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What’s the deal with Hank the Dog? The Brewers mascot drama, explained

Is Hank the Dog dead?

The Brewers have been forced to call a press conference for Friday afternoon to address rumors that Hank the Dog, their unofficial mascot, died or was otherwise replaced by an imposter. It’s a weird situation.

Naturally, the internet is all abuzz with conspiracies, jokes and genuine concern for Hank the Dog. Don’t know what all the fuss is about? We’ve got you covered.

Who is Hank the Dog?

During 2014 spring training, a stray dog was hanging out around the Brewers’ facility in Arizona. He was underweight, appeared to have been hit by a car, had chipped teeth and a variety of other health issues. The team decided to give him a home (with VP Marti Wronski), name him after a Milwaukee baseball legend and use him as an unofficial mascot of sorts. 

Do people love him?

Absolutely. How can you not? 

He’s even got a Wikipedia page and got to meet the real Hank. The Brewers, have added a costume version of Hank, gave away Hank-themed beach towels at a game in 2014 and sell a variety of Hank merchandise in their team store. Oh, and he won Dog of the Year at the World Dog Awards last year. 

Why do people think he’s been replaced?

On Monday, Brew Crew Ball, SB Nation’s Brewers blog, published a post outlining the conspiracy that the current Hank is not the original Hank. It was all pretty tongue-in-cheek. 

When SB Nation’s main site also posted a piece on Hank, the Brewers provided an ambiguous official statement.

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Since then, the story has gone totally viral. Even The Washington Post has weighed in

Now the Brewers are planning a Friday press conference to address the situation.

What evidence supports the theory this is a new Hank?

Basically he looks different.

It’s not exactly evidence but it certainly doesn’t help that the Brewers have been kind of evasive about the whole thing, both in their statement above and on Twitter.

Why should we believe Hank 1 is the only Hank?

Is it so far-fetched to think that a stray dog rescued from the Arizona desert and given a loving home would look different?

Then there’s this statement the Brewers gave to Deadspin.

We’re well aware of the report, and of the apparent dissimilarities in the photos in that specific blog. We’re also looking forward to showing everyone that Hank is, indeed, Hank.

Also, note the quotation marks used in the tweet announcing the press conference. 

If we’re to believe the secondhand testimony of an anonymous dog groomer, Hank is alive and well.

What do people on the internet think?

So is Hank dead or not?

Hopefully not.