A look at the 2017 New York Mets

The New York Mets are coming off of back-to-back playoff seasons, but, as is often the case in sports, the focus for everybody involved with the franchise is to take it a step further and win the team’s first World Series crown since 1986.

Unfortunately, last year was a letdown from the year before. In 2015, the Mets played in their fifth World Series and first in 15 years, where they were defeated by the Kansas City Royals in five games. Although another playoff appearance followed, marking the first time since the 1999 and 2000 campaigns that the Mets have played into the postseason, it only lasted one game.

New York snuck into the playoffs after finishing the regular season with an 87-75 record, the same mark as the San Francisco Giants, while both of those teams were a game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals. As a result, the Mets and Giants met in the wild card game, and Madison Bumgarner quickly quieted the Citi Field crowd in helping lead San Francisco to a 3-0 win.

The regular-season record was just three games less than the 2015 National League champions earned, but that was enough to keep them from repeating their division-title winning campaign. That provided them with a much more challenging route through the playoffs, which was not navigated.

Many believe that pitching troubles contributed to the team’s fortunes taking a turn for the worse in 2016. Poor performances from the mound combined with injuries to starting pitchers resulted in 12 different throwers starting a game that campaign. Only one, Noah Syndergaard, started at least 30.

The offense was hit by the injury bug too as David Wright and Lucas Duda both suffered injuries. Meanwhile, fans were looking for Michael Conforto to start becoming a mainstay in the outfield, but he struggled, only hitting at a .220 clip and ended up spending a bit of time with the Las Vegas 51s instead.

But there were plenty of positives in 2016 as well. Both Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon excelled, Syndergaard with a 14-9 record and a 2.60 ERA and Colon with 15-8 mark and an ERA of 3.43. However, Colon departed for Atlanta in the offseason. Meanwhile, Jose Reyes turned in a solid season, recording a .267 batting average after having started the campaign with Colorado’s AAA affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Heading into the 2017 campaign, many prognosticators stated that if New York’s pitching arms can remain strong and not get injured, the team should be able to return to their division-winning ways and then make a deep postseason run, hopefully to the World Series and maybe even to a championship. In other words, most did not believe that much needed to change other than ensuring that the team’s medical staff is not being kept busy working on pitching arms over the season’s six months.

Also important is that right fielder Jay Bruce and center fielder Curtis Granderson provide enough spark with their bat to make up for their lack of defensive skills relative to other outfielders in the game. Duda and Wright need to keep healthy as well while plays such as Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera need to perform as is being expected of them this campaign.

Of course, some criticize the fact that the Mets did not do much with the roster in the offseason, banking on having a healthy 2017 campaign, saying that it was irresponsible and that improvements should have been made to the areas of the team that are currently being held by injury-prone players, and it’s difficult to argue that point. However, David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes are earning more than $40 million combined, which hampers the team’s ability to make too many changes, especially if you’re looking to add competitors who can make a significant difference.

However, heading into a middle-of-May series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Mets are 16-20, seven games behind the NL East-leading Washington Nationals (23-13) and four games behind the second wild card, which is currently held by the Milwaukee Brewers (21-17).

Although eight pitchers have already started at least once less than a quarter into the season, three of those have only started one contest apiece (Tommy Milone, Rafael Montero and Adam Wilk), so it doesn’t appear that this has been a serious issue so far. However, the quality of the pitching staff is as the Mets occupy the bottom spot in the entire majors with a team ERA of 4.89.

Of those who have started at least five games, Syndergaard is performing as expected, recording a 3.29 ERA to go with a 1-2 mark while Jacob deGrom and Zach Wheeler have decent ERAs, 4.07 and 4.18. However, Matt Harvey, who many fans used to view as one of the team’s most promising talents, has posted an ERA of 5.63, and Robert Gsellman’s is 7.07.

It doesn’t help that the team’s team batting average of .238 is 20th-best in the majors. Wright has not even remotely been able to overcome the injury bug as he has yet to play a game this season after suffering a shoulder injury in late February. Meanwhile, Duda has not been healthy either, having injured his left elbow during a collision at first base in April. And he has only hit .231 this season.

However, not all of the news is bad as Conforto’s stellar .343 batting average places him sixth among all National League players. He has also shown a bit of power, smashing nine homers and tallying 16 extra-base knocks. The Seattle-born outfielder is well on pace for his best offensive season ever.

Bruce and Granderson have provided mixed results as the former has one of the best batting averages on the team (.274) and has hit a Mets-leading 10 home runs, but the latter has the worst batting average of any regular player on the team (.144).

Although there is time for players having subpar campaigns to turn around their seasons, it is likely time for the Mets front office to start looking for players to trade for in order to make another postseason run. This is especially true for the pitching staff, but offensive players who could help should be considered too.

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The New York Rangers Youth Hockey Camp 2016 Session Information

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Avi Weisfogel spends much of his time seeking sleep solutions through dentistry. When he’s not working, Avi Weisfogel enjoys following the New York Rangers hockey team. This year, the team will host a youth hockey camp for their smaller fans.

The Rangers Youth Hockey Camp is part of the team’s Go Skate program, which seeks to educate kids and inspire an interest in the sport. Each year, the program’s combined efforts reach over 10,000 regional children.

The 2016 camp is a week-long training opportunity for players between the ages of 7 and 15 years old. Sessions occur throughout the months of July and August at the team’s official practice facility and run from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. This year’s camp promises to engage learners in age-appropriate training from Rangers alumni, coaching staff, and other local hockey professionals. Students may even get the chance to meet current Rangers players.

American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine’s 25th Anniversary

American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine pic
American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
Image: aadsm.org

Since 2014, Dr. Avi Weisfogel has served as the co-founder and owner of Dental Sleep Masters (DSM), a company dedicated to helping oral healthcare professionals improve the business model of their practices. In addition to managing DSM, Dr. Avi Weisfogel stays active in the industry through his position as a diplomate of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) has operated for 25 years with the objective of improving treatment methods for sleep apnea, snoring, and other sleep-related disorders. Between 2002 and 2013, the organization multiplied its membership by 10 and continues to grow today as the leading group of its kind.

On June 9, 2016, AADSM will hold its 25th-anniversary meeting at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with thousands of professionals in the field and to attend a series of presentations and educational courses. Registration information and a list of the daily programs is available at www.aadsm.org.

Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances

Dental Sleep Masters pic
Dental Sleep Masters
Image: dentalsleepmasters.com

A graduate of the New York University College of Dentistry, Avi Weisfogel, DDS, has nearly two decades of experience in dental care. Dr. Avi Weisfogel focuses on the intersection of dentistry and sleep medicine as the owner of Dental Sleep Masters, a New Jersey-based firm dedicated to helping dentists connect with and assist patients with sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common variety of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder involving repeatedly halted breathing during sleep. It occurs due to the relaxation of throat muscles while one is sleeping. Although its most common symptom is snoring, it can also cause issues such as daytime drowsiness, headaches upon waking, and insomnia.

One potential treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is the use of a custom-fit oral appliance. The appliance somewhat resembles an athletic mouth guard and supports the patient’s jaw during sleep to help keep the upper airway open. A patient will typically receive a referral from his or her sleep specialist to see a dentist, who will then fit the patient for oral appliance therapy. There are currently over 100 FDA-approved oral appliances for obstructive sleep apnea available on the market to doctors and patients.

Roger Waters’ The Wall – New Movie Sheds Light on a Classic Rock Album

Roger Waters pic
Roger Waters
Image: hollywoodreporter.com

Avi Weisfogel is an accomplished New Jersey dentist who owns and operates Dental Sleep Masters in South Orange. A longtime fan of classic rock, Avi Weisfogel particularly enjoys the music of Billy Joel and Pink Floyd.

Pink Floyd was one of the progenitors of arena rock and a band that encapsulated both the psychedelic and progressive rock eras. Pink Floyd’s greatest album in many fans’ eyes was Roger Waters’ 1979 creation The Wall. Featuring classic songs such as “We Don’t Need No Education,” The Wall took a critical look at 20th-century England and the oppressive, war-related forces that threatened basic human freedoms. Following the breakup of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters kept his musical creation alive as a stadium performance that merged rock and Broadway theater.

Filmed in Athens over the course of a week, the recently released film “Roger Waters’ The Wall” ably depicts the power of the live show in its 21st-century incarnation. The movie adds depth to the monumental narrative by taking the viewer on a journey with Waters to visit his father’s memorial and his grandfather’s grave. The connection between the massive war casualties of the early 20th century and the passion that Waters poured into his anti-establishment message is vividly illustrated.

Sleep Apnea – An Inherited Condition Triggered by Lifestyle Factors

Sleep Apnea pic
Sleep Apnea
Image: webmd.com

A longtime dental practitioner, Avi Weisfogel leads Dental Sleep Masters in South Orange, New Jersey. Avi Weisfogel’s firm provides health care professionals with a risk-free system of oral appliances that addresses obstructive sleep apnea.

Involving partial or complete obstructions in the upper airway, sleep apnea is a common condition linked to diabetes and heart disease, among other conditions. An inherited disorder, sleep apnea is best conceptualized as a neuromuscular disease in which that part of the brain in charge of the upper airway fails to work properly. As a result, people with the condition are able to generate less power in the muscles of the upper airway. Sleep apnea typically does not manifest in those susceptible to the disease without a trigger, which can range from excessive drinking to weight gain.

Even when it does appear, an estimated 80 to 90 percent of those with sleep apnea are unaware that they have the condition. This is because the symptoms, which range from mood changes to daytime sleepiness, are also associated with stress and working too much. This points to an acute need for better sleep apnea awareness, outreach, and diagnosis programs throughout the United States.

Risk Factors for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Risk Factors pic
Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
Image: sleepdisorderdentalcenter.com

As owner of Dental Sleep Masters, Dr. Avi Weisfogel draws on an in-depth knowledge of sleep apnea. Dr. Avi Weisfogel uses this information to help dentists identify potential patients and to help patients secure the treatment that they need.

Although obstructive sleep apnea can affect nearly anyone of any age, risk factors increase significantly with excess weight and age. Approximately 50 percent of patients with sleep apnea carry excess weight, a connection that may be due to the positioning of fat deposits and the risk of these deposits pressing on the airway. Fat deposits around the waist or neck may prove particularly problematic, but the disorder is by no means confined to overweight individuals.

A neck larger than 16 inches around in women or 17 inches around in men may also increase the risk of breath obstruction during sleep, as the weight of this flesh can constrict the airway. For similar reasons, risk can increase in patients with genetically narrow airways, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or chronic nasal congestion. Data further suggests that diabetes, high blood pressure, or a history of smoking can increase risk, and men over the age of 40 are particularly susceptible.

Finally, although children are less likely than adults to develop the condition, those with chronically enlarged tonsils and those who are overweight may be at a higher risk than their peers.