The Toilets That Dice-K Built - NBC4 Washington

The Toilets That Dice-K Built

Matsuzaka's departure has been a boon for bathroom afficianados



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    To some, baseball is life. To others, toilet is life. Together, we can all be happy.

    In the United States, it would probably be seen as a bit of an insult to say that whenever fans went to the bathroom they thought of a particular baseball player. In Japan, however, things are different.

    "In Japanese custom, it is very important, the toilets," Masanori Takahashi, senior director of business operations for the Seibu Lions, told the New York Times. "If you are comfortable in the toilets, then everything is comfortable."

    When Lions fans go to the bathroom, they are very comfortable indeed and they can take a moment to thank Daisuke Matsuzaka for their comfort. After the Lions sold Matsuzaka to the Red Sox for $51 million, they used the proceeds to finance stadium renovations. Those renovations include bathrooms that would be the envy of every major league ballpark.

    Each men's stall has an electronically heated toiled seat with, in a nod to George Costanza, floor-to-ceiling walls to create some privacy. As a comparison, note that the newly constructed Yankee Stadium doesn't even have dividers between the urinals once you get above field level.

    In the women's bathrooms, the stalls feature ToTo Washlets, a combination toilet/bidet that retails for $1,500. The team also built new concession stands, a big new videoscreen and other bells and whistles, and even had $5 million left to sign some players that helped them make it to the 2008 Japan Series.

    Would it be worth trying on our shores? It's hard to say without test driving the facilities at Seibu Dome, but based on other American stadium experiences it seems like a pretty good trade off. Come the fifth or sixth inning, your average stadium bathroom is indistinguishable from that of your average bus station bathroom. It seems kind of nice to go somewhere comfortable and appealing when you have to go, especially after a bout with stadium nachos.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for