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 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -The sentencing of former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski was postponed for a third time Wednesday at federal prosecutors' request.
As Radomski's sentencing was postponed from Dec. 14 to Feb. 8 by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco, lawyers for Hearst Corp. filed a 66-page brief with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York asking that names of players implicated by Radomski in a federal agent's sworn statement be made public.
Radomski pleaded guilty in April to selling drugs to numerous athletes and agreed to cooperate with federal authorities and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who is investigating the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Mitchell is expected to release his report by year's end.
The order signed by Illston said the postponement was to allow Radomski's continued cooperation in the probe with prosecutors, who last week indicted Barry Bonds on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Assistant U.S. attorney Matt Parrella, the government's lead steroids prosecutor, declined comment. Radomski's attorney John Reilly didn't return a telephone call late Wednesday.
Hearst filed the appeal on behalf of the San Francisco Chronicle and Albany Times Union, two of its papers. In September, U.S. District Judge Thomas C. Platt in Central Islip, N.Y., denied Hearst's request to make public the names of players in a December 2005 sworn statement by IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky used to obtain a search warrant for Radomski's home.
Those names were blacked out when Novitzky's affidavit was made public in April. Platt wrote ``requiring public disclosure would have a negative effect on the government's effort to investigate criminal conduct.''
Hearst asked the appellate court to overrule Platt, whom the company claimed erred in his analysis of First Amendment and common-law rights. The U.S. attorney in San Francisco and the players' association opposed the request.
``The players know who they are; the government knows who they are; MLB knows who they are. Even MLB's private lawyer and his staff know who they are as a result of the government's selective disclosure of the names,'' Hearst wrote. ``The only ones who do not know the players' names are the ones paying their salaries - the fans. If anyone has a right to know, it is them.''
Hearst said claiming the information must be kept sealed while releasing names to Mitchell, which prosecutors have not confirmed, was ``pure hypocrisy.''
In July, a federal magistrate judge in Phoenix rejected a request by The Associated Press to reveal the names of players in another Novitzky affidavit that claimed they were implicated in drug use by former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley.
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AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

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