Word came back in August that the Phillies were filing a lawsuit against Harrison Erickson, the company that created the Phillies mascot, the Phillie Phanatic.

That matter remains unresolved. Harrison Erickson sought to have the rights of the mascot returned to them in June. Ahead of a potential decision, the Phillie Phanatic is reportedly changing.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia broke the news that the Phillie Phanatic is going to have a "new look" on Sunday:

Word around Phillies spring training camp is that the Phanatic has made a few alterations himself. Fans will get a peek at the Big Green Guy's new look Sunday when the Phillies host the Pittsburgh Pirates at Spectrum Field.

Salisbury says that the Phillie Phanatic will still be green, still drive a 4x4 vehicle, and shoot hot dogs.

But the changes could be motivated by the lawsuit. Could they change the look enough to make a difference? Salisbury writes,

The Phillies' rights to the Phanatic will expire on June 15, but the club is hoping the latest round of creative changes will be enough to legally continue its use of the Phanatic.

So the changes must be big enough to make a difference.

The motivation of the owners are interesting to consider.  Aside from the Phillies, would there be a market for the Phanatic? Or are they simply trying to maximize the dollar amount from the Phillies?

If these "creative changes" are significant enough, maybe they'll miss their chance.  Or maybe like Sonic the Hedgehog, Phillies fans will create such a backlash it prompts the Phillies to pay up.  We'll see on Sunday.

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