Something I've wished for over the last few years is that sometime soon Major League Baseball will wise up and take the job of calling balls and strikes away from the human umpires and give the job to machines. Make use of the cool ESPN/FOX style technology that tracks where a ball crosses the strike zone and determines without a doubt whether the pitch is called a ball or a strike.
As a co-worker mentioned today, when he was watching the Orioles' season opening game yesterday the strike zoe that was being called by the umpire was so tight that the pitcher didn't stand a chance of getting a strike call unless he quite literally grooved the pitch straight over the heart of the plate. I told my co-worker that this is a pet peeve issue of mine and that I think things have gotten worse since the MLB did away with the review process they had been using over the last few seasons.
The Umpires union pitched such a fit about the idea that there were always machines looking over their work, and always reviews of the calls of the balls and strike that the league wound up, as best I can tell, basically shutting down that "program" and letting things go back to where they were before with the human umpires applying their own version of the strike zone, rather than applying a consistent rule book strike.
That's a big reason why I want machines handling the job and want the umpires out of it. Let the home plate umpire watch the plate for foul tips, for close plays at the plate, etc., but for god's sake, take away the job of calling balls and strikes and let a machine do it. Heck, if you're worried about jobs for umpires, have an umpire monitor the computer/machines and let them check the display to relay the proper call down to the home plate umpire through some sort of closed circuit or otherwise encrypted communication to ensure who is making such calls. But most importantly, get back to a point where the strike zone is from the knees to the numbers, as wide as the plate and no more.
No outside strike zone. No strike zone that is about the size (height wise) of a mans dress belt. Just a strike zone that offers the pitcher plenty of opportunity to use space high and low, inside and outside of the box that should make up the zone.
Perhaps then pitchers wouldn't be so tempted to throw at hitters, and hitters wouldn't find the job of jacking balls out of the park so easy either. Instead both sides would do their jobs as the rules say they should.