Distractions are an inevitable part of sports, and they can also be an athlete’s greatest enemy.

Shohei Ohtani has been dealing with a lot of off-the-field distractions lately amid a gambling scandal that he emphatically denies any participation in or knowledge of, and the big question is whether he can focus on playing ball, which is what the Los Angeles Dodgers and their fans are hoping for.

A U.S.-based sports psychologist who works with MLB and NFL teams doubts that the scandal will rock Ohtani’s laser-sharp focus on baseball, provided he can pivot smoothly into a new support system as he adjusts to the absence of his former interpreter and trusted confidant Ippei Mizuhara.