Seattle Mariners

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

"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.

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.

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.

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.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

There were some bright spots in the local sports scene in 2011. But not many. Find out what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel named as the high points and low points of the year.

The Mariners' division rivals, the Angels, made a big move this week. They signed free agent slugger Albert Pujols from the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-year contract worth more than $250 million.

There's another big-hitting free agent who's still available: Prince Fielder. The Mariners are among the teams interested in him. But can they pull it off?

"It makes it that much more difficult for everybody in our division."

The words of Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, reacting to news today that the division-rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have signed star free agent Albert Pujols. The Seattle Times reports the Angels signed Pujols to a 10-year contract worth a reported $250 million.

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.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Now that the dismal 2011 season has come to a close, we're looking ahead to what 2012 might hold for the Mariners.

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.

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.

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. 

Oran Viriyincy / Flickr

Starting tonight, it will be a busy next few days for sports enthusiasts – with Sounders’ soccer matches, Mariners’ baseball games, and the huge Rock ‘n Roll Marathon on Saturday, reports the Seattle Department of Transportation.

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.

Lenny Ignelzi / AP

The Mariners are firing on all cylinders these days, with great starting pitching, clutch hitting and good fielding. They enter this weekend's big series with the Yankees on a hot streak. But how long can it last?

Elaine Thompson / AP

"He's done." The words of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel when asked about the professional future of Milton Bradley. The Mariners cut ties with the controversial outfielder this week.

Known for his hot temper on and off the field, as well as other personal problems, Bradley has played for eight teams in his Major League career - five in five years. While you would think the Mariners are relieved to be rid of him, Art says there are no winners here.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The Mariners have said that 2011 is a rebuilding year. But, judging by recent attendance at Safeco Field, they're going to have to rebuild more than just the team. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the bond between the Mariners and their fans has been broken.

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.

Elaine Thompson / AP

There are a lot of unanswered questions and unresolved issues with Ken Griffey Jr.'s new job as special consultant with the Seattle Mariners. This follows his abrupt retirement in the middle of the season last year.

Charlie Riedel / AP

Junior is back.

Ken Griffey, Jr. is returning to the Seattle Mariners as a special consultant less than a year after abruptly retiring from baseball.

The Mariners made the announcement Tuesday morning.

Wikimedia.org

KPLU is taking part in the second annual Western States Public Radio Online Auction. This 10-day regional event brings public radio listeners, stations, and regional businesses together for a great cause…Supporting Public Broadcasting!

The bidding begins today, so register and bid now! You can browse through a wide variety of popular items, including today's featured item: Four (lower box) tickets to a 2011 Mariners game

You can register and start bidding now!

AP

The sudden death of Mariners' Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Niehaus last November left a huge void in the team's radio booth. It's a void that will be evident this weekend as fans flock to Safeco Field for Mariners FanFest - the annual meet-and-greet with players and team personnel.

Since there is no one voice that can replace Niehaus, the Mariners have decided to use five this season. 

AP Images

The Mariners have signed three veteran free agents in the past week.  But the news is not generating much excitement.  Sports commentator Art Thiel tells KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick that’s because the Mariners are embarking on a rebuilding year, which could have them entertaining offers for star pitcher Felix Hernandez. 

AP

The Seattle Mariners will hold a “Public Celebration of Life” for late broadcaster Dave Niehaus tomorrow.  Scheduled start is just after 1 p.m. Saturday at Safeco Field. 

Family, players and close associates will pay tribute to Niehaus, the only play-by-play announcer the team has ever had.  He died of a heart attack last month at the age of 75. 

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