Heated toilet seats and phantom stadiums

Weekends are traditionally times for newspapers to catch up on long-running stories and, frankly, pad the paper with non-news items. And there was plenty of that this past weekend:

  • The San Jose Mercury News looked at whether a new baseball stadium for the Oakland A’s could fit next to San Jose’s planned high-speed rail station, and concluded: The state’s high-speed rail chief says he sure hopes so. “By all means,” Mehdi Morshed told the paper, “we’re going to be working with the city and others to make the high-speed train station complimentary to everything else around it.”
  • The Houston Dynamo are “pushing ahead” with their new soccer stadium, reports the Houston Chronicle, the team having filled an office with renderings and started an archeological dig. Now all the Dynamo ownership needs is to “complete its financing package agreement with the city and have the county, by way of Commissioners Court, vote in favor of contributing $10 million to the project.” Details, details.

  • The New York Times marked, um, the one-month anniversary of the Japanese baseball season opener by reporting on the privately funded renovations carried out by the Seibu Lions: “With the $51,111,111.11 posting fee the Lions earned from the [Boston] Red Sox in the deal [for pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka], they renovated the drab, outdated Seibu Dome, constructing concession stands and seating, resurfacing the playing field, installing an enormous video scoreboard and, most notably, building magnificent bathrooms with electronically warmed toilet seats.” No word on whether they’re now charging $3.50 for Pocky.