NEW YORK—Following a stormy 2004 season that some observers called nothing short of a disaster, the New York Mets have addressed the tidal wave of criticism by earmarking more than $53 million to pitching relief. "We're doing all we can to salvage what's left of our team in this emergency situation," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said of his team, which signed pitcher Pedro Martinez in recent weeks. "We ask that everyone say a prayer for us as we attempt to rebuild this once-thriving franchise." The Mets also signed outfielder Carlos Beltran, dedicating $117 million to shore up a defense that has recently been flooded with runs.