SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco Giants president and CEO Larry Baer has been suspended by Major League Baseball following an altercation involving his wife earlier this month, Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday.
“Based on my review of the results of this investigation, I have concluded that Mr. Baer’s conduct was unacceptable under MLB policies and warrants discipline,” Manfred said.
“In determining the appropriate level of discipline, I find that Mr. Baer should be held to a higher standard because as a leader he is expected to be a role model for others in his organization and community,” the commissioner went on to say.
The suspension through July 1st will be without pay, the league said. Baer, who has been on a leave of absence since March 4th, will have no involvement in team operations and will be required to undergo an evaluation by an expert to determine an appropriate treatment and counseling plan.
The Giants said in a statement that the Giants executive team will manage day-to-day operations of the club and that acting CEO Rob Dean will serve as the team’s interim control person with the league.
“The Commissioner has imposed what we believe to be appropriate disciplinary measures and we will work with Major League Baseball and Mr. Baer to ensure that all aspects of the disciplinary program are completed,” the team said in a statement.
On March 1st, Baer was seen in a confrontation with his wife that resulted in her falling out of a chair and onto the ground at a plaza in Hayes Valley.
Video recorded by an eyewitness and posted by TMZ Sports shows forcibly grabbing something from the hand of his wife, Pam, as she tumbles to the ground and screams. It then shows others in the park yelling back and forth. Baer appears to yell, “Stop, Pam. Stop.”
On March 19th, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office said no charges would be filed.
The incident had prompted calls from domestic violence advocates and the community, including by San Francisco Mayor London Breed, to suspend Baer.
Following the announcement, Baer issued his own statement saying, “I made a serious mistake that I sincerely regret and I am truly sorry for my actions. My unacceptable behavior fell well short of what must be demanded of every person, particularly someone in my position and role in the community.”
“I am committed to doing what it takes to earn the trust and respect of the many people impacted by my actions,” Baer added.
Kathy Black, the executive of La Casa De Las Madres, a domestic violence survivors’ support organization, was glad to hear Baer is being held accountable.
“I think we, like anybody else, saw the video and were shocked and startled by it,” said Black.
“I’m really happy to see that they agree that leaders need to be held accountable just the same as every day players.”
Bob Dorfman, the creative director of Baker Street Advertising, had a more lenient view regarding the suspension.
“I think it was a little bit on the harsh side, but I think Major League Baseball felt like it had to set an example and hold Larry Baer to a higher standard,” said Dorfman.
“I’d like to think that, over time, this would kind of melt away and he could resume his position at the top of the league,” he said.
As the Battle of the Bay raged on at Oracle Park on Tuesday evening before being rained out, fans had plenty to say about Baer’s suspension.
“To be honest, they probably should have suspended him the whole season, no one should be treated like that, and for him to do it in public and someone getting on that, that’s not great for the Giants in general. That’s bad sportsmanship,” said Melissa Gonzales of Palo Alto.
When asked if he thought Baer could come back and be the face of the team again, Brent Coulson of Clovis said, “I think so. I’m not really sure about his situation with his family and how that’s all played out, I hope they work things out, but I think everybody’s entitled to a second chance.”