His colour was still a little off and you could detect a bit of a rasp in his voice.
Walking pneumonia can have that affect on a person.
But after 10 games on the sidelines watching his team struggle with a 3-7 record, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell felt well enough to come back to work on Monday.
“I’m a hell of a lot better than the last time I was here,” the 49-year-old Farrell told reporters before Toronto’s game against the Boston Red Sox. “I feel good. It’s good to be back. The 10 days were somewhat of a helpless feeling watching on TV.
“But at the same time there were obvious physical needs that needed to be addressed. But it’s good to be back here, good to be seen.”
The last time Farrell was seen in these parts was back on Aug. 25 when he had to depart a game against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning after taking ill.
“It hit me late in the game, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “Why? I don’t know. I can tell you when a hit and run doesn’t work. I can’t tell you how pneumonia comes along. I was always pretty horseshit in biology and it’s living proof that it still remains.
“It got to the point where late in that game something was definitively wrong. To leave here on a stretcher probably reinforces that.”
Farrell said he kept in daily touch with both Don Wakamatsu, the bench coach who filled in for the manager during his absence, and general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
But there’s only so much one can do over the telephone line.
“It’s a hell of a lot slower,” Farrell said of the main difference in having to watch the game on television.
Despite the losing skid, Farrell said he managed to see some positives – including the continued strong performance of rookie Brett Lawrie at third base.
Farrell said new second baseman Kelly Johnson has also looked good turning the double play and that his left-handed bat has been a welcome addition.