At this time last year, Bryce Harper was the story of baseball. One of the best players in the sport still without a contract.
Now he’s an afterthought, quietly going about his business, preparing for his second seasons with the Phillies, while everyone talks about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
And Harper, who signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies, loves it.
“It’s actually kind of nice,’’ Harper, 27, told USA Today Sports. “Cameras aren’t all over the place. You’re not seeing ESPN and Fox every single day. You don’t have all of these trucks and craziness going on. Everybody can just focus on our team and not really just focus on myself.
“I think it’s better for everybody in this clubhouse.’’
Harper’s first year in Philadelphia left a little to be desired. The Phillies won 81 games and finished fourth in the NL East, while his old team, the Nationals, won the World Series. But Harper, who batted .260 last year with 35 homers and 114 RBI, doesn’t sound hung up on that. He claims to love his new team and town.
“Being in Philly last year, I loved every moment of it,” he said. “You see what a fan base can do, how…