What does the ascension of Larry (Laurence M.) Baer to the San Francisco Giants' corner office mean for the franchise? Its chances to return to the playoffs in 2012? Locking up Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum to long-term deals?
Hard to say. The Lowell High School and UC Berkeley graduate has, in certain respects, been hiding in plain sight for many of his two-plus decades as a Giants employee.
Named the club's executive vice president in 1992, Baer was credited with putting together virtually every element of the AT&T (then called Pacific Bell) Park project: voter approval, financing, architectural design, construction. Everything.
Yet Baer largely lived in the shadow of the highly visible then-managing partner Peter Magowan as well as William Neukom, Magowan's short-lived successor.
Magowan, Neukom, and other distractions—like Barry Bonds—kept Baer and most everything else off center stage until the Giants' recent resurrection, climaxing in the 2010 World Series title.
Baer has never been a lightning rod for fan frustration; in fact, the media has generally lauded him.
As the new top boss, that might change.
Meanwhile, there are at least a few clues to Baer's plans. Here are four things we might expect from the Giants' new CEO.