It was high noon Tuesday, more or less, when the tall man in the Hawaiian shirt entered the home plate bar/restaurant at Minute Maid Park.

“Hello,” said hostess Pleashette Nunn. “Welcome to Larry’s Big Bamboo.”

“Hi,” the tall man replied. “I’m Larry.”

And with that, Larry Dierker was back home, back at work, back on the clock with the Astros, back at Minute Maid Park to contribute what he can to this fourth great rebuilding project in 52 years of Major League Baseball in Houston.

Dierker signed on last week as an assistant to Reid Ryan, the Astros’ new president of business operations, ending a brief estrangement from the franchise for which he has served as player, manager, broadcaster, salesman and goodwill ambassador for 47 of its 52 seasons.

“It was an awkward feeling,” he said, to be apart from the Astros — to say “they” instead of “we” and “them” instead of “us.”

“For about a week there, I was having trouble sleeping,” he said. “I’m sleeping pretty good now.”

Dierker was on vacation last week, so Tuesday was his first day back at the ballpark that bears so many references to him. Before his visit to Larry’s Big Bamboo to greet fans, he answered questions in the press box alongside a picture taken on his 18th birthday, which coincided with his first major league start for the Colt .45s.

“I wish I still looked like that,” he said, looking at the photo. “I’d be willing to give back those 40 pounds.”

Dierker spent some of the game with Ryan, discussing the considerable task that he, along with owner Jim Crane, general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager Bo Porter, face in restoring credibility on the field and trust in the stands to the Astros.

Coincidentally — or not — the Astros’ 2-1 loss to Colorado on Tuesday afternoon drew an announced crowd of 11,974, the second lowest in the ballpark’s history behind the 11,686 listed for an April 24 game against Seattle.

But Ryan said having such an important part of Houston’s baseball past in his corner will help contribute to the Astros’ future.

“So far he’s been telling me his thoughts on everything from group sales to the community leaders program to what’s (happening) on the field,” Ryan said. “I love getting his perspective. I’m a big believer that the wise man seeks the counsel of many, and he’s probably one of the most important assets the Houston Astros have.”