Commentary: Mariners slogan should be "Enjoy The Ride"

We start by putting our Bud Light Spotlight - for the first time since opening day - on the Seattle Mariners, who remind me of one thing.


The rollercoaster ride this season was expected, the twists and turns, defined by a seven-game losing streak, a four game winning streak, a five-game losing streak, and another four-game winning streak.

In fact, with all due respect to Kevin Martinez and the Mariners marketing team, they've once again missed the boat with this year's slogan. Instead of "Get After It," their tag line should've been "Enjoy The Ride." Because that's what M's fans need to do.

You can accuse me of being brainwashed by the front office and Eric Wedge, but I believe the last week has been the best indication of what's to come. The Mariners scored 47 runs in five games, and even in their losses, they went down swinging. They might be eight games under 500 and nine games out of the divisional race, but this team is obviously growing. It's learning how to fight. And the toughest part for this young, emerging group will be to learn how to win on a consistent basis. I have no doubt it will.

This season, for all intents and purposes is over. But part of "enjoying the ride" as a fan is embracing the overall direction of the franchise. That direction points upwards.

And, as long as they're is committed long-term to the core of young guys like Seager, Montero, Ackley and Smoak - and not planning on dealing them like so many emerging stars of yesteryear, then I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I'm already picturing next season - and a team without Chone Figgins, because let's face it - the guy is worthless. He's practically stolen 21 million dollars from the Mariners already - and the only reason they didn't get rid of him last week is because they weren't ready to eat the 15 million dollars he's still due. Given the costs involved, Figgins is likely the biggest mistake of the Jack Zduriencik era, and I'll be shocked and highly disappointed if he's here past the trade deadline.

Those who have bashed the "Ichiro batting 3rd" experiment fail to realize that the only reason it was made was to accommodate Figgins - to see if the M's could finally get him going. He said he was hurt this season - but now he's healthy and he's still batting .181

I could bash Brendan Ryan or Miguel Olivo as well - but neither is making 11 1/2 percent of the team's entire payroll like Figgins.

So, what Mariners fans have is a choice. To either completely tune out until they're good - or enjoy the ride, knowing they'll have their ups and downs, but embracing the maturation process and signs of success along the way. To not let each slump frustrate, and assess individuals over the course of a couple months, instead of a couple games.

Talent is emerging before our eyes *and* waiting in the wings. Just think about when the current placeholders are gone, and the newbies begin to thrive. Where will you be then? Hopping on the bandwagon, or already there, having enjoyed the entire ride?