When the Indians help the Orioles open Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Monday, Charles Nagy will be on the mound for Cleveland.
"It's a big honor and I'm looking forward to it," Nagy said. "But I don't think it will be too tough pitching the first game of the season. It will be a different atmosphere, though, because of the new stadium. There will be a lot of excitement in the air. President Bush will throw out the first ball."
Nagy, 24, a right-hander, was 10-15 with a 4.13 ERA last year when he was a rookie and the No. 3 starter behind Greg Swindell and Tom Candiotti. Now, as the Indians shed veterans and high salaries, Nagy is No. 1.
"He has the stuff and the character to handle the assignment," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "But Charles is so hard to read. He's quiet, just goes about his business."
Nagy, who pitched for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team, came up on June 29, 1990, and lost to the California Angels. He was 2-4 with a 5.91 ERA that season, when he says "I was walking around in a daze all the time."
Now he has a veteran's demeanor.
"I know what's expected of me now and what I have to do," he said. "I have a better perspective of things."
Nagy is 2-1 against the Orioles. He was 4-2 in spring training.
Dave Otto will start the second game and Jack Armstrong the third game.
* WHITE SOX: Carlton Fisk was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a bone spur and tendinitis in his right foot.
He was 2-for-16 this spring with a home run and three RBI.
Fisk, 44, is 79 games shy of breaking Bob Boone's major-league record of 2,225 games behind the plate.
Ron Karkovice and Matt Merullo will be handle the catching duties during the early part of the regular season.
* ATHLETICS: Dave Stewart, who is scheduled to pitch the opener against the Royals on Monday, pitched for the first time in 10 days and pronounced himself sound after having strained a muscle in the left side of his rib cage.
Stewart was forced to miss a start, mostly as a preventive measure against further injury, Friday because he had felt a pull while batting in a game March 22.
Stewart finished his spring with a 1-2 record and 5.87 ERA.
* YANKEES: Tim Leary, who had been bothered by a stiff lower back, pitched seven innings of three-hit ball yesterday in a minor-league game.
Danny Tartabull, who suffered a mild sprain of his right wrist diving to make a catch Tuesday, did not play yesterday.
* BREWERS: Though the club has signed free agent Kevin Seitzer, manager Phil Garner says he hasn't abandoned the experiment to turn outfielder Dante Bichette into a third baseman.
Bichette has started four straight exhibition games at third without an error.
* ANGELS: Infielder Rene Gonzales, a former Oriole, and pitcher Chris Beasley likely to be cut, according to the Los Angeles Times.