Sports with Art Thiel

Kirsten Kendrick's weekly sports Q & A with Art Thiel.

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.

Julie Jacobson / AP

Whether you've been following the team for years or are just now jumping on the Vancouver Canucks' bandwagon, it's worth the ride. Those are the words of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel as the Canucks vie for their first-ever Stanley Cup title.

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?

David Wallace / AP

He started his NBA career in Seattle as an assistant public relations director for the SuperSonics. Now, Rick Welts is the president of the Phoenix Suns. And he recently revealed he's gay. He's the first person in men's team sports - executive or active player - to make such an admission.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has known Rick Welts for more than 30 years, from his time in Seattle. He shared some insight on Welts' struggle to reveal his sexual orientation in an industry that Art says has "a narrow definition of manliness that does not include being gay."

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.

File photo/Ted S. Warren / AP

Incredible. Unbelievable. Whopper-sized. Just some of the words used to describe the television deal announced this week by the new Pac-12 Conference. It's the biggest media rights contract in college sports history.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the deal may seem ridiculous to non-sports fans, but they too will benefit from it.

Evan Siegle/Pool photo / AP

Editor's Note: In the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, former Washington quarterback Jake Locker was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the No. 8 pick. The Seahawks chose James Carpenter, a tackle from Alabama, with the 25th overall pick.

If you watch any part of the NFL Draft over the next few days, chances are you'll hear the words "war room" to describe the place where team leaders huddle together to make their player selections.

The seemingly careless use of such a serious military term is a pet peeve of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. And he wants to start a campaign to abolish the use of the phrase in sports.

REUTERS / Robert Sorbo

How can you have a successful draft during a lockout? That's what the Seahawks are trying to figure out ahead of the 2011 draft, which begins Thurs., April 28.

Even as the current players are locked out, the Hawks are trying to decide who to add to the team. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the big question is, will they go for a quarterback?

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