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.

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Sports with Art Thiel
11:19 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Hansen makes a compelling NBA arena case, KPLU's Art Thiel says

Screen shot of would-be arena builder Chris Hansen.

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?”

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Update: Seahawks will go after Peyton Manning

Quarterback Peyton Manning collects his thoughts during a news conference Wednesday, annoucing the end of his record-breaking career with the Indianapolis Colts.
Michael Conroy AP Photo

Seattle will be one of the teams trying to land Peyton Manning, a team source confirmed to the Seattle Times on Wednesday.

The Seahawks interest had been reported earlier by Peter King of Sports Illustrated, and the NFL Network said the Seahawks were preparing to reach out to Manning as soon as he was released by the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday, the Times wrote.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Gutierrez injury hurts Mariners in many ways

Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez bunts during spring training in Arizona last month.
Charlie Riedel AP Photo

"A strange episode of normalcy."

That's how KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel describes what caused the injury to Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez. It happened during a routine throw at spring training.

Gutierrez is out for at least a month - maybe longer - with a partially torn pectoral muscle. Art says it's just the latest piece of negative news for the Mariners, as the team begins its 2012 exhibition season Friday.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Preview: Gutierrez injury a 'big blow' for Mariners

Franklin Gutierrez in action in 2011.
Ben Margot AP Photo

The Mariners start exhibition play Friday. But they'll do it without starting center fielder Franklin Gutierrez. He's out for at least a month with a partial tear of his pectoral muscle.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel talks about what this means for the start of the Mariners season, coming up tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Ichiro lineup move necessary...but Chone Figgins leading off?

Ichiro Suzuki at batting practice during Mariners spring training in Peoria, Arizona, last weekend.
Charlie Riedel AP Photo

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel called for it last season. And now the Mariners have made it official. They announced this week that long-time leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki has been moved to No. 3 in the lineup.

But the player the Mariners chose to replace Ichiro in the top spot has left a lot of fans scratching their heads.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Preview: Change in status, style for Ichiro

Ichiro Suzuki waits his turn at batting practice during spring training this year in Peoria, Arizona.
Charlie Riedel AP Photo

When the Mariners regular season opens in late March, Ichiro Suzuki will not be in the top spot in the batting order. And that's not the only change we're hearing about for Ichiro this week.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Proposed arena deal good news for city, Sonics fans

Sonics fans pack a news conference to hear the announcement of a proposed arena deal that would bring the NBA back to Seattle and give the city a hockey team as well.
Monica Spain KPLU

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel likes what he's hearing about a proposed arena deal in Seattle.

The goal is to return the NBA to Seattle and bring the city a professional hockey team with a new arena to be built in the city's SoDo district. The project would be self-funded and not rely on new taxes.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Arena, NBA team still a long way away for Seattle - despite the hype

Lunging toward Seattle? Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins dives to save the ball in a game on Wednesday.
The Associated Press

There has been a lot of buzz this week following the news that the city of Seattle has been in discussions with a potential investor for a new arena.

With property purchased just south of the already existing baseball and football stadiums by this investor, and the Sacremento Kings basketball team seemingly on the brink of leaving town, many people have become excited at the possibility that Seattle could see a new team, and perhaps a professional hockey team sooner than later.

Art Thiel doesn't see that happening any time soon.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Super Bowl preview: There's no sense in trying to predict

Zip-line riders finish their ride down the line over part of the Super Bowl Village on Thursday in Indianapolis. The New England Patriots are scheduled to face the New York Giants in NFL football's Super Bowl XLVI Feb. 5.
The Associated Press

The Seattle Seahawks will be watching the Super Bowl this weekend from the sidelines, as the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants. The Seahawks manhandled the Giants during the regular season, but went on to finish with a losing record while the Giants made an amazing season-ending run.

How did this happen? Art Thiel tells us that if you try to predict the outcome of an entire season based on a small sample of it, you usually end up wrong.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

No Prince Fielder, but the Mariners could make some progress

Detroit Tigers president, CEO and general manager Dave Dombrowski, left, helps new Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder with his uniform as team owner Mike Ilitch looks on during a baseball news conference at Comerica Park in Detroit on Thursday.
The Associated Press

The Mariners, not surprisingly, missed out on Prince Fielder but that Detroit shelled out the big bucks for him did surprise KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. Nevertheless, things are looking up for the Mariners, from the stand point of bringing on a new player who can hit the ball, but the problem could be catching it.

Other than that, "it doesn't look like there is any reason other than the usual, standard, every year 'You gotta have hope' for a fan base that has been told that for a decade and has seen very little to come out of it," Art said.

Click the Listen button above for the rest of the interview.

Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Swing and a miss? Mariners don't get much in Pineda trade to Yankees

Now-former Mariner pitcher Michael Pineda throws against the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (another former Mariner) in May of last year. Pineda will now pitch for the Yankees.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

We get a bat, but not much else. That's what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has to say about the Mariners trading starting pitcher Michael Pineda to the Yankees in exchange for hot young hitter Jesus Montero.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Preview: Pineda out, Montero in for Mariners

Michael Pineda pitching for the Mariners last June against the White Sox. He's been traded to the Yankees for catcher and slugger Jesus Montero.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP Photo

He was a fan favorite last year. Now he's a Yankee. The Mariners have traded starting pitcher Michael Pineda for Yankees catcher Jesus Montero.

The reason appears to be Montero's bat. He impressed a lot of people at the plate last season.

Find out if KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is impressed with the trade, tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Cost too great for Seahawks to go for Heisman winner

Robert Griffin III in action for Baylor. Art Thiel says he's one of the greatest athletes he's ever seen, but says the cost would be too great for the Seahawks to try to draft him in April.
Sharon Ellman AP File Photo

The NFL draft isn't until April, but a lot of Seahawks fans are talking about it this week. That's because Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III announced he's skipping his final college season to enter the draft. 

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Seahawks have a very slim chance of drafting Griffin, if they make a bunch of concessions to move up in the trade order. But he says it's not worth it.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Preview: How much is a top quarterback pick worth to the Seahawks?

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III shakes hands with Baylor head coach Art Briles after Griffin announced Wednesday that he would skip his senior year and enter the NFL draft. Do the Seahawks have a chance of getting him? Art Thiel says it's slim.
Tony Gutierrez AP Photo

Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III announced this week he was skipping his senior year and entering the NFL draft. That got a lot of Seahawks fans wondering whether the team would make a play for him.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Will UW football changes be enough for a challenging 2012?

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is pursued by Washington's Josh Shirley during the Alamo Bowl Thurs., Dec. 29, 2011. The Husky defense gave up 67 points in the game. It was the final straw that led to the firing of defensive coordinator Nick Holt.
Darren Abate AP Photo

After an embarrassing 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl, the Washington Huskies have made big changes to their defensive coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Nick Holt was fired, along with the team's linebackers and safeties coaches.

Two coaches with ties to the Northwest were hired from Tennessee. But will it be enough to help the Huskies face what promises to be a very tough schedule in 2012?

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