San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer was granted a leave of absence from the team on Monday following the release last week of a video showing him in a physical altercation with his wife.
The Giants board of directors released a statement that said Baer had made a request that was accepted to take personal time away from the team in response to the video released by TMZ showing the altercation in a San Francisco park between Baer and his wife, Pam.
“Mr. Baer has acknowledged that his behavior was unacceptable, apologized to the organization and is committed to taking steps to make sure that this never happens again,” the statement said.
The Giants executive team, including president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, will manage the day-to-day operations. The other members of that team are executive vice president of business operations Mario Alioto, executive vice president and general counsel Jack Bair, executive vice president of administration Alfonso Felder, and executive vice president of communications Staci Slaughter.
The team didn’t designate one point person to be in charge of the organization during Baer’s absence.
Manager Bruce Bochy said after an exhibition game in Scottsdale, Arizona, that he will still report directly to Zaidi but didn’t get into details about the accusations against Baer.
“This is a guy who’s been our leader and he’s a good friend,” Bochy said. “This will get sorted out. Right now, I don’t have anything to add outside of the statement that was given.”
Bochy said he didn’t plan to address the players about Baer’s situation. Pitcher Jeff Samardzija said the players are trying to avoid the topic and are focusing on preparing for the start of the season.
“We don’t have any information on the matter,” he said. “I think we’re in the same boat as anybody else, what you see online and this and that. It’s not talked about too much in here. We’re worried about playing and that doesn’t really affect us too much on the field. It’s just unfortunate to see. I have all the respect in the world for Larry and his wife. We’re getting ready for the season here and that’s how we’re approaching it. That’s how you approach anything. There’s always something that happens every year that you need to overcome as a clubhouse. It’s a big part of it, how you band together and how you move on.”
The video posted by TMZ on Friday showed Baer’s wife, 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!”
Witnesses saw the ordeal in the public plaza. Baer, holding the phone, says “Stop, Pam, stop,” then walks away alone.
Baer and his wife issued a statement Friday, saying they regretted having a “heated argument in public over a family matter” and that they were embarrassed by the situation. Baer issued an apology later.
“I am truly sorry for the pain that I have brought to my wife, children and to the organization,” Baer said in the statement Friday. “It is not reflective of the kind of a person that I aspire to be, but it happened and I will do whatever it takes to make sure that I never behave in such an inappropriate manner again.”
The Giants said Major League Baseball is taking the lead in gathering facts and the organization will cooperate with the investigation.
“As leaders in the community, we at the Giants hold ourselves to the highest standards and those standards will guide how we consider this matter moving forward,” the statement said.
The San Francisco Police Department also is investigating the altercation.
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.