratton struck out 10 in 6 & 2/3 scoreless innings. This was his 2nd major league win and first as a starter.

- After the 8th inning, The Moose declared that he needed to poop. I asked him at least three times if he was sure but he said yes. Stadium bathrooms, especially after 8 innings, are disgusting. I asked an usher if there were any family restrooms nearby, and she looked at me incredulously and simply pointed us to the nearest men's room. Fortunately, we found a stall that wasn't awful, I cleaned it the best I could, and placed three layers of toilet paper between the toilet seat and The Moose.

- After an awful weekend in Charlottesville, I totally understand Thomas Jefferson just wanting to watch a baseball game.


Me: Would you like to take a picture with one of the President mascots?
The Moose: No. They're kind of scary. (I'm slightly paraphrasing The Moose here.)

- Random question #1: People remove hats for the national anthem, but are you supposed to remove your hat for G-d Bless America?

- Game one of the double-header ended with Howie Kendrick striking out. Game two ended with Kendrick hitting a walk-off grand slam. I wonder if this was the first time in baseball history where the same player was the last player to hit in both games with these results.

- Random question #2: After the first game, everyone had to leave the stadium with the gates reopening at 6:00 for game #2 of the double-header. How difficult would it have been to hide somewhere in the stadium for an hour?

- I didn't expect to see this being sold at the stadium. I wonder if I'll see them during Rosh Hashanah services.


- With the Nationals offense doing little, the crowd was its loudest when booing San Francisco relief pitcher Hunter Strickland. Strickland purposely hit Bryce Harper with a pitch in May. Strickland then gave up a 2-run home run to Anthony Rendon. AND WE NEVER HEARD FROM STRICKLAND AGAIN! (Unless you watched the 2nd game of the double-header where he pitched again.)

For more about the game, check out MLB.com and ESPN.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Video Week: Macklemore Wears Clemente Jersey

This is a late surprise entry to Sean's Ramblings video week. If someone wears a Pittsburgh sports jersey on national TV, I'm going to blog about it. On Thursday, Macklemore went on Good Morning America to perform his new song with Skylar Grey, Glorious, wearing a Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates jersey. It's an awesome jersey.

(I'm having trouble embedding the ABC video of the performance here, so you can see Macklemore being interviewed by the Good Morning America crew instead. The point of the post is the jersey, not the song itself.)



A little critique though. I don't like the tucking a jersey into jeans look. Yes, baseball players tuck jerseys into their uniform, but they aren't wearing jeans.

In addition, I noticed that Macklemore is releasing Glorious as part of a solo album. What happened to Ryan Lewis? (I found the answer here.) Is this the equivalent of Hall leaving Oates? Is this George Michael leaving Andrew Ridgeley and Wham?


This post is a little of everything. It's Sean on Fashion, my series of Celebrities in Pittsburgh gear, and Sean's Ramblings video week!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Video Week: When Snoop Went Country

During last year's hockey road trip, we visited the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville. I think this is a must see for any music fan, and I'm writing this as someone who is not a big country fan and didn't really know much about Johnny Cash prior to the visit. The memorabilia is really cool, and Cash's story and longevity are fascinating. There's one area where you can listen to other artists covering Cash's songs. One song/version in particular jumped out at me: Snoop Dogg's I Walk the Line



I like Snoop. He put out a lot of hits both on his own and with Dr. Dre and remains relevant today. I'll tune in to see Snoop as the host of Joker's Wild. We're both Pittsburgh Steelers fans too. With all of that written, this version of I Walk the Line is awful. Now, Snoop's country song Buy My Medicine with a cameo from his friend Willie Nelson isn't bad.



This post is part of the first ever Sean's Ramblings Video Week.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Rum and Cola?

This is Stay by Zedd and Alessia Cara, one of the songs of the summer.



Besides being catchy, I believe that this is the first song that prominently features the word cola in the lyrics since Savage Garden's mid-90s hit, I Want You.



Let's dissect this a little more. The specific lyrics in Stay are:

Living on my sofa, drinking rum and cola
Underneath the rising sun.


First, I thought it was curious that a 16 year-old was singing about rum, but Cara is actually 21. Who knew? More importantly, who says rum and cola? The drink is always called Rum and Coke. It's a curious decision, but I'm sure the songwriters have their reasons for the lyric being cola rather than Coke.

And the reason seems to be the song appearing in a Pepsi commercial! Sacre Bleu!!



This post is part of the first ever Sean's Ramblings Video Week.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Video Week: Bullpen Hijinks

Welcome to the first ever Sean's Ramblings Video Week. While I generally only post videos on Fridays, I wanted an excuse to share multiple videos that deserve separate blog posts. Hence, video week!

Last week, there was a rain delay during the Chicago Cubs-Arizona Diamondbacks game at Wrigley Field. Apparently, there are cameras in each bullpen so the opposing teams can see what the other team is doing. That led to this "competition" to make the other team laugh.



This certainly made me and The Moose laugh!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

A Facebook Story (Or A Story From Facebook)

I saw this story below posted on Facebook. I have no idea whether it is true or not, but I'll share my thoughts at the end. Here we go:

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.


I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me...she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed -dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband.

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!


Five people replied that this was beautiful and/or made them cry. I had a different reaction.

1. Based on the child clapping and telling his dad that it was time to carry his mom (along with the fact that the parents were together for 10 years), this child can't be older than 10. So what exams are so crucial that he needed to be prepared a month in advance? He's not taking the SAT!

2. The mom/wife was so concerned about her child and this exam but appears to have no concern about the kid when she knew she was dying. Oh, he'll remember that mom and dad had a loving relationship for the last month of her life. (Even though dad spends A LOT of time at Jane's, I mean, the office). She is also leaving the family in shock with no support system. Did she tell her husband or other family members or friends that she was dying so that maybe the child could have some counseling ready after her death? Maybe this was just revenge. Maybe she thought, you cheated on me, so you get to deal with this mess.

3. The husband was really, really oblivious. His wife is dying, but he notices only that she got thinner on basically the last day of her life.

The final message in this story is nice, so maybe I'm just being mean and cynical. Do you agree with me or am I a cold person?

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Halsey's Arena Tour

This is Halsey. (It sounds cooler if you say it like "This is Jeopardy.")


You may know her as the female lead in The Chainsmokers' 2016 #1 song, Closer. You may also know her from her current solo song, Now or Never which reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. While I try to keep up with popular music, I'll admit that this is all that I know about Halsey. However, I recently heard commercials that she is coming to Washington's Verizon Center in October as part of an arena tour.

While it's possible (likely) that I'm out of touch, how is Halsey big enough to do an arena tour? Yes, she has 5 million Twitter followers and had the #1 album in the US (according to Wikipedia, "Hopeless Fountain Kingdom debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 106,000 album-equivalent units, of which 76,000 were pure album sales"), but here are bands/performers that have played or will play at Verizon Center in 2017.

Jay-Z
Janet Jackson
Green Day
John Mayer
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Chris Brown (and others)
The Weeknd
Eric Church
New Kids on the Block with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men
Kendrick Lamar
Daryl Hall and John Oates and Tears for Fears
Queen + Adam Lambert
Roger Waters
J. Cole
Earth Wind & Fire an CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers
Shawn Mendes
Depeche Mode
Arcade Fire
Ed Sheeran
Katy Perry
Bruno Mars
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull
Guns N' Roses
Imagine Dragons
Lady Gaga
Andrea Bocelli

There are plenty of superstars listed in this group. While there are others where you can debate whether or not they can fill an arena, it seems like all of them have more impressive resumes than Halsey. Again, I may (and probably am) out of touch, but my question still stands: how is Halsey big enough right now to do an arena tour?