The Milwaukee Brewers have responded to allegations that beloved team pup Hank has been replaced by a different, similar-looking dog and, well, things are looking even murkier.
In an official statement provided to SB Nation, the Brewers said:
The "real" Hank? What is real and what is an impostor? Is the Tooth Fairy the next target? Santa Claus? The Great Pumpkin?
Hank was adopted by Brewers Vice President Marti Wronski in 2014 after the Bichon Frise wandered into the team's spring training facility in Arizona bearing injuries that suggested he had been hit by a car. He recovered and has since become a de facto team mascot. He was named Dog of the Year at last year's World Dog Awards.
The conspiracy suggests that sometime in the last two years, Hank passed on to the great dog park in the sky. But instead of announcing his death, the team has, some say, conspired to keep up appearances, procuring a second Bichon Frise that looks similar -- but not similar enough -- and attempting to pass him off as Hank.
Brew Crew Ball published a good account of what Hank truthers claim is evidence of the fraud on Monday.
Let's just acknowledge its a different dog and move on pic.twitter.com/q93Mdtg7JN— akschaaf (@akschaaf) December 11, 2015
"Now, there is nothing wrong with the new Hank. Hank II is, like his predecessor, a Very Good Baseball Dog," wrote Brew Crew Ball's Travis Sarandos. "But do not lie to me and try to tell me that the dog on the left and the dog on the right are the same dog."
The Brewers say that they are aware of the rumors and are working to prove that Hank is Hank. Just how they intend to do that remains unclear, but maybe don't let Santa cross the street alone any time soon.
UPDATE, 3/2/16: On Tuesday, the Brewers posted what they seem to think is Proof of Hank, but which is in fact doubling down on the comparison to Santa Claus and the implication that Hank was never real to begin with.
Believe. pic.twitter.com/cWRjaXUTdu— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 2, 2016
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