Cubs-Astros: Tonight's Starter is...

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2009

CHICAGO - JULY 26: Rich Harden #40 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the pitch during the game against the Cincinnati Reds on July 26, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Evidently, Rich Harden.

The waiver deadline has come and gone, and Rich Harden is still a Cub. He'll make his next scheduled start tonight against the Astros.

Odd, odd move.

My biggest complaint with this Cubs team has been that they they've been happy to maintain the status-quo.

They won't go into sell mode, and start some early planning for next season. And worse, they won't upgrade a terribly flawed team, even as they hang on to some hope of a wild card berth.

So what do they do? True to form, spend a week in serious talks to move Harden, only to walk away, evidently happy to play on.

A couple of needed wins against the Mets have put them within five games or so of the front-running Giants, and probably didn't help things in deciding whether to shut it down for the year.

The Cubs will continue to fight on, and hope that there's a hot streak in them leading into the end of the season, when they'll face the Giants and Cardinals in the final weeks.

That said, I'm happy to hear Rich is staying. The Cubs should be able to pick up two high draft picks in the off-season should Harden sign elsewhere, making the pair of prospects that the Twins reportedly offered a bit less interesting. And yes, I hope do hope the Cubs avoid the temptation to give him a long-term deal, regardless of his strong finish.

But more importantly, this team of all teams has something of an obligation to fight to the end.

Chicago has consistently had some of the most loyal fans in sport, continuing to put millions in the seats regardless of the team on the field.

Some will say that's due to the Wrigley Field charm, and they're part right.

I think it's mostly that Chicago fans have a deep, genuine love for the team. And if there is any chance, in any season, for the Cubs to get a postseason ticket, they owe it to those fans to try.

I know it's probably not going to happen, but it's September, and there's a chance. Selling on Rich Harden would have meant the end of the 2009 season, and we the fans just aren't ready to let it go yet.

Stay the course; we'll stay with this sinking ship till the end. And here's hoping to another good outing from Rich tonight.