Aramis Ramirez returns from his DL stint against the Braves Monday (Cubbie Nation)
If you could endure '70s night, Erik Estrada televised comments on porn, and Ron Jeremy's junk—no, I'm not joking—and the ESPN Monday night crew, you got to enjoy two things sure to make a Cubs fan happy—the return of third baseman Aramis Ramirez and the Cubs 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Aramis looked, well...rushed, finishing 0-for-5 with a trio of weak groundouts. The Braves even intentionally walked Milton Bradley in the seventh inning to get to him, something we're not likely to see again this season.
But the sight of Ramirez was enough to send the crowd of 40,042 into a round of cheers and applause reserved for the great one.
He was truly missed. Fortunately, the Cubs looked much better as a whole, getting out early against Atlanta and holding on for the win.
Derrek Lee set things off in the first inning with a two-run homer off Jair Jurrgens and looked to start what was going to be a rout.
Jurregens was very shaky early, giving up a pair in the first, and again in the second, when Kosuke Fukudome would hit a RBI double to score Mike Fontenot and Randy Wells.
But Jurrgens is money in the old school sense, and he settled down to keep the Braves in the ballgame. They'd pick up a run in the fourth when a Randy Wells bobble lead to Chipper Jones scoring, and again in the fifth, when Nate McLouth went yard for a solo shot.
In the end, though, Bobby Cox put this game out of reach for his team in the eighth when, with Yunel Escobar on first, Casey Kotchman at the plate, and another shaky appearance by Carlos Marmol on the mound, he inexplicably refuses to send Escobar; didn't even put the hit and run on.
True to fold, the dirt slow, line-drive hitting Kotchman would ground into a double play to end the inning and pretty much the game—a real head-scratcher.
And to finish the evening, it was announced that the deal structure for the Cubs has been agreed upon, with the Ricketts agreement being sent to MLB and the bankruptcy court for approval.
Reueters is reporting the package as being worth an estimated $900 billion, with an approval expected within weeks. I've no doubt the amount, but let's just hope and expect to celebrate a playoff berth and new ownership come September.
While MLB is likely to rubber stamp this deal, creditors are significantly more vocal about billion-dollar assets moving out the door and will likely be more so now, given the tendency of Sam Zell to tweak deal values for favorable tax treatments.
But for now, Ramirez is back, the Cubs are winning, it's summertime in Chicago, and all is right in Cubbie Nation.