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Whether they like it or not, the Milwaukee Brewers will have to pay right-hander Jeff Suppan(notes) $12.5 million to pitch this year and then $2 million to buy him out for the 2011 season.

If nothing else, Suppan should pledge to use a little of that charitable scratch — he'll receive over $40 million by the end of the contract he hasn't lived up to —  to buy some tricked-out pillows.

In news that's almost too unbelievable to be true, Suppan told reporters on Wednesday that his recovery from a run-of-the-mill stiff neck — which started bothering him at the beginning of spring training and landed him on the 15-day DL to start the regular season — was hindered in late March.

OnMilwaukee.com/television reporter Drew Olson shed more light on the reason for the delay during Wednesday's Rockies-Brewers game:

"Suppan told us before the game that his neck was stiff in spring training," Olson said. "The condo he was staying at had really bad pillows and he had to sleep on a rolled-up towel."

Yes, a rolled-up towel. The same sleeping aid that Jim Anchower might use. 

Upon hearing this, the Brewers announcers nearly fell out of the booth at Miller Park.

"For $40 million, there could be a pillow store, you know, nearby" (the team's spring training complex in Arizona), play-by-play man Brian Anderson(notes) said.

Almost simultaneously, Bill Schroeder — an analyst who played with the Brewers and others as a catcher in the '80s — deposited his two cents.

"I was thinking that myself," Schroeder said. "You could get the greatest pillow of all time for the money these guys are bringing in."

Anderson then jokingly suggested something Borat or Bruno might try:

"You could hire somebody to BE a pillow for you."

Schroeder, still incredulous, suggested that Suppan just use a pillow from home.

"Man. Jam it in your suitcase if you're worrying about his leaving it back in Phoenix," Schroeder said. "I'll take it back for him."

He also wasn't buying Suppan's cheap, vaguely homeopathic solution for the sleep discomfort.

"A rolled-up towel? I mean, you do that after a frat party in college, dontcha?" Schroeder said. "I mean, c'mon Soup."

Olson finished his anecdote, adding that Suppan is "now back to sleeping on pillows and getting his adequate rest." Well, fantastic then.

That news that Suppan apparently found a Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond helps his quest to stick as the team's fifth starter. If all goes well in a minor-league rehab start Friday, he is slated to return next week against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Overall, Suppan has a 135-135 record with a 4.68 ERA and 1.452 WHIP and a -32.5 win probability in 396 career starts. Since coming to the Brewers, he's 29-34 with a 4.93 ERA that is nearly a full run higher than during three previous seasons with the Cardinals.

Are the Brewers sure he didn't leave his pillows behind when he moved from St. Louis?

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