March 9, 2007
Washington Nationals outfielder Ryan Church's younger brother Matthew is heading off to Iraq, which will put strains on the whole family. He is in the Army's Special Forces, and his unit will be deployed to Tikrit, which was Saddam Hussein's home town. You can't find any more hostile territory in Iraq than that. See Washington Post. Whether you support the war effort or not, most people would agree that it is better for the country when the burden of military service is more broadly shared by various social classes. Whenever someone close to a public figure goes off to war, it builds a more direct connection between the front-line troops and the folks back home.
With hardly any experienced talent in their starting rotation, the Nats have fared about as poorly as we would expect in spring training, thus far. Their record in the Florida "Grapefruit League" is 2 - 7, and three teams are actually below them.