The beginning of San Francisco Giants Spring Training has been completely overshadowed by a disturbing video of team President and CEO Larry Baer knocking his wife Pam to the ground, in public, as she screamed “Oh my god, help!”
The incident, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle at about 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon, was followed up just minutes later with the release of a video that captured roughly 16 seconds of the encounter.
Monday morning, the Giants announced that Baer has been placed on a leave of absence from the team.
Friday’s ugly episode happened in full public view at the Hayes Valley outdoor park PROXY. Bystander video shows Baer aggressively grabbing for his wife’s phone and knocking her to the ground. The footage ends suddenly, and after a gap in the video, Larry Baer is seen pacing at a distance saying, “Stop, Pam, stop,” as bystanders are heard saying “Stay the f*ck away from him.”
The Chronicle reports that “The witness sold publishing rights to the video to TMZ,” and it’s unclear why TMZ released only a snippet of the video instead of the full recorded incident.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) March 4, 2019
Fast forward to this morning, and Baer has been placed on leave, reportedly at his own request.
“Mr. Baer has acknowledged that his behavior was unacceptable, apologized to his organization and is committed to taking steps that this never happens again,” the Giants said in a statement. “He has also requested, and the Board has accepted, his request to take personal time away from the Giants beginning today.”
Larry Baer’s own version of events, according to a statement he released Friday night, is that “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.”
Pam Baer released her own statement, through her attorney. “I started to get up and the chair I was sitting in began to tip,” the statement says. “Due to an injury I sustained in my foot three days ago, I lost my balance. I did not sustain any injury based on what happened today. Larry and I always have been and still are happily married.”
Police now at the scene talking to witnesses pic.twitter.com/2eM3JsLxL6
— Evan Sernoffsky (@EvanSernoffsky) March 1, 2019
San Francisco police were not initially called to the scene but did question witnesses immediately once the reports became public.