The group of civic leaders who came together to reprimand San Francisco Giants president and CEO Larry Baer earlier this month has issued a statement lauding Major League Baseball and the Giants for their disciplinary actions surrounding the club’s managing general partner.
In the wake of a domestic dispute between Baer and his wife Pam caught on tape on March 1, #DoWhatsRightMLB — a group comprised of leaders and founders of La Casa de las Madres, the Asian Women’s Shelter, the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, BART, and multiple San Francisco-based domestic violence prevention and awareness organizations — sent a letter to the Giants and MLB on March 15, demanding action.
In the wake of Baer’s suspension without pay, handed down by MLB with the support of the Giants, the group has issued another letter.
“We appreciate the decision by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to hold San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer accountable for his actions during a recent, public physical altercation with his wife,” the statement said. “In accepting our recommendations to reprimand Larry Baer, imposing a significant suspension without pay, and requiring him to undergo an evaluation by an expert to determine an appropriate treatment and counseling plan, MLB is showing why it is regarded as a leader in advancing cultural change in professional sports by not tolerating violence against women.”
The league has had in place a comprehensive sexual violence, child abuse and domestic abuse policy since 2015, a policy which applies to front office members as well as to on-field personnel.
“The Commissioner … has rightfully sent a message that because Mr. Baer holds a senior leadership position, he is held to a higher standard of conduct than are major league players, commensurate with his level of responsibility in the organization,” the letter from #DoWhatsRightMLB said. “Our objective has been to ensure that MLB recognizes the impact of Larry Baer’s conduct on our community, in particular our young people, and takes appropriate disciplinary action. This is an important teachable and precedent-setting moment. We commend the Commissioner for the thoughtful consideration he applied to this difficult situation.”
The group also acknowledged the Giants ownership group, which accepted a leave of absence from Baer shortly after the incident, and began what’s expected to be a somewhat permanent alteration of its internal power structure. In the wake of Baer’s leave, the Giants tasked their exectutive group — including Staci Slaughter, the executive vice president of communications and senior advisor to the CEO, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi — with taking over Baer’s detailed, day-to-day activities.
Baer, for nearly a decade the face of the club’s front office, was replaced as MLB’s designated control person — the individual tasked with representing the team in league matters, such as owners’ meetings and league-wide votes — as Robert Dean, the son-in-law of late principal owners Harmon and Sue Burns.
“There is much work to be done in repairing the community’s trust he damaged through his actions,” the statement said, referring to Baer. “We wish Mr. Baer and his family well as he takes time for treatment and counseling … Our coalition remains available to offer support to the leaders of the Giants so that the team’s important programs such as Strike Out Violence and Junior Giants continue to positively influence our community for years to come.”