Pete Rose is persona non grata when it comes to Major League Baseball, but that hasn't stopped some of the game's best and brightest from calling up the all-time hit king. Rose says much like a woman likes to hear she's beautiful, today's hardball heroes like being told they're good.

Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, baseball highest paid player, is among the stars who regularly reach out to the banned MLB legend. Rose, 70, tells the Tennessean that Reds stars Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and others seek his wisdom.

Rodriguez broke into the big leagues in 1994 at age 18, some five years after Rose banishment from the sport in 1989.

"When A-Rod texts me," Rose told the paper, "it's all about just patting him on the [rear] and telling him how good he is. He don't need me to tell him how to play third base, he can play third base. It’s just re-enforcing that he's good. With Joey Votto it's the same thing. The better the player, the less confidence they seem to have."

A-Rod has earned $296,416,252 during his career, the most money ever paid to a professional baseball player by a wide ($76 mil +) margin over Yankees teammate Derek Jeter.

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Rose says that's the thing that is startling to him about the modern player. "It's amazing what of lack of confidence some of these players have for all that money they’re making," Rose said.

Although some fans criticize players for plenty of reasons, Rose says he knows they want to win. "The fact that these guys seem to lack confidence tells you one thing: they care," Rose said. "If they didn't care, they wouldn‘t worry about it."

Despite racking up 4,256 career hits, along with three World Series rings, Rose isn't allowed in the Hall of Fame because he bet on baseball. Pete says he works hard signing autographs up to 25 days a month in his Las Vegas casino as he waits and waits to someday get into Cooperstown.

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