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The Brewers are preparing to say whether their dog mascot is an impostor

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There's trouble afoot at the Brewers' spring training camp.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers will hold a press conference Friday to set matters straight about the baseball season's first true controversy: whether the team secretly replaced unofficial team mascot Hank the Ballpark Pup with a second, similar-looking dog.

In recent months, a conspiracy theory has swept across the Brewers Twittersphere. Hank truthers contend that Hank, a Bichon Frise who is a frequent presence at Brewers games and events and has become a beloved team icon, died sometime during the last two years, and was replaced, unacknowledged, by a second Bichon Frise. Hank is -- or was -- owned by a Brewers vice president, adopted in 2014 after he wandered into the Brewers' spring training facility in Phoenix.

Now. Let us recognize that the Brewers are clearly having some fun with all of this, and this message is obviously tongue in cheek. Yes, okay. Recognized.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, "HANK 1"????? DOES THAT MEAN THERE'S A HANK 2? WHY ARE YOU NUMBERING THINGS IF THEY'RE NOT IN A LIST, A LIST BEING SOMETHING THAT HAS MULTIPLE ENTRIES AND NOT JUST A SINGLE, BELOVED DOG?

Remember, these are the people who said this about the controversy on Tuesday:

The "real" Hank? What is real and what is an impostor? Is the Tooth Fairy the next target? Santa Claus? The Great Pumpkin?

Things that aren't real on that list: the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Great Pumpkin. Are we to understand that Hank was never real either? Do the scare quotes around "Hank 1" suggest that the Brewers are preparing to admit that there was never a Hank, that our love for him was a fiction, that he is merely a Shamu-like fraud meant to deceive us? Are the Brewers preparing to end this where it all began?

Soon enough, we might know the truth.

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