Larry Baer’s Giants Hope to Play Internationally in 2023

With the 2022 Major League Baseball season underway, the San Francisco Giants aren’t forgetting about the trip that got away. The Giants and the Miami Marlins were scheduled to play a series in Mexico City in June 2022, but schedule changes due to the MLB lockout erased that trip. Larry Baer and the Giants are hoping they can play internationally next season. 

“We’re pushing hard to be right back in 2023 either in Mexico City, if the schedule works, or somewhere internationally,” says the Giants CEO and president.

The length of the lockout led to scheduling challenges across baseball. The league had to move things around and remove games in this case, to accommodate a full season.

“International travel just became too difficult and we totally understand that. We really anticipate being involved and we are very disappointed that the Mexico City trip was taken off the board,” says Baer. “It was nobody’s fault. It was just because of the condensed season and putting 162 games into fewer days.”

The logistics of international travel is always tricky during any regular season, and the recent schedule change made it impossible. San Francisco was so excited; the organization sent several employees to Mexico City during the offseason.

They were tasked with learning the lay of the land to best prepare for June’s visit. The Giants and Marlins were going to play two games in the States June 2-3 and then fly to Mexico for two more games that weekend. That would have been a challenging trip for the two ballclubs, but an amazing experience and opportunity, nonetheless.

The new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) calls for games in Mexico City in the next four years. The Giants CEO is fairly confident his team will get to play in one or more of those years. As part of the new CBA, MLB will also visit Asia, the Dominican Republic, London, Paris, and Puerto Rico over the next four seasons.

Larry Baer, the CEO of the San Francisco Giants, is on MLB’s international committee. He’s always been an advocate for growing the game internationally, one of the objectives of the newest CBA. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox played in London in 2019. MLB was supposed to have games in London, Mexico City, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2020 before the pandemic hit.

“There was a fantastic reception to baseball in London,” says Baer. “They’re focusing on Paris and you have the Olympics going to Paris in 2024. I think baseball really has a renewed effort to grow the game internationally and as we come out of the pandemic it’s going to be sort of a full-court press in that area,” he adds.

No matter where they play — in San Francisco, on the road, or out of the country — the Giants are hoping to capitalize on last season’s momentum. The franchise won a history-making 107 games during the 2021 campaign, ending the Los Angeles Dodgers’ eight-year streak of National League West titles.

“I think we had last year, from first pitch to last out, we had an amazing focus and concentration,” says Baer.

They’ll be filling some big shoes this season. They lost future Hall of Fame catcher Buster Posey to retirement and right-handed offensive firepower Kris Bryant to free agency. Posey played his entire 12-year career with the Giants and provided unmatched leadership. Bryant batted .262 with 22 RBI and 7 HR as a midseason acquisition from the Chicago Cubs. He played in 51 games for the Giants.

The 107-win season included massive contributions from pre-arbitration additions like Mike Yastrzemski and LaMonte Wade Jr. The Giants have repeatedly struck gold with veterans on shorter deals, such as Darin Ruf, Wilmer Flores, and Jake McGee. A significant investment has been made in the largest coaching staff in the majors, and that group has gotten the very best out of veteran ballplayers.

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