Interesting article from the WSJ about L.A. Dodgers Manager Joe Torre and his penchant for long Q&A’s with the press corps:

Theories on Mr. Torre’s loquaciousness abound. Some believe he strategically drags out the sessions to take the heat off his players and get reporters out of the locker room, while others believe he genuinely enjoys the chit-chat. Sportscaster Charley Steiner, who worked with Mr. Torre in New York until 2004 and dined with him at 1 a.m. last Saturday night at a Beverly Hills Italian restaurant after the Dodgers finally clinched the division title, says he thinks Mr. Torre likes the mental exercise.

‘It’s like intellectual batting practice,’ says Mr. Steiner.

When the questions peter out, Mr. Torre will frequently let up to 20 seconds elapse while reporters look down at their notebooks, fiddle with their tape recorders and turn toward the field to avoid eye contact. (Mr. Steiner says these awkward silences ensue because ‘everyone’s kind of afraid to set off Mount St. Joseph.’) Eventually, if no one pipes up, Mr. Torre will often break the ice himself and continue answering one of the previous questions.

‘I alternate between thinking, ‘This is great,’ and ‘Oh, my god, I have transcription to do and a story to write,’ says Michael Becker, a beat reporter for the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif.

Mr. Torre says he has no ulterior motives, but feels that since he has to talk to the media anyway he ‘might as well have fun with it.’

I think it’s because he’s a genuinely good guy. Another reason to root for the Dodgers against the Phillies. I’m hoping for a Dodgers-Yankees World Series, so Torree can take a swing at the team that unceremoniously dumped him a few years back.