SAN FRANCISCO -- After more than three months away, longtime Giants president and CEO Larry Baer will return to the organization early next month.
The Giants announced Saturday that Baer will return July 2 when his MLB-issued suspension ends. He’ll come back in a slightly different role, however.
Rob Dean, who served as acting CEO, now will be the team’s chairman and control person. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi will report to Dean.
Baer was suspended without pay on March 26, three weeks after a public altercation in a downtown plaza with his wife, Pam. He stepped away from day-to-day operations of the team on March 4 as MLB began an investigation that ultimately resulted in a suspension until July 2. Baer received counseling while away, and released this statement through the team Saturday:
“I write this today after four months away from the Giants, the team I have loved since childhood and the organization I have served most of my adult life. Our hundreds of Giants employees, millions of Giants fans and the community-at-large have been on my mind every day, and I am truly sorry for letting you down.
“While my time away has been difficult on many levels, it has allowed me opportunities for introspection and, with the help of some wonderful people, growth. I’ve been able to 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.
”The overwhelming emotion I feel right now is gratitude. I am appreciative beyond words for the hard work and professionalism of the Giants staff and executive team during this difficult period, and I’m looking forward to thanking each of them in person.
“The Giants are in a major transition on and off the field. This includes some structural changes, which I fully embrace. Major League Baseball is a complex and ever-changing industry, now more than ever. Success requires leadership that listens to and learns from all voices, that leverages the ideas and talent of every person in every department, along with tapping the resources and energy of our fans and the Bay Area community. I am looking forward to spending the next weeks and months listening, learning and discovering how, together, we can best serve this great organization and community.”
The Giants divided Baer's duties among other team executives in his absence, with Dean, the son-in-law of former majority owner, Sue Burns, serving as acting CEO. Dean often was seen around the team during the early weeks of the season, and he made several road trips. There initially was some discussion about Baer's role upon his return, but in recent weeks, it had seemed a given within the organization that he would return, albeit with some changes.
Baer will not initially return in the vocal public role he previously held, although that could change over time. He previously had been involved with any high-profile ceremony the Giants held on the field, and he often would sit side by side on the podium with manager Bruce Bochy and the head of the baseball operations department after significant roster moves.
In the days before he stepped away, Baer was heavily involved in the Giants’ chase of slugger Bryce Harper, who opted to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Baer has not been seen or spoken publicly since the day of the incident, which was captured on a cell-phone camera and released by TMZ.
Along with the suspension, MLB required that Baer undergo an evaluation by an expert to determine an appropriate treatment and counseling plan.