Sports with Art Thiel

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?”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Associated Press

Seattle may once again become a NBA city, but we’ll have to steal a team to do it.

“The diabolical nature of pro sports means that you have to do bad unto others as they have done bad unto you,” said KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. “And it puts the city of Seattle in the same business of ruthless poacher, pirate, stealer of another city.”

In other words, it’s déjà vu all over again for a city that had its team – the Sonics – ripped from its collection of pro sports.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Darren Abate / AP Photo

Being part of the highest-scoring bowl game in history was hardly a distinction for University of Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt. 

The 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl was the last in a series of defensive flops that cost him his job.

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.

Tony Gutierrez / AP Photo

The Washington Huskies travel to San Antonio Friday in preparation for the Alamo Bowl next week. They play Baylor on Thursday, Dec. 29.

Baylor is favored by nine points. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel thinks the spread should be much more than that.

University of Washington Alumni Association

The Washington Huskies will spend the holiday preparing for their second bowl game in two years. They face the Baylor Bears in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

They started the season 2-6. But a big change in offense and the explosive play of running back Marshawn Lynch have the Seahawks looking at a possible playoff berth.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seahawks' late-season winning streak is keeping their hopes alive for making the playoffs. A lot of things have to happen first, but there's a sliver of hope they'll make it to the post-season for the second year in a row.

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.

Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

He coached Texas Tech to 10 bowl games in 10 years. That's the winning record that Mike Leach brings to Washington State University as the new head football coach.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says he also comes with controversy.

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