The Giants announced that CEO Larry Baer has stepped away from the team for an undisclosed period of time, as the club and league investigate a physical altercation between Baer and his wife that went viral last Friday.
No one knows exactly how long Baer will be away from the team, what being away from the team actually constitutes, or if he will eventually step down from his position as CEO. KNBR radio host and former criminal attorney Marty Lurie joined Gary & Larry on Monday, and broke down how the incident will be evaluated from a legal perspective, and what the future may hold.
“There are no criminal charges filed, and on the spectrum of spousal abuse — where homicide can be one end of it, and maybe verbal abuse on the other end of it — this is probably a two (out of 10) on that scale,” Lurie began. “You have to remember that because when the statutes are written and when you see these cases, there are very severe injuries that can happen, this is not the case here.
“There is rage, there is a terrible public display of emotion, there’s grabbing at a phone, ‘I’m going to get it no matter what,’ there’s Pam yelling, Larry afterwards. So there’s rage going on, but on the spectrum in what can happen in situations like this, it’s at the lower end of the spectrum. It’s on the spectrum, but it’s on the lower end of it.”
Lurie believes because of that, it’s unlikely Baer will lose the team.
“It’s not impossible. I think it’s unlikely. As I said, on the spectrum of how these things go, it’s on the lower end of the spectrum. The more important question is why did it happen in a public place, and what was behind it, and could it happen again?
“So it just depends how it goes. They’ll have counseling, they’ll have background information. Did this happen before? Will it happen again? Why did it happen? And those are the things when you do take time off — a couple months off, whatever it may be — those are the things that you have to determine. And it’s like the judge at the end of it who reads everything. Rob Manfred then makes a decision based on it, and again the sanction will fit whatever this incident is and how the people deal with it going forward.
While this is all being sorted out, who will be the organization’s point person when it comes to addressing the public?
“Well it depends on what the question is,” Lurie said. “If it’s a business question, probably Mario (Alioto) would answer that. Jack Bair on any legal questions. Probably on some PR things Staci Slaughter would talk about it. If it’s a physical plant issue, probably (Alfonso) Felder would be involved with that. So I think it depends on the question.
“If it’s a baseball question, honestly I think this is Farhan (Zaidi)’s job. He’s in charge of baseball operations, and it’s up to him to talk to the organization. He may not be ready for it — he may be worried about the waiver wire, and how he’s going to get out of spring training and get an outfielder — but he’s got to stand up here and be the voice of baseball operations. So I think every one of them has a spot depending on the question.”
Listen to the full interview below.