Wandering Eye: O's prepare for free agency, Mindy Kaling's Republican rhetoric, and more

On Thursday afternoon the Baltimore Police Department announced that Officer Timothy Stach would be suspended without pay. Stach was charged on Sept. 30 with several counts of theft, allegedly for stealing overtime pay he was not entitled to. Justin Fenton of The Sun got the story first. Baltimore Police have long stolen overtime. This is in part because they can, and in part because they are underpaid relative to cops in other jurisdictions. As criminologist (and former Baltimore cop) Peter Moskos reported in his book, "A Cop in the Hood," fudging the hours and angling for court time was a tradition for some cops. But now it's become the basis for getting several convicted murderers' new trials. Fenton had a Sept. 17 piece showing how two such cases were threatened by alleged—not proven—overtime abuse by a retired cop. Molly Webb, a former city prosecutor, was also charged in the latest case. Stach is a longtime Southern District guy with hundreds of busts under his belt. The city also made an $80k payout this year in a case in which Stach and several other cops were sued by a man they arrested on a drug charge. The city settled the case in June "Because of conflicting factual issues, Constitutional concerns and questions regarding probable cause, and given the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts." (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

According to Anupa Mistry, who wrote an excellent piece wrestling with the comedy and rhetoric of Mindy Kaling for Canada's National Post, the comedian "isn't confused, she's just American. And maybe, secretly, a Republican." To explain: Kaling has a tendency to sound a little "problematic," as the kids say, in interviews and when she talks about success, representation, and other loaded topics. The actress, who is an American-born Indian and grew up in Massachusetts, is often kicking against the tendency for others to turn her into some symbol of brown power and feminist triumph—it is something Mistry herself admits to doing when she writes. "I used to put my politics onto Kaling; I wanted her to be the mouthpiece for my own frustrations with being brown and creative, and how that played out in my career and in navigating cultural and familial expectations"—but her rhetoric is often simpleminded and has a whiff of Republican bootstrap talk in it. At one point in her latest book, "Why Not Me?," Kaling explains that "confidence is like respect; you have to earn it," a nice piece of advice, Mistry admits, but it's also "a faulty bit of bootstrap logic to equate self-worth with achieving success at work, which often demands more of women and, women of colour in particular, than men." (Brandon Soderberg)

 

With the 2015 Orioles season just about in the books, attention is already turning to the offseason, and it seems like the writing is on the wall. The team faces the prospect of losing three key players—first baseman Chris Davis, catcher Matt Wieters, and starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen—and things, um, don't look so good on that front. After hitting his 100th career home run, Wieters was quoted as saying, "Wanted to hit 100 before this year is over. No matter what happens in the future I can say I hit 100 as an Oriole." Sounds like he's gone. Center fielder Adam Jones is making a hard push for the team to re-sign Davis, saying yesterday: "I've grown to admire the way he goes about his business and obviously, the production, that's just icing on the cake. To me, I think he's probably the highest priority, but he's earned himself a right to go and hear all 29 other offers." But what Jones said last Tuesday was perhaps more telling. "This is the last six games with our brothers and we are just going to cherish the last six days that we have here. Because we know free agency looms and we know this team will not be back exactly as it is when we leave on Sunday." Gulp. (Brandon Weigel)

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