"He's an All-Star, to me," teammate Chone Figgins said of Matthews. "I mean, look at everything he's doing for this team. He goes from leadoff to cleanup and does the job in both places. Not many guys can do that.
"He runs down balls in center field. Junior can do everything. He can throw, run the bases, hit for average and power. He really knows how to use his athleticism. And he plays every day, too."
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 Club sites until Thursday June 28 at 8:59 p.m. PT.
Fans will again be given the opportunity to cast an All-Star vote immediately following the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by Turner Sports on Sunday, July 1. Baseball fans around the world will be able select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Final Vote.
Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007, either. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
Matthews, for his part, stays out of the conversation.
"I don't even want to talk about it," he said. "I've been so fortunate, so blessed to be able to come here and be on the best team I've ever played with, having a shot at the postseason. That's all I'm focusing on right now."
Matthews' manager speaks volumes for his free-agent addition, who has a chance to score 100 runs and drive in 100 runs while competing for a Gold Glove with his superlative defense.
"Gary's been a difference-maker, offensively and defensively," Mike Scioscia said. "We wouldn't be where we are [leading the American League West with one of the best records in Major League Baseball] without Gary's great defense in center field and his consistent offense.
"Gary's brought us a terrific presence in the outfield and at the plate. What he's done in center field is an eye-opener. He helps the guys on the [outfield] corners and the pitching staff. He's found his right-handed stroke and is driving the ball from both sides.
"Not many players in my experience have the versatility to go from leading off to hitting cleanup, but Gary's been extremely effective in both roles. That's a special player who can do that. He's having a tremendous year for us."