MLB has suspended Giants CEO Larry Baer following a physical altercation with his wife, Pam. Baer has been suspended until July 1 without pay. The Giants have already announced that Baer will retain his position once his suspension is over.
On March 1, Baer attempted to take his phone away from his wife and in doing so, forced her out of her chair and onto the ground where she cried for help, clearly terrified.
The Giants also released a statement on the matter saying they think the discipline is appropriate, and thanking the community for their input.
Larry Baer released a statement saying that he accepts the suspension, and that he’ll seek professional advice which appears to be referring to counseling.
Statement from Larry Baer: pic.twitter.com/9pUDVzm0QU— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) March 26, 2019
The suspension is fitting with MLB’s domestic violence policy as it applies to front office members as well. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has also released a statement declaring that Baer should be held to a higher standard as he’s in a position of leadership.
Within the Giants’ statement, the Giants announced that Rob Dean will fulfill Baer’s duties during his suspension. Since March 4, Baer has been on a leave of absence and a board of directors has covered his responsibilities. That board includes President of Baseball Operations, Farhan Zaidi.
Baer isn’t being fired — such a policy wouldn’t be recommended by domestic violence experts as zero-tolerance policies do more harm than good, but it appears his role is being diminished. The Giants will also be adding a new “Major League Baseball control person.” According to Kerry Crowley, “this person will represent the ownership group to Major League Baseball.” They will instead be the ones to represent the Giants at owners meetings. It’s possible that once his suspension is up, this new control person will be the public face of the Giants leadership, and Baer will continue to work more privately.
This is a mostly unprecedented move by Major League Baseball. There hasn’t been as severe a punishment issued against a CEO or owner in any major North American professional sport since the NBA pushed out Donald Sterling from the Los Angeles Clippers.
If Baer is slowly pushed out of the Giants as a result of this suspension and the diminished responsibilities going forward, it will be another prominent figure from the last 25 years of successful Giants baseball to leave the stage. Baer was part of the ownership group that bought the team in 1994, but many of the people from that generation of Giants baseball are gone. Baer won’t be leaving yet, but it could be sooner than we would have thought.