SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Major League Baseball suspended San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer without pay through July 1 after a video showed him in a physical altercation with his wife.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday his office conducted an investigation of the events shown on a video released by TMZ of the altercation on March 1 between Baer and his wife, Pam, in a San Francisco plaza. Manfred said he also talked to Baer before making his ruling.
“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. Based on my conversation with Mr. Baer, it is clear that he regrets what transpired and takes responsibility for his conduct.”
Baer took a leave of absence after TMZ released the video. Manfred said the unpaid suspension will date back to when Baer stepped away on March 4. Baer can have no involvement with the team until he returns and also must be evaluated by an expert to determine a proper plan for treatment and counseling.
The video posted by TMZ showed Pam seated in a chair when he reached over her to grab for a cellphone in her right hand and she toppled sideways to the ground in the chair screaming “Oh my God!” The couple later released a statement saying they were embarrassed by the situation and regretted having a heated argument in public.
“I made a serious mistake that I sincerely regret and I am truly sorry for my actions,” Baer said in a statement released by the team Tuesday. “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 will now immediately begin the significant work ahead of me to listen and learn from my mistakes and to seek professional advice. I am committed to doing what it takes to earn the trust and respect of the many people impacted by my actions.”
The San Francisco District Attorney announced earlier this month that no charges would be filed.
The Giants executive team, including president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the team. They will report to Rob Dean, the son-in-law of late Giants prinicipal owners Harmon and Sue Burns. Dean has been serving as the interim control person with Major League Baseball and the team’s board of directors. The board said changes will be made to the team’s corporate governance structure and a new permanent control person to MLB will be appointed.
“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’s board of directors said in a statement. “Mr. Baer has apologized for his unacceptable behavior and has recommitted himself to undergo the necessary counseling program to ensure that this never happens again.”
Baer will remain CEO and President when he returns from suspension.
Baer was part of the ownership group that bought the Giants in 1992 to keep them in San Francisco, where the club won the World Series in 2010, ’12 and ’14. He took over as CEO on Jan. 1, 2012.