Giants CEO Larry Baer returns from suspension

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On March 1, San Francisco Giants CEO Baer was caught on video having a loud, public argument with his wife during which he tried to rip a cell phone out of her hands, which caused her to tumble off of her chair and to the ground as she screamed “help me!” After initially dismissing and diminishing the incident, Baer released a statement apologizing to his wife, children and the Giants organization and saying he would “do whatever it takes to make sure that I never behave in such an inappropriate manner again.”

On March 4, Baer stepped away from the Giants, taking “personal time” and temporarily relinquishing his CEO role. On March 26, Major League Baseball suspended Baer without pay through July 1.

Today he returns. While he will still have the title of CEO, he will not hold the same power he had at the time of the incident. Baer is no longer the Giants’ “control person” with respect to Major League Baseball, though the Giants say he will still have a role in league business  The control person is now Rob Dean, who served as the interim CEO while Baer was suspended and who now assumes that role permanently, though with the title of chairman.Baseball operations will no longer report to Baer. It will report to Dean.

Baer and the Giants released statements, neither of which touched specifically on the March 1 incident and both of which were heavy with the sort of language one tends to see in these sorts of things. Regret and remorse alluded to but the reasons for it and the steps taken to atone for it not detailed in any real way. The Giants said Baer underwent counseling, but the statements — which you can read here — are mostly the sort of “let us all move on and forget it ever happened” stuff we’ve come to expect when the powerful get in trouble. Indeed, Baer’s statements make it sound like this was all about him and how it gave him an opportunity to improve as a person:

“I’ve been able to take a step back and take stock of myself as a person and as a leader. I am wiser for it, and the work continues. The journey of self-discovery, like so much in life, is ongoing and never-ending.”

Based on that, if one was unaware of the context one might think he went to some leadership seminar, coming out the other side a better man. Imagine how much lesser of a person he’d be now if he hadn’t been caught on video being aggressive and threatening to his wife, causing her to tumble to the ground while appearing annoyed, as opposed to concerned, about her screams.