Matsuzaka is still a beloved legend among the Lions faithful, but when he left his team was playing in a dilapidated rundown stadium known as the Seibu Dome. And when the Red Sox lavished an unexpectedly large windfall upon them, the Lions used it to renovate and upgrade the dome, turning the stadium into the class of the Japanese league. They installed the country's largest video scoreboard (165 feet across by 23 feet high), new fake turf for the field, a new outfield fence, upgraded players' lounges, more concessions, more seats, and they gave away free uniforms and gloves to children. Fancy! They even had a few million left over to buy some new, better players. (They won the 2008 Japan Series thanks to those acquisitions.)
But the crown jewels of the new and improved Seibu Dome are the luxurious state-of-the-art restrooms, with more space, shorter lines, and new stalls with floor-to-ceiling doors and electronically warmed toilet seats.
"In Japanese custom, it is very important, the toilets," Takahashi said during a recent tour of the stadium, which opened in 1979. "If you are comfortable in the toilets, then everything is comfortable."
Whereas the old facilities were dingy concrete latrines, state-of-the-art urinals line the men's rooms along with high-tech hand dryers built into the bright blue and white tile - the team colors. But the main attractions are the new toilets with TotTo's Warmlet seats in stalls with floor-to-ceiling doors.
Each stall in the women's bathrooms holds a Toto Washlet, a toilet and bidet in one unit. These $1,500 fixtures provide a luxurious experience for fans, who may spend their time in the restrooms contemplating the full extent of Matsuzaka's legacy with the Lions.
The team considers these thrones to be a loving tribute to their departed star and he must be quite touched. Boston may have won the World Series with Dice-K, but more than a few Sox Nation members would probably trade him and all of Fenway Park for a freshly washed arse.