From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Television ratings for baseball's division series are down from last year.The 18 games on TBS, with all four series going the distance, averaged a 2.4 rating. That's down 11 percent from the 2.7 for 19 games in 2011, when teams from larger markets made the playoffs. Three of the four series went the full five games last season.MLB Network aired playoff games for the first time this year. Its two division series broadcasts -- Game 2 of Detroit-Oakland and Game 3 of St. Louis-Washington -- averaged a network-record 1.2 million viewers, whereas two afternoon games on TBS last season averaged nearly twice that. MLB Network is in about 70 million homes to more than 100 million for TBS.Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program.
The San Jose Earthquakes cheated the reaper Sunday, which is news in and of itself. I mean, they’re a playoff team so rarely that getting to a 35th game is quite the achievement, and they should not begin the arduous process of sobering up until Tuesday morning.
I mean, their playoff game with Vancouver is Wednesday night, so slapping themselves back into form is probably a priority.
They got an improbable stoppage time goal from Marco Urena Sunday against Minnesota to sneak through the back door into the final Western Conference playoff spot Sunday, their first appearance in the postseason in five years. It was as electrifying a moment as Avaya Stadium has seen since it opened, and one of the best goals in franchise history if only for its importance.
That said, the Quakes also enter the postseason with a losing record (13-14-7) and the worst goal difference (minus-21) for any playoff team in league history. They are the most cinder-based of the league’s Cinderella stories, and are dismissed with prejudice by most observers as being as one-and-done as one-and-done can be without being none-and-done.
This is a league, though, that has respected timing more than dominance. In 2016, the Montreal Impact finished last in the East and got to the conference final; in 2012, Houston (which was a relocated Quakes team) just snuck in to the postseason and reached the final; in 2005 and 2009, the worst (Los Angeles and Real Salt Lake) ended up first.
In other words, the Quakes’ pedigree, modest though it is, still allows it a counterpuncher’s chance. Its attack, which is third-worst in the league, playoffs or no, is matched by its defense, which is fourth-worst in the league. Their years as a de facto vehicle for Chris Wondolowski are coming to a close, sooner rather than later. They are in no way an elegant team. They are working on their second coach of the year (Chris Leitch).
But therein lies their mutating charm. Their postseason pedigree stinks, but there is a no compelling reason why they cannot cheat a result or two. After all, the lower scoring a sport is, the greater chance for an upset, and the Quakes’ history screams that no franchise could use one more.
So they head for Vancouver, a raucous crowd and a difficult side, carrying with them only their humble resume and the indomitable cheek demanded of the upstart. I mean, anybody in their right mind would much prefer the Whitecaps’ chances, but you gotta be who you gotta be.
Plus, the Quakes are getting a 35th game, which is more than they had a right to expect, all things considered.
Programming note: Warriors-Mavs coverage starts today at 4:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.
Steph Curry owes the NBA some money.
The two-time MVP was fined $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece near the end of Saturday night's game in Memphis, the league announced.
He won't be suspended.
Andre Iguodala was fined $15,000 for verbally abusing a game official.
"I want to play tonight. Don't think a suspension is necessary," Curry said following shootaround on Monday. "I'm pretty sure based on the precedent that was set last time I threw my mouthpiece, there'll be a fine.
"The timing is getting a little tight thinking about preparing for tonight, but just gotta wait and see."
Curry was fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece during Game 6 of the 2016 Finals.
He did not need to rewatch the incident from Saturday to know he was in the wrong.
No excuse for that! Gotta remember who I am playing for...— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) October 22, 2017
"In the grand scheme of things, it's Game 3, we were playing terrible," Curry explained on Monday. "I was frustrated because I was fouling, I thought I got fouled on the last play and the reaction was definitely a little over the top.
"Stuff happens. Try to continue to be myself, show some fire, but do it in a way that doesn't take away from the team and misrepresent who I am."
Kevin Durant -- who was also ejected from the game -- apparently won't receive any additional punishment.
Steph Curry on his mouthguard throw a couple days later, still waiting on word from the league pic.twitter.com/PwuQJEmvfG— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 23, 2017
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller