Originally Posted by KC_Connection
There is no precedent for any of this. It's a completely arbitrary breakdown outside of the drug agreement the players made as part of the CBA (if you ignore the fact that it conveniently saves the NYY a full year of ARod's salary and keeps him away from baseball for a full year).
The arbitrator's judgement was apparently attached to A-Rod's federal lawsuit, so everyone can now read it.
Apparently all parties, MLB, the union, and A-Rod's lawyers all agreed that the section of the rules that spelled out the 50 game, 100 game, and lifetime ban punishments did not apply. They all agreed that a different section applied where the commissioner can suspend a player for just cause due to violating the drug agreement absent a positive test, but that section does not have a specifically required penalty spelled out.
The union and A-Rod's lawyers argued that if there is any penalty at all, it should be treated the same as one positive test and it should only be 50 games.
MLB argued that there was no mandated penalty, and given the severity of the violation and the cover-up, the 211 games they wanted was fair.
The arbitrator said its true that the 50 games do not apply here, but its still useful as a benchmark. He also flatly rejected the argument that it should be treated as one single violation because it was 3 seperate banned substances taken over 3 seperate years, and there was already a precedent for punishing a first-time use for both of 2 different substances. (so instead of saying its all one violation, the precedent says you can say 50 games for this, 50 games for that)
So, its 50 games for each of 3 banned substances, plus a few more for the cover-up (which they also have a precedent for punishing), all backed by plenty of precedent. The only thing thats new is the total number of games, but we've also never had a player come up for using 3 different PED's over many years and then trying to block an investigation.