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'Personal matter' keeping Josh Willingham home

Left fielder Josh Willingham did not arrive at Nationals spring training today and it will be "a few more days yet, at least" until he does, Manager Jim Riggleman said. Willingham's wife gave birth to a son last Tuesday night, but it is not known if that is related to Willingham's absence. The Nationals are calling Willingham's issue a "personal matter."

"It will be explained more clearly after he gets here," Riggleman said. "But Josh is doing good himself. We've just got to get him here later this week or next, whatever it takes for him to get here. He's one of those guys, it's not going to take him long to get ready once he gets here. He always stays in good shape."

Aside from Willingham, who is staying home with the team's blessing, every National was accounted for Friday, the first day of full-squad workouts.

By Adam Kilgore  |  February 28, 2010; 1:03 PM ET
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Hoping that all is well in the Willingham household, and that Josh is able to report soon.

Posted by: BinM | February 28, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Ladson (again beating the competition) says josh's son had complications but is doing better.

Posted by: swanni | February 28, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

A second to the hope all is well in the JW household. I fear otherwise is the case, but hope my fears are not realized.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 28, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

swanni - What you refer to as "beating the competition" is more likely the other writers showing professional courtesy and respect to the Willinghams.

Posted by: Sunderland | February 28, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Per that Ladson story, Willingham expects to be in camp Wednesday.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 28, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Ladson talked to Josh himself

Posted by: swanni | February 28, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I was also concerned about the Littlest Willingham. Glad to hear he's doing better, if indeed there were complications.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 28, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Good luck and godspeed to the Willinghams, we're all pulling for the baby Hammer.

Posted by: fourteenth_and_otis | February 28, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

As a dad of four absolutely healthy children and three with severe disabilities, I can tell you that your entire world crumbles around you when your child is born with difficulties.

"Everything will be fine" the doctors says."

"Oops, we were wrong, nothing is fine" they say next.

Then it's "we don't know what it means."

Finally, it's "take her home and lover her."

My first disabled child was born in 1983, passed away six years ago and still the doctor's "aren't sure" what it is.

I'm not blaming them, just saying that all that uncertainty can make the back of your head blow off.

Nothing else is important. Once you know what's going to happen--good or bad--then you can deal with it.

But that not knowing stuff just kills you.

I wish Josh and his family all the best. No matter what, it will get better.

Posted by: rushfari | February 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Only another couple of days before the roster spot competitions begin. With so much media focus on the pitching (Strasburg) this spring, let's hope the regular lineup & bench doesn't start to splinter and lose focus.

Both Flores (injury diagnosis) & more recently Harris (position security) have voiced some discontent over their situations; This could become a problem, if left unaddressed by Riggleman & Rizzo while the team is still in camp.
This is true for Harris in particular, who is capable of playing four positions, but is challenged by the off-season signings of Bruntlett (2B-3B), Duncan (LF), & Taveras (CF).

While there is an advantage for one player (Harris) having multi-position value, he may view it as having to best all three players to keep his roster spot; That is a tough spot to be placed in.

Posted by: BinM | February 28, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Rushfari - Been there too. The first few days in the NICU with all the alarms ringing and machines humming were like a scene out of a horror movie to us. We were in the NICU so long that after a while we were veterans and able to help others. Let's hope and pray that there is nothing seriously wrong with Ryder.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 28, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Been there as well. You're absolutely right about the NICU. You get to know the other families really well. I'm glad the Nats are giving Josh all the time he needs. Even if it's something pretty straightforward, it's a very trying time.

Posted by: luxetveritas | February 28, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

not trying to nitpick but Wang isn't at camp either, so they're two men short of the 'full-squd.'

Posted by: deposetejada | February 28, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The Full Squid -- looks like Elwood has some competition this year, too.

not trying to nitpick but Wang isn't at camp either, so they're two men short of the 'full-squd.'
Posted by: deposetejada | February 28, 2010 7:55 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 28, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

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