Sports with Art Thiel

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

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

There has been a lot of excitement so far in the early rounds of the Major League Baseball playoffs, and much of that has been provided by former Seattle Mariner players. As sports commentator Art Thiel explains to KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt, the sight of players leaving Seattle to flourish on other teams has become far too common for fans over the years. To hear the discussion, click the "Listen" button above.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Despite modest improvement this year, the Mariners end the season last in the American League West for the third year in a row.

And that's not the end of the frustration for Mariners fans, according to KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.

Stephen Brashear / AP Photo

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has a bone to pick with some Seahawks fans. He's baffled by the action of several season ticket holders following the Seahawks' controversial victory over the Green Bay Packers Monday night, at the hands of replacement referees.

Kevin P. Casey / AP Photo

In a city that's known for being passive-aggressive, it might sound funny to some Seattleites to hear their football team described as simply aggressive. Some are calling the team "a bunch of thugs" after their rout of the Cowboys last Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel finds humor in the Seahawks' tough new reputation.

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A revised agreement for a new Seattle sports arena that was unveiled this week got people talking again about the future of KeyArena. As part of the amended deal with lead investor Chris Hansen, the city negotiated $7 million for upgrades to KeyArena and a study about its future.

That future may not include the Seattle Storm, according to KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.

Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

When it comes to getting their hopes up early on in the season for any Seattle sports team, many fans instead put up their defenses. That may be happening to some people in the wake of the Seahawks' perfect preseason record of 4-0.

As the Hawks gear up for the start of the regular season Sunday in Arizona, some fans are keeping the team at arms' length. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why.

AP Photo

The Seahawks are preparing for their season opener on Sunday in Arizona. They went 4-0 in the preseason - only the second perfect preseason in team history.

But not everyone is celebrating that feat. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will explain why tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Elaine Thompson / AP File Photo

The Washington Huskies begin the 2012 football season Saturday night against San Diego State. UW will face four Top 20 teams in the first six weeks of the season.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says a tough schedule is not the only obstacle the Huskies face this year.

Darren Abate / AP Photo

The Washington Huskies ended their season last year with a 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl. As they gear up for 2012, they face an even tougher schedule. UW opens the season Saturday night vs. San Diego State.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will have more on the Huskies stiff competition this season, coming up tomorrow morning at 5:30 and 7:30 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Mariners take their eight-game winning streak to Chicago this weekend for a series with the White Sox.

It's their longest winning streak in five years. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's significant in more ways than one.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Mariners are on a winning streak the likes of which fans haven't seen since 2007. Eight games and counting.

It's definitely been a team effort. The Mariners' offense has finally come alive to match their stellar pitching and great fielding.

KPLU commentator Art Thiel will talk about the significance of the streak 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

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel had a feeling that Wednesday's Mariners game was going to be special. And that feeling was confirmed once Felix Hernandez started dominating on the mound.

"I tweeted out in the seventh inning 'If you can get off work and get down here, be here...because history is about to happen.' And it sure did."

The perfect game that followed was a first for Felix and the Mariners.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Felix Hernandez and Mariners fans are still savoring the perfect game that he pitched yesterday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field.

There are a lot of interesting facts surrounding Felix's perfect game, which was the first in Mariners' history.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will share his thoughts on the milestone tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Joan Robinett-Wilson

Take a large foam tennis ball, stuff a rattle in it and play a repetitive chirp to orient a person who can't see and you have the elements of a game of tennis for the blind and visually impaired. 

That's what 15 tennis players from Snohomish High School did during one week this summer for a handful of sightless kids ready to try something new.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seahawks open their preseason Saturday night with a home game against former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and the Tennessee Titans.

This comes just days after the Hawks named their new starting quarterback - former Green Bay backup Matt Flynn - and signed controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens had his first official workout with the Seattle Seahawks yesterday, after agreeing to a one-year deal with the team this week.

The often outspoken player who's clashed with players and coaches in the past told the media that he's changed his ways.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will discuss the "T.O. effect" on the team tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

So they CAN hit. That's what a lot fans are saying about the Mariners these days after the team has won seven games in a row - their longest winning streak in five years.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel shares his thoughts on the timing of the streak and what it means.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

In a season where fans are used to the opposite trend, the Mariners have now won seven games in a row. That hasn't happened in awhile. The Mariners actually have the second best record in the American League since the All-Star break.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is pleased with the progress. He says the Mariners' young hitters are becoming as consistent as the pitchers.

Find out more of what Art has to say tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

For many Mariners fans, the surprising news of Ichiro Suzuki's trade to the Yankees is still sinking in. Now comes word that another big name could be leaving the team next week.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel talks about why it wasn't too hard to say goodbye to Ichiro...and who might be next.

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.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch's latest brush with the law could keep him from playing in some games next season. He plans to plead not guilty to a DUI charge that resulted from an arrest in his hometown of Oakland, Calif., over the weekend.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says a new NFL crackdown on misbehavior could lead to a suspension - even before the matter is resolved in court.

AP Photo

Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch has now officially been charged with driving under the influence, following his arrest over the weekend in his hometown of Oakland, Calif. His lawyer says he will plead not guilty at his arraignment next month.

This is not Lynch's first run in with the law. And he's one of several NFL players arrested this offseason.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel shares his thoughts on the issue tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

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David J. Phillip / AP Images

If the backers of a plan to build a new sports arena in Seattle's SoDo area are successful, they'll be looking to attract both a professional hockey club and a professional basketball team as marquis tenants.

Seattle and King County lawmakers are poring over the proposal's details. In the coming weeks they'll cast votes on the arena plan, its call for up to $200 million in public bonds (to be paired with $300 million in private funds), a plan championed by investor Chris Hansen.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Mariners are heading into next week's All-Star break as the worst team in the American League. And they're farther behind first place than any other team in baseball.

One bright spot: Mariners star pitcher Felix Hernandez is pitching in the All-Star game on July 10 in Kansas City. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there's not much else for fans to look forward to this season.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Heading into next week's All-Star break, the Mariners have the worst record in the American League and are farther behind first place than any other team.

Will the July 31 trade deadline offer any relief? Can the younger players on the team deliver in the second half of the season?

Find out what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel thinks 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

The Seattle Sounders limp into Portland Sunday for a big rivalry match against the Timbers. They're experiencing their longest winless streak since their expansion year of 2009.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Sounders need an attitude adjustment if they hope to beat Portland and move one step closer to the coveted Cascadia Cup.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The Seattle Sounders are winless in their last six Major League Soccer matches, playing to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night against Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

That's not the best record to bring into a heated regional rivalry with the Portland Timbers on Sunday, as both team vie for the coveted Cascadia Cup.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will have more on this tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Lindsay Lowe / KPLU

The revelation of big local backers. A huge fan rally. A high-profile meeting with the commissioner of the NBA. It all happened this week as supporters of the Seattle arena proposal get ready for key city and county committee hearings next week.

The opposition is heating up as well.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A planned rally for Sonics fans at 4 p.m. today in Occidental Park is perhaps taking on even more significance, with word this week that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom family are among the investors behind the plan to bring the Sonics back to Seattle with a proposed new arena.

Corky Trewin / AP Photo

Brian Banks is not a bitter man. He has a right to be - after serving five years in prison and five on probation for a rape he didn't commit. But he says he wants to focus on his future.

Banks was cleared of the charges just two weeks ago, after his accuser recanted her story. Now, the Seahawks are giving the former high school football standout a shot at his dream. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel was at Seahawks headquarters Thursday, where Banks tried out for the team.

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