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Diamond Dynasty - Spring Cleanup Program Postmortem

Spring Cleanup Program Bosses

MLB The Show 22

Diamond Dynasty - Spring Cleanup Program Postmortem

Last time I was here, we discussed the Faces of the Franchise Program and how the community didn’t necessarily love it. With one less week to grind and significantly fewer players, how did Spring Cleanup land? Let’s talk about it in my Spring Cleanup Program postmortem.

Spring Cleanup Program Postmortem

Debuting on April 29, Spring Cleanup dropped five new bosses into Diamond Dynasty. Compared to the debut program’s whopping 30 bosses, it definitely brought fewer impact players into the fold. It also provided one less week of grinding as the program only lasted 21 days. You could earn two of the bosses through your grinding this time around and purchase the other three on the market if you chose. I’ll look at each boss individually and talk about how viable I think they are moving forward, or how much life they might have in the competitive sphere. But first I would like to talk a little more about the program itself.

Dropping from 30 potential boss picks to five, Spring Cleanup did a great job providing true choice in terms of shaping your Diamond Dynasty squad. We’ve discussed how these Featured Programs differ from the three-boss choice packs of yore, but this positional spread felt like continuity more than anything else. Whereas in the past we might have seen an infielder and outfielder as part of the same program, it felt like a deliberate choice to feature these positions. I really liked the five-boss structure and felt like the cards were similar enough that it created a real choice. Even the weakest card at launch (Tom Seaver and his generic windup) was a decent choice for most squads. Suffice to say, if we see more five-boss choice packs in the future, I’ll remain a fan — especially if they really spread out the variety of positions.

Outside of the positional variety, Spring Cleanup featured a pretty big change with the extension to 750K XP. Players have long desired more to grind for and SDS delivered in spades. Loading up the program with a ton of packs past the usual XP cap, Spring Cleanup truly rewarded players who went the extra mile. It remains to be seen if they continue this during longer programs, but it was one of the few universally loved decisions SDS has made so far this game cycle, so I’d expect it to stick around. With the recently debuting Halladay and Friends Program only lasting for two weeks, it makes sense that we didn’t get a huge extension. But hopefully we see it again in the future.

Outside of that, there wasn’t anything revolutionary here. Spring Cleanup was what we have come to expect and should expect in the future. And that’s fine with me. I was a fan of Faces of the Franchise when a lot of folks didn’t care for it. This was a little more straight forward and provided two free bosses that were pretty good cards.

Let’s talk a little more about the bosses themselves.

Spring Cleanup Program Bosses

April Showers Bring May Bosses

As mentioned above, our choices were spread across the diamond and provided a lot of freedom. There was one “must take” card here that I’m sure everyone knows about already. But the other four were pretty evenly split in terms of on-paper attributes.

Spring Cleanup Program - Milestone Zack Britton

Without question, Milestone Zack Britton was the best of the bunch and Mr. Must Have. A flamethrower with an Outlier sinker, Britton boasts a stock 120 H/9 that shrivels your opponent’s PCI to nothing. Hard to square up and flat out untouchable in the right hands, Britton wasn’t only the best boss, he’s one of the best relievers in the game and should be for quite a while. I fully expect to use this card for the next couple months. There aren’t a ton of viable lefty relievers in the game at the moment. There will certainly be more competition from guys we know are in the game already, as well as possible surprises, but Britton has so much going for him that it wouldn’t shock me if he was in bullpens for most of the year. If you didn’t end up picking Britton, I highly recommend buying him off the market sooner or later.

Spring Cleanup Program - Breakout Eddie Mathews

For me, the second best boss was Breakout Eddie Mathews. This is a card that has been a popular fixture in DD for several years now and certainly didn’t disappoint here. I think the argument was close between Mathews and Ernie Banks, but I gave the edge to Eddie solely due to defense. Not because he’s higher rated — he’s not. But Banks is quite slow and that definitely plays a factor at SS. Mathews featured pretty balanced hitting across the board. In fact, he hits for quite a bit more power against LHP than RHP, which helps his viability and reduces the need to platoon.

This is the quintessential All-Star difficulty masher. On Hall of Fame and above, the 80s contact might hamper him a bit, but I still think he’s plenty good there. Defense doesn’t really matter at the infield corners, and his 53 speed won’t clog your basepaths. Unsurprisingly, I took Britton and Mathews with my respective packs.

Spring Cleanup Program - All-Star Ernie Banks

Coming in a close third is the aforementioned Mr. Cub himself. This Banks card is really good and always is, but as mentioned, his lack of speed makes him less desirable to me. His actual fielding stats are plenty decent, though he is unable to cross into diamond territory even at Parallel 5. But that stock 50 speed scares me and even at 55 doesn’t excite me much in the middle infield. The only positions I really care about defense are middle infield and the outfield positions, and it’s almost always speed I’m looking at.

Featuring reverse splits of his own in the power department, Banks features a bit less in the contact against righties, which certainly hurts at higher levels. That said, if you can stomach watching Banks struggle to get to balls that speedier shortstops will flag down, then watching the bombs fly out of the park off his bat might be good enough. And let’s be honest, until and unless SDS patches the Superman dives, Banks might actually play significantly better defense than his attributes suggest.

Spring Cleanup Program - 2nd Half Heroes David Justice

Lagging behind a bit due to scary slow speed, 2nd Half David Justice climbs his way onto the board. In a way I don’t think there’s much to say about this card. He has very good hitting stats with decent fielding but atrocious speed in the outfield. Even the biggest David Justice fans might find themselves struggling to justify him running around LF. Justice might hit his share of bombs and extra-base hits, but he’s going to give up even more as he fails to reach balls in the gap and makes fairly weak throws to the plate. Start him in the outfield at your own risk. However, I think he is a very good bench bat, especially at this point in the year. If you somehow didn’t have the advantage to line him up against a RHP, it’s actually fine because he has good reverse splits.

Spring Cleanup Program - All-Star Tom Seaver

Last and certainly least, we have Tom Terrific. Normally a player with cards that I find to be underrated, this Seaver suffered from not having his unique windup. Boasting a generic windup on random 5th starters that get smashed in Conquest, Seaver didn’t look the part and felt like the odd-card out. However, as of this writing, it appears that SDS finally updated his windup (along with Orel Hershiser and Lefty Grove) so that knock is no longer against him. But at the Program’s launch, Seaver was probably overlooked by everyone except Seaver fans.

As for the card itself, it fits right in with everyone but Britton in that secondary tier. A stock 86 H/9 isn’t exciting, but it’s usable at this point. SDS appears to have learned from last year’s onslaught of high H/9 cards too early, so we just need to readjust our views and this card fits perfectly into the available cards. It’s probably not good enough to be a true ace, but definitely good enough to be part of your starting five for a bit.

Bottom Line

Spring brings May flowers and certainly brought us some pretty good boss cards. Outside of Britton, I’m not sure how long the rest of these cards will be seen in Ranked Seasons, but they can hold their own for a bit. I alluded to the new program that just launched that features Roy Halladay in 95 Postseason form, so SDS is still slowly upticking the Overalls. That program is only two weeks long, so we’ll see if the next program features more 95s or if they keep getting better. One interesting tidbit about the cards in this program is the fact that I haven’t seen reports that they’ve been added to packs. The Faces of the Franchise cards were dropped into packs recently, which caused a lot of uproar and confusion in the community. First thought exclusive to Chase packs, players have apparently been pulling them from standard Show packs as well. That had me thinking that SDS would rotate all boss cards into packs, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

So now the question is do they get added to packs in the future? Perhaps not. Maybe SDS will go the Rewind pack route and start dropping these into future programs or Conquest maps. They’ve clearly been pumping formerly exclusive cards into the hands of players, so it’ll take some time to see how the Spring Cleanup bosses get treated. I much prefer adding Rewind packs to encourage people to play. Adding boss cards into standard packs not only does nothing in the way of promoting playing, but it actually dampens the pack opening experience.

There are countless videos of people recording a pack opening, seeing blue lights and an Angels logo and thinking they pulled a 400K stubs card — only to see Faces of the Franchise Mike Trout sauntering onto their screens. I think the diamond reveals in MLB The Show 22 are awesome and fun to experience, but with the addition of the FotF cards, it sort of sucks the air out of the experience. I’d like to see them make former boss cards orange lights or something unique. Say the Spring Cleanup cards do get added in the future, it would be exciting to see orange lights and still have the suspense build as you wait to see which former boss it is. Getting everything mixed in with Live Series and Headliners takes away that heart dropping feeling we all chase when opening packs.

Who did you take from the Spring Cleanup Program? Did you invest in any of the bosses or are you anticipating them being easily available in the future like Faces of the Franchise? Did the new style of program grow on you at all or do you prefer the programs from previous years?

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