Ichiro Suzuki

Ben Gibbard, the man behind indie rock darlings Death Cab for Cutie, has been a Seattle Mariners fan since he was five-years-old, and is such an Ichiro Suzuki devotee he wrote a song about the outfielder.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A lot of people are wondering what's next for the Mariners, now that the face of the franchise - Ichiro Suzuki - has been traded to the Yankees.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel shares his thoughts on why it wasn't too difficult to say goodbye to Ichiro, and why next week might bring even more heartbreak for fans.

That's tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 FM KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images

Baseball fans love perfect moments.

-- Babe Ruth hitting his "called shot."

-- Ted Williams homering in his last at-bat (and not tipping his cap).

-- Willie Mays and "the catch."

Elaine Thompson / AP

Ichiro Suzuki is going to the Yankees, confirms KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. 

“The Mariners have been spared huge ugliness,” Thiel said. "He wanted out of Seattle and Seattle fans wanted him gone, I think, largely because he was not productive for the salary he was making and was in the way of younger players."

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.

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?

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.

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.

Kevin P. Casey / AP Photo

The Mariners had a dismal 2011 season. They lost more than 90 games for the third time in four years. Attendance hit a new low at Safeco Field.

Now that the season is over, fans are looking ahead to 2012 with a little more optimism. The team has made a lot of young acquisitions who look promising. But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says some old problems remain.

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.

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.

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. 

Lenny Ignelzi / AP

The Mariners are making some changes to their starting lineup as the 2011 season gets underway. Will it bring them better luck than last year's losing season?

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is skeptical, but he says there are some bright spots coming out of spring training.