Spring Training is a slog, usually dominated by questions about why pitchers are getting shelled (because they’re working on stuff), and when the real season starts (still April 4th). It’s not surprising then that a growing Brewers fan theory gained traction right around the time that even casual fans start checking in to see what’s going on with the club down in Maryvale. Is Hank the Ballpark Pup dead? Was he replaced by a fluffier and more media savvy dog? How do we talk to our children about difficult subjects?
The media lost their collective minds over these questions for the past week, so the Top-5 is dedicated to all of the coverage surrounding one (or two) small dog that occasionally wears a Brewers uniform.
- Bark and Switch: Hank the Ballpark Pup is an imposter by Travis Sardanos – Brew Crew Ball, 2/29/16
The article that started it all. If you’re sick of the Hank theories, direct your anger towards Travis who took a story that we thought had died a couple years ago and resurrected it for a new season. We do have to admit that the evidence is compelling and we should probably accept it as fact by this point.
- Attention, world: There’s only on Hank the Dog and he’s just fine by Gemma Kaneko – MLB.com Cut4, 3/1/16
The article that was supposed to clear up this mess only added fuel to the fire when the Brewers VP of Communications Tyler Barnes weighed in:
“The ‘real’ Hank? What is real and what is an imposter? Is the Tooth fairy the next target? Santa Claus? The Great Pumpkin?”
It’s such a non-answer that we have to assume that the truth really is being hidden from fans.
- Have the Brewers replaced Hank the Dog? – TMJ4, 3/1/16
Even local news jumped on the story, covering it with the depth and breadth that we can expect from pillars of local journalism. The “story” runs 1:12 and includes a toss from the anchors to poor Bridget Shanahan who has to stand in front of a Wolf Blitzer-esque video screen and tap dance for almost 40 seconds while letting informed viewers decide for themselves.
- The Brewers’ Hank the Dog…is an imposter – Craig Calcaterra, 3/1/16
Calcaterra basically points out that baseball fans are all a bunch of weirdos with their own inside jokes. Hey, we do this every day and something has to break up the monotony.
- Has the Internet uncovered the truth about this very good baseball-loving dog? by Sarah Larimer, Washington Post, 3/3/16
Headlines today on the Washington Post:
- Romney call Trump a ‘fraud,’ says he’s playing voters for suckers
- Israel to launch one of the world’s most advanced missile defense systems
- What these ancient statuettes of obese people say about Paleo diets
- HAS THE INTERNET UNCOVERED THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS VERY GOOD BASEBALL-LOVING DOG?
The best part of this whole story is how it’s annoyed the local beat reporters:
Got great quote from #Brewers coach Ed Sedar about absurd Hank imposter dog story. Look for it in “Cactus Juice” in Wednesday camp report.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 2, 2016
We know that they all have more important things to do like covering the laugh of prospect Brett Phillips.
Advice to the Brewers: if someone asks you if Hank is dead, say, “No.” If someone asks if that is the real Hank, say, “Yes.” Then continue to push stuff like The Hank Fund supporting organizations like the Wisconsin Humane Society and MADACC. Maybe even adopt or sponsor a new “Hank” every year to continue to raise awareness and help animals find homes. It’s the least we could do with such a silly story.