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August 30, 2015

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Mike Schur of 'Parks and Rec': Joe Morgan's Fatal Flaw Was "Stubbornness"

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 20th 2010 4:00PM
Joe Morgan and Mike Schur
When I spoke to Michael Schur, executive producer of the returning NBC sitcom 'Parks and Recreation,' last month, my main purpose in getting in touch with him wasn't to talk about the show. I actually reached out to him to talk about Joe Morgan, the 'ESPN Sunday Night Baseball' analyst who, along with Jon Miller, were not invited back for a 22nd season on the broadcast.

Why Schur? Because he was one of the proprietors of the blog FireJoeMorgan.com, which chronicled instances where baseball analysts and columnists insisted on using outmoded stats instead of more-illustrative sabermetrics to make their points. Morgan, as the title would indicate, was a favorite target of Schur and his cohorts.

Schur wasn't willing to celebrate Morgan losing his job, but after I asked him about it, he did admit that Morgan was frustrating to listen to. "I think we all have our fatal flaws. And his was probably stubbornness," he told me. "He just seemed to have no interest in even hearing someone suggest why this (sabermetrics) might be good."

Read the rest of the interview over at TV Squad's sister site FanHouse. There, we talk about Morgan, why Schur -- a writer for 'The Office' at the time -- wanted to stay anonymous, and how he was outed (his father-in-law, Regis Philbin, had something to do with that).

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ESPN Lets Joe Morgan Go (And It's About Time)

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 9th 2010 3:40PM
Joe MorganIf you heard a faint cheer wafting from your cubicles yesterday, it was probably the baseball fans in your office cheering that the 'ESPN Sunday Night Baseball' team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan won't be back for a 22nd season on the Worldwide Leader.

Those cheers aren't for the dismissal of Miller, who did his usual consistent and excellent job this past season. No, those cheers were for the departure of Morgan, one of the most polarizing sportscasters since Howard Cosell.

For a lot of fans, Morgan was the symbol of all that's wrong with sports broadcasting, one of many former players who seem to coast through a high-profile analyst's job largely unprepared. For others, though, he was a comforting voice, a guy who's seen it all and can recount the stories over and over again while putting things in the context of the game at hand.

But there aren't many broadcasters who have inspired so much ire that entire websites were created to document his every misstep. And, whether you liked him or not, you have to admit that it was probably time to let the Hall of Famer go and get some fresh voices in.

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