Giants CEO Larry Baer joined KNBR on Wednesday morning for the first time since returning from his five month suspension without pay from the organization, after a public physical altercation with his wife was caught on video.
Bear began by speaking about his first public appearance since the incident which took place last weekend, during a ceremony at Oracle Park honoring the 1989 Giants and Will Clark, whose No. 22 will be retired by the club.
“A lot of mistakes were made, I’ve learned a lot,” Baer told Murph & Mac. “The return has been made possible by amazing work by folks both up and down the organization. From my colleagues on the board to the other Giants executives who have been so incredible, many of them you know, to everybody up and down the organization.
“Being back at the ballpark and being able to see the folks that show you to your seat, or the folks in the section that I sit, or the folks up all over the ballpark, it’s been very emotional.”
Brian Murphy then asked what Baer did during his suspension.
“What I did obviously is a lot of personal work (regarding) what led to that incident. It was, like anybody in life, we all have our journeys, and these were mistakes that were made and it was important for me to take stock and understand how it won’t just not happen again but learn from them, listen.
“Folks in the community, many had spoken out, spoken to me directly or indirectly, and I wanted to meet with them and hear from them directly, and I did. And I learned a lot. And I think I brought perspectives to the organization that will be effective just in terms of becoming a stronger leader as I move forward.
“I’ve been at this 27 consecutive years. A lot of the folks you know, my colleagues have been there a similar timeframe…We’ve worked together a long time and supported each other and learned in today’s world as the organization’s gotten bigger, not one person can do everything.
“You want to be able to learn new methods of collaboration and that helps as you’re balancing stress as you’re balancing work-life balance, etc. I feel better than ever now but it was a lessons learned time for sure. To acknowledge the mistakes and to come back in ways where I can be a stronger, better leader for sure.”
Who did he talk to specifically?
“There were professional counseling folks that were part of it but then there were also folks that were involved in everything from social services and women’s movements and these are folks that we’ve worked with in various capacities through the Giants in the past. And they’ve been friends and they’ve been colleagues and they’ve been counterparts.
“The other thing of course, and I think everybody would understand, the most important thing was to work within my family. Things with the family have never been better, but it was a very painful time for the family that we came together, and Pam and our children have really learned a lot and we’re stronger for it as well, of course. That’s the first order before anything else. It takes priority over everything, of course.”
Finally, Murph asked Bear what was the biggest thing he learned after months of reflecting on the incident.
“I like to think I am an empathetic person and I’m thinking about what’s going on in other people’s heads as well as in my own head. But that’s not always the case. As I said, you run pretty hard doing this 27 years and all the things we get caught up in, and the empathy gene I think is a very important part of who we are and what we are and how society can — not to be too philosophical — how we can be better as a community and as a society. I think listening to people’s stories and what this might have triggered for them, I think was really important, and I think makes me better in all sorts of ways.
“So I think if I had to put it down to one word I’d say I’m more empathetic.”
Bear will continue to be the Giants’ CEO and be involved in personnel decisions, though he is no longer considered the club’s “control person,” a role that has been taken over by fellow executive Rob Dean.
Listen to the full interview below.