Larry Baer, San Francisco Giants’ C.E.O., Is Suspended by M.L.B.

Larry Baer, the chief executive of the San Francisco Giants, has been suspended without pay until July over a video that shows him involved in a public altercation with his wife, the commissioner of Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday.

Mr. Baer has been on a leave of absence from the team since March 4, time away that the league said would now be converted to an unpaid suspension. During the approximately four-month suspension, which goes through July 1, Mr. Baer “shall have no involvement in the operations of the Giants.” The team will be put under the control of someone selected by the team’s ownership group, a statement from Major League Baseball said.

In the meantime, Mr. Baer must be evaluated by an expert to determine an appropriate treatment and counseling plan, the statement said.

The baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, said league investigators had reviewed video footage of the March 1 episode, in which Mr. Baer was seen lunging for a cellphone in his wife’s hand and forcefully grabbing her. They struggled, and she fell to the ground.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Manfred said that he had met with Mr. Baer and that he had concluded that Mr. Baer’s conduct was “unacceptable under M.L.B. policies and warrants discipline.”

“In determining the appropriate level of discipline, I find that Mr. Baer should be held to to a higher standard because as a leader he is expected to be a role model for others in his organization and community,” Mr. Manfred said. “Based on my conversation with Mr. Baer, it is clear he regrets what transpired and takes responsibility for his conduct.”

The board of the San Francisco Giants, speaking on behalf of the team’s ownership, said in a statement that it believed the discipline imposed by the commissioner was appropriate. The team said that its acting chief executive, Rob Dean, would serve as the team’s interim “control person” until it designates someone to fill the role permanently.

Mr. Baer, who in addition to leading the Giants’ executive office is one of the team’s principal owners, will continue to serve as the team’s chief executive and president after he returns from his suspension, the team added.

“I respect and accept the commissioner’s decision,” Mr. Baer said in his own statement. “I made a serious mistake that I sincerely regret and I am truly sorry for my actions.”

The punishment came as the sports world waits to see how the N.F.L.’s commissioner will reprimand the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert K. Kraft, who has been accused of soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla. Mr. Kraft pleaded not guilty to two first-degree misdemeanor charges late last month.

The situation involving Mr. Baer and the allegations against Mr. Kraft have drawn attention to how team owners and executives are punished after being accused of misconduct, compared with players, for whom fines and suspensions may carry a greater impact.

After video of the encounter, which was first posted by TMZ Sports, surfaced publicly this month, Mr. Baer and his wife, Pam, initially issued statements denying that a physical altercation had taken place. The video appeared to show them arguing in a public plaza. Ms. Baer sat in a chair, and her husband stood next to her. And then Mr. Baer was seen lunging toward her, grabbing her and setting off the struggle, during which she fell to the ground and screamed, “Oh my God!”

The police and Major League Baseball quickly pledged to investigate what had taken place and Mr. Baer apologized. Three days after the confrontation, the Giants announced that Mr. Baer would take a leave of absence from his job as chief executive.

Later this month, a coalition of women’s groups posted an open letter online that called on Mr. Manfred to commit to “firm and appropriate action in disciplining” Mr. Baer. The mayor of San Francisco, London N. Breed, endorsed the call for a serious penalty.

On Tuesday, after the the suspension was announced, the coalition, #DoWhatsRightMLB, said it appreciated Mr. Manfred’s reprimand.

“M.L.B. is showing why it is regarded as a leader in advancing cultural change in professional sports by not tolerating violence against women,” the coalition said in a statement.

Ms. Breed agreed, saying in a statement that the league had “sent a clear message that violence against women is unacceptable in any form.”

Last week, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office determined that the evidence in the case did not support filing criminal charges against Mr. Baer, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Mr. Baer joined the Giants as the club’s marketing director in 1980, left the team to attend Harvard Business School and then served in positions at Westinghouse Broadcasting and CBS, according to a biography.

He returned to the team as a limited partner of the Giants’ ownership group, and was named chief operating officer in May 1996, president in October 2008 and chief executive in January 2012.

Source: Read Full Article