Art Thiel

Sports Commentator

Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,”  which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between historylink.org and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.

A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University as well as two dead papers and a live one, the News Tribune of Tacoma, he has become a fan of entrepreneurial online journalism because it allows him to continue a lifelong passion to take the English language to places it rarely visits willingly, and does not involve the cleaning of kennels or stables.

Kirsten Kendrick's Q. & A. with Thiel can be heard every Friday during M.E. at 5:35am and 7:35am and again that same day on ATC at 4:45pm. It also airs Saturday at 6:35am and 9:35am.

Ways To Connect

Ted S. Warren / AP

The Seattle Sounders are winless in their last six Major League Soccer matches, playing to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night against Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

That's not the best record to bring into a heated regional rivalry with the Portland Timbers on Sunday, as both team vie for the coveted Cascadia Cup.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will have more on this tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Lindsay Lowe / KPLU

The revelation of big local backers. A huge fan rally. A high-profile meeting with the commissioner of the NBA. It all happened this week as supporters of the Seattle arena proposal get ready for key city and county committee hearings next week.

The opposition is heating up as well.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A planned rally for Sonics fans at 4 p.m. today in Occidental Park is perhaps taking on even more significance, with word this week that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom family are among the investors behind the plan to bring the Sonics back to Seattle with a proposed new arena.

Corky Trewin / AP Photo

Brian Banks is not a bitter man. He has a right to be - after serving five years in prison and five on probation for a rape he didn't commit. But he says he wants to focus on his future.

Banks was cleared of the charges just two weeks ago, after his accuser recanted her story. Now, the Seahawks are giving the former high school football standout a shot at his dream. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel was at Seahawks headquarters Thursday, where Banks tried out for the team.

Tony Gutierrez / AP Photo

The Mariners 21-8 victory over the Rangers this week is something to be celebrated. But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's also an example of the extremes the team has experienced this season.

Tony Gutierrez / AP Photo

The Mariners routed the Texas Rangers last night 21-8. Justin Smoak hit two three-run homers against his former team and the Mariners had two eight-run innings. Jesus Montero homered among his three hits and drove in four runs. And Kyle Seager had four hits and two RBIs.

It was their second win in a row against the AL West-leading Rangers. And you can certainly say the Mariners have been "streaky" lately.

Bob Leverone / AP File Photo

"Talented, but arrogant."

That's how KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel describes the player the Seahawks traded for this week.

Kellen Winslow Jr. is an outspoken tight end from Tampa Bay. And Seahawks coach Pete Carroll thinks he can 'fix him.'

Bob Leverone / AP File Photo

Just a few weeks after their surprising selection of troubled defensive end Bruce Irvin in the first round of the NFL draft, the Seahawks have announced a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for outspoken tight end Kellen Winslow Jr..

He's a talented player but has an extensive injury history and has often butted heads with his coaches.

Find out what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel thinks about the deal tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The proposal to build a new sports arena in Seattle is now open to public scrutiny now that the City of Seattle and King County have formalized their agreement with lead investor Chris Hansen.  The next step is to gain approval from the city and county councils.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why he thinks the plan should move forward.

Jose Luis Magana / AP Photo

The success of the Seattle Storm has led to some pretty high-profile women's basketball events being held in the city. One of them is Saturday night at KeyArena.

The U.S. Women's National team will play the Chinese Women's National team in an exhibition game at 7:30 p.m. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says this is a big deal for fans of women's basketball and for the city.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo

The U.S. Women’s National Basketball team will play a special exhibition game on Saturday night at KeyArena in Seattle against the Chinese Women’s National basketball team. Current Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird and former Storm player Swin Cash will play for the U.S. team.

Gregory Bull / AP Photo

Just days after the suicide of retired NFL star Junior Seau, a lot of people are wondering whether the head injuries he suffered on the field may have played a role in his death.

Gregory Bull / AP Photo

The tragic death of NFL star Junior Seau has raised some questions about whether the hard hits he was involved in on the field somehow contributed to his apparent suicide.

The body of the 43-year-old linebacker was found Wednesday. Authorities say he left a note, although the contents of the note have not been revealed. Police have confirmed that Seau was shot in the chest. Does that mean he wanted his brain to be preserved for research, similar to the wishes of another former player who recently killed himself?

Michael Switzer / AP File Photo

He's everything the Seahawks said they wanted in their first round draft pick. West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin has speed and can deliver one heck of a sack. But he also comes with some baggage.

Dave Martin / AP

The Seahawks made a surprise choice for their first round pick in the NFL draft Thursday night.

They chose Bruce Irvin, a 6-3, 248-pound defensive end from West Virginia. He's fast - dazzling scouts with a 4.5-second time in the 40 yard dash. But he also has a troubled past.

AP Photo

"It's only going to get worse."

Those are the words of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel regarding traffic in Seattle's SoDo district.

Members of the King County Council this week echoed concerns raised by the Mariners, the Port of Seattle and many SoDo businesses that a third arena in the area would create huge traffic nightmares. Not that there aren't any of those already.

Lana_aka_BADGRL / Flickr

Members of the King County Council this week raised concerns about a proposed new arena in Seattle's SoDo district. Among the concerns is increased traffic - the same reason the Mariners, Port of Seattle and many SoDo businesses have come out against the idea of building third arena in the area.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel shares his insight on this issue tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Ed Clemente

It's payback time. That's what a lot of Seattle Sounders FC fans are saying about Saturday's matchup with the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field.

It's the first time they will be able to voice their opposition to Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan's vicious tackle last season of one of the Sounders' best players, Steve Zakuani. The hit left Zakuani with a broken leg as well as muscle and nerve damage from which he's still recovering.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says Sounders fans have a right to be angry and a right to voice that anger on Saturday - but he warns against going too far.

Jack Dempsey / AP Photo

A controversial sports figure comes to Seattle Saturday. Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan will appear before Sounders fans for the first time since breaking the leg of popular midfielder Steve Zakuani last season.

Colin E. Braley / AP Photo

They were the top two players on the University of Washington basketball team this season. They weren't able to get the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament, but sophomore Terrence Ross and freshman Tony Wroten are nonetheless leaving UW to enter the NBA draft.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says only one of them is ready.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

They were certainly stars this season. But is that enough? Freshman Tony Wroten and sophomore Terrence Ross both announced this week that they're leaving the University of Washington to enter the NBA draft.

Find out what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel thinks about their decision tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Itsuo Inouye / AP Photo

The Mariners return from Japan Friday with one win and one loss under their belt, following the two-game series with the A's in Tokyo that kicked off their 2012 season.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says, overall, the trip was a success. He spent the week with the team in Japan.

The Associated Press

TOKYO — Now he shows us.

In a game postponed from nine years ago, played 4,800 miles from where he’s hit leadoff for the last 11 years, following up an idea started eight years ago, Ichiro revealed himself to be baseball’s greatest No. 3 hitter.

Ben VanHouten / Mariners

ISHINOMAKI, Japan – Busing swiftly through the detritus of devastation is hardly a good way to get a feeling for the loss, in the space of a few hours, of about 20,000 people from a town of 160,000.

But then, what is a good way to comprehend  the unimaginable?

Matt Ludtke / AP

Seahawks fans like what they're hearing about new quarterback Matt Flynn. Team leaders touted his skills and leadership ability this week.

While the Seahawks welcome an important new player, a veteran player for the Mariners is preparing for a huge homecoming in Japan. 

Matt Ludtke / AP

Fan excitement is building for the Seahawks new quarterback Matt Flynn. Will he really have to compete for the job of starter?

Matt Ludtke / AP Photo

It's up in the air who will be the starting quarterback for the Seahawks next season. The Hawks are said to still be searching for their next star. Will they find him in the free agent pool?

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel breaks down the moves the Seahawks have made so far, and what might be in their future.

Matt York / AP Photo

With the signing of defensive end Red Bryant to a new, five-year contract this week, the Seahawks now have their two best free agent players locked up. Bryant's deal comes on the heels of star running back Marshawn Lynch signing a new contract with the team. 

So, what's next for the Seahawks in the offseason, now that it appears they're out of the running for quarterback Peyton Manning?

Goodbye Indianapolis, hello Seattle? The Seahawks confirm they're among the teams vying for Peyton Manning. / Nam Y. Huh

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel likes the idea of Peyton Manning coming to Seattle. He says the team and the city have a lot to offer him. And it goes without saying what he can offer the team - as long as he stays healthy.

For 45 minutes at City Hall Wednesday night, would-be arena mogul Chris Hansen calmly answered questions from politicians, bureaucrats and agency heads who reflected Seattle’s pain from repeatedly getting kicked in the bicuspids by pro sports owners, starting with the loss of the Seattle Pilots in 1970.

In the sometimes lame give-and-take, he made a point lightly understood but significant for grasping why his idea is different than those of his sporting predecessors more practiced in the art of shoe-leather dentistry.

“Our equity in this project is larger than the city (and county combined),” he said. “Are we going to risk a $600 million investment over a $2 million annual shortfall?”

Pages