Remember the legal dispute that popped up in 2019 between the Phillies and the creators of the Phanatic?

That’s actually unresolved. Two folks named Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison want to reclaim rights to the fuzzy bastard in accordance with a federal law that allows renegotiation after 35 years. The Phils filed a counter lawsuit and say it’s their property because they grew the character organically after purchasing those rights way back in 1984, which was a great year for heavy metal and rock and roll music.

Jim Salisbury over at NBC Sports Philadelphia is reporting that there will be some changes made to the Phanatic costume this year, as part of the continued evolution of the character:

The lovable ol’ whatever-he-is is still green, still furry and still funny as all get-out, thanks to the comic “personality” that has been developed over 41 years by Tom Burgoyne and before him, David Raymond. That Phanatic will still race around the ballpark on his four-wheeler, shoot hot dogs toward the sky, shine the head of bald guys and torment players in the visiting dugout.

But his shoes might different. (sic)

Socks, too.

Some of his measurements may be different. (The result of some off-season work in the weight room, perhaps?)

There are apparently other creative changes, as well, but we’ll all just have to see for ourselves when the Phanatic joins one of his biggest fans, Bryce Harper, on the field Sunday.

Will the Phanatic also punch 13-year-old children in the back? We’ll find out.

Salisbury says the Phils’ rights to the mascot expire in mid-June, and the team is “hoping the latest round of creative changes will be enough to legally continue its use of the Phanatic.”

Could you imagine the Phillies losing the rights to the Phanatic? Would possibly be more devastating than the Kawhi Leonard quadruple doink.