MLB cancels two more series, including home opener for Braves

Third-base gates at Truist Park are locked on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.  (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Combined ShapeCaption
Third-base gates at Truist Park are locked on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- When MLB first canceled games because the lockout had not been resolved, it meant the Braves would avoid a two-city road trip to begin the season. Opening day would have been their home opener on the original schedule.

Now, MLB wiped that out, too, leaving the Braves with a seemingly tougher start to the season.

ExploreMore AJC coverage of the Braves

Commissioner Rob Manfred on Wednesday evening announced that MLB is cutting two more series from the schedule. Instead of playing the Reds and Nationals at Truist Park, the Braves, if the current schedule holds, now will open their season with four games in San Diego and three more in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Their home opener wouldn’t be until April 22 versus Miami.

“I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans,” Manfred said in a statement.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, the MLBPA said: “The owners’ decision to cancel additional games is completely unnecessary. After making a set of comprehensive proposals to the league earlier this afternoon, and being told substantive responses were forthcoming, players have yet to hear back.”

Combined ShapeCaption
The 2021 World Champions Atlanta Braves are still waiting for the MLB lockout to end while their minor leaguers head out for another day of spring training camp at their Florida facility on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in North Port. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”`

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

The 2021 World Champions Atlanta Braves are still waiting for the MLB lockout to end while their minor leaguers head out for another day of spring training camp at their Florida facility on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in North Port.  “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”`

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Combined ShapeCaption
The 2021 World Champions Atlanta Braves are still waiting for the MLB lockout to end while their minor leaguers head out for another day of spring training camp at their Florida facility on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in North Port. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”`

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Over the past two days, MLB and the MLBPA had been busy negotiating a new CBA in hopes of preserving a 162-game season. However, the two sides failed to come to an agreement, with the potential implementation of an international draft reportedly serving as one major sticking point.

“We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered,” Manfred said.

The Braves on Sunday opened minor league camp at CoolToday Park. At one point this week, it appeared the big leaguers might soon join them.

We’ll have to wait at least a little longer for that.

“Players want to play, and we cannot wait to get back on the field for the best fans in the world,” the MLBPA said in its statement. “Our top priority remains the finalization of a fair contract for all players, and we will continue negotiations toward that end.”

ExploreBraves minor leaguer J.J. Niekro carrying on family legacy