I was going to do some research into this, but thankfully, Mark Gonzales of the Tribune did it for me.
Today, he wrote an article about the woeful 1996 Giants, who lost 94 games.
The parallels to Baker's Cub career are indeed, as the headline says, "eerie". Baker had a great first year in San Francisco, winning 103 games and missing the playoffs on the last day of the season. Then things got worse each of the next two seasons.
In '96 they started out well -- 36-33 in late June -- and then collapsed, losing ten in a row, winning two, then losing seven more. They had another seven-game losing streak later on, and at one point in August and September went from 58-74 to 60-90 -- yes, that's 16 losses in 18 games.
Gonzales also writes about how goofily that team played at times:
Fortunately for Canizaro, catcher Rick Wilkins (one of at least six former Cubs who suffered through a 94-loss season) threw to first to end the inning.
In addition to the six former Cubs, there were three others -- Terry Mulholland, Doug Creek and Rod Beck -- who would be future Cubs.
Here's the point of this post -- Dusty Baker got a two-year contract extension during this morass.
Many people here have asked me why I haven't taken a stand on Baker. The reason is, it doesn't make any difference. Baker's going to get his extension, probably as soon as the Cubs win a few games, which they will. We can piss and moan, but that's not going to change anything.
Oh yes, the Giants won the NL West the following year, 1997, and in part because they traded away one of the most popular players in recent franchise history, Matt Williams. The players they received -- Jeff Kent, Julian Tavarez and Jose Vizcaino -- were keys to the Giants' winning in '97, and Kent, as you know, played a key role in the Giants' success in succeeding years.
Remember -- just when you think you know everything about baseball, something will happen to let you know that you don't.