A federal appeals judge in Pittsburgh halted...

A federal appeals judge in Pittsburgh halted jury selection in the trial of a Pittsburgh bartender accused of dealing drugs to major league baseball players while the government appeals an order barring two players from testifying.

Judge Joseph F. Weis of the third U.S. Circuit Court delayed the start of the trial until the appeals court hears the government’s arguments next Thursday at the University of Pittsburgh Law School.

Earlier, U.S. District Judge Paul Simmons ruled that former Pirates Dale Berra and Rod Scurry cannot testify because defendant Jeffrey Mosco, 30, is not accused of selling drugs to either of them. All 12 counts accuse Mosco of selling cocaine to former Pirate outfielder John Milner.

The government had planned to call Berra and Scurry to present evidence of “other bad acts or crimes” allegedly committed by Mosco, who worked at a Pittsburgh nightspot frequented by Pirate players.