Bush also praises Rocket

WASHINGTON -- Count former president George H.W. Bush as one of the many Houston residents unhappy that center fielder Carlos Beltran is no longer with the Astros.

Bush was at the White House briefing room in the West Wing for an informal visit Saturday with Phil Morse, one of the owners of the 2004 world champion Boston Red Sox.

"I'm sorry we lost Beltran," Bush said.

But he wished Beltran well and said he hopes he does as well as he did in "leading our charge down there in Houston."

Earlier this month, Beltran rejected Houston's offer of a seven-year contract worth at least $100 million and perhaps as much as $108 million to accept a seven-year, $119 million deal with the New York Mets.

On the day after Roger Clemens agreed to a $18 million, one-year contract with the Astros, Bush had kind words for the Rocket as well.

"That's a lot of money, but he's a good guy," Bush said.