Daily Buzz: 'House of Cards' gives ace closer acting gig
Athletics reliever Jim Johnson sharpened his acting chops working with Kevin Spacey for a cameo on the Netflix series. Plus, Justin Verlander has a luxury car dilemma while the Florida Panther have money troubles.
By Sam Gardner
Jim Johnson already has a pretty good gig as the closer for the Oakland Athletics, but if this whole “pitching” thing doesn’t work out, the 30-year-old righty always has a fallback career as an actor.
If you watch "House of Cards" — and if you don’t, who are you? — and have gotten through the first half of the new season, you saw Johnson make his acting debut in Episode 6, when he came onto the field to catch the first pitch for Vice President Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, at a Baltimore Orioles game.
The cameo came about last season, when Spacey came to a game at Camden Yards scouting out set locations during filming of the second season. Spacey threw out the first pitch to Johnson, who was with the Orioles at the time, so when the show decided to recreate the scene for the show, Johnson was the natural choice to play the role again.
“They cut my lines,” the self-proclaimed "House of Cards" fan Johnson told MLB.com of his on-screen debut, “but I don't care.”
And so far, Johnson’s performance — which also features a brief glimpse of then-Orioles outfielder Nate McLouth — seems to be going over pretty well.
“I've gotten a couple messages from some people about it,” he told MLB.com, “and I still keep in touch with Kevin. He's a real nice guy. You know what was amazing, was watching him flip that switch and go into character. He automatically turned into Francis Underwood, and it was kinda creepy.”
Now, for some links:
• Poor Justin Verlander got a new Lamborghini but now has nine exotic cars and only eight spots in his garage.