ARLINGTON, Texas — Tim Hyers leaving the Red Sox after four successful seasons as hitting coach to join the Texas Rangers was a move that took the industry by surprise in November.
But it made sense for Hyers, who had just turned 50 and was ready to try something different in his career.
Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels and influential general manager Chris Young “painted their vision” for Hyers and the more he listened, the more he was interested.
“They’ve never won a World Series here. We have a beautiful new ballpark and it’s the Taj Mahal in terms of facilities,” Hyers said Friday before the Sox beat the Rangers, 7-1. “It’s new scenery and a new challenge. That appealed to me.
“People don’t understand that part and I get it. How can you walk away from Boston it’s the place to be? They’re right, it is. But also, it was a family decision.”
Hyers lives in Georgia. His wife, Kristin, works for the Georgia Transmission Corporation and her business travel takes her around the Southeast. They are able to spend more time together with Tim working primarily in Texas.
With the youngest of their three children graduating high school this spring and going off to college, that was important.
“She has her career but she’ll be able to travel with me a lot more,” Hyers said. “It’s easy to get from Georgia to Texas.”
Hitting and pitching coaches work in an environment where one bad month can get them fired. With his Red Sox contract expiring, Hyers had the opportunity to define his future and he took it.
He also felt as if he was leaving the Red Sox in good hands with his assistant, Pete Fatse, taking over as hitting coach.
It hasn’t shown in the statistics this season, but Hyers thinks Fatse is one of the best in the business.
“They’re in great hands. Pete is awesome, I’m telling you,” Hyers said. “The Red Sox will be fine. Most teams are struggling offensively this season. They’ll come around. I know those players and they’re good ones.”
Hyers said his departure from the Sox was not contractually based. He had been in the organization since 2013 in different roles and just felt it was time to try something else.
“Everybody has a price but that wasn’t it. I had great relationships with the people there,” he said.
Under Hyers, the Sox had one of the best offenses in the game for four years. They led the majors in runs, hits, doubles, batting average (.266), slugging percentage (.455), and OPS (.790).
“Obviously winning the World Series [in 2018] was the highlight and I’ll always cherish that,” he said. “But I saw players like Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Christian Vazquez as young bucks in the minor leagues become champions.
“I got to see the whole thing grow and culminate in winning the Series. That’s what I’ll remember. I saw their struggles and their high moments.”
The Rangers want Hyers to have organization-wide influence in how hitters are developed. He likes the idea of seeing another championship team grow from the roots up.
As Hyers worked with his new players before the game, many of his old ones came over to hug him. The Sox seemed determined to impress their former guru, pounding out 10 hits in one of their offensive nights of the season.
“A big guy in terms of my career,” Bogaerts said. “I can’t thank him enough. He did a lot for us. I’m sorry he left, but everybody has to do what’s right for him.”
Hyers is taking what could be a harder road. But it was time.
“People can have their opinions but I like it here. I like the culture they’re trying to build and I believe in what [Young] is trying to do,” Hyers said. “They have prospects here and I’m a developmental guy at heart. I want to be part of what’s happening here.”