As Donald Rumsfeld once said, you go to the AL Central with the team you have, not the team you wish you had, or might want. While it’s true that the ex-CEO and Cub fan was long on jaw-dropping bullshit and short on troop armor, the White Sox had no such equipment shortcomings yesterday. Unfortunately, the July 4th camouflage uniforms did a better job at turning the Sox into sad cheerleaders for a fading empire than help in the struggle to stay on top of the division.

Oakland continued their suppression of LHP Mark Buehrle (L, 6-7 4R, 10H 3BB 5 2/3), making the outing his 11th career loss in 14 against the yellow and green. Despite assurances of shock and awe, Sox pitching coughed up an astonishing 17 hits in the debacle, leading to a 7-1 loss and cutting the Sox lead in the division to one game above Minnesota.

Meanwhile, the Twins capitalized on the Sox’ stumble by beating up horrifically on a visibly crushed Cleveland squad 11-3. The loss wasn’t the only bad news for the Tribe on Friday; 45-saves-in-07 Joe Borowski was placed on assignment in what may be the last chapter in his struggle with a strained triceps. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that those pierogi are heavy, and the buffet table isn’t going anywhere Joe.

The Tigers remain an enigma. Stalled at .500, they nonetheless field more talent (or at least have bigger canceled checks on file) than the Twins on their best day, and as Pudge Rodriguez will tell you, God is on their side. If true, He did not accompany the T’s on their road trip; they opened their series with the hapless Mariners with a 4-1 loss.

There’s one more team in the division, but I forget who they are.