NESN.com asked readers to share their thoughts on what MLB should do to improve, and they weren't shy to chime in.
Fans aren't buying the "human element" argument and instead want more technology in the game. They want changes to improve balls and strikes accuracy and speed up the game. Then you have one fan who remains nostalgic and wants to see players wear stirrups again.
There were plenty of great suggestions for improving the game. Here are some of the best:
"I think MLB should start fining Umpires for bad calls. $500-$1000 depending on how bad the call is… There was way to many this past season.. One took away a no hitter.. The Umps need to start caring about the game and I believe if we start handing out fines they will take their jobs more seriously and start caring…" -Shawn
"Put a strike zone indicator on the outfield TV monitor so the ump can determine whether pitches are balls or strikes. If you don't want the at-game fans to see it, give the home plate ump a handheld the size of a cell phone to glance at after he watches for foul tips and check swings–calls that he is responsible for determining. Also the handheld could show instant replay for the crew chief, after a close play…then,he can call a quick huddle of the crew; they can change a call if need be. HP ump could view check swings accurately.
The technology to do this is available and would not be costly–two handhelds per umpire crew and a common calibration by the MLB Commissioner." -opinionated
"don't make pitchers hit in the nl…..it puts a black hole in the lineup and leads to injuries" -Joe
"Electronic ball and pitch calling and a pitching clock (like a shot clock in basketball). You have 30 seconds to pitch the next pitch, the pitcher and the batter can each take a 15 second timeout per at bat whenever and if they choose. No pitch after 30 seconds? Ball. Batter not in box after 10 seconds? Strike." -JhonnyO
"SALARY CAP, SALARY CAP, SALARY CAP, SALARY CAP, SALARY CAP, SALARY CAP, SALARY CAP, SALARY CAP." -SALARY CAP
"No more ankle length pants. Bring back the stirrup and sanitaries!" -Kevin
"Salary cap, get rid of interleague play, that's what makes the word series so special, that's the one time of year the two leagues play each other. bring the DH to the national league. if you're going to use instant replay, put another ump in the booth making the call. make the umps more accountable for bad calls…oh and something I'd like to see in all of professional sports, have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to law breaking of any kind, if you can't learn to control yourself in public, or call a car service if you're too drunk to drive, you should lose the privilege of earning a multimillion dollar contract and playing in front of thousands of people, like it or not, you are role models to a lot of young minds and getting away with what they get away with only tells young kids it's okay to be an idiot so long as I make more money than you." -Masshole
"I'd also like to see slightly less emphasis placed on division games. I'd also like to see one round of interleague instead of two." -Jared
"I'd like to see better and more involved training for these umpires. Let's face it some of these guys fought in the Revolution War. Most of them are old, out of shape and have big chips on thier shoulders for a lot of players, coaches and teams.
I'm not talking about the calls like Joyce had but more so on the inconsistency of balls/strikes. Also they need to evaluate the "hot head" umps. Some of these guys think that they are the game and think that people want to see a player or coach tossed. Someone else made a comment about umps starring down a player when they return to the dugout. That's what I'm talking about!!! They just want that player to say one thing and boom!! He's gone. They just need to leave their personal rifts at home. The game of baseball is not played and watched to cheer umps. I don't pay $200 plus for a ticket to see what an ump is going to do. Ball, strike, out, safe and foul is all that needs to be done and done right. I have to say this season was the worst I've ever seen." -Brian
"Pitchers should not have to bat in the AL. As people have realized, it leads to a lot of injuries. Both the NL and AL should have a DH for the pitcher.
Umpires should have a SET strike zone that applies to ALL. I'm sick of having strike zones that vary for different umps.
Every close play should be reviewable w/o balls and strikes.
Like football, managers should get challenges. They only get one challenge for the game, then if they've won 3 consecutive challenges, they can't have anymore." -soxfan34