MLB Baseball Rulings?

So, apparently the Orioles’ ball girl inadvertently interfered with a fair ball roped down the left field foul line. From her perspective, it looked foul. Unfortunately, it was ruled fair in a timely manner by the ump. So, what’s the ruling? Ground rule double?

Bonus questions: Also, what if a ball girl caught a pop-up in fair territory? What’s the ruling on that? What about fan interference, in general? (Maybe someone can refresh my memory on that youngster who interfered with a deep one to the outfield in a critical Yankees vs. Orioles game. I wager it’s been 10 years now?)

In this case, it was a ground rule double.

It was non-player interference and was ruled a double at the discretion of the umpire. This is different from a ball which bounces into the seats, which is an automatic double by rule.

If she had caught the ball in fair territory, the umpire would have to exercise judgment and assess what would have happened had she not interfered. Likewise with spectator interference.

Longer that that - it was Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS. The boy has his own Wikipedia page.

Anyway, if a fan reaches out over the field of play and interferes, it is the umpires’ judgment as to what call to make. For example, the umpires can declare the batter out if they feel a fielder would have made the catch.

On the other hand, if a player reaches over a fence into a fan area, there is no “protection”; if it touches a fan first, it’s a foul ball. Probably the most well known example of this is Steve Bartman in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS.