June 11 marked a momentous occasion for San Francisco Giants fans. When Anthony DeSclafani finished a complete game, he was met with what has become known as a Buster Hug. At the end of the game, Buster Posey headed straight to Anthony DeSclafani to embrace him with sheer joy. This move is one that fans look forward to throughout the season—a sign of sportsmanship, celebration, and camaraderie.
“I think there’s something pretty deep-seated to be included in the culture of winning,” SF Giants CEO Larry Baer recently told the New York Times. “There was a period, and it sounds crazy now, but the passage of years 2010, 2012 and 2014 went on, where not any playoffs were lost by those players. For Buster, it was eight or nine times in a row. Then, in 2016 we won the wild-card game versus the Mets and a difficult loss was also faced versus the Cubs. It actually means, I think, there is a really strong ethos to have been a part of the culture of winning and knowing how much effort it takes being in an extensive season and the environment of winning.”
As rocky as the last year has been, it has proved a winning one for the San Francisco Giants. The team now has the best record in Major League Baseball and has enjoyed a steady run in the recent season. This winning streak is reflected in the team’s playoff odds. At the start of the season, the San Francisco Giants were down at five percent. However, this has shot up to a massive 72.5 percent, according to the latest on FanGraphs.
This astounding record is, at least in part, down to Larry Baer’s winning formula of Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt. The three friends have seen the San Francisco Giants through their greatest triumphs in recent seasons. Buster Posey played a core role in all three of the team’s World Series wins, while Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt played in the 2012 and 2014 winning games. Over the best part of a decade, fans have grown to love the trio, not only for their stellar performances, but also their connection.
While Buster Posey was not part of last summer’s season due to him and his wife adopting twins, he is back on the field once again. At the age of 34, the catcher is now in the final year of his nine-year deal and has a club option for 2022. Despite obstacles along the way—including a hip operation in 2018—he is now enjoying one of his best seasons. The success he is seeing now is comparable only to his infamous 2012 stint. It was thanks to his supreme talent that year that he won the title of the N.L.’s Most Valuable Player Award.
Also hitting the 34 mark, Brandon Crawford is now on the best season of his whole career. He recently broke a record that was held by Travis Jackson, a veteran player who retired back in the 1930s. His six-year-long deal with the San Francisco Giants, which is worth $75 million, is over at the end of the current season. Having played the most games at shortstop for the team in its history, he will be sorely missed should he leave.
While Brandon Belt suffered an oblique strain toward the start of the year, he has continued strong at first base for the San Francisco Giants. The 33-year-old is now in the final months of his $72.8 million deal with the team. Throughout his five-year contract he has become a fan favorite and consistently ranks high in the team.
Bruce Bochy retired and the San Francisco Giants replaced him with Gabe Kapler after the 2019 season, while Farhan Zaidi joined the staff as president of baseball operations, taking over from Brian Sabean. Since the shake-up, the team has gone from strength to strength. However, Larry Baer is sure to name-check the professionals that have remained a core part of the San Francisco Giants’ success in recent years.
“Brian and Boch are to date a part of the organization, and we have the advantage of their wisdom and advice,” Larry Baer in the recent dates talk about this with the New York Times. He said when changes are made, they also include other changes along with them and what one hopes to do is that the new changes are listened, studied and understood.
When it comes to the front office lineup, Larry Bear is nothing short of complimentary. In the New York Times interview, he spoke out about the staff. “They’ve been really thoughtful about how to merge the past and the future, and also head towards different fields of focus in baseball methods, as the game changes with a dramatic phase,” he explained. He said that he won’t say that it has been completely seamless, but as anyone can expect it is quite close to that.
Now that California restrictions have been lifted and Oracle Park can open up at full-capacity, the San Francisco Giants could have yet more tricks up their sleeve. While fans are sure to gather to see the golden days of the Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt lineup, a playoff charge could also be on the cards.
About Larry Baer
Born in San Francisco, Larry Baer is one of the sporting world’s leading names. The now-famous professional graduated from Harvard Business School and UC Berkeley, and began working soon in the industry of media for the Westinghouse Broadcasting and CBS, Inc. However, he is best known professionally for his illustrious career in Major League Baseball.
Baer became the EVP of the San Francisco Giants in 1992. In collaboration with the late Peter Magowan, he assembled a new ownership of the group, allowing the Giants to remain in San Francisco. Flash forward to 2012 and Baer became the CEO of the team, a position in which he saw great triumph. Under his helm, the Giants won their third World Series Championship in the same year he started in that position.
Bae takes on multiple roles within the Giants, also heading up the business development departments. Since he joined the business, the Giants organization has constructed Oracle Park. Hailed by fans among one of the ‘best ballparks to be built’, the stadium was given the title of Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Journal in the year 2018.
Over his long career, Baer has held a variety of posts in Major League Baseball Boards such as his positions Chairing the Strategic Planning Committee, the Business and Media Board, and the International Committee. He now lives in San Francisco with his wife, Pam.
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