This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
I am a big fan of distractions.
Obviously, there are several far more important things that need to be accomplished during this global crisis. But for those of us lucky enough to not be heroically fighting on the front lines of saving the world during these troubling times or struggling against COVID-19 itself, our main battle is staying sane. Distractions help us fight the boredom and keep our minds off things that are genuinely terrifying.
For the sports-obsessed among us, finding distractions has been particularly difficult lately. Personally, I've been getting my baseball fix by watching old games and playing ungodly amounts of Out of the Park Baseball. (The 1976 Royals, led by Mike Schmidt and Dave Winfield, fell one game short of a playoff spot after Bert Blyleven suffered a career-ending torn rotator cuff and are facing a tough challenge to keep the core together as the free agency era begins.) The thrill isn't the same as watching actual live sports, but it's getting me through so far.
With the need for distractions at an all-time high, the Barometer is returning to do its part despite the target date for Opening Day still unclear. I wish this could be a completely pandemic-free space to be truly as distracting as possible, but sadly most of the rising and falling among players lately has to do with the effects of a delayed and presumably shortened season. I discussed the general categories of players whose values are changing in my Delayed