Art Thiel

Sports Commentator

Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,”  which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between historylink.org and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.

A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University as well as two dead papers and a live one, the News Tribune of Tacoma, he has become a fan of entrepreneurial online journalism because it allows him to continue a lifelong passion to take the English language to places it rarely visits willingly, and does not involve the cleaning of kennels or stables.

Kirsten Kendrick's Q. & A. with Thiel can be heard every Friday during M.E. at 5:35am and 7:35am and again that same day on ATC at 4:45pm. It also airs Saturday at 6:35am and 9:35am.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri July 18, 2014

'It's About To Be The Greatest Time': 4 Reasons Seattle Fans Should Get Excited

Russell Wilson and Seattle Seahawks accepts the award for best team at the ESPY Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, in Los Angeles.
John Shearer Invision/AP Photo

From Seattle Sounders players shining at the World Cup to four Mariners in the All-Star game, to the Seahawks winning best team in sports at the ESPY Awards, Seattle sports fans have lots of reasons to smile lately.

And come September, says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel, those smiles may turn into tears of joy.

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Sports with Art Thiel
7:25 am
Fri July 11, 2014

The Mariners Need More Kyle Seagers

Kyle Seager, left, is congratulated by Robinson Cano on his home run against the Boston Red Sox last month in Seattle. Some say Seager’s performance in that series helped him get selected to this year’s All-Star game.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Major League Baseball’s All-Star game is Tuesday in Minneapolis, with the winning league gaining home-field advantage in the World Series. Three Mariners will play for the American League: All-Star veterans Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez and first-time All-Star Kyle Seager.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Mariners could use more players like Seager — homegrown and hitting the ball.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Why The Mariners Are So Good Right Now: Meet The Surprising Newcomers

Kyle Seager connects for an RBI double against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning Tuesday, July 1, 2014, in Houston.
Pat Sullivan AP Photo

The Mariners are going for their fifth series win in a row, taking on the White Sox in Chicago this weekend. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Mariners have been on fire recently, particularly at the plate.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

As U.S. Advances, Rising Sounder Yedlin's Journey To 1st World Cup Extended

United States' national soccer team player DeAndre Yedlin arrives at the Sao Paulo International airport in Brazil, Monday, June 9, 2014.
Nelson Antoine AP Photo

The U.S. Men's National Soccer Team will take on Belgium next Tuesday in the knockout round of the World Cup. The U.S. men weren't expected to get past the so-called Group of Death. But they did, and they did it with the help of Seattle's own DeAndre Yedlin, a World Cup rookie.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

With Win Over Ghana, U.S. An Unlikely Star In World Cup's 'Grand Theater'

USMNT captain and Sounders star Clint Dempsey celebrates after scoring the opening goal in the first 30 seconds of play during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the U.S. in Natal, Brazil, Monday. The U.S. won the match 2-1.
Ricardo Mazalan AP Photo

World Cup fever seems to have swept much of the nation, especially after the U.S. beat Ghana 2-1 on Monday. The U.S. men’s national team is led by captain and Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey, who scored the first goal in the first 30 seconds of the match.

As U.S. prepares to take on Portugal on Sunday afternoon, sports commentator Art Thiel says the team's win has changed the expected narrative of the World Cup, or what Art calls "grand theater."

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Would Sterling Lawsuit Expose NBA Secrets?

Sam Wright protests against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, outside Staples Center before Game 5 of the Clippers' opening-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors in April in Los Angeles.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP Photo

The $2 billion sale of the L.A. Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is in limbo. Embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling is moving forward with his lawsuit against the NBA, saying he was forced unfairly to sell the team after his racist comments were made public.

Sterling this week called the NBA "a band of hypocrites and bullies" and "despicable monsters." And the Associated Press reports he's now hired several private investigators to dig up dirt on NBA commissioners and his fellow owners.

Does the NBA have anything to hide? KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there's a crack in the NBA's case.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Sounders Head Into World Cup Break On Top With Two Players On National Team

The Sounders’ Chad Barrett, right, celebrates with teammates Marco Pappa and Obafemi Martins, (9) after Barrett scored a goal against Real Salt Lake Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Seattle. Pappa and Martins also had goals as the Sounders beat RSL 4-0.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders are on top of the Major League Soccer standings heading into Saturday’s game against the Fire in Chicago. Then they’re off for three weeks while the World Cup is played in Brazil.

Two Sounders players are on the men’s national team, which has taken them away from MLS play recently. But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Sounders have sufficient depth on their team to handle it.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Ballmer Reaches Deal To Buy Clippers For $2 Billion, Won't Move Them To Seattle

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2014, photo, then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, left, shakes hands with former NBA players Bill Russell, right, and "Downtown" Freddie Brown as Omar Lee looks on during an NCAA college basketball game.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly reached a deal to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Sources told ESPN and other media that the agreement was signed Thursday night by the family trust of embattled owner Donald Sterling and has been sent to the NBA for final approval.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it’s not good news for Seattle.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Will Hockey Win? New Developments In NHL's Race With NBA To Seattle

Blake Wile Flickr

A recent visit by the head of the National Hockey League has people in Seattle once again talking about whether the NHL will beat the NBA to town. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that's "score one" for the hockey execs.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Speed And Strength: Closer Look At Seahawks' New Rookies

Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson makes a catch during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.
Michael Conroy AP Photo

The Seahawks are putting their new drafted and undrafted rookies to the test in a mini-camp this weekend in Renton. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there are several standouts who could help the Seahawks be as good as they were last year.  

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Richard Sherman Deal 'Deserved,' 'Part Of The Game'

Richard Sherman addresses a news conference at the team's headquarters in Renton. Sherman signed a four-year contract extension Wednesday, making him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Seahawks star Richard Sherman is now the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL after signing a $57 million, four-year contract extension this week.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel doesn't question the amount of the salary, but wonders what it might do to Sherman's performance on the field.

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Sports with Art Thiel
7:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

How Sterling Scandal Could Get Seattle's Ballmer Inside The NBA

Sam Wright protests against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, outside Staples Center before Game 5 of the Clippers' opening-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

Now that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million for racist comments that were made public, basketball fans in Seattle are wondering whether the Clippers might be sold and moved to the city.

"Almost zero chance. I don't see that happening," said KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. But he says there may be a chance for retired Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to get his foot in the door of the NBA.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Seahawks Surprises: Tough 2014 Schedule, Sherman Honored, Wilson To Divorce

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson drops back as Seahawks' Robert Turbin runs a pattern against the New Orleans Saints, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

It may be baseball season, but Seahawks fans are already thinking about football this fall. That's because the 2014 NFL schedule came out this week, but that's not the only reason.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri April 18, 2014

After Rocky Start, Sounders Star And Rapper Dempsey Finally Finds His Groove

Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey scores on a penalty kick to tie the game against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, April 5, 2014. He scored his first-ever hat trick in that game. The two teams tied 4-4.
Don Ryan AP Photo

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

Sounders star midfielder Clint Dempsey has made headlines recently. He scored his first-ever hat trick two weeks ago against Portland. Dempsey has scored a total of five goals in the past two games, earning back-to-back Player of The Week awards from Major League Soccer.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says things are finally coming together for Dempsey and the Sounders.

"Finally, it's happening. The investment is bearing fruit," Art said.

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

‘Superstar’ Cano Shows Leadership In Mariners' Strong Start

Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano looks up as he prepares to run onto the field for player introductions before the Mariners' baseball home-opener against the Los Angeles Angels, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel called the Mariners' $240 million, 10-year contract with Robinson Cano is "stupid, but necessary." He also said the Mariners were "not ready" for the regular season, plagued by injury and subpar performances in spring training.

But the Mariners have started the season with a bang, and that has Art — and many jaded fans — "letting a little hope in."

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