Hank the Dog has a home

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You’ve probably read about Hank the Dog, the Brewers’ unexpected spring training mascot who showed up as a stray at their camp in Maryvale. He’s been a big hit with the team and its fans, even racing in the sausage races last week while wearing a hot dog costume which, holy crap, is the cutest thing ever.

Well, be happy to know that Hank now has a permanent home:

There’s something about Hank the Brewers dog. Readers love him. But they can’t have him. Hank has a forever home.

The Milwaukee Brewers are being tight-lipped about whose home, but Hank’s days “as a stray are over,” said Tyler Barnes, Brewers vice president for communications. Hank remains in Phoenix, occasionally working out with the team at Maryvale Baseball Park.

I think it would be awesome if he was adopted by Ryan Braun. It would make my year to baseball writers try to make the adoption out as a cynical, calculated move that just further shows how awful a person Braun is.

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.