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MLB

Arozarena's home steal a long time in the making claims Rays manager Cash

Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash said Randy Arozarena's steal of home base had been a move he has planned for some time.

Update:
07 October 2021, US, St. Petersburg: Rays' Randy Arozarena (R), slides into home plate as Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez (C), anticipates the throw while Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (L), and umpire Dan Bellino watch the play during the sevent
DPA vía Europa Press

Randy Arozarena's memorable steal of home base during the Tampa Bay Rays' 5-0 defeat of the Boston Red Sox in their ALDS Game 1 opener had been a long time in the making.

It was a historic night for Arozarena, who became the first player in playoff history to steal home and hit a home run in the same game.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 07: Randy Arozarena #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates after stealing home in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2021 in S
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ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 07: Randy Arozarena #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates after stealing home in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2021 in SDouglas P. DeFeliceAFP

Arozarena was also the first to pull off the feat in a playoff clash since 2016 and the first to complete a straight steal of home since 1955.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said the leading contender for Rookie of the Year had been in his ear about attempting the move for some time.

"He's asked me all season long, 'Verde, verde, verde' – green light," Cash said.  "We finally gave it to him."

Arozarena explained why he opted to pull off the audacious move.

"I noticed the pitcher kind of wasn't keeping attention to me. I was able to take a big enough lead and take that base," Arozarena said. "That's the first time I've ever stolen home."

With 11 playoff homers, Arozarena is tied second with Carlos Beltran and Jim Thome for the second most of all time, behind only Babe Ruth on 12.

His number is the most of any rookie in MLB history, with Evan Longoria a distant second on six.

"I just focus a little bit more [in playoff games],"Arozarena said. "Luckily it's happening in October, when it means it's closer to the World Series."