Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and Number One Cardinals Fan in Washington. (Marcus Yam/The Washington Post)

“I’m a conflicted person,” he told us.

The conflict: Thursday was the night of the annual NEA Opera Honors  in Washington. (The concert and ceremony celebrated soprano Risë Stevens, composer Robert Ward, designer John Conklin and Seattle Opera director Speight Jenkins.) But also World Series Game 6 in St. Louis. The Gateway City native — who calls himself the “Number One Cardinals fan in Washington” — got home for the first two games and had no intention of missing this one.

The solution: The NEA Opera Honors won out — technically. Landesman, 64, committed himself to attending the show, but his staff scheduled him to speak at the beginning and end of the 90-minute program, so he could spend the rest of the time backstage listening to play-by-play on a radio.

“Really, the only alternative I had was to resign Thursday morning,” he said.