Saying the Yankees 'should be more like the Braves' really isn't applicable

The Braves are different. The Yankees could never replicate this. The Braves themselves probably can't do it again.
New York Yankees v Atlanta Braves
New York Yankees v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

If the script was flipped, would Atlanta Braves fans simply be saying, "Hey, why can't we be just like the New York Yankees?! Seems easy enough!"? No! Because these organizations are not the same on so many levels.

Just because the Braves recently hit the jackpot with Ronald Acuña, Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, Orlando Arcia, Matt Olson, Sean Murphy, Michael Harris II, Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder doesn't mean another organization can replicate that. Nobody can! The Braves probably can't even do it again.

It'd be nice to have Alex Anthopoulos over Brian Cashman, but otherwise, the Yankees -- and no other team -- can revamp its scouting department overnight. The Yankees especially can't be doling out team-friendly contracts. No star/budding player would opt to take a discount in New York, like Acuña, Olson, Murphy, Harris and Strider did in Atlanta. The Braves, in fact, are one of the few teams that have gotten away with this. They might actually be the only one. Do you really think nobody else has tried this?

It also helps that Georgia's state income tax is anywhere from 50%-75% less than New York's. That factors into a player's decision when forgoing free agency in favor of a contract extension.

Additionally, a good portion of this Braves team is made up of yesteryear's scouting. Acuña, Albies, Riley and Fried predated Anthopoulos, whose biggest free agent splash was ... Marcell Ozuna. Not great. He's done a great job, but this is far from solely his work.

Saying the Yankees 'should be more like the Braves' really isn't applicable

It's not dismissive to say the Braves have gotten lucky, either. Hell, it's better to be lucky than good! But Atlanta hitting on this many prospects and international free agents is almost unheard of, which is why they've suddently turned into the modern day model of how an organization should be run.

But in time, it will all normalize. They soon won't be able to fleece bottom-feeding teams in trades. They won't be batting .750 on their top draft picks and international signings. They won't be able to sign hoards of players to long-term, team-friendly contracts that buy out their most expensive free agent years (Fried isn't letting them do that, for example).

Most importantly, however, the Yankees don't need to replicate one of the best front offices in the sport to do something as rudimentary as balance their lineup with the appropriate amount of lefties. They don't need a revolution to instruct their hitters to attack strikes early in the count. We know it's completely night and day watching these two teams face off, but the Yankees would be better off with just about any new baseball operations vision.

The Braves are also one of two MLB teams run by a corporation. Liberty Global, which has a net worth of $8.23 billion, owns the franchise, which is valued at 2.6 billion. The Yankees, owned by Hal Steinbrenner, who has a net worth of $1.3 billion, are valued at $7.1 billion. That, in theory, makes business a bit easier for the Braves because they're backed by a conglomerate with endless funds whereas the Yankees are backed by a singular man with no interest in owning the franchise and a tight budget. This isn't to make an excuse for Steinbrenner's frugal ways -- it's just pointing out, again, that the dynamic is very different here.

Lastly, the Braves don't have unforgiving media coverage. They don't have a vicious fanbase. They don't attract players whose sole goal is making the most money imaginable (which, in some cases, is the reality for the Yankees). Only once in a generation will Atlanta be able to get away with shunning a franchise legend like Freddie Freeman (most teams do not recover from such a decision).

Yankees fans now all of a sudden want to be like a team whose identity was falling comically short from 1996-2020. The Yankees ruined their dynasty and created their own back in 1996. Now the Braves win a World Series, create an unrealistic blueprint to mimic, and lead the way with baseball's best record in 2023, and there's an immediate call to swap shoes?

That said, the Braves are awesome. They might have one of the best teams over the course of a five-year period of this generation. But they've had great fortune to coincide with their shrewd decision making -- something that happened to the Yankees 27 years ago. All New York needs is Cashman's stale philosophy and approach run out of town and they can figure out a way out of this mess. They don't need to start copying other teams' success because, as we've seen, it rarely works anyway (we already tried to be the Rays).