Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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February 24, 2014

Stray dog Hank becomes big hit in Brewers' camp

Pooch wandered on to team's complex Feb. 17.

(Continued)

"I was in Europe this week on business and I had four texts from my wife," team owner Mark Attanasio said, "and three of them were 'What can I do to adopt Hank the Dog?'"

In Hank's case, walks are good.

Sauntering around Maryvale Baseball Park for some exercise. Meandering in between the practice diamonds. Strolling on a leash during infield practice with Gallardo.

"It's awesome, didn't miss one groundball," Gallardo said.

Gallardo owns a boxer that didn't make the trip to Arizona, so Hank has been a more than suitable spring sub.

Hank doesn't stop for autographs, but will gladly turn over if someone wants to rub his belly. When the adorably furry face isn't drawing attention, the dog takes breaks in the stadium operations office, not far from water and food dishes. Staff members take turns housing Hank for the evening.

If the local owner isn't found, Hank appears to be a lock to be adopted by the club and make the trip north to Miller Park.

Figures to be stiff competition for this free agent.

"Well, first of all, a number of different departments are vying for him," Attanasio said. "The players want him on the roster and to travel with the team. (General manager Doug) Melvin's trying to get him into a baseball meeting later today."

Negotiations might be tough. The fleet-footed Hank might easily outrun the Brewers' "Famous Racing Sausages" in the gameday races around Miller Park.

"We want to do what's right for the team," Attanasio said, sounding like he was playing hardball. "I think he's really an asset."

NOTES: Hall of Famer Robin Yount, along with former OF Geoff Jenkins and C Damian Miller are among ex-Brewers who will be instructors in camp. ... Manager Ron Roenicke said 3B Aramis Ramirez felt fine in his first workout. The veteran is recovering from surgery in early January to remove a non-cancerous polyp in his colon. "He went easy yesterday. He'll probably do a little bit more today," Roenicke said Sunday.

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