Dejan Kovacevic reports:
Kevin McClatchy, the Pirates' managing general partner, has pleaded with MLB for years to put the Pirates and Indians into MLB's natural-rival category so they can meet annually at each team's field, as happens with the New York Yankees and Mets, among others. But MLB continues to pair the Indians and Cincinnati Reds, while leaving the Pirates without a partner.
Ohio is a massive state without much coherence as cultural entity. Cincinnati is more like a southern city than a northern city, and Cleveland is more like Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Detroit than Cincinnati. Cleveland to Cincinnati is about four and a half hours; Cleveland to Pittburgh, two and a half hours.
The problem for MLB might be finding an interleague rival for Cincinnati, which adjoins Indiana, and more or less faces toward Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. There's no big-league baseball that way.