MLB great Joe Morgan remembered by Mike Schur, creator of ‘Parks and Recreation’ and ‘The Good Place’

On Sunday, former Cincinnati Reds’ second baseman and baseball broadcasting legend Joe Morgan died at the age of 77. The Hall of Famer’s accomplishments are legion. The guy had two MVPs, two World Series titles, 10 All-Star appearances … and one sports blog, named in his dishonor, called

For years FJM critiqued Morgan’s baseball commentary through a sabermetric lens, becoming a cult hit in the early blogosphere. And it turned out that the man behind it, Mike Schur, was also the guy behind TV shows like “Parks and Recreation,” “The Good Place,” “Brooklyn Nine Nine,” and “The Office.”

In this Q&A, which originally aired on The ESPN Daily podcast, Schur discusses the site and what Morgan meant to him.

Pablo Torre: I just want to know first off, what went through your mind when you heard the news?

Mike Schur: Um, what went through my mind, purely sadness. Baseball’s my favorite sport and I felt nothing but sadness that he was gone, especially in a week and a month that has also seen the passing of, uh, you know, a lot of other baseball greats, Tom Seaver and Al Kaline and Whitey Ford and all these people.

Pablo: Describe for those who aren’t familiar, the kind of tension, the dichotomy between being a site that considers Joe Morgan, maybe the best, second baseman ever, or one of the two best ever while also being a site that obviously criticized him quite publicly.

Mike: Yeah, we always regretted that we named the site Fire Joe Morgan, because we didn’t want the guy to be fired, really. It was a crass sort of early internet version of, um, you know, making noise and banging on a pot and calling attention to yourself.

What we were complaining about was that this guy who, in his career did everything right, every single aspect of his game was incredible. He was an incredible defensive second baseman. He led the league in on base percentage four times. He was a 5-foot-7, second baseman who wants to lead the league in OPS. In fact, twice, I think led the league in OPS. He was a marvel.

Pablo: That’s wild.

Mike: Yeah. And not only did he do everything right, he specifically did the things right that the sort of modern analytic movement has shown to be the most valuable possible things you can do. He was just an incredible player in exactly the ways that the sort of “Moneyball” era was beginning to point out how undervalued guys like him actually were.

And then he got into the broadcast booth. And it also spoke to this kind of generational divide where this sort of old-school, ’60’s, ’70’s kinds of players we’re fighting against the modernization of the way that we look at the game analytically. And so he became a sort of poster child for us and for other people, because he was the flagship commentator on the Sunday Night

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‘They’re not forgotten’: A year later, Hard Rock Hotel collapse victims remembered with banners | Arts

An enormous banner featuring a photo of the late Anthony Magrette rippled gently in the breeze Monday near the Hard Rock Hotel site, where the construction worker died when the structure collapsed Oct. 12, 2019. He and the two other victims were being honored with an art installation on the east wall of a neighboring North Rampart Street building.   

Magrette’s wife Nova Espinoza and son Wallace watched as the four-story portrait was anchored in place. Espinoza smiled as she tearfully explained that she wasn’t sure how he might have felt about the huge, heroic artwork.

“He was so low-key to certain things. He didn’t like so much attention,” she said. “But his face looks so lovely.”

Espinoza said is was a bittersweet experience, seeing her husband and his workmates given such a tribute on the anniversary of their deaths.

“It does help,” she said. “It shows that they’re not forgotten, that they didn’t die in vain, that everybody knows who they are and they won’t be forgotten. Now, he’s bigger than life.”

According to artist Monica Rose Kelly, who orchestrated the project, the banners are meant to honor the families of the victims and call attention to “the injustices” that she feels accompanied the incident.


Angela Magrette is comforted by family as she mourns the loss of her twin brother Anthony Magrette at the one-year anniversary of the Hard Rock Hotel construction site collapse in New Orleans, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Monica Kelly Studio and People for Public Art led an art installation called Memorial for the Hard Rock Three, dedicated to Anthony Floyd Magrette, Jose Ponce Arreola and Quinnyon Wimberly, the 3 people who passed away in the building collapse a year ago. (Photo by Sophia Germer,, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

One year ago, the upper stories of the 190-foot-tall structure, which was under construction at the time, crumbled, showering the streets below with debris. Two dozen construction workers were injured and three died. The body of Magrette was recovered a day after the accident, but the remains of Quinnyon Wimberly and Jose Ponce Arreola remained in the wreckage as 10 months of weather delays, equipment troubles and quarrels between city officials and the project’s developers postponed the removals.

“Everyone was very upset about how long it took to remove the bodies,” Kelly said.

The developers of the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel construction project for months have said that the only thing stopping them from taking down t…

In July, Kelly said she began conceptualizing a permanent memorial for the victims of the collapse. She envisioned laser-cut steel panels similar to the 22 she co-designed for the neutral ground of South Galvez Street, which recalled the neighborhood displaced by the University Medical Center in 2015 and the New Orleans Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2016. The permanent public memorial will take time, require official approval and be costly. 

It’s easy to forget there was once a modest working-class neighborhood along

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