Author: Art Thiel

Never having met a metaphor he could not twist beyond recognition, Art has been illuminating, agitating, amusing and annoying Puget Sound sports readers for a long time. Along with Steve Rudman, he co-founded Sports Press Northwest because it didn’t seem right that the Google monster should aggregate daily journalism into oblivion without at least a flesh wound from somebody. Thiel and Rudman labored under the Seattle Post-Intelligencer globe until the print edition died an undeserved death in March, 2009. Art continued on at its online successor seattlepi.com while working on SPNW’s creation. His radio commentaries can be heard Friday and Saturday mornings and Friday afternoon on KPLU-FM 88.9. In 2003 he wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with 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.

Dylan Moore’s eighth-inning grand slam delivered an absurd win for the Mariners. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest file The sequence would have been sweet against any opponent. Since it was the Houston Astros, baseball’s loathsome varmints who are also perhaps the game’s best, the sugar overload from the Mariners’ Monday night preposterousness was a threat to every pancreas gland in Pugetopolis. To be down 7-0 and to win 11-8 (box) on a grand slam by a backup guy, Dylan Moore, batting .188, well, it was the living perambulation of the dream of every seven-year-old who sleeps in his uniform.

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Marco Gonzales is starting regain the form that made him the Mariners’ No. 1 starter. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest file They are superstar-free. They have no dominant personalities. They remain last in MLB in batting average. Their one stat leader is Ty France, tied for most times hit by pitch (16). They have lost games 16-1 and 12-1. They have been no-hit twice. They have had two episodes of COVID-19 that cost games from contributors. They have used 54 players, the MLB high, because of a heavily populated injury list. They are the only team to lose a pitcher…

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Matthew Beniers was a freshman star at Michigan, and may want to return to Ann Arbor for a shot at an NCAA title. / University of Michigan Anyone who questions the hockey toughness of a 175-pound 18-year-old who’s smart enough to gain admission to Harvard needs to understand that Matthew Beniers of Boston knows how to deliver a blow. Asked what he knew of Seattle, the Kraken’s newest player said, smiling, “You kind of gave us that Super Bowl.” Oof. Before Seattle sports fans consign Beniers to a lifetime in the sin bin for slashing their hearts, he insisted, “I…

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The 2021-22 schedule has a hard start for the Kraken. As if the grind to franchise launch hasn’t been sufficiently stout, the Kraken’s toil grew a bit more Thursday. The release of the 2020-21 NHL schedule of 82 games shows a five-match road trip in eight days that precedes the home opener at Climate Pledge Arena (not Climate Change Arena, as Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday) against the Vancouver Canucks Oct. 23. Though not totally unexpected, it makes clear that the complicated arena build-out, delayed by the pandemic, will have done no favors for a fledging team that has never…

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Former Florida Panthers goalie Chris Driedger is interviewed at Gasworks Park while the Lake Union fireboat expresses approval. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwest The NHL expansion franchise is Tod Leiweke’s third in Seattle, following the turnaround of the NFL Seahawks and the founding of the MLS Sounders, both considered resounding successes. After Seattle, his NHL Tampa Bay Lightning seems to have done well lately, winning the past two Stanley Cups, although his tenure as consigliere there ended in 2015. He left to be chief operating officer of the NFL, which you may have heard has had some success. But after…

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Slightly photoshopped representation from Seattle’s Lake Union Wednesday. In the NHL expansion draft Wednesday, the first-year Kraken were allowed to take one player from each of the 30 teams (fellow expansionist Las Vegas was exempt) and had to select at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders. General Manager Ron Francis, assistant GMs Ricky Olczyk and Jason Botterill and Director of Hockey Research and Strategy Alexandra Mandrycky spent the past two years planning for Monday’s release of each club’s list of unprotected players, and the past 72 hours making decisions. Their 30 selections, which include Stanley Cup champions from each of the past three seasons (Vince Dunn, 2018-19 with St. Louis; Yanni Gourde,…

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Sue Bird is seeking her fifth Olympics gold medal in Tokyo. / Lorie Staull, Wiki Commons Because it is voted on by fellow Olympians, few sports honors are more meaningful that the one given Sue Bird in Tokyo Wednesday — flag-bearer for the U.S. delegation in the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics. The Seattle Storm star shares the honor with two-sport Olympic athlete Eddy Alvarez, a member of the U.S. baseball team who won a silver medal with the four-man short-track speedskating team in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

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Mariners OF Jake Fraley is unvaccinated and now in the Covid-19 protocol. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest For a period on the sports calendar that is typically sleepy — ahead of the start of training camps for pro and (formerly) amateur football — times are tense. Covid-19 again is the source, and human foolishness is mostly the driver. Just when we thought it was safe to drop the mask . . . The largest stage, the opening this week of the Summer Olympics, already set back a year, and now devoid of spectators, as well as unwanted by a majority…

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As you can see, a little town in the B.C. wilds is proud of one of its own. / britishcolumbia.com For many of you who are fans of obscure Canadian wilderness geography like me, you probably know that Anahim Lake is deep in the central British Columbia boonies, on Highway 20 about halfway between Williams Lake in the east and the port town of Bella Coola in the west. If you are a muscular seagull with ambition, fly due north from Forks for a few days, and you’re there. The freshwater fishing, I’m told, is great. If you are, like…

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Richard Sherman, with attorney Cooper Offenbecher, listen to Judge Lisa Paglisotti in King County District Court Friday. / via KING5 A man of many thoughtful words — as well as some regrettable ones — Richard Sherman was selected by Time magazine in 2014 for its list of 100 most influential people. Never has the former Seahawks star expressed words more influential, for him, than a sentence in a tweet he published a little before noon Friday: “The importance of mental and emotional health is extremely real and I vow to get the help I need.”

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