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    Diamondbacks discuss close win over Mets

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    Diamondbacks’ Zack Godley talks after win over Mets

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    Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo talks upbeat pace in win over Mets

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    A.J. Pollock discusses his injury after loss to Pirates

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    Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs lose series vs. Nationals

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    Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray strikes out 10 in loss to Nationals

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    Fernando Rodney reacts to his blown save against the Padres

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    Torey Lovullo reacts to Diamondbacks’ ‘heartbreaking’ loss

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    Diamondbacks attendance hits new low

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    Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs’ loss, road trip

He’s a bench coach so naturally, when Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire agreed to an interview following his return to the team after five weeks away to undergo prostate surgery, the only logical place to talk was out in the dugout at Chase Field.

“It makes sense, right?” Gardenhire said. “I mean, it’s been a while and hey, this is where I belong.”

It is, even if he’s never been a bench coach before until this season. The new role has been different, to be sure, and Gardenhire, the 2010 American League Manager of the Year with the Twins, admits he was a little out of sorts upon rejoining the Diamondbacks earlier this week.

“I’ve always had my coaches do all the markings and the lineup card, keeping track of where innings ended and all those things and keeping up with (manager) Torey (Lovullo), because he’s doing things – he’s moving and shaking,” Gardenhire said. “I think it took me about four or five innings that first game back on Monday because I was still trying to figure out what the hell to do.

MORE: Diamondbacks’ Ron Gardenhire has successful surgery

“But it’s really exciting. I missed it while I was away. … Getting back in the dugout is the best thing in the world. To sit here and watch how everybody interacts with each other, watch a ballgame, it’s as good as it gets.”

In Lovullo and Gardenhire, the Diamondbacks have the ideal yin and yang. Lovullo, in his first year as a major-league manager, is the cool, calming influence who preaches togetherness and a family bond. Gardenhire is a fiery and colorful character who liked to argue with umpires so much that he still ranks 10th in big-league history in ejections (65) despite managing only 13 seasons.

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Ron Gardenhire, Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach, annouced on Tuesday that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the team’s spring training complex at Salt River Fields. Manager Torey Lovullo also spoke. Video: Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports

Even though the two have contradicting personalities and have been apart for more than a month as Gardenhire convalesced in Minnesota, the cohesiveness is very real and complementary.

“Outstanding leader, I can already see that,” Gardenhire said of Lovullo, who spent the past four seasons as bench coach of the Boston Red Sox. “He is a very calming influence on these guys, and listen, that’s good to be a manager and be calm about things. He never really gets too fired up and he thinks things through before he really reacts.

RELATED: Ron Gardenhire readies for cancer fight

“That’s very, very important, probably something I didn’t do well for a long time because I used to get pretty fired up. But he’s calm and I really like that because he is a calming influence on these guys.”

Asked if he gives Lovullo a touch of fire or if Lovullo brings him a dose of peace, Gardenhire didn’t hesitate.

“Oh, I think probably he brings me peace more than anything else,” Gardenhire said, “but I’m always going to have that. I’m going to have to watch my Ps and Qs here because that was just my instinct … hoot and holler out of the dugout. So now I may yell and then I’ll duck down.”

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Why does he feel he needs to mind his bellowing from the bench?

“Because, what’s going to happen is I’m going to scream something out and they’re going to look at Torey and throw his butt out and then I’m going to be in trouble,” Gardenhire said, laughing.

One would think Gardenhire actually misses being thrown out by one of the boys in blue, but he says no.

“Not really,” he said. “I miss the interaction with umpires because everybody thought that I don’t get along with umpires, but I had fun with umpires. Some of the conversations that we had on the field were absolutely hilarious. And you know what, I miss those guys. I’ve got so many good friends out there and sure, they throw you out of the ballgame, but the next day we looked at each other and laughed about it.”

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One of Gardenhire’s favorite stories to tell is running out on the field to confront an umpire and telling him he’s tired of watching his team play, that they “aren’t worth a flip today” and that “you’re going to throw me out of the game.”

“But they’d say, ‘No, I’m not. If I’ve got to stay, you’ve got to stay,’” Gardenhire said.

Lovullo said he’s thankful to have Gardenhire back on the bench as his trusted, right-hand man. He’s relied on Triple-A manager Jerry Narron in the interim and that’s worked so well that Narron will remain on the major-league coaching staff, just in a different role.

“Having him back is exciting,” Lovullo said of Gardenhire, adding, “Just to have his presence next to me, offering me incredible baseball wisdom inning-by-inning is priceless.”

While away, Gardenhire watched every Diamondbacks game on television. To that end, he at least feels like he’s stayed plugged in and informed. Coming back to watch the team sweep the Mets in a three-game series served only to validate what he’s thought all along – that Arizona has the talent to stay in a playoff race.

“I think we have as good of an opportunity as anybody,” he said. “When you can hit and do some of the things we do? We’ve got one of the best first basemen, if not the best first baseman in the game (Paul Goldschmidt). He’s a great leader for all these guys, they look up to him. We’ve got some young players that are learning the game, they’re getting better and better.

“We’ve got some utility guys that can play all over the place. And our starting pitching has really stepped up and our bullpen has really come together. So there’s a lot of things that are really working right now. It’s just a matter of you have to sustain it now, you have to keep playing. It’s a long grind and you’ve just got to keep grinding.”

Reach McManaman at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.