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 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 5:45am and 7:45am and again that same day on ATC at 4:45pm. It also airs Saturday at 6:35am and 9:35am.

Ways To Connect

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

They may have won it all in 2010, but this year the Seattle Storm reverted back to their old habit of exiting the playoffs in the first round. They've done it six out of the last seven years.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says injuries and exhaustion were big factors.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

What a difference a year makes. They were the WNBA champs in 2010, but the Seattle Storm is already out of this year's playoffs. They were eliminated in the first round by the Phoenix Mercury Monday night at KeyArena.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

This might not be the best weekend to be a Seahawks or Husky fan. Both teams are big underdogs in road games against major football powerhouses.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel can't recall a time when both teams were so heavily favored to lose in the same weekend.

Elise Amendola / AP Photo

The Seattle Seahawks and Washington Huskies are poised to make rather dubious history this weekend. They're both underdogs in their respective football games. If the spreads hold true, it could be a grim weekend for football fans.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

If you're going to be bad, be really bad. That might be a good slogan for the Seahawks, as they start the regular season Sunday against the 49ers in San Francisco.

National media predictions say the Seahawks will be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that may be a good thing.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

There are a lot of new faces on the Seahawks this season. And that doesn't bode well for the team's chances. National media predict that the Seahawks will be one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2011.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says he's having a hard time arguing against that prediction.

Ted S. Warren / AP File Photo

The 2011 University of Washington football season kicks off Saturday with a game against Eastern Washington at Husky Stadium.

There will be a lot of changes this year. And KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that's a good thing.

Elaine Thompson / AP File Photo

University of Washington football fans are hoping for another bowl appearance this year. The Huskies open the 2011 season Saturday at home against Eastern Washington.

John Froschauer / AP Photo

"When you have two quarterbacks, you have none."

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel quoted that old sports adage a few weeks ago, when the Seahawks decided to pass on veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in favor of two relatively inexperienced QBs.

After two preseason games, some experts and fans are questioning whether the Seahawks made the right choice in deciding who would be their new starter.

John Froschauer / AP Photo

If you're a Seahawks fan, are you missing Matt Hasselbeck yet? The team declined to resign the veteran quarterback, prompting him to sign a three-year deal with the Tennessee Titans.

Instead, the Hawks are pinning their hopes on two quarterbacks this season – starter Tavaris Jackson and No. 2 guy Charlie Whitehurst. But neither is standing out during preseason play.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It's about time. That's what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says about all the young players the Mariners have acquired recently.

Art has said for years that the Mariners need to grow their own talent, rather than waste millions of dollars on veteran free agents who are often on the decline. And he says the fresh young faces are giving fans some excitement in an otherwise dismal season.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Mariners locker room is full of young faces these days. And KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that's a good thing.

University of Washington

The University of Washington said this week it's close to reaching its fundraising goal for renovating Husky Stadium. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says fans will benefit from this project, but don't have to pay for it.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

You have to give up a lot to get a lot. That's what sports analysts are saying about the choices the Mariners made at the trade deadline last weekend. They gave up four pitchers for six players. Starting pitcher Erik Bedard is now with the Boston Red Sox and starter Doug Fister is a Detroit Tiger.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the players the Mariners got in return look good on paper. But how will they look in the field and at the plate?

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Just who are these guys? Mariners fans might be asking that question about the players the team acquired in trades with Boston and Detroit. Those trades this weekend sent pitchers Erik Bedard, Doug Fister, David Pauley and Josh Fields packing. 

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel shares his insights on the new players, and when we might see them having an impact. That's coming up tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here tomorrow to find a blog of our conversation.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The football news came fast and furious this week. The NFL lockout ended. Training camp started. Players were released or signed by teams in a mad rush to prepare for a season that starts in just two weeks.

It was an intense period of personnel shuffling unprecedented in the NFL, and the Seahawks were right in the middle of it.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It's official today: Vince Young is out at quarterback for the Tennessee Titans and former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is in. Several media outlets are now reporting that Hasselbeck has agreed to a multi-year deal with the team.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

They Mariners have now lost 12 straight games, plummeting out of playoff contention for another season.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says desperate times call for desperate measures. That includes thinking seriously about trading Ichiro Suzuki or Felix Hernandez.

AP Photo

With Major League Baseball's trade deadline looming at the end of the month, and given the Mariners recent plummet from contention, KPLU sports commentator says the M's need to make some big moves.

That means getting rid of some veterans like Ichiro Suzuki and Felix Hernandez ... and their big salaries.

Adding urgency to this move, the Mariners got swept today by the Blue Jays in Toronto, losing 7-to-5. They're losing streak now stands at 12.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

She's dealt with a lot of drama on and off the soccer field. But former University of Washington star Hope Solo is at the top of her game as the United States Women's soccer team prepares to take on Japan for the World Cup title this Sunday.

Martin Meissner / AP Photo

She was a star at the University of Washington, and now goalie Hope Solo has been instrumental in getting the U.S. Women's Soccer Team to the World Cup final. After a dramatic shootout win over Brazil last weekend, the U.S. beat France Wednesday 3-1. Solo and the rest of her teammates will face Japan in the final on Sunday.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel met Hope Solo at the Beijing Olympics and will share some of his insights about her drive and determination tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here tomorrow for a blog of our conversation.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Two Mariner pitchers have been elected to the American League All-Star team. However, KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says, neither is expected to play in the game on Tuesday in Phoenix.

Adding insult to injury: One Mariner who's an All-Star veteran was left off the roster this year Ichiro Suzuki.

AP photo

For the first time in 10 years, the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki has not been selected for Major League Baseball's All-Star game, which takes place Tuesday, July 12, in Phoenix.

Mariner pitchers Felix Hernandez and Brandon League will represent the team (and rookie pitcher Michael Pineda may be a late add). But what does it mean that Ichiro won't be there? KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will talk about that Friday morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here tomorrow for the story of our conversation. 

Elaine Thompson / AP

"Your star player will be out for the rest of the season, and maybe the playoffs. Now ... SMILE!"

That was pretty much the scenario for members of the Seattle Storm this week when the 2010 WNBA champions were honored by President Obama at the White House.

As they were taking photos in the White House Rose Garden, most of the team learned that three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson – "the heart and soul of the Storm," according to KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel – was to have hip surgery. She's expected to be out up to three months.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

On the same day the members of the Seattle Storm were honored by President Obama at the White House, the ladies learned that teammate and three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson is having hip surgery today and will be out up to 12 weeks.

It's a blow to the team whose season has not gotten off to a great start. They were WNBA champions just a year ago. Can the Storm claim the title again this year – without a lot of help from Lauren Jackson?

Hear KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel's take on that tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on KPLU. And you'll find a blog of our conversation right here tomorrow morning as well. 

Duane Burleson / AP

He's not hitting or fielding well. His manager is losing patience. Fans are booing him. Yet, there's not much the Mariners can do about third baseman Chone Figgins. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the best thing to do is bench him.

Photo by Craig McCulloch / KPLU

It started out as remarkable, but ended in riots. The 2010-11 season for the Vancouver Canucks was one for the record books - in more ways than one.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the violence that occurred on the streets of downtown Vancouver after Game 7 was a bizarre end to the "strange" championship series between the Canucks and the Boston Bruins.

Craig McCulloch / KPLU

"This was one of the strangest seven-game series I've ever witnessed in any sport," said KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel, regarding the Boston Bruins defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-0, in Vancouver, to win the Stanley Cup.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Think of them as the nice cousins who live up North. That’s what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says of the Vancouver Whitecaps. They’re coming to Qwest Field in Seattle Saturday night to play the Sounders FC in the first Major League Soccer match-up between the two teams.

While the match will renew a longstanding regional soccer rivalry, Art says it’s hardly the same as the fierce rivalry Seattle has with its neighbors to the South – the Portland Timbers.

Associated Press

Another Major League Soccer regional rivalry match takes place Saturday at Qwest Field in Seattle, when the Sounders FC host the Vancouver Whitecaps.