Yesterday afternoon Jaime Garcia pitched 7 scoreless innings giving up 2 hits and striking out 5 as the Cardinals took 3 games of 4 from the Phillies. Yesterday also happened to be Cinco de Mayo. Following the game a reporter asked the Mexico-born Garcia what it meant to pitch well on Cinco de Mayo. His response:
“It’s not even that big of a deal in Mexico. We won a big battle (on May 5). It’s a holiday in Mexico, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just more of an excuse for people in the states to drink margaritas and eat some Mexican food.”
When was the last time a reporter asked an American player what its like to play well on 4th of July or D-Day for that matter? I couldn’t agree with Garcia more that the 5th of May is an excuse for people to eat Mexican food and drink margaritas just like St. Patrick’s Day is a day to wear green and drink beer. Americans don’t value the actual reason for the holiday, which is the unfortunate part of all of it. Because we make Cinco de Mayo into a big deal here, we assume it must be a really big celebration in Mexico. It is a point of national pride in Mexico, but not the drinking holiday Americans make it out to be. We have allowed stereotypes to dictate our perceptions of other cultures and that is wrong.