SBD/September 19, 2011/Franchises

Larry Baer Needs Approval From MLB To Take Over As MLB Giants CEO

MLB Giants' Larry Baer thinks the team is in baseball's "top echelon"
MLB Giants incoming CEO Larry Baer will "need to be approved by MLB and the other 29 owners, even though Baer has been a high-ranking official within the franchise for years," according to Jayson Stark of MLB could potentially "use that approval process as leverage to push toward a resolution of the never-ending squabble between the Giants and the A's over rights to the San Jose area." However, indications are that "isn't likely," because MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "has long viewed that dispute as being far more complicated and complex than your average tug-of-war over whose turf is whose" (, 9/16). In S.F., Bruce Jenkins cites a source as saying, "There's another move coming" from the Giants' front office. The source said, "They're giving Larry Baer the CEO responsibilities, but there has to be a chief liaison between the executive committee and management, so a managing general partner will be named. Literally a chairman of the board. It can't be Larry, because he answers to the board. You can't be church and state" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/18). In S.F., Willie Brown wrote, "Hats off to one of the most phenomenal overachievers in this country, new Giants CEO Larry Baer. I don't know how he does it, but no matter who else fails in that organization, Larry always gets promoted" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/18). When asked about how his accessibility to fans will change in his new role, Baer said, "I think it's going to be pretty much the same, for myself and a whole lot of people. ... The franchise is not broken. This is not a turnaround." Bear added, "We see ourselves in the top echelon in the sport, but that doesn't mean we're going to win the World Series every year" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/18).

NOT SEEING EYE TO EYE: In S.F., Matier & Ross write Bill Neukom's exit as Giants Managing General Partner & CEO "came down to management style and money -- specifically the size of the compensation package he felt he was entitled to for heading the organization." The issue of "just how much salary, bonus and other compensation and shares of the team part-owner-turned-CEO Neukom was entitled to was never finalized even after three years at the helm." Neukom "reportedly felt his work was worth millions more than his fellow owners were willing to pay." A source said, "I think Bill started to meddle in stuff more in the weeds than people anticipated, but then wouldn't resolve any of it" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/19). Also in S.F., Al Saracevic writes Neukom "rubbed his fellow owners the wrong way in a big way." Saracevic: "This is a bad chapter in Giants history. Bill Neukom was a funny sort of baseball owner. But nobody's laughing about his departure" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/19). In Sacramento, Ailene Voisin noted fan reaction "to the stunning upheaval in the Giants' front office won't really be determined until the team ends the season with a three-game homestand against Colorado" next week. (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/18).

WHERE TO? A SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS editorial is written under the header, "Just Make A Decision, Selig -- Any Decision." The departure of Neukom provides an opening for Selig to "finally decide whether or not the A's can move from Oakland to San Jose." The editorial: "At this point, any decision on the move is better than no decision. ... If Selig can't bring himself to say yes to San Jose over the Giants' objections, then he needs to say no. Period. The city, if not A's owner Lew Wolff, needs to move on" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/19).
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