Larry Baer has been with the San Francisco Giants since 1993 and is currently the team’s President and CEO. During his tenure with the Giants, he’s been through both the 1994-1995 strike and the recent 2021 lockout.
Perspective on MLB Lockout
Baer shared that the recent lockout is much less severe than the 1993-1994 strike, as the players’ union and owners group reached a deal in time to avoid any missed regular season games. The two parties agreed to a deal on March 10, 2022.
Speaking to local San Francisco media via Zoom, Baer expressed appreciation that the two parties were able to resolve the lockout issues. He said that the Giants would be “aggressive” when rebuilding the team roster.
Address to Giants Fans
In a direct address to fans, Larry Baer noted that the lockout period has been personally difficult on multiple levels. He mentioned that the inability for players and coaches to communicate was tough, as management and players are in close contact during the season and off-season.
He also commented on the challenge that the lockout presented for the MLB, and thus for baseball at large. It makes increasing the sport’s popularity difficult, in his opinion.
Baer also extended the effects to the community at large, likening the team to a civic asset. Although he acknowledged the business side of the team, he said that financials weren’t the main driver or measure of success for the team. Just as fans want, management too wants success on the field more than the books. Specifically, Baer identified championship-quality baseball as the ultimate success.
Context for the Recent Lockout
He continued on to commensurate with fans, empathizing with potential frustration that they might have. He suggested that the omicron covid-19 variant had an impact on the lockout, and said that blaming either side wasn’t really helpful in his view.
Further explaining the circumstances of the lockout, Larry Baer said that the owners didn’t want to miss any games. He didn’t mention the profits that a game brings as a major driver in avoiding any missed games, but rather another asset of the team — fans’ trust. Missing any games would erode fans’ trust in the league, and that wasn’t something that Giants’ management wanted and not anything they pursued as a team during the lockout.
The lockout was also productive, in Baer’s opinion. Players and league management were in the midst of negotiating new contracts this season, and prolonging the negotiations would increase the risk of a mid-season player strike. The lockout helped accelerate negotiations so that they didn’t carry over into the regular season.
Finally, Larry Barry informed fans as to how any missed games will be rescheduled. The Giants will play their first spring training match on March 18, and a schedule of other spring training games will be forthcoming. It’s possible that missed spring training games will be added onto the end of the normal spring training games.
Any regular season games that must be rescheduled will be played as 9-inning double headers when the teams meet during a series, per Baer.
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