For a player who is rather quiet and never seems to be in the limelight or the center of attention, this was different.
When Cesar Izturis hit a bloop single to center in the second inning Sunday, the fans erupted in cheers and so did the players in the O’s dugout.
It was the 1,000th career hit for Izturis, who suddenly, at least for a short time, was in the spotlight.
“To get that 1,000th hit is something special for me. That moment is something you look for all your career. Today was a special day for me.
“When I was on first, I got goosebumps with the fans standing up and cheering. It was something special.”
You could also tell how much Izturis is liked by his teammates by their reaction right then and some of the comments they made about him after the game.
It was quite a day for the O’s unassuming shortstop, who also had a double and made several solid plays and one great one in the field.
Before too long, the O’s will have to address a key question: Do they try to resign Izturis and bring him back as shortstop for next year?
It seemed like the O’s might be heading in a new direction there, but Izturis has reminded us on this homestand that the steady defense of a shortstop can be huge, especially in close, low-scoring games. But can the O’s afford to keep the glovework of Izturis while getting only a .240 or so batting average and almost no power out of short?
This O’s team has been a poor one on offense all year, and moving forward can they keep players that are so limited on offense?
For a few years in baseball, players like Cal Ripken and Alex Rodriguez turned short into an offensive position. But in the end, many teams substitute offense there for someone who is solid on defense.
Which way should the O’s go at short when they look toward next year?