Friday, October 28, 2016

Larry Baer, The Giants, SF Power, Influence, KNBR, Cumulus, 415 Media, Friday Thought

Image result for Ask Rich Lieberman Lee Hammer is the Opps/GM/PD at KNBR -responsible for on-air content and client relations--including the SF Giants, but in reality, Giants President, front man, Larry Baer might as well be in that position: Baer virtually runs KNBR during baseball season and even when there's no baseball or if baseball conflicts with other sports, (hello, Warriors!)

Baer is the most powerful man in San Francisco --and that's including the mayor and Willie Brown.

Baer could have won the SF mayoral race had he wanted to run, he holds such significant power in city circles, social circles, broadcast circles --(like Cumulus, KNBR, KGO, etc) but Baer had no interest in running. He's perfectly happy doing his duties as Giants' front man as well he should be.

Baer saved baseball for SF and you have to give him credit for that. It was Baer who was able to get high-influence people like Walter Shorenstein, Charles Johnson, Peter MacGowan, and the like on board --the money men, really, to pave the way to create the waterfront ballpark and make the Giants the force they are, on and off the field. Nobody disputes the fact that Baer runs the town; Baer is the point man for many civic issues, land deals involving Giants enterprises, and a plethora of insider deals that few people know about; it's OK with the natives, for the most part, because the Giants are the biggest entity in San Francisco and beyond.

It's one thing to control KNBR; to insist that a spring training game take president over a Warriors' playoff game because it's in the contract and even though it looks ridiculous and plays a part in the Warriors telling KNBR and Cumulus to screw you guys, in essence, Baer has the juice to get away with it whether or not Lee Hammer or some white guy in a suit in Atlanta care.

Baer can pretty much do as he pleases...and frankly, KNBR is only a teensy part of the mosaic --there's a gargantuan tapestry here and Baer wields his sword of authority and influence like Springsteen during a 4th-song encore. Good luck trying to stop those forces. Only Springsteen doesn't have his hand in an area's political fortress, doesn't pick and choose who gets favorites and who doesn't; isn't involved in some of the more intricate inner dealings that affect a city and its people. There's a lot on the menu here.

Of course, you won't read or see anything about all of this in the local SF Chronicle because the Chronicle long ago dissed investigative reporting and besides, Baer and the Giants are a good client--why dig deep when you have such a wonderful relationship. Ditto too the Bay Area/SF/SJ TV stations that too have a cozy set-up with the Giants and Larry even if there's some smoke at the front of the tunnel.

To be continued...


  1. The Blue Chip pieces will be on the upcoming Free Agent market, so let's see if Larry and Co. have the power to buy an adequate bullpen and another power bat next season.

    1. No way will they spend like they did last offseason...too many luxury tax penalties.

      Expect them to go hard at a top closer, but they really only have about 25M to play with to fix bullpen, AND offense.

      That's not much when the top closers will be 15M and above.

      Expect them to fill their needs with lower priced talent as they usually do.

  2. Will there ever be any critical editorials directed at the Giants?
    Why? Well because the Chronicle's Executive Editor is a Giants Cheer Leader.
    We understand she had a fit of rage when the Giants were eliminated from NL playoffs.

  3. If Larry Baer has real power he should fire EVERYONE at KNBR and start over!

  4. I feel Hammer never had or ever will have any power at KNBR. What I do hear though is that he does have the power of being able to crash the KNBR luxury suite when the sales department is hosting their clients at Giants games. Oh it's power, a super power if you will. The super power mooching! It seems it frequently kicks in as he stops by to eat all the cheeseburger sliders and chocolate chip cookies. I've heard he will do that at Levi's Stadium as well during 49ers games. The food is for the clients Hammer! The clients that are paying your salary. DAMN! Such an embarrassment.

  5. Leigh Steinberg was the guy who got the money guys together to purchase the Giants. Larry was still an errand boy to guys at that level. Magowan was "Burns" to Baers' "Smithers" at that point. It was Magowan the penny pincher who raised the ire of Shorenstein when he demanded a salary for being the managing general partner, and Shorenstein said 'We are wealthy men that can do it for nothing". Magowan had Baer work the other owners to undermine Shorenstein.
    Former KTVU General Manager Kevin O'Brien said in all his years in television, and dealing with some real lowlifes, that Magowan and Baer were the lowest.

  6. Giants have part ownership of KNBR why don't they pay their radio grunts living wages

  7. Larry Baer is a very smart guy and deserves much of the credit for Giants' ballpark and the success the team has enjoyed in recent years. But he is also on of the most underhanded, shady human beings in the sports world. Look up the work 'disingenuous' in the dictionary and you'll see his picture and name alongside. He plays favorites, talks out of both sides of his mouth, and will do anything to promote his own agenda, including knifing people in the back who have helped him out, (think former Managing General Partner Bill Newcomb). I wouldn't trust this guy as far as I could throw him. As far as his influence at KNBR? The spineless weasel Hammer will do whatever Baer asks him to do. Hammer is merely a tool for a horrible company which has ruined a number of radio stations nationwide including KGO here in the bay area.