There was a baseball game to be played Sunday despite the emotion surrounding Lou Piniella's retirement.
The Cubs made it a less-than-memorable goodbye as they fell 16-5 to the Atlanta Braves.
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Starting pitcher Randy Wells fell to 5-12 with a 4.56 ERA, and Cubs fielders committed 3 errors.
"In any circumstance, you don't want a game like this to happen," Wells said. "It's a pretty emotional day, and I didn't get it done. I was actually sitting back there (in the clubhouse) thinking about what I was going to say to you, and there's nothing to say, really."
How hard did Wells take the defeat?
"It's the one loss that stings the most for me this year," he said.
The Cubs actually led 3-2 after three innings, thanks to a 2-run homer by Aramis Ramirez. But the Braves scored three times in the fourth, on Omar Infante's second homer of the game.
The Braves scored 4 in the seventh, 5 in the eighth and 2 more in the ninth, roughing up Wells and the inexperienced Cubs bullpen.
Wells said Piniella is not just any manager.
"Obviously, when you get a speech like that from a guy like Lou Piniella, first of all, your heart goes out to his family,' Wells said. "It's not like he's retiring because it's the end. He's got some family stuff going on. He was pretty emotional about why he was leaving, and you feel for a guy like that.
"On top of that, the guy's given so much to baseball, you owe it to him to give it everything you've got out there."
Silva pitches: Pitcher Carlos Silva threw a 30-pitch simulated game Sunday morning, and pitching coach Larry Rothschild said it went well.
Silva has been out since Aug. 1, when he experienced an irregular heartbeat. His next step likely is at least 1 minor-league rehab appearance, but Rothschild said he did not know when or where that would be.
The Piniella file: Lou Piniella is one of five managers to win at least three Manager of the Year awards, including 2008 with the Cubs.
He retires as the 14th-winningest manager in major-league history, with 1,835 victories in 23 years. He was the first Cubs manager in 70 years to post a record of .500 or better in each of his first three seasons.
Piniella also was the first Cubs manager in 100 years to lead the team to consecutive postseason appearances, in 2007 and 2008.
From the owner: Cubs owner Tom Ricketts did not speak with the media, but he issued this statement about Lou Piniella:
"The Chicago Cubs are honored to have had Lou Piniella as our manager for the last four years. My family and I respect Lou's decision to retire from the game he loves and thank him for his years of dedicated service. He is an icon in the world of baseball, and we are grateful for his time in this organization."